Courtney Whitaker checks into The Cordis hotel, Auckland for a luxurious mini-honeymoon.
Location: The five-minute drive down the road from home to our mini-honeymoon at 83 Symonds St felt somewhat like cheating, but it was fun to pretend we were going to be somewhere exotic.
Check-in experience: The check-in area was in a temporary space thanks to a full hotel renovation, and perhaps because of this, our check-in felt hasty and slightly chaotic. We wrangled our own bags to our room, which was fine, but possibly not so for another couple who had just arrived off a long flight and had large suitcases to contend with, on their own.
Room: We were lucky enough to spend four nights in one of the newly refurbished Deluxe rooms, which has been given an injection of modernity and had views out over the city towards the sea. Soft greys have been used on the walls, and clever lighting gave the room a cosy feel. A smartphone is provided with your stay; an inspired idea for travellers wanting to negotiate the city and not having to worry about using data. The 48-inch TV on the wall was best viewed from the enormous bed.
Bed: A signature Dream Bed. It was divine and massive; there is potential to lose your partner in it. There was even a pillow menu.
Bathroom: A heavy mirrored door separates this space from the bedroom, with a further large mirror over the dark wood vanity and sleek marble top. The shower over bath features two showerheads: a detachable number, and a fancy rain shower. There were also plenty of soft, fluffy towels and plush bathrobes to swan about in.
Toiletries: Lovely products from La Bottega for Cordis by Christophe Laudamiel (a French perfumer), and a box containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, sewing kit, comb, etc.
Noise: We have been living next door to a loud construction site for the past year, so were looking forward to escaping the chaos for a few days. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, the hotel was still in the middle of its transformation into The Cordis, from what was The Langham, and there were tradesmen aplenty. We heard the odd bouts of hammering, but were cushioned by being on the already-finished eighth floor. By the time you read this, the renovations should be done, and with 411 rooms and suites to be spruced up, I imagine the overhaul to have been a massive task.
Food and drink: You really can't stay here without a visit to Eight Restaurant. Book in for lunch or dinner to experience eight international cuisines, presented in a stunning, buffet-style setting — a very posh buffet — avoid eating for several days beforehand.
The cost varies depending on times. Breakfast is also served at Eight, and is an equally bountiful morning buffet, complete with chocolate fountain.
Wi-Fi: Free and fast.
What's in the neighbourhood: K Rd is just around the corner, and Queen St a five-minute stroll. The upmarket Number 5 restaurant is across the road. We were intrigued to see Cordis' electric bike hire available just outside the lobby, which would be a great, eco-friendly way to see the city.
Facilities: Chuan Spa is a must for a good dose of relaxation, wellbeing, or romance. Signature treatments include a herbal salt scrub and a Five Elements Rebalance, using traditional Chinese methods. The heated rooftop swimming pool was wonderful, and we spent a few sunny afternoons lazing by it. There is an outdoor jacuzzi, well-equipped gym and a herbal steam room. The snail showers in the spa's changing areas are an interesting concept, and can be followed by a cooling ice experience afterwards.
Price: $189 per night for a Deluxe Room.
Perfect for: Those on business and of course, honeymooners.
Contact: cordishotels.com/en/Auckland, (09) 3795132.
Would I return: Yes please! I'm still fantasising about the buffet.