Review of Castelli’s Italian restaurant (Palm Springs)

While in Palm Springs in October, K&I wanted a bit of dinner.

We wandered aimlessly for hours, parched and starved. And we finally came upon Castelli’s Italian Restaurant🔗,

Read about our other Palm Springs adventures and reviews here

Ambience

We had no reservation and came at dinner time. We were seated outside the kitchen, but with a view of outside patio. This was a great vantage point for people-watching. Restaurant was dimly-lit restaurant. There was that comforting din of murmurs, cutlery clinking, busy-ery. Walls were decorated with pictures of crooners, The Godfather, other Italian ex-pats. There was also a piano player and singer. Our pony-tailed curliqued friend was really good!

Waitstaff

Efficient, pleasant but not too chit-chatty. They were incredibly observant. As they were leaving or coming back into the kitchen, various staff picked up our excess dishes, or offered cutlery. I love when people work as a team. This makes me feel supported, and like anyone on the team can (& will) help.

Our order

Starter: Crab-stuffed Mushrooms. These were good but not stellar. All dinners also come with garlic toast. This was toast-tastically flavourful, crispy. We had to get a second basket.

Nals’s dish: Risotti Con Funghi. Nals isn’t into shiitake but this dish wasn’t shiitty at all. Risotto was delightfully toothy. “Sauce” was creamy and just coated the rice for perfect separation and flavour. And the con funghi flavour was bang on!

Kells’s dish: Ravioli d’Aragosta: delicious vodka horgonzola cream sauce with 3 large freshly-made ravioli. These monster ravioli were filled with mega lobster. Good flavour contrast of sauce and filling.

Dessert: Chocolate Lava Cake a la mode. Moist, flavourful and rich. Worth every bite.

Recommendation is 100%

Hands down, no question: if you are in Palm Springs and want a delicious Italian dinner: you must go to Castelli’s🔗.

N&K review of Esmeralda Bonvoy Marriott (Indian Wells, Palm Springs)

Nals and Kells went on their annual October birthday girls getaway. This time, they flew to Palm Springs, and stayed at Marriott Bonvoy Indian Wells🔗.

Kells has been there a few times already. But this was Nals’s first time.

Kells’s review is here🔗
N&K Do: Birthday Girls Getaway to Palm Springs.  They stayed at Marriot Bonvoy: Esmeralda in Indian Wells.

Fantastic Staff

Vanity* got us a lovely newly reno’d mountain view room (on a side that wasn’t going to get construction done on the following day – how thoughtful!). Staff are kind and respectful from front desk, valet, bell hop, pool staff & wait staff.

Construction warning
After 30 years, this joint is getting a rehaul! So, there is noise & water-stoppage 7am-4pm in certain areas. We had a room on corner so hardly heard construction. There was some noise when in commons. The in-room water disruption was: some coolish shower water on day 2 (despite using the hotel’s techniques), odd noises when flushing the toilet & turning on shower water for first time. When we were at the pool, we were unable to use the bathroom** in the fitness/pool area. Otherwise, minimal disruption.

Overall Impression

Hotel is huge with lots of nooks and crannies to explore: bar, restaurant, ballrooms, fitness centre, stores, spa, parking area, hallways, outdoor seating area with evening firepits, outdoor fountain, lawns, lagoon, …and the errant roadrunner.

Fitness Room

Note that the fitness room is available with the resort fee.

Pools

They have 3 pools. 1 for kidlets with a faux beach (& beach toys). Bar (with loungechair service) available. 2 small hot tubs. Plenty of lounge chairs. Towels available at pool.

Poolside service

Service by Joel was friendly and non intrusive. Nachos, Corona and the BLT (with avo & turkey) with fries were delicious!

Our Room

Our room had a balcony, loveseat, small glass dining table & chairs, TV, double sinks, fabulous pillows, comfy AF mattress, hair dryer, Aveda toiletries, mini fridge and Keurig. They supplied coffee & tea pods, condiments, paper cups and water glasses.

We missed . . .

There is no cutlery, mugs or microwave. We would’ve liked a bit more counterspace and dimmable lighting.

Surroundings

If you want to venture out, there are:

(Click 🔗 to see links.)

Recommendation

Rooms are huge. Renos are lovely. Hotel is large but warm. Staff are fabulous.

We would absolutely stay here again.

Footnotes:
*Vanity surprised us with a lovely handwritten birthday card, a chilled bottle of champers and a plate of unbelievably delicious chocolate-covered strawberries.
**Canadian term. American term is “restroom”. You will be made fun of if you call the crapper a “bathroom” in the USA.

