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Sleep (legally) at Auckland airport

Auckland Airport NovotelLike most silly backpackers I too have slept at airports in my young and wide-eyed OE days when saving the cost of a £10 hostel for the night when arriving after midnight was worth it. These days? Not on your nelly. I’m far more sensible and nana-ish and like a good night’s sleep too much.

Cue the new Auckland Airport Novotel.

I was booked on a red-eye flight to Sydney (departing at 7am / checking in at 5am / alarm set for 4am) and I had been wanting to check out the new hotel built in time for the Rugby World Cup literally only 100 metres from the International Arrivals hall. So I contacted them and they said YEP, come and stay and review us for your blog.

So here it is…

Auckland Airport Novotel

You can see the international arrivals in the background. That’s how close this is!

After scrambling out of the house, we arrived about 7.30pm as the evening sun was shining off the glass sides. The hotel is part owned by the Tainui tribe and I love the Maori motifs discretely carved into the beams. The lobby is light and open and plants grow out of the wall about 2 stories high behind the bar.

Auckland Airport Novotel

Plane spotter’s heaven!

We took our own car rather than cabbed as my husband was flying to Wellington the next day and I was flying to Sydney. This is the hotel that can solve those conundrums. You can have the car valet parked for the night and the whole of next day for $35, but we parked in the general park out the front and the hotel validated our ticket for $22 for the overnight and all day use. (Cheaper than a taxi there and back!)

Auckland Airport Novotel

BIG fan of the double-sheeted duvet. That way I know it’s clean.

Our room was down the end of the hall with Air New Zealand planes on the runway in the distance. If you’re a plane spotter you’ll probably want room service delivered to you in the hallway.

Our room was really styly and chic with kiwiana art as the bed head board and the bathroom has frosted glass so you can choose whether to watch each other (or not!)

Auckland Airport Novotel

Mmmm, who doesn’t love a decent steak?!

We arrived just in time to head to the restaurant for dinner. The meal was great, but it is a bit pricey. Mind you, restaurant meals are expensive in NZ don’t you think? Of course, we both had the most expensive items on the menu: steaks, cooked medium-rare. The husband’s was on a rosti and mine was a fillet mignon with gnocchi, both with a yummy rich jus and see the cute basket of chips on the side?

Auckland Airport Novotel

Runway views from every which way

We were entertained by a camerman filming another table making a promo video of forced conversation and pleasant faces. I tried my own skills out at our table and reckon I could’ve given a rousing performance of enjoying my eye fillet cooked medium rare…

But the best part of the whole thing? I had to check in for my 7am flight at the ungodly hour of 5am so just staying across the concourse meant I showered and dressed, ran across with my luggage, got my boarding pass and came back to have breakfast with my husband before we went our separate ways.

Gotta love that!

Check out the best price for the Novotel Airport Hotel on >>


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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!