Review: LyLo budget lifestyle hotel delightfully fills a gap in Auckland's accommodation market

LyLo is a new budget lifestyle hotel that delightfully fills a gap in Auckland's accommodation market.
Photo credit: supplied / Newshub.

A few days ago a new hotel opened in Auckland's CBD marketing itself as "a new way to stay". As it turns out, it delivers on that promise.

LyLo is a budget lifestyle hotel that features private rooms like those in a standard budget hotel, cheaper rooms with shared facilities, and even cheaper still, sleeping pod rooms.

These are a bit like the capsule hotels that are popular in Japan, or very much like the Jucy Snooze sleeping pod accommodation options in Queenstown and Christchurch.

A queen ensuite room at LyLo Auckland.
A queen ensuite room at LyLo Auckland. Photo credit: supplied

In addition to the options for being able to sleep there, LyLo features a communal kitchen facility and quirky hangout places onsite, as well as a large bar that serves a good selection of hot food options.

The whole package delightfully fills a gap in Auckland's accommodation market that will work brilliantly for some, so long as they know what to expect.

Recently I stayed at LyLo for a night in a queen ensuite room, which was very basic but surprisingly comfortable.

It has a really great bed, loads of storage space including a coat-hanger, a decent Samsung TV with easy streaming options, a toilet and shower with one non-removable showerhead (no bath), and a basin / vanity unit which was outside of the bathroom.

There's no desks in the rooms, but there are plenty of tables elsewhere in the building should you need to do some work on your laptop. Speaking of which, all of the accommodation options come with unlimited Wi-Fi and easy ways to recharge several devices at once. The sleeping pods each come with two electrical plugs as well as a USB-C and USB-A charger, and the pricier room options have more on top of that.

Those might be considered standard features in a modern hotel, but keep in mind this is a budget hotel - and on the lower-end of budget in terms of price as well.

Exactly how budget? Here's the standard rates at LyLo Auckland upon opening: 

  • Single pods from $55 per night
  • Double room with shared facilities from $109 per night
  • Queen ensuite room from $159 per night.

At the time of writing, the LyLo website is offering a 20 percent 'flash' sale on some options and these standard rates are expected to rise during peak times.

A pod room at LyLo Auckland.
A pod room at LyLo Auckland. Photo credit: supplied

The low prices are carried across mostly to the bar Miss Lucy's, too. Mostly.

There's a bunch of beers including one on tap for $10 per glass, a few on tap cocktails including espresso martinis, and a selection of wines and spirits.

With all the food and drinks on offer, the idea is that nothing costs over $20 and nothing will take more than five minutes to prepare.

There's a range of classic pub food with a bit of a Kiwi twist - think burgers, pizza, chicken waffles and the like - but the star of the show is the pies.

Food and drink offered at Miss Lucy's.
Food and drink offered at Miss Lucy's. Photo credit: supplied

Now $11.50 is a bit of a hefty cost for a pie, but the ones on offer at Miss Lucy's are far, far greater than your average petrol station or dairy offering. Creates at The Pie Shop in Kumeu they're superb and worth every penny, especially if you get them as a combo with chips, gravy and mushy peas for $15.

With the vibrant design choices and stylish flourishes carried through Miss Lucy's and in the many hangout areas of the hotel, through to some of the rooms and the lobby, there's a real sense of character in Lylo.

The people behind it all have clearly put thought into what would appeal for the type of traveller they're going for, and I can imagine a lot of good times are going to be had here.

So what's not to like? After spending a night, I'd say so long as your expectations are realistic, there isn't much to complain about.

Any sort of communal facilities and sleeping arrangements come with certain inconveniences and concerns. There are female-only pod rooms which should help with safety and security for many guests, but all the pod rooms will require guests to be respectful of each other in order for everyone's stay to be enjoyable.

LyLo Auckland The Hub.
The self check-in area of LyLo Auckland it calls 'The Hub'. Photo credit: supplied

There are lockable storage areas for any valuable items, but you can't lock yourself into your pod - which is a good and a bad thing I guess - and any food you leave in the communal kitchen you're of course taking your chances with.

As someone who has stayed at plenty of camping grounds and DOC huts up and down Aotearoa, those sorts of risks I'm very familiar with and think most people staying at Lylo would be too. But if you've only ever stayed at more expensive hotels, do make sure you know what the differences are before booking yourself in here.

Really though, for $55 per night or even less, these pods are a good deal. On nights of really heavy traffic in town when Uber surge pricing could mean a $100 ride out to home in one of the suburbs, checking into one of the capsules will be a very attractive option - especially with one of those tasty pies to gorge on before nodding off.

Daniel Rutledge received a complimentary night at LyLo and dinner at Miss Lucy's for this review.