Nals CoverGirl Supersizer Mascara3

Mascara Review: Covergirl’s SuperSizer (Lashblast)

All right N&Kers, it’s time for another installment of N&K’s Mascara Funday*!

Today, Miss Nals will be reviewing Covergirl’s SuperSizer (Lashblast) 🔗. 

Their website states “The Super Sizer Mascara gives you 400% more corner-to-corner volume for full, fanned out lashes. Our amazing Lash Styler transforms even small lashes— just twirl as you apply it to your lashes for an instantly Super Sized lash look. Opthalmologically tested, suitable for those who wear contact lenses”.

Click here to read that description on their site

Reviews on their site 🔗are basically favourable at 88% (1161 reviews).  Covergirl has suggested they contact Customer Service to remedy an unfavorable situation, if a reviewer mentions it.  People might respond to this with of course they would because they don’t want bad PR. But, it takes time to read each review and respond accordingly°.

Makeup Alley reviews 🔗are also favourable in scores (218 reviews, 68%) but comments are varied°. 

Nals CoverGirl Supersizer Mascara3

Getting back to the N&K review…

Nals’s lashes are long (partially due to EnEnvy 🔗 and our reviews are here 🔗 and here🔗) but straight.

Lengthens

Yes! (And even at the corners with the stumpier baby hairs.)

Volumizer

Not so much, despite the flared bristly brush and thin product.  Reminds me of a product that contains fibers such as Rimmel’s Wonder’fully Real mascara 🔗 (N&K review is here🔗). 

Separation

Product clumps with >2 layers.

Curl

I curl before and after applying mascara**.  Mascara holds the curl well through out the day.

Thickener

Product colour is black, which helps the look of fuller lashes. But since it clumps with >2 layers, there’s not a lot of thickening effect.

Application

Due to flared brush with bristles in a spiral formation (like DNA or pineapple seeds), application is best when you follow instructions on the package.

✓Mascara didn’t interfere with my contact lenses.  ✓This particular tube had staying power and was waterproof.   
×But it stuck on like a SOB.  I  use an oil-based facial cleanser (such as Julep’s Love Your Bare Face🔗).  I tried all-sorts like soaking my lashes with Julep cleanser then gently rubbing to lift up product.  I used makeup remover before cleanser… And then tried after.  I tried to triple wash my lashes.  And there were days that I didn’t get all of it off.  I still haven’t found the best method because each time is slightly different.

Recommendation

This is not a good mascara for a newbie/novice due to the application instructions and difficulty of removal.

For the experienced mascara-ista… I probably would not recommend it again due to difficulty of removal and clumping properties.

Footnotes
* formerly known as Mascara Monday
° To give you guys an idea, it probably takes Kells and I a couple hours to post and publish ONE post.  Formatting, uploading pictures, viewing and re-editting take scads of time.  Add additional time to take photos, picking topics and then writing.  So, both N&K appreciate how much work goes into it. However, the varied comments on Makeup Alley give us pause. Why are comments different on the CoverGirl vs. MUA site? Hmmm…
** MUAs might balk at this double curling, as the curler could pull lashes out after mascara-ing.  But I curl when mascara is dry as a bone.  If you double curl, don’t do it wet!

Mmm wine

Nals was in an anniversary trip in the Okanagan last month.  And of course, we had to do a little dipsy doodle around a couple of wineries.

Super Natural British Columbia is home to over 300 wineries.  A lot are concentrated in the Okanagan area.

MORE INFO HERE
The Mr was my designated driver so I only went to a couple wineries in the area.  Lake Country has a whole host of wineries including Gray Monk Estate Winery.
Tastings are $5-7 for 5. You can choose from a selection of say 10 wines.  If you purchase bottles, then the fee is typically used towards the purchase.

Blind Tiger is a newer winery.  It is a small family run certified organic winery that opened to the public in 2015. 

My sommelier* was fantastic.  He was a young energetic fellow who excitedly talked about the various wine-related outtings that he had recently been on.  He was an absolute delight!  He asked what wines I like, suggested some and off we went.  He was the perfect sommelier: funny, warm and also left room for me to explore the tasting notes. 

Where to buy: Only through their winery or virtual store.

Click here to reach them.

At Blind Tiger I got: Pinot Gris (2017), Reserve Pinot Noir (2017) & Speakeasy Red (2014).

Ex Nihilo has great range of wines and especially full-bodied reds. 

