Thinking of a city staycation for next month's Easter holidays? The Cordis, Auckland could be just the place, writes David Barrington
Location: In uptown Auckland, the Cordis sits on Symonds St near the junction with Karangahape Rd, just across the bridge from Grafton.
Style: A large, modern hotel with slick service and a cheery demeanour.
Perfect for: Cordis has a welcome for everyone. On our visit there were ladies and gents enjoying high tea in the Chandelier Lounge, weary hikers returning from a day in the Waitākere Ranges and buzzing youngsters dressed up for a night on the town.
Price: From $300 for a twin room in the existing hotel or the new Pinnacle Tower, up to approximately $4500 for the luxurious Chairman Suite.
Covid protocols: Under the Red traffic light setting, the hotel and its facilities are open with all government requirements in place for social distancing, hygiene, scanning and gatherings limits in place, including face masks for staff. All guests and visitors over 12 years must show their official Covid-19 Vaccination certificate or medical exemption to enter the hotel.
First impressions: We visited on the Cordis' 'For the Families' Package. On arrival, our 7-year-old was given a complimentary kids backpack containing an activity set, an icecream voucher, and a GO Play card which gives discounts on a range of Auckland activities. Coupled with a complimentary in-house movie, it made for a very welcoming start. There's also a Double the Fun families package available to book until March 31 for stays before December 31 - book one room and you get the second at 50 per cent discount.
Rooms: With its newly launched Pinnacle Tower, Cordis now has 640 rooms and suites, with something for every family size. We were soon making ourselves feel at home with a cup of tea. The mini bar, with local beverages, would come later. The decor is contemporary, the beds super-comfy. USB chargers are available to keep devices charged.
Bathrooms: Functional, clean, and with everything you'd expect from a modern hotel bathroom.
Food and drink: There are a number of dining options, including the Aotearoa-inspired restaurant Our Land Is Alive, and the aforementioned high tea.
We opted for the famous all-you-can-eat buffet at Eight Restaurant. Don't be fooled into thinking this is anything but a high-quality affair. Much of the fare is prepared to order at either the American grill, the Chinese kitchen or the seafood station. The food is fresh and tasty, and there are also Indian options, salads, pizza and pasta and a dessert station.
With so much choice, how to tackle the plethora of options is worthy of consideration. Do you want a bit of everything? Do you start light and build towards the steaks? Avoid filling carbohydrates? If you're our son, there is only one option: a token slice of pizza followed by multiple trips to dip pineapple under the dark and white chocolate fountains.
Facilities: The rooftop pool is a boon of staying at Cordis. It's heated, but if it does get too chilly, you can take the edge off in the large spa pool, in which kids are allowed too.
There is also the Chuan spa which offers a sauna and herbal steam room for all guests, as well as spa treatments.
In the neighbourhood: You're situated at one end of K Rd and all the infamous street offers, and in the other direction, a 10-minute walk to Eden Terrace and the start of Auckland's beer mile. Also close by is perennial Auckland favourite Sid at the French Cafe.
Family friendly: Kids are better catered for than at most hotels, and are definitely not an afterthought with the Cordis Kids programme. There is a family itinerary and a scavenger hunt to take advantage of.
Accessibility: There are 16 accessible rooms, with lowered features making everything easier to access for wheelchair users. Bathrooms have roll in showers with shower seats. Chuan Spa, Eight Restaurant and Our Land is Alive bar are accessible by either ramp or elevator.
Sustainability: The Cordis participates in a sustainability programme known as EarthCheck, and soap recycling programmes. As well as energy-efficient lighting and recycling practices, the hotel keeps beehives on the roof to assist bee populations and local pollination. The honey produced is used in the hotel.
For more travel inspiration, go to newzealand.com/nz.
Check traffic light settings and Ministry of Health advice before travel at covid19.govt.nz