Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Skycity Grand Hotel

It's about 6:00am on Wednesday morning and I am tucked up in bed in the Skycity Grand Hotel in Auckland. Camille is here too and is still asleep. We are complete opposites. I wake early no matter where I am whereas she will sleep for as long as she can. We are on our way to the Bay of Islands where Camille is going to be working. I'll be working as well but in a slightly more relaxed mode.

The trip up was fairly uneventful though the weather was crap in places and there were a fair few logging trucks on the road. They did tend to make it difficult to see the road due to the amount of spray they caused. This does cause problems when they are travelling slowly and you simply cannot see to get past them. There is no way you can see the road ahead.

Personally I think that logging firms should find a way that this spray can be reduced.

So... the Skycity Grand Hotel, not to be confused with the Skycity Hotel. The Grand is a 5 star hotel whereas the other is a 4 star hotel. What do you get for the extra star? A bigger, more comfortable room for one (judging by photos on the websites). A better selection of the minibar and other facilities - good, full sized bottles of wine, a wider variety of beers and other beverages, quality snacks, small personal touches like providing lubricated condoms for those special moments. In these ways it reminds me of the Bolton in Wellington. We haven't availed ourselves of any of these. The wine I would like to drink is $60.00 from the minibar whereas I can buy it from one of two wine stockists within two minutes walk for a somewhat lesser price.

The in room dining service certainly is of excellent quality. We chose to dine in last night after our journey and I am impressed by the quality of the food.

The entire menu was tempting and I really wanted to go for the 450gm angus beef fillet steak but it was a bit too much. In the end I plumped for Horopito roasted lamb loin on whipped kumera accompanied by roasted root vegetables and sauteed pika pika (a native NZ fern).

Best hotel in room dining I have experienced.

We will be staying here again on our way back from Paihia and will be dining in Peter Gordon's 'Dine' which is one of the restaurants in the hotel. We are both looking forward to this.

View from the room? Not that impressive!