Tasting wasn’t the nicest experience.  It was a larger bustling winery.  The sommelier’s lukewarm detached demeanor led me to one conclusion:  That  she was a rogue ex-operative from an Archer-esque outfit… and her arch nemesis Barry finally got her 20**.

Where to buy: since the ex-operative was not chatty, I have no idea if they have shops that carry their goods in the GVA.

Click here to reach them.

At Ex Nihilio, I got: Chaos Rosso Red (2018) and Reisling (2017).

Recommendations

I loved Blind Tiger because they were friendly & non-pretentious.  Reminded me of the delightful Les Corcelettes in Oliver.

El Nihilo had delicious wines as well, but this was not a warm and fuzzy tasting experience.  I also wanted to buy the Voignier… but both the tasting & purchase was reserved for “members”.   I don’t know what this means but the sommelier didn’t invite or tell me how to become a member.  I guess as long one leaves with delicious bottles of wine… What else matters?

I would recommend drinking wines from both vineyards. 

However, the tasting experience was far more enjoyable at Blind Tiger and so I’ll be plugging them whenever I can!

Let’s Play Footsie-notes
*Not sure if sommelier is the correct term.  I thought it was better than Taster Guy or Taster Attendant.
**The Ex Nihilio sommelier wasn’t rude per se.  She answered my questions albeit in a detached fashion… with an underlying je ne sais quoi.  Something else clearly had her attention.  Eyes darted around, preoccupied energy, latency of responses… The only conclusion is that her rival finally sniffed out her shoddily-disguised witness protection deets.

DeButante Dolls: Review of Le Diner en Blanc

What on earth is a white dinner?

ESSENTIALLY, IT’S FANCY WHITE BYOE* PICNIC IN A SECRET LOCATION. 

Long drawn out explanation here

L e R o o t s

Well it started off in the 80s in France with a french dude who wanted to host an elegant outdoor dinner.  He asked his buddies to meet at the park but dressed in white, to be easily identifiable. 

Then… His son started the tradition in Montreal 30 years later.  It trickled into Le Grand Pomme… And now it’s in like 80 cities, worldwide.

The Registration Process.

  1. You put your name down for Vancouver’s DeB waiting list.  (We did this in Winter 2018),
  2. You’ll be emailed 3 more times with VIP RSVP dates (different invitation levels May-July),
  3. Once you get to level 3, you choose your Table/Team Leads, meeting location and if you’d like: booze and nibbles.

We ordered our wine and food.

The Day-Of Travel

When we registered, I didn’t know if Kells was working so I figured the best thing to do was to choose Skytrain option.  (We both live near-ish to stops.)  But it was evening rush hour and we got some snarkerton looks**.  Some peeps smiled and asked if we were going to “that white party”. 

Not gonna lie, N&K’ers: travel was onerous.  But, we’ve got some workarounds for next year.

The Location is revealed only after everyone in your group has arrived.

L e E v e n t

After setting up, it became evident why this was popular. 

3500 folks sat in carefully arranged rows of personalized tables – different food, centrepieces, candles, disHes, attire. 

We brought our own tables. But, since they were all the same shape/size with the white dressings, the whole thing looked like one seemless En Blanc party.  And if there’s one thing Nals enjoys, it’s symmetry

Once all folks were set up, we started off with the napkin wave.  Then we tucked in. 

When I was in Home Economics in highschool, I loved the din at the end of the class when we’d sit, eat and talk.  It was warm, enveloping and cozy.  The low conversational murmur, infectious laughter occasionally breaking through, soft clinks of cutlery and glass…  That’s exactly what DeB reminded me of.

Because the N&K Team & Table Leaders were organized, we were set up in great time.  We chatted with our lovely teammates.

We had a special guest that evening: DeB royalty Francois and his wife.  It was her birthday and Francois serenaded her.  He was probably a bit tipsy, and the singing was a bit off-key but it was the ballsy thought that counts.

When it was dark enough, we ended off with a magical moment: the signature group sparklers.

When it was dark enough, we ended off with a magical moment: the signature group sparklers.

Final

Thoughts

DeB criticisms include pretentious, classist, overpriced, not family friendly and lost the original intent. Kids are not allowed on-site due to alcohol. But other than that, we found that there were a variety of folks there. Some were dressed in simple whites and other tables had lavish lights and overhead deco.

N&K can tell you is that it was a fun, friendly, magical evening. We will definitely be doing it again next year.

