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Updates on So Sofitel Auckland?

kermatu

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And another. Having real trouble with connection and multi-pic posts.

IMG_3465.JPG

Basic wines and spirits available. After first night I was allowed a broader range of wine.

But no buffet or snacks. The canapes were it. I got the impression this would also be the case in the actual Club Signature lounge when it opens, but I hope otherwise.

That said, I had as many plates as I wanted, and everything was very tasty.
 

kermatu

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This pic shows the front of the SO hotel:

IMG_3472.JPG

Where the SO letters are is the so-called rooftop bar. Obviously it isn't rooftop - more like a small terrace and top floor bar/lounge.

The solid white part of the building under SO is the elevator bank. Perhaps out of their control but such a waste to have the lifts here, as this is the side of the building facing the harbour. As a result, only two rooms on each floor have a direct view of the harbour. And only one, on the left of the pic, has a balcony.
 

kermatu

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Club signature rooms are the ones on the left as I mentioned above. They are spacious,

IMG_3454.JPG

IMG_3461.JPG
But right next to the lifts. Lots of USB outlets near the bed but the only proper powerpoints are in the bathroom.

Such poor design.
 

kermatu

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Nice views from the balcony.

IMG_3488.JPG

Heart of the city, so quite noisy. Block next door (just to the right of the pic) is a construction site. It's ok for now as not too noisy. If a high-rise is built it will significantly diminish the SO Auckland.
 

kermatu

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Flipside to the noise is you are well located for restaurants or simple food options. Only had room service once and it was a very nice caesar salad.

IMG_3556.JPG
 

kermatu

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Breakfasts in the main restaurant (level 15) are great. Free for Plats and Club guests -- buffet and off the card. This will be the case even when the lounge is open.

While the buffet is standard western only, everything is fresh and good quality. Some really good cold meats too.

Menu items great as well. Focus is on healthy items but you can add every side dish imaginable.

May be due to an empty-ish hotel, but there were never more than three tables occupied in my three visits. Pure bliss to have a quiet, relaxed breakfast and attentive service. Plus a decent view.

IMG_3468.JPG

IMG_3494.JPG

Very generous serves too.
 

Ewing

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No, sorry. My regulars are Pullman and Hilton, with several Novotel airport stays too for the late arrivals.

Viaduct has always been too pricey. No lounge, no views. Have heard positive things, but from many chats with fellow platinums in the Pullman who have also stayed at the Sofitel Viaduct, the Pullman seems to win (and certainly on my criteria).
I've stayed at both a lot. Would take Sofitel Viaduct any day of the week over Pullman - that hotel (despite not having a lounge) is superb.

I did have a Sofitel So stay booked in a few weeks but just cancelled it as I'll now be flying out of AKL first thing in the morning so am staying at the airport.

Not sure I agree with no views. I usually book a marina view room and the view is quite adequate!

IMG_6535.JPG

Anyway, thanks for your report on the Sofitel So. Will wait to hear some more feedback I think before trying it!
 

kermatu

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I've stayed at both a lot. Would take Sofitel Viaduct any day of the week over Pullman - that hotel (despite not having a lounge) is superb.

I did have a Sofitel So stay booked in a few weeks but just cancelled it as I'll now be flying out of AKL first thing in the morning so am staying at the airport.

Not sure I agree with no views. I usually book a marina view room and the view is quite adequate!

View attachment 155192

Anyway, thanks for your report on the Sofitel So. Will wait to hear some more feedback I think before trying it!
That's a decent view. Doesn't match the Hilton but arguably better than Pullman (unless high floor) or the SO (which has too much city and the cargo docks dominate even the best room views).

Sadly looks like the Pullman is starting to sell rooms with lounge access (rather than being a Plat only benefit). One of its best features was the near-empty lounge, no vultures for the food and drink for evening canapes. I fear that's about to change.

I may stay at the SO again to see it operating fully, but don't think it'll be a regular. I'll summarise my overall assessment of the SO later.
 

kermatu

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So, my SO conclusion based on two stays while hotel still only part operational.

Positives:
- Great central location.
- Rooms are new
- Restaurant is good; great breakfast, good looking lunch menu.
- Lots of staff, very enthusiastic and helpful - still quite green though
- Rooftop bar is very nice, but will not be great in poor weather and gets crowded fast. Actual amount of outdoor space is limited.
- Free mini-bar (a few soft drinks and snacks, no alcohol) - every room irrespective of status.
- Spa and club staff are great.
- Plats get full breakfast, club access, $50 spa voucher.

