The Convent Hotel
If you’re looking for a boutique hotel in Auckland with history and character, The Convent has it in spades.
As the name suggests, the grand 1922 Spanish Mission-style building was originally home to a convent of nuns, followed by a series of boarding homes. The neglected building was reinvigorated and opened as a hotel in late 2020.
In contrast to the modern, eclectic art collection throughout the hotel, much of the original materials have been retained and refurbished, such as the Rimu floorboards and doorframes, to the stripped-back, distressed walls exposing layers of years past.
Located in Grey Lynn, just 10 minutes’ drive from Auckland’s CBD and five minutes from Ponsonby Road, it has an anti-hotel vibe that aims to sit between an Airbnb and a high-end hotel. You won’t get room service or daily housekeeping here, and the reception shuts at 9pm. It’s much more hands-off, complete with old-school room keys.
The total of 22 rooms includes six suites and all are slightly different from one another. The Nuns Repose, for example, is a compact queen space with a tiled patio and ensuite. Alternatively, suites like The Sacristy have kitchenettes and larger floor plans – and some have two bedrooms.
There’s a complimentary in-room snack bar (crisps, popcorn, chocolate and a hot drink selection), Ashley & Co amenities, and free parking. Rooms are serviced every four days unless requested otherwise. Rates also start at a reasonable $169 per night.
Notably, Ada is The Convent’s resident restaurant, which draws its own crowd. Run by head chef Kia Kanuta and sous-chef Patrick Markus, it serves a mix of Italian plates such as pasta and cannoli, and Māori and Pacific dishes like rēwena (fried bread) and ika mata – cured fish. Bookings are highly recommended as there’s only capacity for 50 in the narrow glass-ceilinged atrium.
The House Bar is a cosy lounge by day and where both hotel guests and Ada diners nestle for pre- or post-dinner drinks at night.