Review of the 5-Star Pullman Hotel, Auckland CBD

Living in Auckland’s CBD, you frequently walk past “the nice” hotels and wonder what its like inside.

Perched on the top of the hill with views over Auckland University’s Old Government House on one side and out over the harbour on the other side, perches The Pullman. The 5-star Pullman Hotel Auckland used to be the Hyatt Regency until 2011.

Ange and I checked it out when my mother stayed overnight.

Reception was quite busy when we arrived, but the elegantly attired staff made quick work of checking in all the guests – it was a relief when we saw how many staff they had on because we had inadvertently chosen the busiest time to check in!

Chaos behind us, we headed upstairs to see the room. The furniture and furnishings were as you would expect: large bed, flat screen TV mounted on the wall to save space, desk and comfy chairs.

Checking out the bathroom revealed a nice robe amongst the towels and on the vanity was a box of amenities from Bigelow Apothecaries which is apparently the oldest American Apothecary, established in 1838.

But the pièce de résistance of the bathroom had to be the shower cubicle.

Sporting double shower heads, including the ubiquitous rain forest head, the real drawcard was the frosted glass wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom.

It seems to be quite the rage nowadays to be able to see the main room from the shower: the Pullman deferring to modesty by making the glass translucent instead of transparent.

Back in the main part of the room, the view out the window mainly consisted of neighbouring apartment buildings with a sliver of the harbour poking out.

We could even see our apartment building, nestled in the suburban sprawl. It was cool to turn around after leaving Mom for the night and see her waving from the window.

After checking out the room we went exploring to see the facilities.

On the ground floor there is an enormous gym. Seriously, I’ve seen dedicated gyms with less equipment than this – truly impressive. Above this was an outdoor convention space covered with tent like awnings.

After the walk around we headed to the restaurant for dinner. We’d made bookings for 6pm but needn’t have worried, there were only a couple of other diners at that time. By 6:30pm the place was starting to fill up and by the time we left they were turning people away, so it does pay to book if you’re dining later.

The staff were good – attentive but not overly so and friendly in the Kiwi manner. The food was small – delicious, but I was glad for the side of chips and vegetables that we also ordered.

Not having too much did mean we could enjoy dessert though!

After dinner we headed down to the pool area. I headed to the male changing room, while Ange and Mom disappeared to the female one.

The pool is a very good size but I must admit I don’t know if it’s heated because I didn’t partake – straight to the Jacuzzi for us!

To get there we had to walk past the steam room and sauna, and then up a few stairs but they had a rail beside them to allow access for the less abled. Good bubbles!

The plan was to meet Mom for lunch the next day, but she rang around 10am saying that she’d ordered the full breakfast from room service and couldn’t finish it – did we want to help her out? We nipped over and polished it off – which did make us all too full for lunch! Never mind!

After breakfast we walked Mom down to reception to check out and promptly kicked ourselves for timing our departure just as everyone else was leaving. It took the staff a little while to get through all the crowds, but eventually we were able to head outside to wait for our Uber, which whisked Mom back out to the suburbs.

I was glad Mom decided to stay at the Pullman, it allowed me to check out the hotel that I had walked, cycled or driven past many times. While the service was at times slow (particularly at dinner and check out), I chose to believe that it was a victim of its success – there was never a shortage of guests there. Mom enjoyed herself as per normal – I dont think there’s a 5 star hotel that she hasnt taken a shine to!