Footnotes
*Bring Your Own Everything like food, real cutlery, tables, chairs, table linens and centrepieces. Note that alcohol can only be purchased through DeB.
**Not because we had so much stuff but because we looked so cultishly regal in our blanc ensembles.
¶ This could be because I like to organize things or maybe it’s a facet of biology.

Mascara Review: Rimmel Wonder’fully Real

Mascara Monday is back, N&Kers. We know you can hardly contain your excitement! This time we’ll be reviewing Rimmel’s Wonderfully Real Mascara.

So here are our rules

  1. We bought all mascara ourselves (which means nobody is paying us).
  2. We wear each mascara for at least 1 week.
  3. All mascaras purchased were black… and the darkest black they had available.
  4. Every mascara used was put on the exact same way, with only 2 coats.
  5. This is just our 2 cents. This opinion is ours…take it or leave it. Believe it or not.

What do we want in a mascara?

In a mascara, we typically discuss the following points: Lengthen, Volumize, Separation, Curl and Thicken.

The lowdown

The Bad

Everything was initially fantastic. Long lashes for dayzzz. However after a month, I noticed that the product clumped on my lashes. And, at the end of the day, flakes fell into my eyes. I typically use several thin coats plus another mascara. For this tube, I only can do 2-3 thin coats. This product falls short on volumizing and thickening. So, I tried to pair it with another volumizing mascara. And again, I got clumped.

That brush

The brush picks up a lot of product. You must ensure that swipe off as much of the product as can before application. (That is, make sure you can see lots of the pink brush showing through.) Fair warning: this brush is a poke hazard.

The Good

The bristly brush and product lengthen & separate. As such, Rimmel Wonder’fully Real Mascara is a good lengthener and separator. It also keeps the curl. (One must use a lash curler!)

An interesting thing

I felt like sporting the au naturel look a lot with this mascara. At first I thought it was due to the emergence of the PNW summer sun. (The summer makes me feel more like a let’s-skip-work-and-soak-up-some-sun bronzed goddess than a dramatic eye queen.) Or, maybe I was too lazy to add liner? But, I finally figured out why… I noticed that the brush/product inadvertently builds colour at upper water line. Which is fantastic for an au naturel look. And fantastic that Nals was inspired to keepnit low-key.

The Ugly

The ugly truth is that it’s really hard to get a mascara with all of these features. Which is why I typically use 2 mascaras on every application. But I got clumped when I tried to pair this mascara with a volumizer.

Additionally this mascara is hard to remove. After washing, you’ll need to get in there with a cotton-tipped wand.

Recommendation

I probably wouldn’t buy Rimmel’s Wonder’fully Real again unless I was in desperate need of a mascara… and it was on sale.

The brush would be challenging for novices.

The product itself is a bit annoying after 1 month.

Review of Bruncheria Cafe (New Westminster)

Nals and the Mr felt like a spot of brunch one weekend. And, we happened upon Bruncheria Cafe … so in we went. And we were not disappointed.

Hey guess what?! N&K has a new contest starting later today. For more details on the “Win a $50 Bruncheria Cafe Meal” Contest Rules, just click here.

Atmosphere

Casual seating, some areas have wooden benches with comfy cushions. It’s a large airy warmly lit space. Kitchen area is blocked off by a waist-high counter but you can watch the cooks prepare your meal. The service is easy going and friendly. Their inspiration is to have a family-style brunch atmosphere with a European twist.

Menu

The menu has changed since we were last there. Besides the usual delicious fare like Bacon & Eggs and Berry Cream Pancakes, they offer a Yo-conut Yogurt Fruit parfait, Sweet Toast Trio and Pulled Pork Pancakes. The Sweet and Spicy sounds fascinating.

Bruncheria Menu has delightfully unusual items and combinations. And the menu itself is laid out well: pictures with clear descriptions

They have a bevy of beverages: made-to-order espresso drinks, teas and cold drinks.

Our Food

We both ordered Bacon & Sausage Omelette with a side Greek Salad.

Food was delicious. Plates were well seasoned with fresh ingredients. They were simple but complimentary flavours. I loved their Chimichurri Toast – mmm garlic green goodness on crispy toast!

On our next visit, I’ll order one of the following: Probably The Best Brunch Sandwich Ever, Brunch Bowl with Hollandaise and the Build Your Own Brunch.

Best brunch sandwich ever – photo credit: Bruncheria Cafe

Location & Parking

Located on Columbia with paid street parking and easy access to transit.

Online ordering

They offer online ordering and even have their own Bruncheria app. 20% off for pick up orders.

Recommendation

Yassss you should eat here!

