Looking for somewhere spesh to host this year's Christmas party? We got you. From a 'wine library' to a winery proper, a mezzanine bar to an underground den and everything in between, there's somewhere to suit all manner of festivities and indeed, frivolities. So grab your Santa hat, your appetite (be it for food or to simply get lit) and of course, your fellow guests—because it's time to party.
Without further ado, here are the best venues to have an epic Christmas party In Auckland in 2022.
Take your Christmas party underground with a shindig at the always-cool Bar Magda. Nestled into Cross Street, this hidden bar and bistro—famous for its Filipino-inspired cuisine—is taking bookings for its boujee 30-person private dining area complete with high roofs, floor-to-ceiling windows, and velvet curtains. And the festivities don't stop there—they're also dishing up a two-course Chrissy menu (with wine!) for groups of four or more, Monday through Thursday.
Make merry, Mediterranean-style with a shared meal at Ponsonby hotspot, Daphnes Taverna. They can section off a private dining area especially for your Christmas party, where you'll break bread and sink lemon gelato-spiked cocktails around a large wooden dining table designed for 12-14 people, with views of Ponsonby Road. How very festive.
The Hotel Britomart
When it comes to Christmas party venues, The Hotel Britomart is the gift that just keeps on giving. First up is The Libraries, a series of elegant, intimate spaces that are specifically designed for hosting private functions. These are not open to the public per se but can be hired individually or as a combo depending on your needs and in our opinion, that just makes them all the more spesh. We're rather partial to The Wine Library (a loft-like spot featuring walls stacked with vino—it doesn't get more festive than that!), though if that doesn't quite float your Chrissy boat, there are three other areas to choose from and all have the option of catering, provided by some of the city's finest chefs. Alternatively, make merry in The Courtyard, a gorgeous spot located within the hotel's ground floor restaurant, kingi, which boasts a memorable 600-piece 'fish-scale' chandelier and is capable of hosting 30-plus guests.
If you’re head over heels for Cotto’s delightfully moreish menu (you are) then you’ll be stoked to know they have not one, but two, private dining rooms perfect for your Christmas party (or any party, for that matter). The smaller dining room seats 16-28 guests and overlooks Karangahape Road while the larger of the two can accommodate up to 52 guests. Both rooms revel in a stripped-back, industrial aesthetic we absolutely adore and include a banquet-style Cotto feast. Dreamy.
And for an escape of the inner-city kind, may we suggest reserving the gorge garden terrace over at Josh Emett's latest baby, Onslow. It may be located in the heart of the CBD, but the lush greenery creates a sort of calming oasis that is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and let loose this Chrissy. It goes without saying that the food and bev will be top-notch (you did hear us say Josh Emett?).
We trust you've already met Mr Morris (the latest venture from acclaimed chef, Michael Meredith), but have you met Mrs Morris? This private dining space, located inside one of the city's best restaurants, is one of the most sophisticated of its kind in Auckland and as such, makes for a pretty special Christmas party venue. Gather up to 20 guests for seated dining or up to 30 for canapes and drinks, which will be prepared for you by a dedicated chef in the space's very own open kitchen.
Cassia is forever in our good books and this year it also features on our Nice List of Christmas party venues (if Santa can have a Nice List, so can we). Award-winning Indian cuisine and luxurious cocktails aside, this swanky subterranean spot off Fort Lane is home to not one but two dining spaces suitable for your festive soiree—the 14-seater, semi-private Holi Room, named for the famous Indian spring festival—and a second, fully private dining room with almost double that capacity.
ACS/The Broken Lantern
For a Christmas party that will be talked about for years to come, check out the newly-opened ACS—a plush, secret den dressed in velvet, gold-leaf and graffiti—which even comes with its own pool room and movie theatre—located above Ponsonby fave, The Broken Lantern (and is, in fact, run by the same crew). This incredible space can be used for your event, which in true Broken Lantern style, promises to include some of the best cocktails known to man. P.S. You can also hire out The Broken Lantern's charming courtyard, pictured above.
The Sugar Club
Wanna take your Christmas party up a level? How about 53 levels? 'Cos that's how high you and your guests will be above terra firma with a private function at The Sugar Club, located up the one-and-only Sky Tower. You won't miss out on the frivolity of the main restaurant entirely (and certainly not the breathtaking views) due to the fact this one is only partially partitioned, but you will be treated to a game-changing menu of seasonal cuisine and killer cocktails. Suitable for groups of up to 12 people.
With elevated water views and an unrivalled French menu, Origine is without a doubt one of Auckland's most impressive restaurants. And this stunning spot could also be home to your Christmas party this year, thanks to its swish mezzanine cocktail bar, Le Bar, which is available to use for private events. Found by ascending a jaw-dropping glass-brick staircase from the main dining room, this chic spot dishes up Parisian charm by the bucketload with French-inspired cocktails and snacks.
Azabu Mission Bay
How does escaping to the seaside for this year's Christmas party sound? Perfect is the word we think you're looking for, and we know how to make it happen. Or rather, Azabu Mission Bay does, with not one but two spaces for you to choose from. Go fully private with a soiree inside their historic Stonehouse, which adjoins the main restaurant and can host up to 40 people for a seated meal or 70 for cocktails, or opt for something a little less exclusive—but no less special—with a shindig inside their fairy-lit courtyard overlooking the beach, capable of hosting up to 150 people (cocktails only).
