Auckland, New Zealand

Hotel Grand Windsor

Rates per night from$121.95

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (NZD180.87), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Roaring Twenties redux

Setting

Walk to the waterfront

The longtime resident of Auckland’s first skyscraper, Hotel Grand Windsor is an art deco landmark with roaring twenties-style interiors. Built in 1928, the building marked the arrival of a new architectural age – one that arrived hand in hand with decadence and indulgence. Now completely refurbished, the hotel is as decorative as ever, with marble floors, velvet furnishings and golden chandeliers making it seem like you’ve walked into a jazz-age jewellery box. Upstairs, this theme is given a further turn of the screw: each room is inspired by Wallis Simpson’s infamously expensive jewellery collection, reborn in the gem-coloured velvets, gold-toned lights and bathrooms clad in pearlescent tiles. These interiors were made for loafing, but the hotel’s location also puts a world of diversions on the doorstep, including some of New Zealand’s best modern art galleries and homegrown fashion boutiques.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A signature cocktail and plate of seasonal sweets for two

Facilities

Photos Hotel Grand Windsor facilities

Need to know

Rooms

79, including 12 suites.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $121.95 (NZ$181), excluding tax at 15 per cent.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast. Go Continental (NZ$22) with fresh bread and pastries; kefir yoghurt; muesli and chia jars; fruit salad; cold cut and cheese. The Full English (NZ$32) includes all of the above and a hot dish from the à la carte menu.

Also

Art deco aficionados should keep an eye out for the Vulcan Building, Smith and Caughey's department store and the Civic Theatre, all of which are within walking distance of the hotel.

At the hotel

A compact gym, free Wifi throughout and laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV with Sky; minibar; Bose Bluetooth speaker; Nespresso coffee machine; T2 tea set; free bottled water and Floris bath products.

Our favourite rooms

We’d go for one of the junior suites, which have a seperate living room with a velvet sofa and armchairs – the perfect spot to sip your T2 tea. The Classic and Superior Rooms are equally stylish but are quite compact; if you’re a stickler for space, you’ll probably want to go for a Luxury Room or larger.

Poolside

There’s no full-size pool, but you can book a private session in the plunge pool.

Packing tips

Leave room for a purchase or two – Auckland is New Zealand’s fashion capital.

Also

All the common areas are wheelchair accessible, as are three of the guest rooms.

Children

All ages are welcome, but the hotel is best suited for adults. There are no extra beds, so children would have to share the bed or have a room of their own.

Food and Drink

Photos Hotel Grand Windsor food and drink

Top Table

Take your pick from a lustrous silver sofa or golden armchair – the tables themselves are all fairly equal.

Dress Code

Sleek shapes and geometric prints are the order of the day.

Hotel restaurant

Cooke’s takes its name from the the original Windsor House restaurant, which opened its doors in 1928. The days of the flapper may be behind us, but the decor captures the decadence of that era with its polished parquet floors, marble-topped tables, velvet chairs and gilt-framed mirrors. The food, too, has roots in the Golden Age, with many of the dishes riffing off original Cooke’s favourites, particularly the crumbed pork shoulder, served with scotch and apple sauce, crackling and potato pave. Executive chef Jinu Abraham is big on organic wholefoods and vegetarian cuisine, too, so there’s no shortage of healthy options.

Hotel bar

Part of the restaurant, the bar channels Twenties glamour with plenty of marble, gold-toned metal and glossy velvet. Go for a cocktail that was popular at the time – an old fashioned, corpse reviver or mint julep, for instance.

Last orders

Breakfast is served form 6.30am to 10.30am; lunch from noon to 2pm; dinner from 5.30pm to 10pm.

Room service

Room service is available around the clock; the full menu is available until 10.30pm, when an overnight menu of light bites, snacks and desserts comes into play.

Location

Photos Hotel Grand Windsor location
Address
Hotel Grand Windsor
58-60 Queen St
Auckland
1001
New Zealand

Planes

Auckland Airport is closest, around 40 minutes by car. Flying from the UK involves a stopover, often in Singapore, Hong Kong or Los Angeles. From London Heathrow, the trip usually takes around 27 hours.

Automobiles

You won’t need your own set of wheels in the city – the hotel’s in the heart of the central business district (CBD), putting you within walking distance of the best boutiques, bars and restaurants, including those on the waterfront. Auckland Transport buses, trains and ferries have you covered when you want to venture further afield. If you still want to hire a car, the Smith24 team can arrange it.

