If you ask me, Auckland's a lame-ass town, but if you have to stay there, even for one night, I'd go with the Bamber House. Nestled in the charming Mt. Eden neighborhood about 10 min. outside the city, Bamber House is away from the hustle, bustle and annoyances of Auckland. Instead, you can climb up nearby Mt. Eden and appreciate the Auckland skyline from afar. Also, it's a bit closer to the airport, which makes it quicker for those using Auckland simply as a transit point.
The place itself is now actually two houses. The charming, clean original house after which it's named, as well as the super-modern adjacent house next door that they recently bought.
My first night was spent in the new house, and it's niiiiice. It' just like spending the night at your aunt & uncle's new house, with nice, comfy bedrooms, a super-modern, fully-equipped kitchen, and soft carpeting and couches. It's.. well.. a house!
The older house, where I spent my second night, has more charm with hardwood floors, big sliding doors, various communal rooms, and direct access to the deck barbecue and swimming pool. The kitchen is big enough, and while not quite as modern as the new house's, is good enough to whip up pretty much any meal. This, along with the dining room, serve as Bamber's social hub, as does the TV room with it's super comfy couches and cable TV.
Overall, the BH is very quiet. It is NOT a place to party, but there are local bars and pubs only a short walk away. It's actually a very peaceful and comfortable place to relax, whether you're at the beginning or end of your travels. I found it extremely comfortable and relaxing as a waypoint between my crazy time in Australia and my crazy time in New Zealand's South Island.
Recommendation: Definitely not a party spot, but most certainly one of the nicest, cleanest spaces I've ever stayed in the world over.