Posted: 12/19/23 | December 19th, 2023
Nicknamed “The City of Sails” for its waterfront location and seafaring history, Auckland boasts scenic seaside views and ample water activities. New Zealand’s largest city (though contrary to popular belief, it’s not the capital), Auckland is home to almost 35% of the country’s population.
The largest airport is also located here, so if you plan on traveling around New Zealand, you’ll probably be starting your trip here. In addition to all the water attractions, there’s an incredible food scene and insightful museums, as well as vibrant neighborhoods with verdant parks, third-wave coffee spots, and very welcoming locals.
To help you plan your visit, here’s my list of the best hotels in Auckland:
1. The Albion
Built in 1873, the Albion is a lovely, warm spot in Central, the heart of everything in Auckland. This hotel began as a “pub hotel,” meaning you could booze away downstairs before retiring in adjoining rooms. Today, there’s still a nice tavern in the hotel, with a working fireplace and billiards table. While it’s not open for breakfast, the restaurant does serve tasty pub food in the evenings. Rooms here are simple, but decently sized for such a central location. All rooms have very comfortable beds and pillows, great shower pressure, TVs, in-room tea and coffee. It’s an excellent value for the area.
2. Carnmore Takapuna
Located on Auckland’s North Shore, this area is famed for its beaches, yet it’s still only 20 minutes (by public transportation) from the center of town. The hotel has a minimalist beachy aesthetic as well as free parking, a sauna, an outdoor pool, and a gym. Rooms are spacious and filled with natural light thanks to the impressive floor-to-ceiling windows. Some rooms even have balconies and jacuzzi baths (though even the bathrooms in standard rooms are giant). All rooms have a flat-screen TV, desk, fridge, electric tea kettle, and free Wi-Fi. While there’s no breakfast available at the property, you’re just steps away from the main street with several quaint cafes. As an added bonus, the beach is only a five-minute walk away.
3. Ascotia Off Queen
Located in Karangahape Road (also known as K-Road), this is a good area if you want a non-touristy neighborhood that’s relatively close to downtown. This property has a simple design with pleasant earth tones. The amply sized rooms have a lot of natural light and come with a flat screen TV, fridge, and a tea/coffee maker. There are two-bedroom apartments for families or those traveling in groups too. There’s a complimentary continental breakfast, or you can upgrade to a hot breakfast buffet. Overall, I think it’s an excellent value for the location.
4. Park Hyatt Auckland
Located in Britomart (named for the first British ship to navigate the harbor), this sophisticated five-star hotel is one of the poshest properties in the entire city. Here you’ll find several pools (including an impressive heated outdoor infinity pool), a sauna, hot tub, steam room, and a 24-hour fitness center. There are multiple restaurants on site too, one of which serves an excellent breakfast. Park Hyatt boasts spacious guest rooms that have floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the harbor and some even have balconies. All of the rooms have marble bathrooms and are equipped with a plus-sized flat-screen TV, a desk, plush robes, and Le Labo bath products. If you want to stay close to the water (and you have the budget for luxury), stay here.
5. The Grand by SkyCity
This five-star property offers a spa area with two swimming pools, a state-of-the-art gym, and a whopping 14 restaurants and bars! (Two of the restaurants offer breakfast buffets.) Rooms here are elegantly designed with wooden accenting, adding a nice natural touch. All rooms are quite sizable and have modernly designed bathrooms with rainfall showers (that have excellent pressure). In-room amenities include comfy bathrobes, smart TVs, Nespresso machines, and desks. But my favorite room perk might be the view out of the floor-to-ceiling windows (see if you can get a room with a view of the harbor).
Comfortable and stately, Cordis is a sleekly designed property that’s one of the most luxurious hotels on K-Road. There’s a spectacular heated rooftop pool, spa area with a sauna and steam room, and a fitness center. All rooms have tea/coffee makers, desks, large flat screen TVs, and a pillow menu. Even the standard rooms are big so you’ll have a lot of space. Plus, some have lovely views of the Auckland skyline (including the iconic Sky Tower). The marble bathrooms are large too and have plush bathrobes as well as luxury products. There are several in-house eateries, one of which serves a tasty breakfast buffet in the mornings.
Auckland is the starting destination of most travelers’ New Zealand adventures. Given that it’s usually quite a long trip to get here, having a great place to stay when you land is paramount. By choosing one of the hotels above, you’ll set yourself up for a restful and enjoyable stay in New Zealand’s largest city.
Book Your Trip to New Zealand: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
If you’re looking for more places to stay, here is a complete list of my favorite hostels in Auckland.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on New Zealand?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on New Zealand for even more planning tips!