Room review: A night at QT Auckland with a dog

Milo spends a night at QT Auckland.

TRUPTI BIRADAR/Stuff

Milo spends a night at QT Auckland.

Milo, my mini schnauzer is a spoiled pup at the best of times. He dictates my bedtime, he sleeps on my bed, and he’s a picky eater. So what better way to teach him his place than to check in at QT Auckland for a doggie break!

I was apprehensive on arrival, I had read the T&Cs for QT’s Puppy Yeah! offers and it clearly states “If the owner is unable to control his dog’s voice, he will be asked to leave the hotel.”

I’ve spent a lot of time and energy (and money!) training Milo, but he’s not yet two years old and he’s very… uh… excitable. Walking into QT Auckland on a Saturday afternoon, I knew it would take more than the handful of goodies in my pocket to get me through the check-in process. It was 3 p.m. and there was already a queue in the lobby, and already a lot of customers at the bar and at Esther, the house restaurant.

The staff are clearly animal lovers and tried to hug Milo as he howled. I put treats in his mouth as the staff told me about one dog a week checked in to stay at the hotel.

READ MORE:
* Five of the best dog-friendly destinations for summer
* Room review: QT Auckland combines a vintage quirkiness with a modern twist
* Having a puppy, going to travel: How to take your dog on vacation with you

QT Auckland gets this dog's endorsement.

TRUPTI BIRADAR/Stuff

QT Auckland gets this dog’s endorsement.

The place

The QT Auckland is located in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbor with easy access to the city’s waterfront bars and restaurants. The ambience is best described as luxurious and quirky.

The ground floor features chef Sean Connolly’s Esther lobby and restaurant, as well as a digital art exhibit and original glass sculptures designed by Nic Graham. There’s a rooftop bar on the 6th floor that’s always a hit for sunset cocktails, especially in the summer.

The QT team left treats for Milo and a note.

TRUPTI BIRADAR/Stuff

The QT team left treats for Milo and a note.

Bedroom

The hotel has a handful of rooms that can be dog-friendly depending on availability. We are in a QT King room. There is a comfy king size bed, table and chairs and in addition to the usual amenities you would expect for humans there is also a potty mat, water and food bowls, a comfy bed for dog from Wellington-based company Smack Bang and a really cute mini dog bar containing treats, a bottle of water, an ID tag and a welcome note from the hotel’s “Director of Chaos”. Milo was impressed, especially with the range of treats on offer.

Like all rooms in the hotel, you will also have access to Netflix, Nespresso, a bluetooth speaker and a Dyson hair dryer. There are ALICE products in the bathrooms.

The in room dining menu for the dogs was enough to make a human want to stay.

TRUPTI BIRADAR/Stuff

The in room dining menu for the dogs was enough to make a human want to stay.

In the room, having dinner

The doggie menu suits a spoiled pup, with dishes ranging from steak tartare and bone marrow risotto with crispy pork ears to rump steak with kidney and bone broth sauce. Milo has a delicate constitution, so we chose the steamed chicken, roasted vegetables and gravy. Judging by how quickly he inhaled it, I think it was a hit.

I ordered the pasta with braised pork in milk and chicken bolognese – highly recommended as well. You can’t leave the puppy alone in the room, so the food was brought to us.

But if you can, book a table at Esther to sample Mediterranean dishes inspired by Connolly’s travels – it’s worth the trip to the hotel for that alone.

Bellies full, Milo and I wandered into nearby Victoria Park for a stroll and a bathroom break before bedtime.

The chicken and vegetables with sauce was a big hit.

TRUPTI BIRADAR / Stuff

The chicken and vegetables with sauce was a big hit.

low light

If you’re not in the mood to party, the sound coming from the rooftop bar can be slightly disruptive. However, it stops around midnight.

The climax

The cute little touches in the room for your fur baby are thoughtful and the staff are true animal lovers. If leaving your dog at home while you go on vacation doesn’t sound right to you, rest assured that your dog will be well taken care of at any QT property.

Essential

Puppy Yeah! rooms start from $550 a night. Only dogs under 20kg are allowed, and you will need to ensure they are clean and well behaved. See qthotels.com for more information.

Accessibility

QT King (Accessible) rooms are designed in space with room to move and an accessible bathroom.

Events

Try the $40 lunch menu and $55 dinner menu at Esther during Restaurant Month (August 1-31).

Esther will also be offering a special Negroni menu with cocktail creations from select QT Hotels in Australia and New Zealand from September 12-18.

By this point, Milo had had enough of the photoshoot.

TRUPTI BIRADAR / Stuff

By this point, Milo had had enough of the photoshoot.

The writer and his dog stayed on as guests of QT Auckland.

Dora W. Clawson