Along the way, I flew on some of the world’s best airlines and shared my thoughts on the ground and in the air. The cash cost for the airfare alone would have been well more than $17,000. Using miles and points, however, I knocked the cost down to around $500. Learn how to travel like I do with PointsAway: The Definitive Guide To Free Flights & Nights.
For my stay in Auckland, I turned to neither miles nor points, but rather an old-fashioned bargain. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the city without spending a bundle, I highly recommend checking out Jucy Hotel.
A local brand, Jucy offers not just rooms but also rental cars, tours and even ferry rides. Jucy is actually more hostel than hotel; they offer a wide array of shared accommodations for truly bargain rates, but they also offer a number of rooms with their own ensuite bathroom facilities. I booked one of these for a mere $58 per night, including taxes and fees.
Jucy Hotel is very well-located, no more than a 10 minute walk from the waterfront and Auckland’s main shopping and nightlife options and just across from a beautiful park.
It’s maybe two minutes’ walk from a Europcar rental location and offers parking on a nightly basis, making it a great choice if you’d like to rent a car for a day trip even if you can’t make it back before Europcar is closed or don’t want to drop it off after hours.
A number of good restaurants are in close proximity, as well. Grab breakfast at Debretts Kitchen, located on the second floor of the nearby Hotel Debrett, or choose your own steak for the chef to cook at Angus Steakhouse just down the street.
My room at Jucy was spartan but comfortable. One reason the cost is so low is that rooms are only serviced every four days. Towels are provided, the shower area is spacious and the water more than hot enough; just act like you’re at home and hang those towels back up instead of dropping them on the floor.
The queen-sized bed was comfortable if not heavenly and four large, fluffy pillows were on hand.
Rather than direct climate control, the room has a small heater that can be activated with the twist of a switch. Despite its size, it’s capable of heating the room up comfortably even when it’s plenty chilly outside.
A new widescreen TV receives HD service for a couple dozen channels and a small work area offers a good place to do a bit of work or charge your gadgets. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi is only offered on a pay basis and doesn’t come for free, but signal is strong for those willing to pay at the front desk.
Jucy’s apparently bringing its brand of budget fun to other major cities worldwide, too, at least in the form of RV rentals initially. I’ll be interested to see if they’re successful or if there’s something about Auckland in particular that lends itself to their model. Jucy seems like a great choice for stays of just a few days like mine, but might be an even better choice for extended stays given its low price.
Given I stayed there for three nights for nearly the same cost of one night at what should admittedly be a far nicer hotel in Hong Kong, I’d easily stay at a property like Jucy for every stop of the trip for the money. Less than $60 per night in a major city usually means a bad location, questionable quality or both. Jucy offers a comfortable, if spartan, stay in a prime location, making it a tremendous value for those traveling on a budget.