Auckland skyline at sunset - Where to Stay in Auckland for One Night Before a Cruise

Where to Stay in Auckland for One Night Pre-Cruise 

Wondering about where to stay in Auckland for one night before a cruise? I have handpicked a selection of excellent hotels and vacation rentals within walking distance of the Auckland Cruise Port to make choosing easier. 

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and a starting point for New Zealand, Australia and South Pacific islands cruises. The cruise port’s convenient Central Business District (CBD) location offers easy access to Auckland’s shopping, dining and entertainment.  

The city of Auckland boasts a stunning harbour and a compact city centre with a beautiful waterfront area packed with excellent cafes, bars, and restaurants. If you have a full day in the city before your cruise, you can easily see the highlights of Auckland’s CBD. 

Check out Auckland Art Gallery that showcases New Zealand and international art, explore local designer shops in Britomart, enjoy epic views over the city from the iconic SkyTower or go for a relaxing waterfront meal at one of the restaurants in Wynyard Quarter.  

A day spent exploring Auckland is a great way to get a glimpse of New Zealand’s culture and lifestyle before your cruise. 

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Where to Stay in Auckland for One Night Pre-Cruise – The Best Area 

The CBD is the most convenient area to stay in Auckland for one night before a cruise, as it offers easy access to the cruise port. Even if you are taking a taxi from your hotel to the terminal, the journey should be nice and quick (and cheap!). 

The Auckland Cruise Port features two terminals, the Queens Wharf Passenger Terminal, and Princes Street Wharf. Major cruise lines use both, so be sure to check which one your cruise ship is departing from.  

Although they are located within walking distance of each other, you do not want any extra stress of having to go from one terminal to another before your departure. 

The Best Hotels in Auckland for One Night Pre-Cruise 

Auckland offers a good selection of hotels to suit different budgets and tastes. Most mid-range and high-end hotels in the CBD are international chains, but there is a handful of independents too. 

Ibis Budget Auckland Central

A room at Ibis Budget Auckland Central - an affordable place to stay in Auckland for one night pre-cruise

Ibis Budget Auckland Central is a great option for those seeking affordable and conveniently located accommodation for their cruise departure point. The hotel offers good value in the heart of Auckland CBD. 

The rooms are basic but include all the necessary amenities for a one-night stay, such as a private bathroom, kitchenette, and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms feature balconies with excellent views over the city. 

Ibis Budget is located just off Queen Street, Auckland’s main commercial artery lined with shops and high-rise office buildings. The cruise terminals are only a 10-minute walk away, and the iconic Sky Tower is just around the corner. 

There is an extensive selection of restaurants, bars, and cafes within walking distance from the hotel. Be sure to check out the nearby Culprit restaurant, famous for its innovative take on Kiwi cuisine.  

Hotel DeBrett

A cosy room at Hotel DeBrett

Hotel DeBrett is a luxurious boutique hotel housed in stylish Art Deco building. It is the perfect choice for those seeking a unique stay with character. 

The hotel features 25 stylish rooms, each with a unique look and feel. They are styled with mid-century modern style furniture and adorned with New Zealand art, boasting luxurious amenities. Guests can relax with a soak in the bathtub and have an excellent night’s sleep on the incredibly comfortable beds. 

Hotel DeBrett is home to DeBretts Kitchen, an all-day restaurant specialising in modern New Zealand cuisine. For something special, opt for the 1920s-inspired high tea and start your New Zealand adventure on a high note.  

Guests can also enjoy classic cocktails in the stylish Housebar, which is packed with old world charm. Alternatively, the cosy Cornerbar is incredibly popular with locals for after-work drinks. 

The hotel is located on High Street, which is filled with quirky shops and excellent value eateries serving international foods. Check out the nearby Unity Books, an independent bookstore, and grab lunch at Chuffed, a cosy café serving delicious sandwiches and coffee.   

The cruise terminals are just a 10-minute walk from Hotel DeBrett. 

Barclay Suites

A bedroom with city views at Barclay Suites

Barclay Suites are self-contained, self-catering apartments that blend home conveniences with hotel-style amenities.

Guests can choose from 1- and 2-bedroom deluxe, executive, and tower suites. All rooms are complete with a fully equipped kitchen, a washing machine, separate bedrooms, and sofa beds in the living area. The rooms also feature views of the city, Harbour Bridge, or Sky Tower.

In terms of amenities, Barclay Suites boasts a 24-hour reception, daily housekeeping, and complimentary access to a nearby gym. In case you don’t feel like cooking, breakfast room delivery and pre-order dining and drinks services are available at an extra cost.

Barclay Suites is also home to Barclay Relax, a tranquil spa where you can enjoy a relaxing massage to help you get over the jet lag and get in the right mindset for your cruise.

