Travel

Flying stay at JetPark Hotel in Auckland

Airport hotels are for popping into in the dead of night and crashing out on cheap sheets with itchy blankets in rooms that feel like chicken coops, right? Wrong, when it comes to our flying stay at JetPark Hotel in Auckland …

Far from being a soul-less holiday hotel, Jet Park hotel has really tried to put personal service into what can usually be an in-and-out visit.

We had the luxurious one bedroom apartment ($230) with flat screen TVs in both rooms, two iPod docks, Wifi, and a full kitchen and dining suite.

There are also cheaper Overnighters (currently $140 on their website www.jetpark.co.nz) from which to launch or conclude your holiday.

The fresh flowers in each room of the apartment were a nice touch and not one you often see; usually they are silk to save money but it makes a real difference.

The artwork includes original works from New Zealand artists Rex Homan, Peter Barker and in-house artist Sonja Herrmann. The specially commissioned Rex Homan “Fish Wall” in reception of painted wooden fish is echoed with single wooden fish throughout the hotel.

We dined at the restaurant Te Maroro where Executive Chef Nancye Pirini (ex Dine by Peter Gordon) is employed. It is designed with an open kitchen you can see from the dining area. With its location in Mangere, there is nowhere else to walk to to eat so the onsite restaurant would get good patronage from guests.

I had the pork belly entree ($13) and a massive serving of lamb rump for my main ($28) which I couldn’t finish but nevertheless ordered creme brulee for dessert ($15).

Service at dinner was very attentive – to the point of a waitress interrupting our conversation to ask if everything was alright a minute after another waiter had done so – and very polite, prompt, and happy to please.

It’s a nice touch that you can order wine by the carafe ($15 for Sandpiper) at not much more cost than a single glass. There is a good selection of New Zealand wines on offer. Cocktails are the cheapest anywhere, at $8.50.

The kids’ menu is the healthiest I’ve seen, with each option having salad or vegetables; usually children’s menus are all processed fish fingers. Lily had a ham and tomato mini pizza, salad and fries ($10.)

Dinner was far more impressive than the slightly average cooked breakfast in the hot buffet trays – this and the average filter coffee were the only low point in the food – the Continental breakfast was excellent, and the Danish pastries, divine.

The staff were very friendly and helpful throughout. I was rapt that on my request there was a cot waiting – fully made up with sheets – in the room.

Highlights for me included the native plants around the site, all really lush and in great condition.

The swimming pool looked gorgeous to gaze out upon from the dining area, but I probably would never swim in it with everyone watching as I’d feel like the mermaid in a goldfish bowl!

It all gets better value when you consider what you’d pay for parking your car at the airport for a couple of weeks; if you stay one night at Jet Park you get free 14-day car storage and free, round-the-clock airport shuttles to take you there.

I though the flight information TV screen in the lobby was a highly practical touch too so you don’t miss your flight.

After a fabulous mini-break, we’re sad to see the end of it. But hopefully, we’ll be back.

Megan Robinson, 20 March 2011.
Photography by Kevin Robinson.

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