Contacts

Click for their: website, online ordering and Instagram.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary!

Bruncheria Cafe just finished their first year in business. To celebrate, they’ll be posting an IG contest, with a delicious prize.

N&K Tip

After brunch, go window shopping along Columbia, explore the Quay then take a stroll along the water. Or, just head down to the casino for a bit of blackjack.

A very special thank you to Dan and his team at Bruncheria for collaborating with us! He provided us with these beautiful pictures, and the Giveaway opportunity. Click here for entry details later today.

Morphe Me

Last week, we talked about taking off to Leavenworth, WA on our last Girl’s Weekend Getaway in February. We stayed at Leavenworth Village Inn (review is here).

Whispers of Morphe

On our way to Leavenworth, we stopped off for road trip snacks at Target in Bellis Fair. We kept seeing ads for the new Morphe eyeshadow palettes.

Kells & I love makeup, and are pretty well-versed on brands. But we hadn’t heard of Morphe. And we were defo intrigued. Then Nals spotted one of the cashiers sporting mesmerizing coral-pink salmon-berry eye makeup. After almost-creep-status staring, Nals complimented her. She beamed and whispered, with the confidence of a makeup seductress, “Morphe*”.

Of course we booted off to Ulta Beauty. And right up front, with a resplendant shining halo, was the Morphe display.

What’s the deal with Morphe?

Morphe is a company featuring professional-grade products at an affordable price. It came to Ulta Beauty in October 2017. (Unfortunately, Ulta is not in Canada.) But a year later, Morphe made its debut in Canada at Sephora.

Why welcome to Canadian soil, Morphe.

So did we get some?

Hells yeah we did! Kells got a deliciously rich red matte lippie.

I picked up a concealer. And, I got Boss Mood which features metallics and mattes in purps, berries and greens. Having seen our previous pictures, in case you didn’t pick up on it: I looooove colour. When not at work, I am pretty adventurous with eyeshadow application.

Cutie T is building her eye makeup collection and got a neutral nude palette plus a Morphe eyeshadow primer.

Store Atmosphere

Ulta’s atmosphere is between that of a Sephora and a drugstore, but closer to latter. Testers were available but MUAs, mirrors, tissues, applicators were in short supply. I think the concealer was not the best match for me. But it’ll do for now.

Application & Wear

The actual product was easy to apply and blend. Eyeshadow needs to be built up to get the desired effect. I find that because of my darker skin tone, most shadows/liners need to be layered on. And there’s some fallout especially with the Morphe glitters.

Recommendation

I’m glad I got the 24USD eye palette. It’s definitely worth it! Boss Mood is good for folks who are adventurous. But palette still contains some neutrals and basics, too. I was also eyeing the full Fall into Frost and a mini neon palette.

Morphe has a good selection of small, full and quad eye palettes. They’ve also got singles. They have a fairly good selection of concealers for dark and porcelain skin tones.

What are you waiting for? Go forth and explore Morphe, N&Kers!

Footnotes:
The cashier pronounced “Morphe” as more-fee (as in morphine) but we think it’s pronounced morfh (as in the caterpillar will morphe into a butterfly). Interestingly, one of the staffers at Leavenworth Village Inn pronounced the word “chic” as chick, rather than French way sheek. American adorableness!

Restaurant Review: Cold Havana Nights

Both Kells & I have been to Havana (Cuban Restaurant on Commercial Drive) several times. And, since we were having out-of-towners join us, we wanted to take them somewheres new!

No Reservations

Because we were going to a show, we were hoping to make reservations. I checked online 2 weeks before. Son of a buggerball: no reservations during peak times, such as Friday & Saturday after 6 pm. Open Table was right on their site so I tried to book anyways. It wouldn’t allow me to book after 4:45 pm. Our show was at 9 pm so 4:45 would be way too early. I also went to the Open Table app, thinking it might be different. And, nope. Grrr.

The Waiting Game

Half of our party got there before 6 & told that it would be an hour wait to sit inside. So they were seated outside, waiting for us. K&I joined and the 4 of us planned our drink orders (mojitos, V&T, margarita). Things were going ok.

As per the timeline above, we had 20 minutes left to wait for a table inside… but were told by staff that it’d actually be another 40. And apparently, once we ordered patio-side, we’d have to stay put.

The patio seating was assembled-to-order and so it wasn’t 100% comfortable. 2 of us felt that we were in the walkway. But our waiter assured us that we weren’t. And the heaters were keeping us warm. And we were hungry pups. So we figured we’d stay.

