Need a mini break? New Zealand has an array of world-class five-star hotels ideal for a luxurious staycation.
Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland
Heritage city haven
A stylish staycation
Aucklanders may have missed this hidden gem, located on lower Queen St, nestled among luxury international retail stores such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. The heritage building that houses the Hotel Grand Windsor has been around since 1928, but its refurbishment in 2017 has brought the hotel firmly into the five-star category. The interior is a classical art-deco style and the effect is like stepping into a bygone era - ideal for a mini break in your own city. The holiday begins as soon as you enter the doors to the grand lobby with its glamorous chandelier, marble tiles, and brass and velvet finishes. The hotel's 79 rooms and suites are themed around extravagant jewellery collections, with jewel-toned furnishings paired with muted fabrics, beautiful bedding and refined design pieces. Each room has T2 tea sets and organic tea, and toiletries from Floris London, the perfumer to The Queen. Cookes Restaurant & Bar is open for all-day dining, or enjoy a signature high tea, which is steeped in rich history at this hotel: the building originally opened as a soda fountain and tea room in the 1930s.
58-60 Queen St, Auckland
Roof-top cocktails and thriving nightlife
SO/ Auckland is a luxurious central-city hotel bursting with colour and quirk. An international luxury lifestyle hotel brand, SO/ is renowned for partnering with fashion designers to bring each hotel to life. Kenzo put its stamp on the Mauritius hotel, Lacroix in Bangkok, Viktor & Rolf in Berlin and Karl Lagerfeld in Singapore. For the Auckland iteration, SO/ worked with WORLD's Benny Castles to create a bold aesthetic that riffs on Auckland's volcanic setting. The hotel's five unique themes are inspired by fire, mist, molten lava and more, so expect lots of red, orange and turquoise in the decor. The hotel has a range of luxury suites with added extras such as private balconies, dining and bar areas and glorious sea views, meaning you won't want to leave your room. While there are loads of dining options near the hotel, SO/ has a few of its own, including Harbour Society restaurant, the rooftop bar Hi-So, and lobby bar Mixo. As well as a heated pool and gym, the hotel has an incredible spa, SO/ SPA, offering facial, body and beauty treatments for a pampering staycation.
Cnr Customs St & Gore St, Auckland
The Hotel Britomart, Auckland
Sumptuous and soulful
Eco credentials and impeccable design
The Hotel Britomart is due to open on October 1, with 99 guest rooms and five suites offering contemporary and thoughtful accommodation in the bustling downtown precinct of Britomart. Designed by Cheshire Architects, the hotel has a distinctive brick exterior punctuated by an irregular pattern of windows that nods to the surrounding heritage buildings. Located on the corner facing Takutai Square, The Hotel Britomart is New Zealand's first 5 Green Star Hotel, and its creation sees the rejuvenation of a whole city block, with new restaurants and shops and historic buildings restored. Inside the hotel, the interior is personal, comfortable and tactile, offering quiet respite from the street. The five top-floor Landing Suites are described as "sumptuous lofts" inspired by luxury lodge The Landing in the Bay of Islands. The hotel welcomes two more restaurants to Britomart's concentrated offering of excellent eateries. Kingi, a new venture from the Orphans Kitchen team is a few steps from the lobby and nearby in Excelsior House, renowned chef Michael Meredith is set to open a new restaurant. Spoiled for choice.
29 Galway St, Britomart, Auckland
SkyCity Grand, Auckland
Modern and sophisticated
At the heart of it all
Dining and entertainment galore
SkyCity Grand's location on Federal St in the heart of Auckland City means it's the ideal location for a staycation filled with dining, shopping and entertainment. The hotel has sophisticated, modern rooms, award-winning East Day Spa, a gym, sauna and lap pool, meaning it's just as fun to soak in the hotel amenities as it is to explore the city. Opt for a harbour-view room, or treat yourself to a suite, which comes with a separate lounge area, in-room dining and the highest attention to detail. What sets SkyCity Grand apart is its position on one of Auckland's best dining strips. Federal St is concentrated with some of Auckland's best restaurants, from Depot, to Federal Delicatessen, Huami and Masu. There's more to choose from within the hotel itself. Italian restaurant Gusto is ideal for aperitivo hour in a cosy armchair or head to dinner at The Grill, a high-end steak house with some of the best mac n cheese in the city.