For the boujeest Christmas party in town, you can't go past Barcita—the uber-cool bar located at the rear of K' Road darling, Candela. It's definitely a case of business in the front and party in the back, with this spot dishing up the same impeccable standard of Spanish-style fare as the main eatery via its own bar and tapas menu, along with a balcony boasting views of the Sky Tower—which can be booked for private functions of up to 60 guests.
Esther's crowd-pleasing menu and warm, welcoming atmosphere make it the perfect spot for all manner of events—and yes, that includes your Christmas party. Enjoy exquisite Mediterranean eats and drinks tailored by top chef Sean Connolly with anywhere from 17-60 peeps inside one of the eatery's private Limáni dining rooms, each boasting dreamy high ceilings and plenty of natural light.
For a Christmas party in actual paradise, head across the water to Waiheke Island's Tantalus Estate. Set amongst rolling hills and endless greenery, this breathtaking winery has a dedicated private dining room for up to 22 people to enjoy a seated meal or up to 30 people for cocktails. Alternatively, enquire about their secret downstairs space, a sort of speakeasy that affords a peek into their Alibi Brewer's Lounge.
If you're after somewhere swanky for this year's Christmas do, look no further than the private dining room at Paris Butter. Oozing all the elegance and charm of the main restaurant, only with its own built-in cellar, this spot can seat up to 16 people—all of whom will leave with a (Santa) bellyful of French-inspired delights thoughtfully curated by chef Nick Honeyman and the team, washed down with seasonal house cocktails and plenty of vino. Merry Christmas, indeed.
Who knew that Viaduct fave, Saint Alice, had a little sister? Little Alice is her name and she's a private dining space located within the popular rooftop eatery, suitable for hosting anywhere from 20-60 guests. You'll enjoy the same epic harbour views, booze and food as the main restaurant, only with a li'l extra privacy to make merry.
Festive celebrations take on an oriental edge at MASU, where their semi-private dining space—The Obi Room—comes kitted out with vintage kimonos, a five-and-a-half-metre sugar wood table and a large, calligraphy-style artwork of a dragon. Separated from the main dining area by a unique bubble glass wall, this cosy spot is perfect for Christmas parties of up to 18 people and did we mention, it's located inside one of Auckland's best Japanese restaurants.
No one knows how to party quite like the Mexicans, so that said, a festive celebration at Mexico's flagship restaurant in the heart of Britomart definitely won't disappoint. Their upstairs dining space is yours to hire, bringing with it margaritas, a spicy set menu, cerveza, vibrant décor, sangria, and all the other makings of a festive er, fiesta for groups of 10 or more. Cue the Christmas mayhem.
Café Hanoi/Ghost Street
A Chrissy party with food and bev from two of Britomart's hottest restaurants? Tell me more, we hear you say! We're talking of course about The Parlour, a private spot capable of hosting up to 44 people seated (or 50 standing) that's located upstairs from the award-winning Café Hanoi. Relaxed and casual yet moody and intimate, this venue is a total vibe and offers food from both the Cafe (think fresh modern Vietnamese) and its sister restaurant, Ghost Street (rustic Chinese), along with plenty of wine, ale, and exotic cocktails to keep things festive.
Beau is always a vibe, so you can't go wrong by booking a Christmas party inside their private dining room, which is located upstairs from the main eatery and accessed via a teeny tiny staircase. This charming, light-filled space looks out onto Ponsonby Road and further to that, offers some seriously good grub and—being a wine bar—vino, sure to get you and your guests into the holiday spirit.
Get To The Chopper
Leave the usual office drinks behind and wow the team with impressive spots to wine and dine, experiencing some incredible views along the way. Heletranz offers unique helicopter tours around the north island, that are sure to beat that office soiree. Enjoy Art by Air with a Scenic Flight over Gibbs Farm and Sculptureum or experience Heli-Fishing with a scenic flight to New Zealand’s best fishing spots of the North-East Coastline and Great Barrier, or Heli-Golf over Auckland’s Gulf Harbour. There's plenty of fun to be had—so be sure to vamp up your office antics this Christmas.
Take A Whale And Dolphin Safari
If you're after something a little different to impress your work pals, how about a spot of whale and dolphin watching? Explore the natural beauty of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park on a 65-foot marine vessel and become one with the wildlife during an epic 4.5-hour safari. They even have a sustainable cruise option. An incredible eco safari direct from downtown Auckland—all this beauty at your doorstep—how could you say no to that?
Throw Yourself Over The Edge
Parakai, West Auckland
Take your Christmas party to new heights with Skydive Auckland. Take the plunge and chase your next adrenaline fix with a 20,000ft skydive—it's certainly a good way to impress your workmates. Book a group of 10 people and one lucky person will jump for free. Who knew Nigel from accounts was such a daredevil?
Take To The Water
Looking to change up the same old Christmas shindig? Why not think outside the box and impress your workmates with your skills on the water with an epic jet ski tour? Offering a range of guides including Sea Auckland's popular 'Harbour' tour, which gives you and the crew the chance to explore and enjoy the spectacular views of Chelsea Sugar Works and more throughout the upper harbour region. This tour is perfect for first-time riders with a limited time of 1.5 hours to get around. Who knew Darren from accounts was such a daredevil?
For stocking-filler ideas, check out this epic list of 30 Christmas gifts under $50.
Image credit: Nicole Michalou, The Hotel Britomart, Onslow, The Broken Lantern, Le Bar at Origine by Kathryn Steane, Esther, Saint Alice, The Parlour, Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari.