The Langham, Auckland

Luxury doesn’t come cheap, but with a little bit of planning you can sometimes snap it up at a reasonable rate.

The Langham group of hotels has always been known for its blend of classic luxury and comfort, usually with the requisite five-star price tag … but it doesn’t have to be that way, courtesy of a wide range of regular offers by the chain that puts all that luxury and comfort within the reach of mere mortals!

This mere mortal discovered that after an early flight from Sydney to Auckland (complete with 4am alarm). I was feeling even more in need of some luxury and comfort after several hours riding shotgun for a friend, at her granddaughter’s first birthday.

As we waved our goodbyes, she announced what lay ahead: “we have a room at the Langham!”

Having experienced the Langham in Sydney a year earlier, I was pretty impressed … but I also knew what the final tally had been when we checked out. Mind you, that was for three nights, and we had spoiled ourselves.

(Appropriately, the Writers' Corner in the Club Lounge)

‘Twas then she told me we had a room on the Club floor, with all that the Langham Club Lounge offers. It sounded good, so I instructed her to put pedal to the metal and off we went.

Situated in central Auckland (83 Symonds Street), the Langham is well placed for easy access to the waterfront and downtown attractions. You can either do it on foot – if you don’t mind walking up and down some hills – or take advantage of the free hotel shuttle.

During our drive, we discussed dinner options and certainly considered eating out, with the shuttle option very firmly in mind. But that was until we discovered what the Club Lounge had to offer.

We were too late for high tea (I’ll never make that mistake again – it looks very special!) but timed our arrival perfectly to take advantage of the two-hour evening session of cocktails and canapés. While we expected something better than cabanossi, cubed cheese and crackers, we were simply amazed by the selection of hot and cold food on offer.

After an afternoon of children’s party food, I was perfectly content to stick to selections from the enormous platters of sushi, smoked salmon and shellfish and a comprehensive cheese and fruit offering, but there were piping hot savoury pastries, chicken and even some curry – perfect for a cold winter evening.

The wines and other liquor on offer were top-notch, served by warm and friendly staff whose wine knowledge was excellent and generously shared. We fancied some celebratory bubbles – and enjoyed several glasses thereof – as we caught up on each other’s lives and planned the week ahead.

After two extremely pleasant hours, we realised we didn’t need any more food, or wine, and retired to our room. Twin beds take up a bit more space than the king that I suspect might normally be resident in this room, but they felt like clouds to lie in – albeit very supportive clouds – and we were quickly asleep despite a bit of noise from revellers on the streets below.

The morning meant showers in the sumptuous marble bathroom, our ablutions made special with the exclusive Chuan Spa soaps and lotions, and huge, thick white towels.

Then it was back to the Club Lounge for another feast. There was a wonderful buffet on offer, with lashings of fresh, hot food and what appeared to be a bakery full of breads and pastries. A chef was on stand-by to cook eggs to our liking if we wished, but we had more than enough to choose from, and all too soon it was time to be on our way.

Such a brief stay, but a memorable one.

‘Cosset’ is an old-fashioned word that the dictionary defines as such: “to care for and protect in an overindulgent way”.

As we said thank you and goodbye, it was the word that came to mind. A very pleasant experience. I’m already planning another Langham stay.

More details….

 

- by Liz Swanton

 

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