If you wander into Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour in the evening, you’ll feel compelled to whisper. Such is the quiet luxury of this waterside hotel, which counts Barack Obama and Bono as former guests. Read on for the full review.
Nothing feels hurried here. Check-in is a seated experience, in a quiet space near the dimly lit cognac lounge. The exceptional spa tempts guests to linger way past their treatments with a menu of 15 different premium waters to sip. The sprawling suites and rooms – all of which boast private balconies – are stunning, as is the performative bottle popping that happens nightly at glamorous on-site Sabrage Bar. After all, an evening hasn’t truly begun until you’ve swiped the cork off your Champagne.
Where is Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour?
The hotel rises just five levels over Auckland’s Viaduct Basin, west of downtown, with many of the rooms taking in marina views. It’s less than half an hour by car to the airport in the city’s south.
What’s near Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour?
Queens Wharf – the jumping-off point for exploration of winery-striped Waiheke or mountain-topped Rangitoto Islands – is a lovely harbourside 20-minute stroll from the hotel. The shopping district of Britomart and the nearby Commercial Bay is even closer (a mere 12 minute walk).
Floor-to-ceiling windows are a standard feature in the plush rooms and suites, as are balconies, bathtubs, marble bathrooms, Balmain amenities and signature-soft Sofitel king beds. Up the opulence with a room that delivers marina views, complete with the slow sway of sailboats: that’d be the Luxury Marina View Room with Club Access, which has the added benefit of Club Millesime access. (The celeb fave? The Opera Suite, complete with a lounge area with wraparound windows and separate dining space.)
Restaurants and bars
All meals are served at the stunning La Marée, a glittering eatery astride the marina. It’s an impressive place to sip coffee, certainly: grainy feature walls are actually backlit marble but at night, when the menu turns to refined interpretations of New Zealand produce with Parisian sensibilities, and you’ll swear you’re in a French bistrot. Try pairing a Wakanui grain-fed sirloin with a side of shoestring fries and you’ve got steak frites or opt for the Clevedon Buffalo curd-topped asparagus with Cambridge duck breast with cherries and feta. Or head to French Press Cafe for morning coffee and, of course, macarons.
Travel for work
Polish up a presentation, snack on some hors d'oeuvres or get your shoes shined. It’s all possible in the stunning (and exclusive) Club Millésime, a whitewashed haven of blonde wood chairs and black walls adorned with wainscotting. There’s something to sample at practically all hours, as well as the added perk of private check-in – all for guests with rooms that gain Club Millésime access.
The hotel also has a huge area dedicated to events, from The Retreat, a relaxed room of lounge chairs and SkyTower views, to The Boulevard, which accommodates up to 130 guests in theatre-style seating.
Spa, gym and pool
With the lobby area built around a network of pools and ponds that trickle into each other, water is a near-permanent feature of the hotel. The 25-metre lap pool is another stunner, with a star-lit ceiling and a mural-backed jacuzzi plunge area, just near the gym. The incredible Sofitel Spa, which uses top-tier French brand Biologique Recherche for its powerful facials, even harnesses water in its relaxation room with an ambient waterfall privacy screen. (And that menu of luxurious waters? It’s extensive).
The hotel focuses on two issues of sustainability: a reduction of food waste with a focus on local, sustainable produce, as well as a minimised carbon footprint. Both of those culminate in the hotel’s two rooftop beehives, which produce the hotel’s honey supply.
The hotel has step-free common areas and standard rooms are generally accessible for wheelchair users (although motorised wheelchair users would be better accommodated in specifically accessible rooms).
What you need to know
If, while enjoying bubbles at Sabrage, a member of staff suggests a trip to the “lost and found” area, trust us: it’s a rabbit hole you’ll want to fall down.
Best for: Luxury hunters
Design: Modern elegant
Number of rooms: 88
Rates: From AU$581.90
Parking: Secured covered valet parking on site (NZD $45 per night)
Address: 21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland CBD
Phone: +64 9 909 9000
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels