HIGH ABOVE IT ALL

Hidden away on the cusp of Auckland’s waterfront, yet only steps from some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and museums, Penthouse 64 is a luxurious home-away-from-home for those travellers in the know. By Nick Walton

It’s always fun to explore new digs; to move from room to room, opening cupboards and pulling draws is part and parcel of examining your new temporary retreat. With most suites that initial impression is all but complete after ducking your nose into the bathroom, perhaps having a browse of the minibar, just for reference. Penthouse 64 is not one of those suites.

Easily Auckland’s best kept secret, the sprawling fourbedroom, four-bathroom penthouse not only boasts more space than the average family house, but does so with infinite grace, elegance, and discretion. Boasting over 400sqm of sumptuous living space as well as an additional 300sqm of outdoor entertaining and dining space, Penthouse 64 offers a unique, all-year commune with Auckland’s stunning Waitemata Harbour.

We park our hire car in the cavernous security-guarded garage with the assistance of Penthouse 64’s infinitely elegant manager Stephen, who guides us via private elevator into the sun-kissed space and pops a welcome bottle of bubbles in the state-of-the-art kitchen. “Penthouse 64 really is something special,” says Stephen. “It’s a home away from home for people who don’t want to leave their creature comforts behind when they travel.”

He’s not wrong. After an orientation on some of the Penthouse’s seamlessly integrated technology, Stephen leaves us to delight in a room by room exploration; the apartment has it all, from a media room with expansive wall-mounted television, to a wet bar, an outdoor Jacuzzi, covered and uncovered outdoor dining tables, wrap around balconies, a laundry, and lavishly-decorated guest rooms with decadent ensuites.

We start our stay finishing the bubbles in the spacious living room, with its 3.5-metre floor-to-ceiling glass façade overlooking the water, one end thrusting out like the prow of an ocean liner. In addition to a lounge suite and telescope for impromptu star-gazing, the lounge also features a glasstopped dining table for ten.

The Penthouse splits from here; one side leads down to the guest rooms, including the sumptuous master suite. While all rooms feature direct balcony access, the master bedroom leads to the Penthouse’s outdoor Jacuzzi, with its views across the water to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. True water babies staying in the master bedroom can even jump directly from outdoor Jacuzzi to indoor over-sized whirlpool bath in the suite’s spacious bathroom.

The other path from the living room leads past the chef’s kitchen, with its Gaggenau appliances and breakfast servery, into a comfortable media room, which in turn either leads on to the ample custombuilt house bar, complete with its own leather-topped bar stools, lounge suite and gas fireplace, or out to the main al fresco entertaining zone, where couches and an over-sized dining table are warmed by another gas fireplace and sky heaters. Thick plastic lining ensure the outdoor space stays toasty, even on Auckland’s fickle winters, without compromising on the views to Devonport and Westhaven. A BBQ is built into an adjacent kitchenette set up, which leads on to an uncovered table for four with captivating views, ensuring seamless entertainment opportunities, rain or shine, in a city that looks beautiful in either.

From NZ$2,500 (US$1,683) per night (minimum of two nights). Book Penthouse 64 through The Exclusive Travel Group, which specialises in luxury travel to New Zealand www.exclusivetravelgroup.com

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