SO/ Auckland is so ready for the big travel return

It’s somewhat appropriate that SO/ Auckland has taken over what used to be the building of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, such is its classy aesthetic and standard of service.

Its location is tucked away just off the busy Customs Street which makes entry and exit using a taxi or Uber much easier than if it were on the main road itself.

Its atrium is very spacious. So much so that it can be a little confusing at first as to where guests are meant to check-in.

But, once that split-second thought delay has taken place, friendly staff are ready and waiting to sort everything out for what will be – if my experience is anything to go by – a seamless, enjoyable stay.

The rooms are decorated and furnished in a style and standard you’d expect from a brand such as SO/.

/So Hotel Atrium

However, the layout is a bit awkward with a rather cramped seating area between the bed and the corner windows. It’s likely that this was just a quirk of the room I was staying in, given it was on a corner.

The hotel’s restaurant is called Harbour Society and its chef is Roy Giam. The meals are delicious, of the standard you’d expect and are very well presented.

The restaurant was only about half full which meant service was very attentive. This shouldn’t be seen as a reflection of the experience, however. It was a Friday night so people probably had plans to dine elsewhere.

As travel returns to Auckland, people who a new to hospitality are starting jobs in restaurants like this. While you could tell there were some new staff on the floor, it was great to see how enthusiastic and energised they were to make sure all guests had an enjoyable evening.

The restaurant was also very accommodating to allergies.

Society, by Roy Giam

It’s amazing how often something so simple as not writing down an allergy can ruin a hotel experience.

Thankfully, there was none of that here. Staff triple-checked between the kitchen and myself to ensure we met the right mix of what I wanted to order, and what the kitchen could provide without certain ingredients. When it came to the final product, no one would have known it was missing some of its ingredients at all.

It was back to the room after dinner. The rooms are very warm, and the bed was definitely one of the most comfortable I’ve slept on in recent months. There is a bit of noise from traffic and the always-busy Auckland Fire Service, but very little noise from the socially busy streets below.

SO/ Auckland was built and ready for action just before the pandemic. It just needs tourism to catch up.

During the pandemic it was turned into a MIQ hotel. It’s reported that celebrities visiting New Zealand during the era of compulsory hotel quarantine stayed at SO/ Auckland.

Selected at random, I’m sure!

Ru Paul was rumoured to be one of the stars who called SO/ Auckland home while in the country filming Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under.

SO/ Auckland Auckland is ready. It just needs tourism to catch up.

The floors are shiny and ready for the suitcase wheels of the world. The restaurant is fresh, new and ready to delight the tastebuds of tourists from all over, and the comfortable beds are turned down and ready to provide the best place for people to get some rest before starting another day in paradise.

SO/ Auckland’s arrival into Auckland may have been overshadowed by the coronavirus, but you can bank on its future being big and bright in the city of sails.

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