Ibis Budget Auckland Airport Hotel: how to spend 48 hours in South Auckland with the family
The Ibis Budget Auckland Airport hotel is ideally located for adventure seekers and families. The hotel, a stone’s throw from Auckland International Airport, offers affordable rooms.
I spent two nights at the hotel, with two children under the age of eight, on a weekend filled with great activities.
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The Ibis is located meters from Auckland International Airport and 20 minutes from the city. Its location is perfect for those who want to avoid Auckland’s terrible traffic.
But if you are late, the hotel has a 24-hour front desk and great staff to help you check-in stress-free: a win-win situation.
There is free parking and a bright and colorful child-friendly common area near the reception.
Guests will appreciate the brand’s comfortable and affordable accommodation offering, as well as its signature sleep experience, Sweet Bed by ibis budget.
To provide travelers with peace of mind, the hotel chain offers flexible reservation cancellations and improved standards of hygiene and cleanliness.
We stayed on the fifth floor, in one of the family rooms which had a double bed and two single bunk beds for the kids.
The room was small but clean and had all the essentials for a short stay.
We had a window that afforded a great view of the airport runway, and my kids enjoyed watching the planes land and take off. It was a fun activity in itself, not to mention the other places we visited on our weekend.
I personally appreciated the extra bath towels we were given as if you are like me (with kids to watch out for) this is one less thing to worry about if you ever need more.
There was a small TV in the corner of the room, a mini fridge with a limited amount of milk, and tea and coffee making facilities.
The wi-fi in the room was a gift from God, and the kids were on their iPads with nothing to watch on the free channels.
For a compact room, I was surprised at the size of the bathroom, which had a very spacious shower that the kids appreciated.
Szimpla Gastro Bar was a mouthwatering experience.
The restaurant, which opened in 2011 and is right next to the hotel, is probably the only decent one near Auckland Airport, and the one I just discovered.
My office is right next to the Ibis, so imagine my surprise when we were driven to Szimpla for dinner after checking in – where has this gem been all my life?
They are open from 6.30am to 9pm everyday and have the most wonderful staff like Vishal, Vicki, Rinal and Ma’afu who looked after us during our stay.
My kids loved the Belgian waffles and their scrambled eggs on toast got two thumbs up.
I can’t fault their coffee or their Eggs Benedict, sharing platters, or the pork belly, even the Cosmopolitan cocktail I sneaked into before bed on Saturday.
The restaurant comes alive at night with hotel guests and airport staff, and the vibe is lively – especially with weekend jogging on their TVs.
Fun family activities at your doorstep
The activity possibilities are endless for a weekend with the kids.
We started our activities on Saturday at Treasure Island Adventure Golf, and it was a lot of fun with two 18 hole courses to enjoy, a pirate ship, a haunted cave, a skull and a waterfall.
We recommend the captain’s course which takes you on the pirate ship. Don’t be surprised to hear the cannon go off the first time and have fun with the kids trying to guess the next time.
They got to enjoy an ice cream afterwards, and we got straight into our car on our way to Rainbow’s End for a fun afternoon.
A word of advice: don’t forget comfortable shoes, hats, sunscreen, water bottles and don’t expect to be home early.
Rainbow’s End is always crowded, so expect queues at almost every exit. Believe me, the wait is worth it, even the kids played well because they knew what to expect in the end.
Most of the rides are height limited, but of all the ones we could go on: Gold Rush, Log Flume and dodgems were our favorites.
Kidz Kingdom was obviously our base (for those with kids under eight), and the kids loved the Surf N Swing and the Choco Express.
At the end of the day we were all exhausted (which was great because the young people were sleeping early, always a bonus for all parents).
On Sunday, after breakfast in Szimpla and the departure of the Ibis, we spent the whole day at the Auckland Zoo.
The zoo is home to 135 species and over 1,400 animals. We took our time here and made sure to visit every precinct.
Our favorites … well we couldn’t agree on one (because they’re all amazing), but the gorgeous elephants were definitely a highlight.
Ibis Budget Auckland Airport: all.accor.com
Szimpla Gastro Bar: szimpla.co.nz
Adventure golf on Treasure Island: adventuregolf.co.nz
Rainbow’s End: rainbowsend.co.nz
Auckland Zoo: aucklandzoo.co.nz
The writer and his children remained as guests of the Ibis Auckland Airport.