Tuesday, May 10, 2016

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: The Langham Hotel

I enjoy indulging in a bit of luxury when I travel, so I chose The Langham Hotel for my first trip to Auckland, New Zealand. It was everything I had hoped it would be.

Entrance to the Langham Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand
Hotel entrance
Part of a multinational chain of 18 upmarket properties dating to 1865, The Langham Auckland was, at the time I booked it, the No. 6 hotel of 86 hotels* in the City of Sails. From the moment I arrived, the reasons were obvious.

Everyone was extremely cordial and helpful to a fault. Although I arrived well before the standard check-in time due to my flight schedule, I was given access to my room immediately. The desk clerk automatically signed me up for 1865, their guest loyalty program that provides express in and check-out service, a national newspaper delivered to the room daily, access to the fitness room, Jacuzzi and heated outdoor swimming pool, complimentary Wi-Fi access and mileage credit with a variety of partner airlines when booking directly through the hotel or corporate website.

King room sleeping area, The Langham Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand
King room sleeping area
When I am on the road, I have a routine that enables me to be self-sufficient, which is especially helpful in those situations when there is no assistance available, so I have developed the habit of taking care of my own luggage even when help is nearby.

Occasionally, I encounter a bell person who does not hide their disappointment when I tell them I will fend for myself but there was no such reaction at The Langham; staff was utterly gracious.

My room, a Standard King, was an example of understated elegance. The neutral tones of beige, wood and leather were offset by a pop of color from a single painting next to the bed. The living area was a generous 200 square feet while the bath was also fairly generous at about 40 square feet.

The guest room was outfitted with all the amenities we expect today: a large flat-screen TV, clock radio with iPhone dock, a comfortable armchair and table for relaxing, and a desk/workstation with ample power outlets for the array of devices with which we now travel. The credenza that held the large Sony flat-screen TV also held a tray with a hot pot, French press, cups, and an assortment of coffee, tea and other morning beverages, as well as an increasingly rare mini-bar which, thoughtfully, contained a plug adapter for those of us from other countries. A double set of windows kept city noise outside where it belongs.

Wi-Fi connectivity was better than many hotels at which I have stayed. As measured by http://www.SpeakEasy.net/SpeedTest, download speed was 2.24 Mbps, far better than the all-too-common 1 Mbps I usually encounter.

Bathroom, The Langham Hotel, Auckland, New ZealandWaiting in the triple closet were bathrobes and slippers, an iron and ironing board, hair dryer, extra pillow and a safe large enough to hold my laptop, iPad and camera while I was out of the room.

The bath had a large soaking tub with a rain-style shower head, a heated mirror so guests can actually see after a steamy shower, and an impressive array of upmarket amenities. Of course, shampoo and rinse, body wash and body lotion were provided - by the high-end purveyor Zambeli - but The Langham went above and beyond.

On the vanity counter was a leatherette box about the size of a cigar box that contained a range of items we use every day and perhaps take for granted but occasionally forget when we travel. Those included two kits with toothbrush and toothpaste, a shower cap (does anyone still use those?), cotton swabs and pads, a shaving kit, a sewing kit, a nail file and talcum powder.

High-end Bathroom Amenities, The Langham Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand
Zambeli amenities
The property has two restaurants, Eight and Palm Court, and in-room dining is available as well. Access to the fitness center, the heated rooftop swimming pool and Jacuzzi is through the Chuan Spa, which also provides a range of spa services. There is a business center on each floor as well as concierge service in the lobby.

The Langham also operates a complimentary shuttle bus from the hotel to the central business district (commonly referred to as the CBD) from 8 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. For those who are keen to walk or take the CityLink bus, the hotel is a kilometer from the Auckland’s Sky Tower and SKYCITY, home to a number of restaurants and entertainment venues, including Sky City Casino and a variety of nightclubs.

Outdoor pool
With its location a modest distance from the downtown core, The Langham is within easy walking distance of a number of restaurants from take-away to casual to fine dining, as well as numerous shops, convenience stores and even a laundromat on nearby Karangahape Rd., called “K Road” by the locals.

Considering the excellent service, convenient yet quiet location and beautiful property, it is easy to understand why it is so highly rated. I wholeheartedly recommend The Langham when visiting Auckland.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



* - Per TripAdvisor rankings

Photos by Carl Dombek
Click on photos to view larger images

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