Park Regis, Auckland, New Zealand

With the Cricket World Cup and Chinese New Year happening the week I was to travel to Auckland decent, reasonably priced hotels were at a premium and so I ended up at a hotel on Queen Street called the Park Regis. But don’t start thinking that you’ll be staying at anything that looks like the St Regis in New York – far, very far from it.

The hotel is an old office building converted into a hotel and my gut feeling is that the conversion was done on the cheap.

Where to start

  • this hotel was very expensive for what you got, but I suppose the week I was there it was a sellers market
  • the lifts were awful – one time it took 4 attempts for the doors to decide they could close the whole way so we could get moving
  • my room was near the lifts so I got the sound of the bell ringing whenever the lift visited my floor.
  • the room was just badly designed
    • the “desk” was 1m x .5m in size- useless
    • there were no powerpoints near the desk – I had to drape my cables across the sink(!) to get to the powerpoint
    • the phone was beside the bed and the cable wouldn’t reach the “desk” so you had to grab the second chair and pop the phone on that so you could be at the “desk” while using the phone
    • the internet cable was also next to the bed so you had to drape the cable across the room (and across the door) to get the cable to your laptop on the “desk”
    • The Internet service was just pathetic. You signed up for 1GB per day for around $23/day but the kicker is that you only get 300MB of that at full speed, after you’ve used the first 300MB they give you the option to either pay 10c a MB for the remaining 700MB that YOU’VE ALREADY PAID FOR, or they slow you down to a speed that resembles dial-up. Absolutely pathetic.

On the plus side the bathroom was large but not terribly well appointed or maintained – it had one of those prefab shower units in the corner.

I don’t normally say don’t stay somewhere, but do yourself a favour and DON’T STAY HERE!!!!

The Grill, Auckland, New Zealand

On Tuesday there were six hungry people looking for a feed of meat and one of my colleagues had found a place that would not disappoint us.

The Grill is a restaurant in the SKYCITY Grand Hotel in central Auckland.

The Grill, as the name suggests is a meat lovers wet dream. It took quite a long time to make up our minds given the choices on the menu but we were guided to a decision by the great wait staff. In the end two of the group had decided on the Wagyu Burger while the rest of us were convinced to try a couple of share dishes.

The first dish we ordered was the Study of Beef – 3 different cuts of steaks with matching sauces, and the second dish was a Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder. The steaks were very good but the lamb shoulder was excellent. The portions were just the right size to feed 4 of us. In fact we were so full none of us could face dessert.

If you like your meat, and you’re not shy about spending your money, then I heartily recommend you try The Grill in Auckland.

Elliott Stables, Auckland, New Zealand

A number of us were in Auckland for the week to run some training courses so we had the opportunity to eat at some new places.

On Monday we went to Elliott Stables on Elliott Street just behind the Crowne Plaza hotel.

The setup of Elliott Stables reminded of the Hawker Centres in Asia. In the centre of the building is a common seating area used by customers of the 12 or so eateries that are situated around the outer walls.

We got there a tad late after my flight from Melbourne so some establishments had already closed for the evening. The Big Little Grill was still open and the menu looked good so I ordered a Sirloin Steak medium-rare. My first choice was the Lamb Cutlets but they’d just sold their last serving. I also ordered a side of chips and a beer.

Our meal came out in about 15 minutes or so and the steak was cooked to perfection though the portion was probably a little smaller than I thought it would be.

An interesting place to be explored more – website.

Degree, Auckland, New Zealand

We headed to Degree on my suggestion that a decent steak was on offer.

When I was last at Degree in February is it was a nice, balmy Auckland evening. Oh how times have changed in a couple of months… This evening it was FREEZING!

We chose a table inside and we all decided that stonegrill steaks were the order of the evening.

I went the “challenge” which is 400g of steak. I accompanied mine with onion rings and fried. Yummy!

Tuesday evening offers $7 basic deserts and I had a nice, but small, Tiramisu.

Main and deserts was accompanied by several pints of zesty Monteith’s Radler beer.

Find Degree on the web here.

Mai Thai, Auckland, New Zealand

I’ve been to Mai Thai before… and it was good.

This is just a note to say that I went back to Mai Thai (3 trips, 3 visits, it MUST be good!) and took a colleague along who was a bit of a Thai food officianado and he liked it.

You will never have a bad feed at this restaurant. If you don’t live in Auckland do yourself a favour, buy a plane ticket and try this restaurant.