Cordis was the perfect choice, thanks to a recent renovation to include family rooms complete with kitchen facilities and kid-friendly services. Check-in was an unexpected highlight,with Cordis mascot Cody the Red Panda there to greet us as a special treat, step ladders so the boys could check in themselves (once they'd finished chasing Cody's tail), and a stunning lobby space for me to swoon over. Then it was time to explore.
Being in the city meant we could reconnect with what we love about central Auckland, and searching for personalised places (like my favourite shops) was made easy thanks to the 'Handy' Cordis smartphone provided.
Over the course of the weekend, we took the free Cordis e-bikes to the park and over the pink cycleway. We had a divine New Zealand-inspired high tea in the hotel lobby, visited the art gallery and strolled through the museum and Lantern Festival.
We took the complimentary Cordis shuttle to Customs Street, where we shopped and bought ice creams before boat-watching at the waterfront. We even saw a movie at Imax followed by a hilarious game of ten pin bowling (the ball was almost heavier than Jett).
But perhaps most importantly, we completely relaxed. Steven and I have always loved hotels, but we didn't expect our kids would love the luxurious little 'Cordis Kids' touches as much as they did.
After a busy morning, they'd relax in the room enjoying the children's backpacks provided, filled with stickers, a treasure hunt map, Jenga and Scrabble. After a late-arvo swim in the heated rooftop pool and jacuzzi, they rinsed off in the giant bath and swanned around the luxe bathroom in their adorable Cordis Kids dressing gowns and slippers.
Following a delicious dinner from the kids 'room service menu, the boys snuggled into bed with their free soft toys and watched the latest movies, wide-eyed at the giant TV screen.
They felt special and pampered, and so did we. I had time for an incredible Chuan Spa session, and then swapped with Steve who got in a workout at the wellness centre.
As parents, one of the most powerful parts of the stay was the complete lack of parental life admin, including cleaning and cooking. Some hotels are all about me time, but this was our time, as a family. Who says you can't relax in the city?
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