Well now I know.
I’ve just slept under the stars at SkyCity Hotel … well technically while I was under the stars I was also under a roof and a fluffy duvet in a posh room. Unlike that mysterious Valentine couple who won the Trade Me auction and paid $5200 to have a private boudoir set up about 3/4 up the Sky Tower on February 14th.
But the enormous plate glass window opening onto Auckland harbour was huge enough to see the almost full moon that shone in all night, so it was just like camping really.
SkyCity Hotel has and is undergoing some fancy room refurbishments and the old furniture and fittings have gone. If you’re looking for a place to stay for a special occasion or a corporate do, you don’t get more centrally located than this. I was of the latter clientele – an evening do with Singapore Airlines at Sale Street at which it would have been rude not to drink their wine, then the following morning a 7am breakfast at the Hyatt with Oman Tourism. I walked to both, as happily SkyCity is smack in the middle and my car was safely ensconced with the casino crowd.
I stayed on the 4th floor of the hotel – not to be confused with SkyCity Grand which is across the road. This is the casino hotel, yet away from the cha-ching and neon lights of the ground floor, my room was an oasis of quiet. The harbour view suite was my home for the night – with those massive windows which I flung the curtains from – and I was most taken with this custom-made high backed chair beside my bed.
But if you’ve ever wondered where old hotel furniture and fittings go to die, here’s some interesting eco tidbits: all the carpets have been recycled as weed matting for stop banks – now that’s inventive! All the curtains and tracks were donated to the “Curtain Bank” division of HEET (Huntly Energy Efficiency Trust) who recycles curtains and distributes them free of charge to families on low incomes to help keep them warmer during winter and reduce their power bills, and the old TVs were donated to the Salvation Army and women’s refuges.
By mid-2010 all 277 rooms and 14 deluxe suites will be refurbished and it’s looking mighty fine.
SkyCity Hotel, cnr Victoria and Federal Streets (you can’t miss it – people fling themselves off the Sky Tower – via bungee – and that kinda draws attention)
0800 SKYCITY (0800 759 2489)