New Novotel Auckland Airport for an overnight transit
The just opened Novotel hotel at Auckland Airport is just metres from the international terminal making it an amazingly convenient place to stay. I arrived off my flight from Sydney rather late after it was delayed and was departing the next morning so it was a ideal place to stay the night.
The airport hotel outside Auckland International had been under construction for what seemed ages, making a mess of the car park and road just outside the terminal. Well finally it had been finished so couldn’t help but test it out. At the time of booking it had only just opened and today it’s still only a few months old. I was lucky to get a rate well below the special introductory rate. Given I was staying alone before flying out in the morning, I decided to pick the most basic room available. It’s positioned extremely well, mere seconds from the international terminal. You can walk about 20-30 metres from the arrivals point & the downstairs McDonalds, otherwise you can shortcut to the 2nd floor which places you right at departures. No path is completely undercover so with the relentless rain you get in Auckland at times I found myself having to dash when moving between the airport and hotel.
Check-in wasn’t terribly smooth. Arriving late, but prior midnight found the night staff resetting their key card system. Was told I could be escorted up and let in which didn’t really appeal. Other people turned up to check-in and additional staff appeared, rather uncertain to what was happening. I was happy to wait a minute and fortunately they had fixed it quickly. Maybe still some teething and they recovered themselves promptly. I was given a free drink voucher because of my Accor status and a room on the third highest floor – suites are on the top two floors.
For a new hotel as you’d expect a nice clean room. Bed, couch and small desk. Nice modern fittings with an odd shower screen. As is common with some modern hotel rooms, there is glass between the bathroom/shower and the bed. But this one had rails to slide, so it appeared as if it could open up. I couldn’t help wonder why though. If showering in front of others watching behind the glass isn’t enough you could open it up and do significant water damage.
Clearly this is going to be the best Auckland airport property by a long way – quality and sheer convenience – but you will be paying relatively more for it. Finally along with the free drink and complementary waters there was a signed hand written note wishing me well. So on the side of recognition of status they did very well in my view.
I wasn’t tired due to the timezone difference and would be heading back the other way tomorrow. I took a quick look at the airport terminal as they always appear to be working on the terminal space. In the past six months they have changed the entrance for immigration & security however if you’re using the Qantas premium check-in you can still go through the pre-clearance on the left side. After renovating airside with duty free now landslide is being overhauled. The upper floor that is popular with those sleeping in the airport is being dramatically changed. The unpopular bistro now closed with a long snaking temporary corridor to get to the viewing platform. The timezone is now really in the middle of nowhere, all rather bizarre. Finally if anyone is hoping to crash upstairs during the night the dark corner is still there but the rest of the floor is gone, significantly reducing space.
With the late night stroll out the way I returned to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Ready to wake up at a reasonable time to check-in for my flight to Singapore. Being able to take my main luggage down first and check it in only to return to the room is where staying metres away from the terminal really pays off. Depending on the rates, this hotel works wonderfully if you’re departing the next day.