If you want to stay in an Auckland hotel where you are treated like a lady (or a gent!) and made to feel totally spesh, you’ll LOVE Cordis. It’s voted in the top 1% of hotels in Auckland by Tripadvisor and having just stayed there, I can see why.
After a multi-million dollar refurbishment, Auckland’s Langham hotel has a new name and a new heart. Cordis. It means heart in Latin. It’s still owned by the Lo family of the Langham Group of worldwide hotels, but regular guests will notice the difference.
Out is the dark wood panelling and the high backed chairs in the lobby lounge. In are soft powder blue and off white walls covered in textured paper through all the rooms with splashes of the new signature colour; orange.
The famous chandeliers are still hanging majestically in the reception lobby and afternoon tea lobby lounge but the whole place is fresher, lighter, younger.
And that’s the plan. Cordis is the younger, family-friendly brand now covering the larger Langham properties worldwide with a chic elegance that will still appeal to the business and leisure traveller, while the old Langham has had a worldwide makeover with its properties now having fewer rooms and lending itself to the classical, boutique hotel experience.
Cordis also does a great job catering for your kids (see more below).
Why stay at Cordis Auckland?
Because it’s so so beautiful! But also because the famous food and beverage offerings outshine themselves. I came intending to partake and took one for the team dining at Eight (twice – dinner and breakfast) and having high tea too! It was a big ask, but I’m nothing if not professional for this blog 😉
We dined at Eight Restaurant last night, my husband and I. Eight represents the eight kitchens in this interactive restaurant. I’m actually reluctant to call it buffet because that conjures up terrible images of a long line of bain maries with hot food under sweating lids. PUT THAT OUT OF YOUR MIND! Eight is nothing like that. Think of it as self-service fine dining.
I have a whole blog post about Eight and how to eat buffets well, but suffice to say, there is a technique and it starts with stepping into the kitchen to just taste it with your eyes first.
Walk around the offerings and plan out how you will conquer the incredible oyster table on ice, choosing you own meat and having the chef cook it to your liking. Peer into the dumpling baskets and try and restrain yourself because the seafood kitchen is next and then there’s the curry kitchen at the far end. Oh and that’s before you get to the pasta station with your choice of pasta and at least three daily flavours thrown together in front of you. There’s the sushi bar and fresh salads with a huge fresh parmesan wheel and turn around again and you’ll be face to face with a chocolate fountain and at least a dozen options of hot and cold desserts.
Plan to come hungry and plan to take your time.
Oh and if back and forth dining isn’t what you’re after, they have an a la carte menu too.
Eight is open at these times:
Breakfast: 6:00 am – 11:00 am
Lunch: 12:00pm – 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm – 10:00pm
The famous sunken lobby lounge is a great meeting spot for hotel guests but is also a great place for celebrating occasions over their decadent afternoon tea served from 11.30am (make it lunch!)
I met my girlfriend here at 1pm and we played ladies with our pinkies out starting with a glass of champagne then the tea sommelier came over and talked us through the various type of leaves, flavours, origins, and why there is a rare selection – and why I felt I must try it! My friend is getting married in two weeks so it was a lovely treat to enjoy the fine bone china and high tea treats starting with sandwiches, chilled soup in a teeny pot and spoons of bite sized morsels before attacking the next level of savouries, then the sweets on the top. Oh and the bottom shelf was then switched out for hot scones with jam and cream. I could live on these alone!
High tea is served at these times:
Monday to Saturday 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Sunday 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
They also offer kids high tea at kids prices.
Book an executive room with Club access and you will stay on the 9thor 10th floor (as well as any of the suites) and you’ll have access to the Club Lounge where a complimentary continental and hot breakfast buffet is served, as well as 24/7 self-help Kapiti ice cream in the fridge (I spotted that straight away!), afternoon tea ( served from 2pm-5pm) and pre dinner drinks and canapés (served from 5.30pm-8pm).
You can also bring guests here to hang out with you for an extra charge.
There are comfy lounge chairs huddled around coffee tables and a separate nook for meetings or catching up with friends. On Thursday nights a local purveyor of fine New Zealand beverages comes in to showcase their wares. When I stayed we were treated to New Zealand bubbly (champagne but we can’t call it that) from No. 1 Family Estate Assemblé by the Le Brun family. We actually make some pretty good methode traditionelle’s in New Zealand!
You also get butler service at Club level and that includes having three items pressed and a pair of shoes shined at no extra charge. We availed ourselves of the ironing service to go for dinner at Eight and they turned it round in an hour.
Introducing Cody the red panda and Cordis mascot for little guests!
The red panda is an endangered species with fewer than 10,000 left in the world. Children receive a personalised backpack filled with Cody themed goodies including slippers, dental kit and a colouring book. They can also have fun on a scavenger hunt which ends with an ice cream. There is a special kids dining menu at Eight and in the Lobby Lounge, and if you’re dining in your room you’ll find kids menus and child friendly room amenities.
If you’re staying at Cordis with your young family you can request babysitters (with 24 hours notice), board games, infant items like high chairs, bottle sterilisers and food warmers in your room.
You don’t need to be a guest to experience the pampering heaven that is Chuan spa, you can make appointments here as a day spa too. It’s been a while since I was pampered here, but I did have a snoop on this visit. It’s winter and a woman and her two kids were in the outdoor pool. I’m told the temperature is 27˚C – still too cold for me!
This spa is unlike any I’ve been to in New Zealand. Start in the snail-shaped shower, then in and out of the steam room and lather yourself in shaved ice – and that’s all just free pampering before your treatment actually starts.
Cordis is undergoing new expansion work and by the end of 2020 will have 650 rooms and suites, a new panoramic Club Lounge and new and extended meeting space. A new bar is being built with outdoor courtyard seating and Eight will expand by a further 60 seats.