I arrived at Auckland Airport late one evening from Sydney and needed to fly out on a domestic flight the following morning – what better excuse than to try out the Novotel at Auckland Airport!
Read my review of NZ108 here.
The Location & Hotel Facilities
This new addition to the Auckland Airport scene is a welcome sight for the jet lagged and tired traveller: previously guests had to take transfers to offsite hotels that were reasonably far away. Now you can easily walk 100m from the International Arrivals hallway and you’re at your accommodation.
The Novotel opened in May 2011 and still has that fresh hotel smell. The hotel has the usual conference and restaurant facilities though no pool is available. The lobby sports an indoor vertical garden containing New Zealand moss and ferns – it is truly a striking feature and is a beautiful addition to the Lobby/Bar/Restaurant area.
Unfortunately I arrived in what appeared to be ‘peak’ check-in time – I had to wait roughly 15 mins to get to the check-in desk. Normally I’m OK by this but after a flight from Sydney I just wanted to get into the room. The staff appeared to be struggling with the large influx of guests. Once I was at the front of the line I was greeted by a chirpy employee who worked through the formalities. As I have Platinum status with Accor A-Club I was given a room on the top level which was a nice touch.
When I arrived at the room on Level 11 it was pushing 12:30am so I was a little hazy by this point. The room itself looked slightly smaller than I had imagined but was stylishly presented with modern fittings and furnishings. The bathroom was separated from the bedroom by a wall of frosted glass that I know some guests may find intimidating. The room had a desk, chaise and small mini bar and coffee machine. There was ample storage room for my bags. The view over the airport tarmac was stunning and is perfect for those who like to indulge in plane spotting (though ensure that you score a higher floor as lower floors may not get this view).
The bed was quite nice actually; I was surprised because I’ve had a few nasty sleeps at Novotel properties previously. The pillows were fine, a good size and offered adequate support (I’m a bit of a pillow connoisseur so I tend to be more fussy when it comes to good pillows).
I wandered down to the restaurant for Breakfast and I was surprised to find a well-stocked breakfast offering. Initially there was confusion as to if I was entitled to a free breakfast – though this was sorted out fairly quickly and I was on my way. The restaurant had a buffet style breakfast, which was complimented by chef eagerly waiting to cook your eggs to order. There was also a self-serve coffee machine alongside normal tea and juice options.
The cheapest available room cost me $140AUD so it was at the upper end of the average price for an Airport hotel – after all you are paying for convenience. The hotel is new and modern and offers a great alternative to some of the other truly awful hotels surrounding Auckland Airport. The staff struggled at times though this may not be any fault of their own when the hotel is subject to maximum demand. I will certainly return to Novotel Auckland Airport if I am required to make tight overnight connections.