The soothing calm of the lobby of the new Sudima Auckland City, Nelson St. Photo / Supplied
Kim Knight has a stay at Sudima Auckland City, a sleek and modern hotel with an emphasis on personal care
Site: Ideally located between the city, the viaduct and Ponsonby
Style: Chic company
Perfect for: Travelers looking for stylish accommodations and vegan dining at mid-range prices.
First impressions: The soft color palette and clean lines won’t scare any horse off, but never underestimate the calming power of aged concrete, buttery taupe and teal accents, and a very welcoming reception desk. Some hotels are original, others are quiet and professionally calm. This newly opened Sudima is, happily, the latter.
Rooms: Yes, it’s an in-room bath. The toilet and shower are safe behind a separate door, but there’s something ridiculously luxurious about a short swoon from a double hot tub to the comfy queen-size bed. The latter is more central than usual, but you forget that once you sink into the pillows and point the remote at the massive Chromecast-enabled TV. A usefully long desk includes a few fun extras like an Amazon Echo (Alexa: Play some popular 1980s music. Alexa: Please tell my boyfriend why George Michael is important) and a gratitude journal. The room was surprisingly quiet given the incredibly busy street below, and the floor-to-ceiling view came alive at night – all of Sky Tower’s giant neon “Whatever” sculpture and British artist Martin Creed.
Our Corner Suite (starting at $ 269; more standard rooms start at $ 179) had a sofa, coffee table (and coffee maker), and a selection of “u-room” extras. I didn’t unroll the yoga mat, I opened up the chickpea crisps, which may be healthy but aren’t a patch on the good ones. Call me with an unhealthy vanity, but I was surprised that there was no full-length mirror. Also, there is a small light leak on the sides of the curtains – take a sleep mask if you are sensitive.
Bathroom: The sparkling bath bomb made the water a murderous red but it smelled so pretty. And then I took a shower anyway because I would be living under a rain head nozzle if I could and there was a Tamara branded scented shower spray to “breathe” in. Equipment included a Glow Lab hydrating mask, Aromatherapy Co tobacco and cedarwood soaps and, due to a pandemic, travel-size hand sanitizer. Loved the cotton robe that will stretch to fit any amount of dinner.
Food and drink: The on-site East restaurant is an Asian fusion, fully vegetarian, and about 70 percent vegan – even the breakfast buffet sausage is meatless and the roasted duck is actually Beijing jackfruit. Book for dinner, as the chilli cocktails are good for the chef’s kiss and the bang bang shitake mushrooms were an instant starter in my Top 10 Auckland dishes. This is a serious point of difference and worth visiting even if you are not staying at the hotel.
Installations: Wi-Fi was fast, easy, and unlimited, there is an affiliate gym nearby, bikes for loan on request, and valet parking for $ 35 per day.
In the neighborhood: The Sky Tower is so close you could bungee jump to your room, but you’re also in a direct line to the Auckland Art Gallery and on a loop bus route to Ponsonby and beyond . When the International Convention Center opens, it will be the closest hotel rooms to town for Sara Hughes’ glorious 550-panel multi-colored glass panel artwork spanning the new build.
Accessibility: The nine accessible bedrooms can all be opened onto an adjoining room if necessary. Lower check-in counters, tactile numbering in the elevator, clear and wide accesses to the ground floor, and a collection of menus and hotel services in Braille are among the other accessibility features.
Durability: You can’t steal the moisturizer because they’ve removed those little, single-use plastic bottles; the bins are labeled and divided for recycling. The parent company is the only hotel group in the country to be credited with carboNZero and the newest addition to the chain is on track for the same.
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newfinder.co.nz and newzealand.com