Art-led hotels offer a stylish stay in New Zealand

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LOOKING for a stylish place to stay when in New Zealand? Not to worry, since the country boasts of several art and design-led hotels, including a luxury lodge in the southern Alps and a stylish Auckland city hotel by a Kiwi fashion designer.

Opening its doors last November, The Lindis is a luxury lodge described as a “architectural tour-de-force featuring a roofline that follows the natural undulations of its South Island high country resting place.” Guests can also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and stargazing while in the Ahuriri Valley, located in central South Island near Omarama.

QT Wellington Hotel, once owned by art collector and entrepreneur Chris Parkin, has been included in Yahoo’s list of the “Best Hotels in the World with Magnificent Artwork.” The hotel recently opened Gallery 4, which features 25 suites on level 4. Throughout the hotel, original artworks from local and international artists can be found, including a life-size bull made from corned beef cans by New Zealand artist Michel Tuffery.

In Auckland, there are several artsy hotels you can choose from.

The So/Auckland is a five-star, 130-room hotel designed by Kiwi fashion designer World. The hotel takes inspiration from the city’s volcanic origins and the heritage building’s former life housing gold reserves. It claims to offer “a hypnotic experience where the outside world is left behind.”

Auckland is also home to the Hotel Grand Windsor, a 10-storey heritage-listed building that was once the city’s first skyscraper. Inspired by the art deco style, the Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery by Sofitel opened in 2016 with 79 elegantly designed rooms and suites. It has been named the Best New Hotel (in the world) and won the titles of Australasia’s Most Inspired Hotel Design, and Best New Hotel in Australasia at the 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards in London.




The Lodge at Kinloch, located on a 254-hectare golf course on the shores of Lake Taupo, is described as a “white modernist building complete with turrets that is intended as a modern interpretation of a Victorian-era castle.” The building was designed by award-winning New Zealand architect Andrew Patterson, while the lodge interiors were done by interior designer Virginia Fisher.

In Queenstown, the historic Hulbert House offers suites with canopy beds, chandelier and antique writing desks. The 130-year old Victorian villa was restored by interior designer Neil McLachlan and is protected by the Historic Places Trust.

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel is touted as the “jewel” of Napier, known as the art deco capital of the world. The waterfront hotel is built of reinforced concrete and emblazoned with the word MASONIC in red leadlight above the entrance.

For those looking to stay close to nature, head to Annandale — a working farm on the edge of the Pacific Ocean near Christchurch. Owner Mark Palmer tapped architect Andrew Patterson to restore the property’s original buildings — an 1884 homestead and an original shepherd’s cottage — and create two additional new luxury retreats.

Annandale’s Seascape is an ultra-modern concrete and glass hideaway, while the award-winning four-bedroom Scrubby Bay House was designed as “a piece of slowly ageing farm driftwood around which stock can graze.”

The King & Queen luxury hotel in New Plymouth shows off its cutting-edge design with an exterior that features a distinctive vertical louvre screen. Inside, the rooms, suites and apartments have art from both local and international artists.