New Zealand has been on a strict lockdown of its borders due to every other country absolutely failing at any sort of containment measures of Covid-19. Travellers have been required to participate in a mandatory 2 week isolation in one of 31 hotels dotted around the country before being released into the wild. Since 26 March 2020, 151,718 people have passed through these Covid-19 isolation hotels, or what pundits in America who get their information from 4chan would call “quarantine camps”. I don’t know what sort of camps these people have been visiting, but none I’ve gone to have included an ensuite and complimentary wi-fi.
5 of the 31 hotels on the official list are five star hotels. Incoming visitors don’t have much of an option on where they’re placed, but it’s nice to think that you might be forced into five star living for a couple weeks.
We’ve gathered the best Covid-19 isolation hotels together and listed them in order of rating based on Booking.com reviews. Four out of the five are based in Auckland, while one is in Wellington. The list has been done in descending order because I’m not here to titillate you with some sort of grand finale. Besides, they’re all incredible in their own unique way.
SO/ Auckland (9.0)
If I was going into mandatory quarantine anywhere, it’d have to be at SO/ Auckland. At the corner of Customs St East & Gore Street, SO/ has an incredible waterfront view, and beautifully designed rooms inspired by Auckland’s volcanic geology.
In normal times, it has a restaurant, roof top bar and indoor heated pool. The penthouse has been designed with ultimate privacy in mind. It overlooks some of Auckland’s most sought-after views. It comes with separate living, dining and kitchen areas, featuring an audacious selection of curated design pieces and tailor-made touches by /SO’s signature designer, WORLD.
Grand Mercure Wellington (8.9)
Grand Mercure came second on the list and is the only 5 star hotel on the list that is based outside Auckland. Nestled in the Cuba quarter, the Grand Mercure comes with a heated lap pool, a sauna and fully-equipped fitness centre. Executive suites come equipped with their own coffee machines and Bose sound-systems. It has a plush king bed and separated lounge and dining room. It’s like a home away from home.
Stamford Plaza Hotel (8.8)
Placed in the Auckland CBD Stamford Plaza offers sprawling rooms in their Governors Suite. It offers two luxury bedrooms, full kitchen and dining table. This floor plan looks larger than my actual house, it’s incredible. The master bedroom showcases a walk in wardrobe and a luxury bathroom featuring a bath, separate shower, dual vanity and toilet.
Pullman Hotel (8.7)
The Pullman has played host to a few M2 events in the old days of mixing and mingling. The Penthouse has some of the best views of the harbour and Rangitoto Island and is designed for open plan living. It has two sophisticated and spacious ensuites, open plan living space, dining area and fully equipped kitchen. The bathroom features hand-crafted amenities created exclusively for Pullman by C.O. Bigelow.
Grand Mercure Auckland (8.6)
The service and quality of the Grand Mercure has landed it on the list twice. This time their Auckland establishment is impressing us with their Ocean View Executive Suite with King Bed.
The suites provides expansive views from both the main living space and bedroom when you aren’t watching one of the two 49” smart TVs and sound system. The second TV is placed in front of the ensuite bathroom’s deep soaking tub. If you’re on the go, it also has a rain shower. Make yourself coffees all day long with your own Nespresso machine at the personalised mini-bar, while chilling out in your complimentary bathrobe.