REVIEW Good editor Carolyn Enting spends a night at voco Auckland City Centre.
Treading lightly on the environment when travelling is important to 72 per cent of Kiwi travellers so Good jumped at the opportunity to spend a night at voco Auckland City Centre.
The new hotel development in Auckland city has been specifically designed to reduce its impact on the environment and the hotel is targeting a Level 3/Level 4 Green Engage certificate by implementing a number of sustainable initiatives.
The luxuriously soft linen is made from recycled plastics and plush bedding is filled with 100 per cent recycled materials which I’m sure made me sleep better.
I also loved that I could refill glass bottles with filtered drinking water from the hallway – there’s a tap on each floor – and each water filter machine calculates how many plastic bottles are saved with each refill. The tally on the 36th floor when I visited was 230 plastic bottles saved which is a wonderful and sobering thought!
The aerated shower heads also reduce water and usage though you’d never know. And the large refillable Antipodes amenities in the bathrooms reduce plastic waste by up to 80 per cent. I’m a huge fan of Antipodes gorgeous body washes and shampoos and having an “eco rain shower” using quintessentially Kiwi fig and feijoa scented shampoo is a spa-like experience. Happy days indeed!
The bedrooms are beautifully designed, restful, modern and deceptively spacious while the panoramic views over the city are so mesmerising it’s hard to leave your room.
We slept with the curtains open so that we could enjoy the city’s twinkling lights and then wake to the sun spreading its golden light over the city. It was extremely meditative sitting in bed with a cuppa watching cars stream across the Auckland Harbour Bridge like ants and yachts continuously spill from the marina and glide out onto the harbour.
Every room at voco has a view from a different perspective – Rangitoto Island, Sky Tower…ours looked out over Victoria Park, Wynyard Quarter, Ponsonby, Auckland Harbour Bridge, marina and beyond, and it inspires you to go exploring.
voco Auckland City Centre is a short hop, skip and jump from the Federal Street dining precinct and downtown Britomart, though like us you might want to dine in.
Mozzarella & Co, voco’s in-house restaurant on the ground floor, offers up some wonderful Italian fare and in the short time that the restaurant has been open it has become popular with inner city apartment dwellers who have adopted the restaurant as their weeknight local.
I couldn’t go past the Quatto Formaggi pizza drizzled in honey. The homemade base was so delicious I even ate all the crusts which I usually discard. I’m told other firm favourites on the menu are the Greenlea Farms aged eye fillet and gnocchi al gorgonzola. Our dessert stomachs inhaled the croissant bread and butter pudding with mascarpone and tiramisu after which we needed a walk.
The great thing about voco Auckland City Centre is that it’s close to everything. Five-minute walk to Sky City or Albert Park. Six minutes to the High Street district. Seven minutes from the Civic Theatre, 9 minutes from the Auckland Art Gallery, Aotea Square and Viaduct Harbour, 10 minutes from Britomart Place, 11 minutes to the Waiheke or Devonport ferry and 13 minutes to Victoria Park Market. So, you really don’t need a car even though there is valet parking.
There’s also the option to borrow a handcrafted bamboo Wyld bicycle free of charge to explore the city. Aside from being a practical and fun way for guests to get around, voco believes that these beautiful bikes will help create awareness around the easy ways travellers can reduce their environmental impact while on holiday. One is proudly on display in the foyer and it’s definitely a talking point.
voco Auckland City Centre is also home to New Zealand’s highest rooftop bar – Bar Albert – on the 36th floor with an unbeatable view! The art deco-inspired rooftop destination is the final part of the new state-of-the-art hotel development constructed on the former New Zealand Herald site and most definitely newsworthy.
Incidentally, the hotel’s lobby design subtly pays homage to the site’s newspaper heritage. Fluting on the walls and a spiral staircase
represent rolls of paper and cogs of industry.