Auckland's new Mövenpick ice cream hotel has a 24-hour sundae service – Stuff

It’s nearly 1am and two gentlemen wearing suits and rubber gloves are standing outside my bedroom door.
I’m in a former MIQ hotel, in a robe, sweating from a too-hot bath. They’re not here for a routine oral swab, but to scoop Swiss ice cream into a parfait glass.
After consuming chocolate truffles, opera cake and coffee-filled eclairs, plus a chocolately cream-topped creation under a glass cloche, salted caramel macarons left in the bathroom, and another three chocolates with dinner, this midnight sundae is the last thing I need.
But when you’re staying in a building named after an ice cream brand, with a button on the in-room phone that reads ‘Sundae Service’, it’d be rude not to press it and see what happens next. Plus there was no chance of sleep given the current state of my blood glucose levels.
The ice cream men are here. Let’s put Mövenpick Hotel Auckland and its 24-hour Sundae Service to the test.
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Mövenpick’s first New Zealand addition to the accommodation sector is positioned on Customs Street East in the Auckland CBD, making it a convenient spot for arrivals from Britomart and the ferry terminal.
Rising from the ashes of the Grand Mercure, the building has undergone a complete refurbishment. Some spaces have been beautifully redressed all the way up from the raw concrete shell.
It features 207 rooms and suites, plus a restaurant and bar, laneway café, meeting rooms, a gym and library.
Two marble lions stand at the entrance. There’s a chandelier dangling above a golden feature wall. It is an elegant space. Check-in was effortless, allowing plenty of time to make the most of another sweet perk.
Chocolate Hour is what happens on the hotel’s 13th floor between 3 and 4 o’choc. The website states a ‘decadent chocolate experience with live demonstrations’. Today, a round table displays every kind of chocolatey sweet imaginable, ready and waiting to be devoured.
There’s a tier of miniature chocolates, marshmallow shish kebobs, waffle pieces waiting to be dipped in a bowl of rich chocolate sauce, cupcakes dressed in pink frosting, matcha slice, and other things which I can’t pinpoint – I eat them anyway.
My Rangitoto Executive Suite is as big as my sweet tooth. The main living space has a dining table with room for six, a comfortable couch, two lounge seats and a refreshment nook. This leads onto the study desk and master bedroom which has both a king-size bed and day bed.
There are three TVs all up. The third is disguised as a mirror in the bathroom, which itself lives behind an automatic sliding glass door. The view overlooks Auckland’s ferry building, across to the North Shore and Waitematā Harbour. Lovely spot.
There’s tea and Nespresso coffee and both still and sparkling water. While watching TV from the bathtub you could pop open the small bottle of Moet or nibble on the provided half-dozen macarons. A massive bath bomb will turn the water inky blue and leave you smelling just as royal. On each side of the bed are ear plugs and an eye mask. You can also choose from different pillows through the digital compendium. The library is cosy and the gym is compact.
The beautiful long dining room is where most of the action takes place both night and day. Large windows look over both city and harbour, making it one of the best located restaurants in the city.
Bar manager Sal is the go-to for lavender and cucumber gin sours or old fashioneds before and after dinner. The restaurant Boda, led by head chef Hyokeun Choi, takes diners around Asia with dishes like stir-fried beef short rib, sambal grilled octopus and galbi beef skewers. The raw kingfish marinated in ginger and tamarind was a highlight. The buffet breakfast comes with all the trimmings.
Following mealtime, I exit to my suite and press the dedicated ‘Sundae Service’ button to access in-room ice cream. There is a choice of hazelnut praline, red velvet and popcorn caramel. I choose the latter upon recommendation from the concierge.
Expecting the sundae to turn up pre-made, I was surprised to be greeted by two enthusiastic staff members at such an unholy hour for dessert. They stood in the hallway with their trolley, talking me through the process, while topping the sundae with multiple sauces, caramel popcorn, wafer circles, waffle crumble and marshmallows. It was like watching Rowan Atkinson gift-wrap the necklace in Love Actually.
It was my choice to decide how much butterscotch crisp to sprinkle on top, and then, before the handover, it was finished with a macaron and a little chocolate with the Mövenpick logo. I very much enjoyed my late-night sundae supported by fluffy pillows in bed. Belated apologies to the staff for the chocolate stains on the robe.
Auckland’s CBD is right on your doorstep. Walk two minutes and you’ll be at shopping and dining precinct Commercial Bay, the Britomart precinct or the ferry terminal. In ten minutes, you can walk to the Sky Tower.
Not many hotels offer free treats like Chocolate Hour. Free ice cream is offered to kids for the duration of your stay. The dining room is a pleasant place to hang out or tap into the free wi-fi and work from one of the large booths. The 11am check-out is also very generous.
I flicked 11 light switches to achieve complete darkness at bedtime.
If you have a sweet tooth and would like access to ice cream at all hours of the day, this well-located hotel is the place for you. Kids will love Chocolate Hour.
The hotel has two interconnecting wheelchair accessible rooms with roll-in showers.
Mövenpick Hotel Auckland is located at 8 Customs Street East, Auckland. Room rates start from $259. You’ll pay $28 for the privilege of an in-room ice cream sundae. See:
Staying safe: New Zealand is currently under Covid-19 restrictions. Follow the instructions at
The writer was hosted by Mövenpick Hotel Auckland.
© 2022 Stuff Limited


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