Convenient Central Business District location, right by the Sky Tower
Bright, air-conditioned rooms with sleek glass-topped writing desks and stocked minibars
Excellent on-site restaurant, The CUT on Federal, with oyster bar and 24-hour room service
Espresso, tea, and pastries at Barist'a on the Corner
Multiple conference rooms and event spaces for rent
Valet and self-parking on-site (for a fee)
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Room decor is generic
No pool or fitness center
Parking fees charged per exit
Bathrooms are on the small side
Housed in a tall glass building right by Auckland's Sky Tower, Rydges Auckland is a four-pearl business hotel with great conference facilities. The 263 rooms are modern but a bit bland, although they do have stocked minibars and beautiful glass-topped desks with sleek ergonomic chairs. There's an excellent on-site restaurant specializing in oysters, 12 conference and event spaces (including a lovely rooftop terrace), and a coffee corner with espresso and pastries. Wi-Fi is also free throughout the property -- still a rarity in Auckland. However, the hotel lacks fitness facilities and a pool. Guests looking for a slightly more upscale business hotel with these features plus decent conference facilities may want to compare rates at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour just around the corner.
The Rydges is a four-pearl property housed in a large, towering structure fronted by a glass awning that draws attention to the building's abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside, the lobby is a bright space with lots of natural light and a few plush seats in the coffee corner, with additional clusters of seating upstairs on the mezzanine level. The color palette is neutral with pops of red and floors are an appealing, contemporary mix of carpet and tile. A set of three elevators transport guests up to the rooms. Although the central location is conducive to tourism, most guests here are business travelers. The atmosphere here is sleek and efficient, though decor can feel generic and lacks character.
Located right in the Central Business District, a short walk from area attractions
Rydges Auckland is located right in Auckland's Central Business District (CBD), just off Hobson Street, right by the Auckland Sky Tower. It's a 10-minute walk from the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Princes Wharf (which has ferries to nearby attractions such as Rangitoto Island) and Britomart, a transit center with lots of trendy restaurants, are both about 12 minutes away on foot. The expansive Auckland War Memorial Museum is a 15-minute drive or half-hour bus ride away, while getting to the airport takes around half an hour by car or an hour and 15 minutes using public transport.
Generic, air-conditioned rooms and suites with sleek, glass-topped work desks
The Rydges Auckland offers five room types, all of which are bright and sunny with large windows. The Superior King Rooms and Deluxe Harbour King Rooms sleep up to three people each, while the Superior Doubles, Deluxe King Suites, and Executive King Suites are big enough for four guests. All feature air-conditioning, safes, workstations, minibars, and flat-screen TVs with pay-per-view movies. Decor is simple and a bit generic for a hotel of this pearl rating, with plain gray carpets, wooden furniture, pops of red accents, and no wall art. Glass-topped work desks with sleek ergonomic chairs add a little sophistication to the otherwise unmemorable spaces. Some rooms also add stylish metallic pin-cushion headboards. Bathrooms are equally lackluster (and a touch on the small side), and have shower/tub combos or walk-in showers, wall-mounted hairdryers, and large counters with protruding basins. Wi-Fi is free throughout.
Excellent restaurant with lounge plus a coffeeshop, multiple meeting spaces, and free Wi-Fi
The Rydges on-site restaurant -- The CUT Restaurant and Bar -- is an upscale restaurant, renovated after our visit, with a wide selection of seafood dishes, grilled meats, raw oysters, and specialty desserts, along with a selection of dessert cheeses. The restaurant also offers a limited room service menu available 24 hours a day. Meals for up to 21 guests can also be arranged at the restaurant's private dining room. The restaurant also has a lounge bar with a good selection of New Zealand and international wines. For coffees and pastries, Barist'a on the Corner offers espresso drinks and a large selection of teas.
One of the Rydge's biggest selling points is its abundance of conference spaces -- 12 in total -- the largest of which can host cocktail parties for up to 400 guests. Most have floor-to-ceiling windows and dividable walls and all have audiovisual equipment with a full-time on-site support person. The Rooftop terrace is fantastic for cocktails while the enormous STK Open Dining Room is the best for large events. There's also a small business center with a couple of Apple desktops, though it costs extra to use. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel (which is still a rarity in Auckland). Valet and self parking are available for a fee, charged on a per exit basis that's discounted on weekends.