Negatives:
- Rooms have an obsession with bathtub and too open / no privacy
- Insufficient powerpoints in room
- Few rooms have the full harbour view.
- Quirky and uncomfortable furnishings (in the lobby lounge). Hopefully Club will be better.
- Expensive.

Just to repeat, I'm Platinum and both the Club lounge and terrace not open at the time of my stay. Spa / gym also not open.

I think I was better off with the hotel being only part open.

- Scored $200 per night off my rates for both stays.
- Had two one-hour massages with a favourite therapist (who used to be at the Pullman) in-room. The extra charge for being in-room was promised to be waived. As it happened, the entire charge for both sessions was waived.
- Had a bag of laundry done and that fee too was waived.

Over $1000 saved on the two stays. Pretty impressed. All proactively offered.

Obviously done to lure me back. It will. But just can't see it being a regular.
 

jjj777ccc

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So, my SO conclusion based on two stays while hotel still only part operational.

Positives:
- Great central location.
- Rooms are new
- Restaurant is good; great breakfast, good looking lunch menu.
- Lots of staff, very enthusiastic and helpful - still quite green though
- Rooftop bar is very nice, but will not be great in poor weather and gets crowded fast. Actual amount of outdoor space is limited.
- Free mini-bar (a few soft drinks and snacks, no alcohol) - every room irrespective of status.
- Spa and club staff are great.
- Plats get full breakfast, club access, $50 spa voucher.

Negatives:
- Rooms have an obsession with bathtub and too open / no privacy
- Insufficient powerpoints in room
- Few rooms have the full harbour view.
- Quirky and uncomfortable furnishings (in the lobby lounge). Hopefully Club will be better.
- Expensive.

Just to repeat, I'm Platinum and both the Club lounge and terrace not open at the time of my stay. Spa / gym also not open.

I think I was better off with the hotel being only part open.

- Scored $200 per night off my rates for both stays.
- Had two one-hour massages with a favourite therapist (who used to be at the Pullman) in-room. The extra charge for being in-room was promised to be waived. As it happened, the entire charge for both sessions was waived.
- Had a bag of laundry done and that fee too was waived.

Over $1000 saved on the two stays. Pretty impressed. All proactively offered.

Obviously done to lure me back. It will. But just can't see it being a regular.
Agree you got a lucky break!
 

kermatu

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Agree you got a lucky break!
The only thing I missed was a dedicated lounge. Having the massages in room was actually a huge bonus and much preferred to traipsing to the spa area.

If the full Club offers better food in the evening as well as snacks through the day, and some more functional seats, that would have been better. But not $1000+ better!
 

kermatu

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Reviving this thread as I stayed here again in October. Have posted in the thread on Elite treatment, but here is some more info.

Current Club benefits:

IMG_1820.JPG

Lounge is small and not super comfortable. But fine. Terrace was shut because of either weather or smoke concerns when I visited.

IMG_1826.JPGIMG_1839.JPG
 

Fruitloop

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Great info here. Really appreciate the detail and pics.

I thought the exec lounge and spa were underground, but looks like the lounge has natural light. Does look small - was it crowded?

We are looking at a stay in Auckland in January - prices here a bit beyond us but sure looks tempting!
 

kermatu

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Great info here. Really appreciate the detail and pics.

I thought the exec lounge and spa were underground, but looks like the lounge has natural light. Does look small - was it crowded?

We are looking at a stay in Auckland in January - prices here a bit beyond us but sure looks tempting!
The lounge is on level 2. There's no natural light from windows but there's a staircase to a terrace of some sort. Closed when I was there. Will see and get pics next time if I can. It is small and luckily only about 8 people max while I was there. The attendant said it was a typical (boring!) weeknight. But it is busy on weekends apparently. Would have been uncomfortable with more than 10 people and not able to use the terrace.

The spa, pool and fitness centre are two floors underground on B2. Not sure what is on B1 (maybe meeting rooms).

It is not a cheap hotel. If you are of status and can make use of the benefits (breakfast, lounge and spa discount) it is much more competitive. All guests also get free mini-bar (no alcohol) and free movies. If location suits that helps. But it's on a busy city street and noisy.
 

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