Barclay Suites are located just a 10-minute walk from the Auckland Cruise Terminal. If you would like to go out locally for a meal, I can highly recommend the nearby 1947 Eatery, where you can enjoy delicious Indian flavours and excellent cocktails.

M Social Auckland

The stylish interiors of a room at M Social

M Social is a stylish and modern hotel located just a stone’s throw from the cruise ship terminal, making it a convenient choice for a one-night stay in Auckland before your cruise.  

The hotel features a selection of contemporary-styled rooms with luxurious touches throughout, including en-suite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and tea and coffee-making facilities. All rooms boast stunning views over Princes Wharf, adding to the hotel’s charm. 

My favourite feature of M Social is Beast & Butterflies. This chic on-site restaurant specialising in the diverse flavours of the Pacific Rim. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Beast & Butterflies has you covered. The restaurant also has a bar that’s perfect for an evening cocktail. 

M Social is just a short walk away from the vibrant waterfront neighbourhoods of Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter, both of which boast an excellent dining scene. 

If you are looking for a fantastic place for dinner the night before your cruise, I especially recommend Baduzzi, an Italian restaurant, and Giraffe, a modern New Zealand eatery. Both are situated within walking distance from M Social. 

The Hotel Britomart

The tranquil, Nordic-inspired room at the Hotel Britomart

The Hotel Britomart is a luxurious 5-star hotel that takes pride in its sustainable approach to hospitality. Located in the heart of the Britomart neighbourhood, the hotel is the perfect choice for those seeking a peaceful retreat without being far from all the action. 

The hotel features 99 rooms with a cosy Nordic feel. They boast comfortable beds, timber-clad walls, and handmade ceramic decorative pieces created by local craftsmen. Some rooms have stunning views over the Auckland Harbour. Guests can also enjoy a daily a-la carte breakfast including cooked and continental goodies. 

The Hotel Britomart is home to kingi, a chic contemporary restaurant that celebrates the best of New Zealand seafood and wine. Head there for lunch or dinner to enjoy a delectable selection of a-la-carte dishes or a 4-course tasting menu. 

There are plenty of eateries, bars and unique shops within immediate vicinity of the hotel. Check the nearby Commercial Bay that is home to high end restaurants and a selection of international shops. The cruise ship terminal is less than a 10-minute walk away from the hotel. 

Movenpick Hotel Auckland

A room with a view at Movenpick Auckland

Another option in the vibrant Britomart area is Movenpick Hotel Auckland. This premium hotel offers modern rooms and a convenient location for exploring the city centre. 

The hotel offers a range of rooms and suites to suit different needs. All of them feature contemporary décor with stylish furnishings and large windows offering stunning city views. Guests can also take part in morning yoga classes in the Wellness room to stay active and refreshed. 

Boda, the on-site restaurant on the top floor of the hotel, offers panoramic views over the city and combines quality New Zealand produce with Asian-inspired flavours. It is the perfect place to enjoy the fascinating diversity of modern New Zealand cuisine before your cruise.  

In the morning, Boda serves a buffet breakfast to start the day right. Guests can also enjoy a 24-hour in-room sundae service if they prefer to indulge in their treats in the comfort of their own room. 

Movenpick Hotel Auckland is a 7-minute walk away from the cruise ship terminal. The area surrounding the hotel is packed with excellent restaurants and designer shops. Be sure to check out the nearby Ima, an iconic Auckland establishment serving up delectable Middle Eastern cuisine. 

SO/ Auckland 

A room at SO/ Auckland, one of the most stylish places to stay in Auckland for one night pre-cruise

So/ Auckland is a luxury hotel for those who enjoy unique design and a sense of playfulness.  

Inspired by Auckland’s volcanic origin and landscapes, each spacious room features a one-of-a-kind look and feel, as well as modern amenities. Certain rooms offer breath-taking views of the city and harbour.  

SO/ Auckland has a strong food and beverage offering, including the Harbour Society restaurant, which features a creative menu that blends New Zealand ingredients with Asian flavours, and Javalab Café, which offers Parisian-style café treats. 

I especially love SO/ Auckland’s stylish rooftop bar, HI-SO. Located on the 16th floor, it offers panoramic views over the city. Start your New Zealand adventure with an expertly crafted cocktail in a glamourous setting.  

SO/ offers easy access to Auckland’s best shopping and dining destinations, including Britomart and Commercial Bay. The cruise terminal is 10 minutes away from the hotel.  

If you have time, be sure to visit Giapo. Located just across the street from SO/ Auckland, this culinary institution is famous for its unique gelato creations. Indulge in unexpected flavour combinations and delectable premium cones for a foodie experience you won’t forget. 