However, after another few minutes, our bottoms got cold. Our Gentleman Out-of-Towner got up to speak with the inside folks. He asked for our table listing back. We were told it’d be 1.5 hours. So he reminded them that we were already on the list, just a few minutes prior. Then they said 40 minutes.

When our waiter returned, we again inquired. She checked and told us 1.5 hour wait, even though at this point we were there over an hour. She said once we had ordered the food, inside folks assumed we’d just stay outside and took us off the list… and plus the restaurant had full reservations. Hmmm…

Eat Drink Man Woman

Drink and food service was slow. We ordered appies and said we would all share. Kells hates cilantro, so the waiter made suggestions. I ordered poblano & corn dip. K ordered the avocado tostones. And, the tostones came with cilantro. The waiter apologized and sent it back. Our out-of-towners got mussels, which were fab.

Our Gentleman Out-of-Towner ordered a 3rd beef taco, which never came. Me n Lady Out-of-Towner ordered the flat iron steaks, which were salty but good. The side was a fantastic cauliflower number. K ordered the prawn tacos, which were good with tasty sides.

Mains came 10 mins after appies – which was poor timing. Seemed like we waiting forever for our drinks… then our appies… then it all came spilling out on small table. (For comparison: There were other folks on the patio as well, and they received their food & drinks in a timely manner. One of the tables had 7 or 8 people.)

Would we recommend this restaurant?

K&I have been here before and it was an enjoyable experience. My last time was years ago, just before the fire. Kells’s last time was more recent: after the renos and change in ownership. So, this experience was different and not 100% positive.

But if you’ve never tried Cubano food, definitely go – especially for brunch. And if it’s peak dinner time, we would recommend making an early reservation. That way you’ll get a seat inside, and hopefully your food in a timely manner. If 4:45 is too early for dinner, go anyways. Then take an after-dinner stroll through The Drive, and get yourself a delicious Italian espresso or gelato… or do some window shopping and people-watching.

Sky’s the Limit at SkyCity Hotel in Auckland, NZ!

Nals visited New Zealand this Christmas. She mainly stayed with family. But lucky for SkyCity Hotel… she was able to sneak away one night.

General feel

SkyCity Hotel has a lofty, brightly lit, sparkly feel with huge chandeliers and a marbly lobby. Our floor was carpeted for reduced noise, but felt expansive. There were a few places to sit, in hallway outside of elevators.

Our room

was Kingsize. It too was lofty, with warm colours. Windows are huge almost floor-to-ceiling. We were on 4th floor & got dizzying views. (Views of construction, but still dizzying.) They had blackout drapes and it was quiet due to the double-glaze. There was plenty of lighting options.

The bed

Soooo big and firm. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel Mr. Nals rolling around in middle of the night. (He’s littler than me, but is like a heavy log when fast asleep.) This bed looked perfect for jumpy pillow fights. There was also a glorious multitude of pillows.

The rest of the room

There was a nice little seating area with a loveseat that could fit 2-3 folks.

The desk was a good size with stationary and hotel info.

In-room entertainment

There is a large TV with variety of channels, wifi, lots of places to plug chargers. There might’ve even been a docking station.

Comforts

The hair dryer was proper. It wasn’t that useless hunk of plastic secured to the wall. There was an iron with the board. They had a Keurig-type machine with coffee/tea/hot choco. Mugs, wine glasses and tumblers were provided. There was also a bar fridge and microwave. And inside the closet was a delightful little safe.

Bathroom was spacious with toiletries. We didn’t have a tub but shower was spacious. And there was a fabulous rainshower head!

Hotel Entertainment

Skycity Hotel has tons to do like the Skytower, a casino, conference rooms, a cafe and a couple of restaurants. They also have a fitness room.

Parking

There is self or valet parking for ~50NZD/day. But as it is downtown, it’s easy enough to catch the train (or bus) or use your legs for transport. We also saw motorized scooters zipping about town.

Tips

– Don’t put e-keycard near your phone so you can avoid de-magnetizing the keycode.
– lots of construction going on in Auckland so ask for a room with a nice view.
– within walking distance of restaurants, cafes, liquor stores. I will be posting on local cafes & restaurants soon.

Does Nals recommend Skycity Hotel?

It’s in Auckland’s Central Business District (aka CBD but not to be confused with this other thing) so it’s a central location. Reasonable rates, easy to book and check out. Quiet and luxuriously comfortable.

So hells yeah!
we’d stay here again
in a heartbeat.