Auckland’s first Park Hyatt is a thing of beauty – the exterior cloaked in a Māori-inspired design, the interior conceptualised as a wharenui, or Māori house. Designer Ali Reda of Singapore’s ar+d, Auckland’s Bossley Architects and interior designers Conran and Partners are the teams responsible for the look and feel and they’ve created a world-class hotel in the heart of the Viaduct Basin, with easy access to Auckland’s Silo Park, Commercial Bay and the CBD.
Be ready for a grand entrance on arrival – the lobby is a vast, soaring space which gives a sense of the scale of the building. Rotorua artist Lyonel Grant was commissioned to produce the carving that sits proudly in the atrium, bathed in the light of artist Peata Larkin’s bespoke illuminated painting, which represents a pathway to the nearby sea.
All this makes for a well-considered and beautiful space – a theme that continues throughout the hotel and is evident in the way the floors are laid out, with space, light and views that exploit the building’s location on the shoreline top of mind. This is one of Auckland’s newest five-star hotels, and as you would expect, the check-in experience is seamless – like the service, which is adept and understated, as good service should be.
A room of one’s own
There are 195 guestrooms, including 23 suites, and all feature beautiful custom-designed woven tukutuku panels by Ngāti Whātua weaver Beronia Scott, which is a thoughtful and welcome touch. BusinessDesk stayed in a King room, which, at 47sqm, is surprisingly spacious for a city awash with uncomfortably compact hotel rooms (if you’re feeling flush, the Presidential Suite boasts 245sqm).
There are harbour views across the Viaduct which can be taken in from your private balcony, or you can recline on the comfortable sofa and read a good book. There is a walk-in wardrobe and a generously proportioned marble bathroom with twin basins, a rain shower and a stand-alone bath, set up with everything you need for a luxurious soak. Toiletries are courtesy of Le Labo. All the standard kit for the business traveller is on hand, including Wi-Fi, Chromecast, a Nespresso machine, and a well-stocked mini bar should you require a pick-me-up. There’s also an on-site meeting room and an events team on hand if you need to organise a gathering.
Drinking and dining
Wellington-born executive chef Brent Martin is at the helm of the hotel’s hospitality offering, having returned to New Zealand after more than two decades overseas. Begin at the Captain’s Bar for an aperitif before lunch or dinner at Onemata, which means ‘rich, fertile soil’ and showcases sustainable local produce. The menu features several ‘hero’ ingredients done in a variety of ways – Sanford & Sons Fish Market, Big Glory Bay Salmon, Clevedon Buffalo Dairy, Aotearoa Harvest or South Island Provisions – and each is the centrepiece of a selection of small and large sharing plates. Or if you fancy, you can choose from the ‘hearth oven’ menu. BusinessDesk can recommend the Sanford & Sons pāua risotto with miso butter, shiitake mushroom and an ‘onsen’ egg. Try to bag a table by the window – there are splendid views across Lighter Quay over the Waitematā Harbour and out towards Rangitoto Island, and you might also catch sight of the Luna Rossa or Team New Zealand squads preparing to take to the water. For a lighter daytime repast, try The Living Room, which offers a delicious afternoon tea, or The Pantry.
Well and happy
The Spa is an oasis of calm for the weary business traveller and offers a menu of massage, facials, and body treatments. Or for the more energetic there is a heated 25-metre infinity pool, a fully kitted-out 24-hour gym, and to follow, a Himalayan salt sauna, aromatherapy steam room and hydrotherapy pools. Lovely.
99 Halsey St, Auckland Viaduct