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Cordis Main Lobby

I arrived at the Cordis Auckland after midnight on a wet and cold Saturday evening, expecting the 5 star hotel to be as deserted as the surrounding city streets. I was wrong: tuxedos and shimmering ball gowns filled the bustling lobby as guests headed home from a function. Another surprise was the sprightly reception staff who despite the late hour, were attentive and smiling and had my room key in my hand in a few minutes. As first impressions go, the Cordis was doing well.

exterior of the Cordis Auckland
Cordis Auckland

The modern and tastefully designed lobby announces you’ve arrived in luxury 5-star hotel land. It is a far cry from the formal and very traditional style of the former Langham hotel which the hotel was previously. One standout feature that remains is the signature chandeliers which fit in perfectly with the hotel’s new decor of soft blues and whites with touches of orange. Orange is the Cordis brand’s signature colour and features throughout the hotel in common areas and rooms and also on the hotel gift shop’s red pandas, the Cordis mascot.

Cordis Main Lobby
Cordis Main Lobby

The rooms and suites at the Cordis range from standard rooms to junior suites with a kitchenette, and Club Rooms which include access to a club lounge. The Cordis is a large hotel, especially by New Zealand standards, with 411 rooms and suites and more have just opened thanks to a new extension. I arrived at my Deluxe Room on the eighth floor which was impressively large for one of the hotel’s regular room types. A comfortable king size bed beckoned, plus there was a chair, work desk, large flat screen television and minibar fridge.  The room was terrific. However, the bathroom was a disappointment.

Cordis Suite Bedroom
Cordis Suite Bedroom

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Our room had a bath shower combo with a very, very low shower head. If you’re over 5ft 10”, this is a problem. I’m 6ft 4” so it was very tricky indeed. Fortunately, Chuan Spa gives hotel guests complimentary use of all facilities including luxe showers. I showered here for the rest of my stay and loved every minute. Booking a treatment at Chuan Spa wasn’t so easy as there were virtually no appointments left. The only one available for the Sunday we tried to book for was 6.30am! Chuan Spa also has a heated pool and hot tub on an outdoor terrace. This lovely area was popular during my visit, but the patrons looked like locals who didn’t notice the chilly winter wind.

 Chuan Spa Entrance
Chuan Spa Entrance

Dining is a big drawcard at the Cordis Auckland, especially at the hotel’s signature restaurant Eight. This is one of Auckland’s most impressive buffets with eight separate live kitchens on offer. Each one produces different types of dishes such as Italian, Indian, multiple Asian options, seafood, and the famous Eight chocolate fountain. Excellent a la carte dining is also available. Another signature experience is the Cordis High Tea. This is served in The Lobby Lounge under the huge chandelier which takes pride of place in this sunken lounge area. The high tea experience offers an array of sweet and savoury treats served on a stunning 3-tier stand designed to impress with delicate sandwiches and fluffy scones, artisan jam, and clotted cream.

High Tea by Cordis
High Tea by Cordis

As part of the high tea you have a choice of coffee or teas recommended by the Cordis tea sommelier who visits your table and asks about your flavour preferences. If you’re celebrating a special occasion (or just feel like a treat), there’s also the option to add a glass of award-winning Louis Roederer Brut Champagne. We enjoyed our stay at the Cordis Auckland and were particularly impressed with the service we received. Overall this versatile hotel is an upmarket yet affordable 5-star option that is perfect for business, family holidays, or celebrating a special occasion.

Disclosure: The writer visited the Cordis Auckland as a guest of the hotel. He previously stayed when the property was a Langham and enjoyed seeing the hotel’s modern transformation.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.