Hilton Auckland 

A large room at Hilton Auckland with sweeping waterfront views

No article on where to stay in Auckland for one night pre-cruise would be complete without mentioning Hilton Auckland.  

Located right on Princess Wharf, alongside one of the cruise ship terminals, you can’t get any closer to the terminal than this. If convenience is a priority and you’re departing from there, this is the perfect choice. 

This nautical-inspired hotel offers a range of different rooms and suites, all of which are bright and spacious, decorated with contemporary furnishings and artwork. For something special, choose a room with a balcony featuring stunning harbour views. 

Hilton Auckland is home to the FISH restaurant, which offers sweeping views of the harbour and an outdoor deck for alfresco dining. The restaurant specialises in quality seafood, showcasing the best ingredients that New Zealand waters have to offer. 

For a pre- or post-dinner drink, head to Bellini Bar where you can enjoy the waterfront views with a craft cocktail or a glass of champagne in hand. 

There are a few bars and restaurants situated on Princess Wharf, within easy reach of Hilton Auckland. However, I recommend venturing out a bit further to explore Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter which offer a better selection of dining options.  

Park Hyatt Auckland 

A stunning waterfront and city view from a room at Park Hyatt Auckland

Park Hyatt Auckland is a luxurious 5-star hotel located in the vibrant Wynyard Quarter, offering guests a sophisticated setting and stunning waterfront location. 

The hotel offers a range of elegant rooms and suites, from spacious doubles to ultra-luxurious suites. All rooms are contemporary and stylish, with large floor-to-ceiling windows that create a bright and airy atmosphere. Some rooms boast panoramic waterfront views. 

Park Hyatt boasts four restaurants, including Onemata, the hotel’s signature restaurant showcasing the best of New Zealand produce, the stylish Living Room, and the Pantry, perfect for a quick bite. Guests can also enjoy craft cocktails and tapas-style dining at Captain’s Bar. 

Guests can take a refreshing swim in the hotel’s 25-meter infinity pool while enjoying the amazing waterfront views or relax on the pool deck. Those seeking to stay active on vacation can take advantage of the 24-hour fitness centre. 

The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Auckland cruise ship terminal. There is a good selection of bars and restaurants within easy reach of Park Hyatt. I recommend visiting the Auckland Fish Market for an excellent selection of eateries serving the freshest local seafood. 

Where to Stay in Auckland for One Night – Vacation Rentals 

If you prefer to have all the comforts of home for your one-night stay in Auckland, here is a selection of excellent vacation rentals within easy reach of the cruise port.  

Penthouse Apartment with Stunning Waterfront Views 

The living area and balcony overlooking the harbour at the penthouse apartment on Princes Wharf

Located on Princess Wharf, this spacious penthouse apartment offers excellent waterfront views and all the amenities required for that home away from home feeling. 

The apartment sleeps two, making it a great choice for a couple. It features an airy open plan living and dining area, a fully equipped kitchen and a cosy bedroom. Its generous balcony offers panoramic views of the harbour. This is the perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine and take in the view on the evening before your cruise. 

The apartment’s convenient location also means that getting to the cruise terminal is a breeze. The vibrant Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter are also just a stone’s throw away, so you can easily explore Auckland’s dining and entertainment scene. 

New York Loft style Apartment 

The bright and airy living area in the New York-style loft apartment in central Auckland

This charming apartment is situated in a quiet part of the city, yet still conveniently located near Auckland’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The apartment is located on the top floor of a heritage building from 1904, featuring elegant period features. 

The apartment boasts a loft bedroom, a well-equipped kitchen and a private bathroom. There is an additional trundler bed that can be used as two singles or one king-size bed. Beautiful architectural features such as skylights, exposed wooden beams, and elegant Juliet balconies add to the charm of the apartment. 

Guests can take advantage of the gym and swimming pool, located in the building. The apartment is within easy reach of the Britomart shopping precinct and just a 12-minute walk from the cruise ship terminal. 

Auckland Tours and Experiences 

If you have a full day in Auckland before your cruise, make the most of your time in the city by taking one of these tours. For a great introduction to central Auckland, book this 3-hour small group walking tour with treats via Viator.  

Final Thoughts 

The Auckland Cruise Port’s convenient downtown location means that you have a raft of good hotel options. You can’t go wrong with any of the above recommendations on where to stay in Auckland for one night.  

One day in Auckland will give you a flavour of what the city has to offer. However, if you would like to see more of the city, I recommend spending a few days there before your cruise.  

Check out my guide to the best things to do in Auckland to start planning your itinerary. If you have more time, why not take a couple of day trips from Auckland to experience more of New Zealand? 

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