Hotel review

Hotel Review: A family stay at Cordis, Auckland

Children are not an afterthought at Cordis. Photo / Provided

Thinking of a city break for the Easter holidays next month? The Cordis, Auckland might be just the place, writes David Barrington

Location: In downtown Auckland, the Cordis is on Symonds St near the junction with Karangahape Rd, just across Grafton Bridge.

Style: A large, modern hotel with attentive service and a cheerful attitude.

Perfect for: Cordis has a home for everyone. When we visited, there were ladies and gentlemen enjoying tea in the Chandelier Lounge, weary hikers returning from a day in the Waitākere Ranges, and buzzy young people dressed up for a night on the town.

Price: From $300 for a double room in the existing hotel or the new Pinnacle Tower, up to around $4,500 for the luxurious Chairman’s Suite.

You can expect a grand welcome at Cordis Auckland.  Photo / Provided
You can expect a grand welcome at Cordis Auckland. Photo / Provided

Covid protocols: Under the red light, the hotel and its facilities are open with all government requirements in place for social distancing, hygiene, scanning and gathering limits, including face masks for staff. All guests and visitors over the age of 12 must present their official Covid-19 vaccination certificate or medical exemption to enter the hotel.

First impressions: We visited the “For families” package from Cordis. On arrival our 7 year old received a free kids backpack containing an activity pack, an ice cream voucher and a GO Play card which offers discounts on a range of activities in Auckland. Coupled with a free in-house movie, it made for a very welcoming start. There’s also a Double the Fun family package available to book through March 31 for stays by December 31 – book one room and you get the second 50% off.

Rooms: With its new Pinnacle Tower, Cordis now has 640 guest rooms and suites, with something for every family size. We soon felt at home with a cup of tea. The mini bar, with local drinks, would come later. The decor is contemporary, the beds super comfortable. USB chargers are available to keep devices charged.

An executive double room at Cordis Auckland.  Photo / Provided
An executive double room at Cordis Auckland. Photo / Provided

Bathrooms : Functional, clean and with everything you would expect from a modern hotel bathroom.

Food and drink: There are a number of dining options, including the Aotearoa-inspired restaurant, Our Land Is Alive, and the aforementioned tea party.

We opted for the famous all-you-can-eat buffet at the Eight restaurant. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is anything but a high quality bargain. Much of the food is cooked to order at the American Grill, Chinese Kitchen or Seafood Station. The food is fresh and tasty, and there are also Indian options, salads, pizzas and pasta and a dessert station.

With so many to choose from, how to approach the plethora of options is worth considering. Want a bit of everything? Do you start light and build towards steaks? Avoid filling carbs? If you’re our son, there’s only one option: a token slice of pizza followed by multiple trips to dip pineapple under dark and white chocolate fountains.

The Cordis rooftop pool and spa.  Photo / Provided
The Cordis rooftop pool and spa. Photo / Provided

Facilities: The rooftop pool is a godsend for staying at Cordis. It is heated, but if it is too cold you can relax in the large thermal pool, in which children are also allowed.

There is also the Chuan Spa which offers a sauna and herbal steam room for all guests, as well as spa treatments.

In the vicinity: You are located at one end of K Rd and all the infamous high street offerings, and in the other direction a 10 minute walk to Eden Terrace and the start of Auckland’s beer mile. Also nearby is Auckland’s perennial favourite, Sid at the French Cafe.

Friendly and family: Children are better catered for than at most hotels and are certainly not an afterthought with the Cordis Kids program. There is a family route and a scavenger hunt to enjoy.

Accessibility: There are 16 accessible rooms, with lowered features making everything easier to access for wheelchair users. Bathrooms have roll-in showers with shower seats. Chuan Spa, Eight Restaurant and Our Land is Alive Bar are accessible by ramp or elevator.

The Chandelier Lounge at Cordis Auckland.  Photo / Provided
The Chandelier Lounge at Cordis Auckland. Photo / Provided

Durability: The Cordis participates in a sustainability program called EarthCheck and soap recycling programs. In addition to energy-efficient lighting and recycling practices, the hotel maintains rooftop beehives to aid bee populations and local pollination. The honey produced is used at the hotel.


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