90 Federal St, Auckland central
Contemporary & comfortable
Rotorua city retreat
Business, pleasure or adventure
The opening of the Pullman hotel in Rotorua in January this year signalled the arrival of the first international five-star hotel in the Bay of Plenty region, an ideal escape for travellers looking to explore this exciting area in luxury confines. Located in the city centre and moments away from the lakefront, the Pullman is a 130-room hotel with both city and lake views. It offers five accommodation options including superior king rooms, superior twin rooms, deluxe rooms and executive suites. The 50sq m suites are located on the top floor with 180-degree views, a living room and luxurious freestanding tub. The style is contemporary and comfortable with spacious rooms for relaxation and respite. Dine at the hotel's modern brasserie Barrel & Co Bar and Grill, or hang out in the sophisticated executive lounge, in between adventure sports, of course.
1135 Arawa St, Rotorua
Bolton Hotel, Wellington
Independent and arty
Business district buzz
A weekend in Wellington
Rising 19 floors from the street of the same name, Bolton Hotel is a New Zealand owned and operated hotel centrally located in Wellington. The city's best shops, cafes and restaurants are on its doorstep, Parliament isn't far away and neither is the waterfront. The hotel has 139 stylish and comfortable rooms, from studios to one- and two-bedroom suites and most feature views of the Bolton Memorial Park or downtown Wellington. The suites are set up so you never have to leave with a separate dining and living area, laundry facilities and a fully equipped kitchen. When you do eventually leave, the in-house restaurant, Artisan is worth a visit, serving modern New Zealand cuisine in beautiful surroundings.
12 Bolton St, Wellington
The George, Christchurch
Parkside meets lakeside
There are too many awards and accolades bestowed upon luxury Christchurch hotel The George to list, but its eight-year run as New Zealand's Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards (2012-2019) is well worth a mention. Located next to Hagley Park and the Avon river, The George is a luxury boutique hotel renowned for offering a personalised stay and attentive staff. Its 53 comfortable rooms and suites across five levels are contemporary and elegant, with sumptuous finishings, tasteful decor and local art on the walls. The luxury Park Suites are the "jewel in The George's crown", with spacious, state-of-the-art contemporary interiors complete with modern entertainment systems. The hotel also offers the award-winning three-bedroom private villa The Residence overlooking the hotel gardens - popular with high-profile guests. Enjoy dinner at the hotel's restaurant 50 Bistro, or stroll to Christchurch's dining and cultural precinct, which is mere minutes away.
50 Park Terrace, Christchurch
Residences at The Rees, Queenstown
Private lakeside villas
Lapping the shoreline
Mountain views and new adventures
Right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and with its own private jetty and beach to boot, the Rees Hotel is a five-star hotel with 60 hotel rooms, 90 apartments and five lakeside private residences, designed to take full advantage of the spectacular views across the lake to the Remarkable Mountain range. The Rees Lakeside Residences are separate from the main hotel, which makes them feel like your own private home in a magical setting. The 164sq m villas are set over two floors, with three bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, plus outdoor terrace. The villas are light, bright and open with pared-back decor and floor-to-ceiling windows allowing the incredible setting to shine. A special feature of The Rees Residences is access to a "luxury travel curator" who's on hand to design your dream stay, making it easy to explore all that Queenstown has to offer.
377 Frankton Rd, Queenstown
Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown
Queenstown's grande dame
History and style
Lakeside in the heart of Queenstown is a majestic hotel with a long history dating back to 1859. Originally a wool shed, the gold rush saw its transformation into a hotel and bar, which continued to flourish as the town took shape around it. Today Eichardt's is a significant local landmark, listed as a Category 2 historic place by the Historic Places Trust. A Queenstown icon, Eichardt's offers a small selection of accommodation, with seven luxurious Lake View Suites, four Lakefront Apartments, The Residence and The Penthouse, all positioned on the picturesque lakefront. The hotel sets its own standard for luxury accommodation, with stunning interiors designed by New Zealand's Virginia Fisher. The rooms offer every amenity you would expect in a world-class hotel as well as majestic vistas of Lake Wakatipu. Dine at The Grille by Eichardt's restaurant, and be sure to spend time at Eichardt's bar, where you can sink into comfortable sofas next to a roaring fireplace and soak in the ambience of this luxury hotel.
Marine Parade, Queenstown
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