What We Love
- Master chef Simon Gault’s buzzy FISH restaurant and its knockout views
- The outdoor heated pool with underwater viewing window
- The hip minimalism of the guest rooms
- A waterfront location that's just a five-minute walk from the city center
What To Know
- Valet parking fee is $24 per day
- There is a $23 charge for WiFi
- A rollaway bed costs $48 per night
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The Hilton Auckland’s seven stories swoop upwards, slicing into Princes Wharf like a stark white cruise ship. The 165 airy minimalist rooms are white with one honey colored wood-paneled wall, floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies with sea and city views. Tech amenities run the gamut from flat screen TVs with DVD players to iPod docking stations. New Zealand master chef Simon Gault had a hand in creating the menu for the hotel’s hip FISH restaurant, which includes dishes like tiny calamari steaks with spicy pineapple salsa and black garlic peas, and tempura prawns with chipotle mayo and citrus pepper. Grab a drink beforehand and take in the views from The Bellini Bar. Other highlights include a gym, jogging track and an outdoor heated pool with an underwater viewing window.
In the Area
Princess Wharf is just steps from the Voyager Maritime Museum, where you can learn about New Zealand’s nautical history and sign up to ride on a heritage ship. The waterfront is also a great place to sip cocktails while watching the swank yachts sail by. Our favorite? The industrial-style Tyler Street Garage with its excellent roof deck. Take it even higher downtown at the 1076-foot Sky Tower, with a glass-front elevator, observation desk and bungee jumping outfitter. For a more cultural experience, check out the nearby Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, a 19th century museum with over 15,000 historic and contemporary works, including three specially commissioned pieces by Māori artists.
How to Get There
The Hilton Auckland has a prime position on the end of one pier next to the wharf. If you are walking down from the CBD, it’s further out to it then you think.
The hotel has a styled itself on a docking cruise ship and it feels like it on the inside, lots of wood and glass and bright lighting, it’s a pleasant place to be in. The rooms was very modern, looking like it had been recently refurbished, it had a fancy coffee machine as well as comfortable bed, it was everything you’d expect of a flagship Hilton in a prime spot.
If you are lucky enough to get a water view, it wail give you an amazing view of the centre of Auckland in all its glory, however the cheaper rooms will get you a dark view of the entrance road.
The staff were professional but not memorable and of course, charging surcharge for credit cards is a disease still being perpetrated in this region.
Overall this hotel has the location and views to justify its premium, beyond that it’s a standard Hilton. If you really want the chance for that view then the Hilton won’t let you down, however I didn’t rate this hotel above any other I’ve stayed in Auckland when taking its room
rate into account.
The hotel is situated on a peer in the harbour. It feels like being on a boat. Killer views.
Also worth to mention the service was outstanding. The concierge was just great and his recommendations really worked well for me.
Stayed here for one night since I had a 24-hour layover in Auckland, and wanted to see the city a little bit. As a Diamond member, I was upgraded to the King Deluxe Room, which was much appreciated. I redeemed a free night here, and frankly after my stay, I am glad I did, since don't think this property justify the usual asking price of ~$300 a night here. Hopefully the opening of the Park Hyatt closeby will bring some much needed competition to the scene.
The check-in desk was pretty busy at 6 pm, and I am not sure if this is the service standard or if it's because the staff was overwhelmed, but the check-in process was cold, rushed, and frankly just not very welcoming. Never did the agent make eye contact, and she simply recited all the standard formalities. She did let me know that the 8th floor is under renovation and that there would be noise, but seemed unwilling to change rooms for me, and instead went with "the construction doesn't start until 9 am, so I doubt you'll be affected." Then why mention it? Check-out was similarly cold, rushed, and reactive (even though the front desk was not busy), a pre-authorization receipt was shoved into my hands and I was on my way. I casually mentioned that my flight was at 8 pm and have some luggage with me, and that comment went ignored. I know, this is nitpicking, but I think that is a good litmus test for whether the hotel carries a proactive service philosophy, and it was clear that this one did not. I ended up waiting for 10 minutes before a bellhop showed up at the door.
My room had an excellent view of the harbor, and the balcony was a nice spot to hang out with a drink or even room service at the end of a day. It was clear that the hotel had invested in renovating the rooms. However, there are definitely noticeable remnants of old rooms—the dirty tiles in the bathroom, the sewage smell coming from the shower drain, etc.
The location is nice—if you are interested in sitting on the balcony for the harbor view. However, walking can be a pain since it's a 5 - 10 minute walk just to get to the main road.
Breakfast was included for Diamond members (barista coffee is chargeable, which was marked clearly). I do applaud the hotel for outlining the benefit very clearly, and the table even came with a card stating what is included for the Diamond breakfast. The food selection was decent, nothing like you'd experience in Asia but certainly better than most North American Hiltons. The hostess at breakfast was extremely friendly, though the service seemed to be again, non-existent. Plates were uncleared literally for the entire duration of my visit (of ~45 minutes). I was also provided 2 vouchers for drinks at the bar, another Diamond benefit, perhaps to make up for the fact that there is no lounge at the hotel, though you can only select from a limited menu.
I do have to note, that it was not until I was leaving, after breakfast, however, that I noticed that the hotel restaurant has a D rating from the health department. This sign was (intentionally?) hidden behind a luggage cart, and did make me feel a bit uneasy. I can only imagine what the kitchen condition is like.
Overall, nothing really stood out for this hotel. It was a perfectly fine place to spend a night, but for a Hilton with a waterfront location in the center of one of the otherwise friendliest city I've been in, the software is disappointing. And if anything, the "D rating at a Hilton" sign is now an image burned into my mind.
Hilton Auckland is the perfect hotel if you are in need of pre-cruise accommodations. Cruise ships dock alongside the hotel which makes transfer to the ship a breeze. My husband and I selected this hotel precisely for this convenience to the ship. We booked a King guest room and found the accommodations more than adequate for our needs. The room was clean, comfortable and well appointed -- comfortable bed, numerous outlets, clean coffee maker, well lit, and spacious. Our room service dinner was hot, plentiful, delicious and reasonably priced. The following morning, we walked our luggage less than 50 yards from the front door of the hotel to the luggage check-in location for the ship. So convenient!! We would definitely stay here again if our travels call for a cruise departing from Auckland.
Our regret is we only had one night at this hotel. We flew from Melbourne and stayed overnight and embarked on a cruise ship to San Francisco the next day. The room was very comfortable and the breakfast was superb. All staff were helpful.
One reason we chose this hotel was our ship was due to berth at the same location. However, prior to leaving we got an email advising us it would now berth several hundred meters distant. Not a problem as it was easy to wheel our cases to the ship.
The views over the harbour from the hotel are superb. It may not suit those who want to be more centrally located to Auckland city, but it sure worked for us.