A gracious welcome to The Langham Auckland
Picture it: I am sipping champagne listening to Mozart just before Christmas in the Governor's Suite at the Langham Hotel in Auckland New Zealand. The fabulous suite is all 83 square metres, seven plush rooms - the works! This is where celebrities and the rich and famous hideaway. A blind man could tell why the Langham in Auckland was named New Zealand's best hotel in 2007.
Luxury 5 star accommodation
It oozes quality and class. My suite has a giant bathroom spa, vast lounge, a guest's toilet, a changing area, separate toilet, grand bedroom, foyer, and a large board room / dining room. The suite is four times the size of your average luxury hotel room. The fittings, character furniture, antique-style lamps, art work and ambience are sumptuous, opulent, ritzy and total class. My king-size plus bed was so wide my fee wouldn't tip over the end when I slept sideways. I noticed all the light bulbs in the suite and in all the rooms were eco-saving environment bulbs which helped win them the top NZ green globe sustainable award in 2007. They are at the forefront of energy consumption, water saving and waste recycling.
My check-in to the Langham was the best ever in New Zealand or anywhere I have been in the world. I drove up to the entrance and a concierge Kevin opened my car door and said 'Hello Mr Brook'. I found that staggering enough then another pleasant hotel staff Peter steered me right straight past the hotel check-in foyer and up to the club floor right to my suite. No check-in! He just said 'here's your suite, relax, I'll bring you your key'! Heaven.
I often judge hotels by the quality of the concierge service and this 5-star hotel was THE best. Their front desk staff actually left the front desk to show me the restaurants and they spoke passionately and with sincerity about the quality of food.
The club lounge was a welcome oasis at the end of the day after a run around the Domain; around the cricket boundaries and inside the pohutukawas, flowering like Christmas trees right on queue.
My Spanish bar staff Carlota served me a chilled Deutz and we chatted about her studying accountancy next year. The nibbles - salmon, cheese, guacamole, other dips, prawns and so on were impossible to resist. The grand furniture, rich traditional colours made the lounge a Mecca for club floor guests.
Best New Zealand restaurant
But my room was something I had never imagined before - and this after staying at many of the finest hotels around the world. The classical mahogany furniture (made by Laurie's in Christchurch), the spaciousness, two 42 inch plasma tv screens, the white and gold ring Menton fine bone china, the heavy marbled bathrooms and the utter silence (the hush glass ensuring no street noise at all) made this suite for any Governor.
I dined at Partington's where their staff went to so much trouble to provide whatever I wanted without imposing. I had the seared scallops on cauliflower pure as a mains, washed down by Veuve Clicquot and the taste lingered all night. No wonder Partington's was name best New Zealand restaurant in 2006 and 2007 and it's still right up there.
I bumped into the young Mauritian hotel manager Vincent Macquet who looked like he had just come out of university yet was all the charm and business-like professional five-star mannerisms which have seen him help run other top hotels around the world. He is so passionate and excited about the grand Chuan Spa opening for March 2009. Vincent is convinced their hotel occupancy will remain strong with extra special packaging, including the spa and other specials.
Text - Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media NZ | www.wordofmouthnz.com