Two nights in AKL (arriving late, exhausted!)

Old Oct 4, 19, 11:05 pm
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Two nights in AKL (arriving late, exhausted!)

In late November, we'll be arriving in AKL from SIN at about midnight, and this will be the day after we'll have taken that looong flight EWR-SIN, after flying to EWR the afternoon/evening before.
This will be our first time to this part of the globe.

Importantly, if our only prior experience with ultra-long-haul (USA East Coast to Tokyo) is repeated, I will have a very bad case of jet lag (meaning, confusion, feeling ill... just a wonderful experience - NOT!). So we are trying to prepare in case that does happen again.
We'll have that night plus one additional night in Auckland, before we'll embark on a cruise mid-day.
(These are the dates we were able to get with awards, on relatively short notice; usually we start planning at least a year in advance.)

We'd appreciate recommendations about convenient accommodations.
Let's assume that DH will be interested in stepping out a bit to see AKL, even if I am not feeling up to it
And all the better if I *am* feeling like exploring a bit!

Given I'm likely to be sleeping (and there's a chance that DH might be, also), we don't think this is the time to splurge on a really top hotel, but we do need something comfortable and clean, and with proper 24 hour room service (which we found incredibly helpful last time in Tokyo).

Suggestions?
Many thanks!

We are incredibly excited about this trip, and hope to handle the jet lag the best we can.

GC
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Old Oct 5, 19, 6:57 am
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Heritage Hotel Auckland on Hobson St is a good option. Close to everything but will be quiet and not too expensive. Enjoy AKL it’s a lovely place
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Old Oct 6, 19, 4:40 pm
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Be aware that almost no hotels in Auckland have 24 hour room service or restaurants open at midnight. If this is important to you then phone the hotel to check explicitly. All the hotels that I have stayed at, including 5-star, did not have room service after midnight. The casino hotel (Skycity Grand) is maybe the only one with 24 hour room service.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Be aware that almost no hotels in Auckland have 24 hour room service or restaurants open at midnight. If this is important to you then phone the hotel to check explicitly. All the hotels that I have stayed at, including 5-star, did not have room service after midnight. The casino hotel (Skycity Grand) is maybe the only one with 24 hour room service.
Thanks very much for this hint. I especially appreciate it, given how helpful the *late* room service was that time in Tokyo.
We'll make sure to have some necessary beverages and munchies with us for that first night, given that we'll be arriving so late.

Is it at all likely that a bit after midnight the airport would have any little shops/kiosks so we could get something, be it yoghurt or snack bars, etc., and perhaps a couple of soft drinks?
We always make sure we have *something* with us, but that only works if we can replenish occasionally. And getting something other than snack bars when we can... that certainly helps, too.

Many thanks!

GC
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Old Oct 7, 19, 2:35 am
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GeezerCouple Be aware that there is a LOT of road working going on in Auckland at present due to installation of the underground rail. The CBD near the harbour was a mess when we were there in February this year for a cruise.

The Hilton Auckland is is a great spot if you are going on a cruise as it is next to the Cruise terminal - you can roll your bags into the cruise terminal !! No need for a taxi. And it is a 2 minute walk in to the CBD.

And remember to declare ANY food you take into the country at the airport or you will be fined. Donot take in ANY fruit.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by rojaan View Post
GeezerCouple Be aware that there is a LOT of road working going on in Auckland at present due to installation of the underground rail. The CBD near the harbour was a mess when we were there in February this year for a cruise.

The Hilton Auckland is is a great spot if you are going on a cruise as it is next to the Cruise terminal - you can roll your bags into the cruise terminal !! No need for a taxi. And it is a 2 minute walk in to the CBD.

And remember to declare ANY food you take into the country at the airport or you will be fined. Donot take in ANY fruit.
Thanks.

How much time might it take from the airport to the Hilton between, say, midnight and 1am?
Any thoughts/warnings about the Sofitel? DH tends to stay with them on some business trips, but it's not necessary.
And I have status with Hilton, but not enough to make a big difference. Given the location, maybe that's a good choice. Sofitel does list 24 hour room service, but yes, we would double check - and as I wrote, we *always* have some snacks with us. We'll try to check with the Hilton about this. (But we won't "count on it", no matter what.)

Speaking of which, we'd probably plan to bring some factory sealed snack bars (in particular, some Kind bars), and anything we might be able to pickup quickly at the airport, just in case, etc., including a bottle or two of some soft drink/sparkling water.
We always declare any snack bars, but they've never been disallowed... yet...

Thanks again!

GC
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Old Oct 7, 19, 3:01 pm
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The airport is 23 kms from Auckland - at that time of night probably 25 minutes max.

Queen Street is the main shopping Street in Auckland - it is about the same distance from each hotel.

You will need a taxi to get you and luggage to the cruise terminal from the Sofitel.

Which ship are you on ?

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Old Oct 8, 19, 12:51 am
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Auckland airport around midnight will be reasonably busy with the evening flights from Australian ports arriving. Baggage, customs and immigration should be quite smooth. As others have said, no fresh food to be brought in though.

In the arrivals hall there are a couple of small convenience stores that have chips, soft drinks, cakes and some other basics available. I usually grab a couple of snacks when I arrive. You could also grab a bottle of wine from duty free on arrival if that takes your fancy.

A taxi from the airport to the city will set you back about $100NZD and should take about half an hour.

The Grand Mercure might be another hotel worth considering. It's at the bottom of Queen Street, half a block from the waterfront and at the posh end of the shopping strip.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 6:48 am
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Stay in the hotel at the airport, it is very convenient. The last thing you want to do when you are tired and it is late is to make another journey. You can walk across the street to the hotel. Transport between the airport and city is quick and quite reasonable. I used the bus.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 2:38 am
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Although it means staying at two hotels I'd overnight at the Auckland Airport Novotel, two minutes walk from the terminal, and head into town late the next morning after hopefully a decent night's sleep. I probably wouldn't be unpacking the first night anyway, just collapsing into bed. The second night I'd stay at the Hilton and walk to my ship when it was time to embark. That would give me an afternoon and a morning to see Auckland's sights (well at least a few of them). You can also go in by Skybus rather than a taxi. It stops a short manageable walk from the Hilton.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 2:07 am
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One thing I'd rate as a must-do in Auckland if remotely inclined is to try a plate of the green-lipped mussels. Easily the best in the world. The Belgian Beer Cafe was a good place for that...dunno if it's still there or not, but I'm sure there are other places.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
One thing I'd rate as a must-do in Auckland if remotely inclined is to try a plate of the green-lipped mussels. Easily the best in the world. The Belgian Beer Cafe was a good place for that...dunno if it's still there or not, but I'm sure there are other places.
"Thanks but..."
Mussels/clams/oysters aren't our thing, unfortunately, but that leaves more for everyone else, right?

But about food... is New Zealand lamb really "special", or is that just advertising?
If yes, any recommendations in Auckland (or possibly in Sydney, where we'll have more time - IF Sydney also has good NZ lamb)?

Many thanks, once again.

GC
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Old Oct 12, 19, 5:00 pm
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Lamb in NZ and Australia is special with more flavour than most lamb available in US, such as Colorado lamb. There are some special lamb grown in US on reclaimed coal main waste replanted with special grasses, making for great lamb but that is not available at retail (it goes to a few restaurants). You can try Pedro's House of Lamb in Auckland.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Lamb in NZ and Australia is special with more flavour than most lamb available in US, such as Colorado lamb. There are some special lamb grown in US on reclaimed coal main waste replanted with special grasses, making for great lamb but that is not available at retail (it goes to a few restaurants). You can try Pedro's House of Lamb in Auckland.
Terrific. Although I enjoy lamb, DH really loves it, so this will make a special dinner to start our trip.
He just gave a big grin when I mentioned this.
Thanks so much!

GC
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