Eat, play and staycay at the QT Auckland

Whether you’re looking for a mid-week break, a romantic weekend getaway or the ultimate girls' night - you don’t need to travel far. The perfect staycay destination is waiting right in the heart of the City of Sails. Remix Digital Editor, Nina was invited to experience a blissful retreat at the QT Auckland.

Arriving late on a Friday afternoon, we walked through the door of the QT Auckland to the hum of the foyer and downstairs bar area that was undeniably upbeat. Our instant vibe check was chić, modern and luxury, all while paying a subtle homage to the oyster through quirky artwork, bespoke wallpaper and design throughout the entire hotel.

After checking in, we were directed to our suite and on arrival were two freshly poured Negroni’s just calling our names from the sleek and stylish breakfast nook. The design of our open-plan, but cocoon-like suite reminded me of a modern take on the 00’s era, with a sprinkle of luxury throughout. Bold colour blocking against concrete wallpaper and oak wooden floors made the room pop. The comfortable king-size bed was in its rightful place in the centre of the room, with the biggest bathtub we had ever seen sitting behind it. But it was all about the details for us, like the Dyson hairdryer sitting in its swish leather case under the bathroom counter and the über - cool 00’s inspired metallic pillows on top of the bed.

The considered selection of high-end mini-alcohol bottles were ready to be drunk, along with the two bottles of premium red wine cradled within a leather wall hanger, at perfect drinking temperature were tempting, but instead, we made our way upstairs to the Rooftop bar for a couple of pre-dinner cocktails. The sun shone through the open roof and the DJ was playing funky and soulful house music, the perfect music for Friday afternoon drinks, in fact. We ordered from the impressive bar menu - a gin old fashioned and a martini with a twist, delicious.

Then downstairs to Hat Award-winning restaurant - Esther for a Mediterranean feast. The charming Italian restaurant manager added the perfect amount of personalisation to the evening, suggesting three full-bodied, medium tannin red wines, to suit our tastes and accompany our three courses of food. Each wine was even better than the last. The baked saganaki with Greek kefalograviera cheese, honey and chilli was first up and was equal parts decadent and indulgent. Next up was a Salumi plate with a selection of prosciutto San Daniele, Finocchiona, Capacollo, olives and pickles - the perfect accompaniment to our red wine. Finally, we couldn’t finish our dinner experience without trying the Chef’s pick - the Savannah grass-fed eye fillet with peppercorn sauce and roast garlic, cooked to absolute perfection - of course.

After having an espresso martini nightcap back up at the rooftop bar, it was time to retreat back to our suite and have a pre-bed soak in the giant tub made for two, before heading off to the land of nod in the comfiest bed we’d ever slept on. Our trip ended with breakfast in bed, a coffee and a freshly squeezed orange juice, ordered with ease from the QT Hotel app on our phone and delivered straight to our bed. It’s no wonder the QT Auckland reigned as Supreme Winner at the 2021 Hospitality Awards. It truly is the perfect place to eat, stay and play.