The Langham Auckland may be smack-dab in the downtown Central Business District, but it feels like a haven away from the city streets with when you partake in its elegant high tea and blissful spa. After a weekend experiencing all that The Langham has to offer, we came up with five things you should know about the Auckland hotel.
1. The convenient location. It’s great that the hotel is within walking distance to many stunning Auckland sites — the harbor, the ferry terminal and Queen Street with its boutiques and restaurants. However, if you need to travel farther, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus to Custom Street by the waterfront, and you’ll also have easy, fast access to the City Link bus system, which runs a frequent circuit of all the major hubs around Auckland.
2. The personal service. Upon stepping through the entry of The Langham, you’ll be greeted by a charming gentleman sporting a top hat and tails. This Old World throwback is the first indication that staying here will be special. The lobby staff is warm, inviting and helpful, and you’ll find that throughout the luxury hotel. From the sommelier in the dining room who picks a complementary wine match to your meal, to the attentive waitstaff at the top-level executive happy hour, it shows that service is key here.
3. The elegant suites. Try to reserve the Governor Suite for a memorable experience. The main living area is outfitted with a polished wooden dining table that can seat six guests, and the charming study area with plenty of sitting room is good for conducting business. Windows running along the side of the suite afford an excellent view of Auckland’s streets, and the bedroom’s king-sized bed with plush bedding make for a restful night of sleep.
4. The relaxing spa. The hotel’s serene Chuan Spa is bliss. Inspired by ancient Chinese medicine practices, the experience is focused around the elements (fire, water, earth, metal and wood) to regain balance and harmony.There’s also the tri-bathing ritual — indoor steam room, sauna and ice bath — that aims to stimulate the body’s reaction to hot and cold. Stroll around in your robe and take the edge off after a busy day. If you’ve just hopped off of a plane, a facial and eye treatment combination banishes all the baggy evidence of sleepless nights and long-haul flights. Afterward, your service is topped off with a glass of tea and a hint of sweetness (dates and nuts) to leave you feeling calm and revitalized.
5. The culinary scene. There’s something to please all palates at The Langham Auckland because of the sheer variety it offers. The marketplace-like Eight boasts eight interactive kitchens that serve a huge selection of meats (grilled to order), fresh seafood (mussels, crab, clams) and international delights (dim sum, Indian curries). “Diners can create their own personal degustation,” says Volker Marecek, Eight’s German-born executive chef, “allowing them them to fully appreciate the cuisine from each kitchen at their own pace, with as many dishes or intervals as required.” Take a seat and get ready for a long night of feasting — try the sushi and seafood. Make sure you leave room for a round of delectable deserts; pick from crêpes and cheeses or dip fruit or marshmallows in the chocolate fountain.
The Auckland hotel is also home to the lovely Tiffin at The Langham, a daily high tea service. Book a table and enjoy three tiers of treats — finger sandwiches such as champagne ham with tarragon butter, savories such as petite potato salad and tartlets filled with goat cheese and sweet pepper jam, as well as your fair share of sweets, including a pistachio-raspberry slice, caramel-and-banana cheesebake and a strawberry-and-lemon tartlet. Begin your afternoon with a flute of bubbles and then pick a pot of tea — the list is extensive, but we suggest the Kandy Gunpowder Green Tea from Sri Lanka with a squeeze of lemon.
Photos Courtesy of Langham Hotels International Limited