Worth getting out of bed for

Chef Jinu Abraham’s wholesome breakfasts are reason enough to throw off the covers. His preference for organic and free-range produce makes the hot dishes shine, paired with zesty tisanes or speciality coffee. If you’ve been out sightseeing all day, swing back to hotel for their high tea, a tradition that’s been going since 1930s, when the building was home to Cooke’s Tearoom. Beyond the hotel, all the diversions of downtown await. Wellington may be the country’s official culture capital, but no city in the county with a bigger art scene than Auckland. Te Tuhi, Gow Langsford and the Auckland Art Gallery are brimming with the work of national artists, both established and emerging. Another creative industry that’s booming in Auckland is fashion – check out Zambesi, Maggie Marilyn and Deadly Ponies for a taste of the local talent. But while Auckland is the only city in the country approaching anything like a metropolis, its immediate surroundings include wide beaches, moss-green cliffs and snow-capped volcanoes, putting natural splendour within easy reach. A 40-minute ferry-ride will take you to Waiheke Island, home to almost 30 wineries producing some of the country’s best wine. At 600 years old, Rangitoto is the youngest volcano in New Zealand, and its 259 metre-high peak offers panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. The island’s coastal crust of jagged rock soon gives way to a lush green interior, making it a favourite among hikers.

Local restaurants

Skipped breakfast? Stylish café Major Sprout is fast becoming a local hero, with diners flocking in droves for their smoked salmon omelettes, first-rate fry-ups and Buttermilk pancakes, served with a decadent topping of almond mascarpone, butter scotch, torched marshmallows and toasted granola. Their lunch menu is just as covetable, featuring several Korean dishes – try the bibimbap or sticky fried chicken. For a waterfront lunch, try Buoy on the Westhaven Marina, the heart of Auckland’s yachting scene. Sliding glass doors lead to a terrace on the water’s edge, where you can sit and survey the bobbing boats. The beer battered fish and seafood chowder are both winners, particularly on a breezy day. Owned by celebrity chef Al Brown, Depot is perfect for a relaxed dinner. This lively, industrial styled eatery is famed for its plates of plump oysters and succulent meat dishes – think racks of ribs, beef brisket and lamb neck – all cooked over a hardwood or charcoal grill. Pair with jugs of craft beer or a bottle of New Zealand wine – the list is full of Al’s favourites. For all-out fine-dining, book the Grove, a stylish but un-snooty restaurant next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The kitchen draws its produce from some of New Zealand’s best small suppliers, which is cooked with as much precision and flair as the best Parisian restaurants.

Local bars

It might be in Auckland’s fashionable Britomart development, but Caretaker feels more like a slice of 1920s New York, complete with a ‘hidden’ entrance, brick walls and barmen filleting ice by hand. Its prohibitions-era looks make it a louche counterpart to the hotel’s polished elegance. You won’t find any watered down hooch, however: no corners are cut when it comes to their craft cocktails, many of which are based on drinks that were popular in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Reviews

Photos Hotel Grand Windsor reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this art deco hotel in New Zealand and unpacked their purchases from local accessories brand Deadly Ponies, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Grand Windsor in Auckland…

The Grand Hotel Windsor is one of those hotels that has the power to transport in an instant. You step from the pavement of Queen Street, Auckland’s bustling downtown artery, and suddenly you’re in the world of F Scott Fitzgerald. Geometric patterns are laid out in marble on the floor, an elegant spiral staircase swoops up to a viewing gallery and light radiates down from golden chandeliers. This opening note has two effects: the first is that you feel steeped in Golden Age glamour; the second is that you should have a cocktail in hand. Thankfully, the bar is just across the lounge in Cooke’s restaurant, where the barmen will whip up an old fashioned or corpse reviver faster than you can say the word flapper. When you feel refreshed enough to rejoin your baggage in the room, you’ll find the art deco design takes on new tones, all of them inspired by Duchess Wallis Simpson’s extravagant costume jewelry – a collection that fetched over US$50 million when it was auctioned off in 2010.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hotel Grand Windsor’s Guestbook below.
No Smith members have posted their reviews of Hotel Grand Windsor yet. You could be the first!