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TRAVEL & LEISURE

QT Auckland's New Art-Led Hotel Brings Quirky Luxury to the Waterfront

The oyster-themed property comes with seafood print carpets, suspended art installations and a new restaurant from Sean Connolly.
By Stephen Heard
November 19, 2020
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QT Auckland's New Art-Led Hotel Brings Quirky Luxury to the Waterfront

The oyster-themed property comes with seafood print carpets, suspended art installations and a new restaurant from Sean Connolly.
By Stephen Heard
November 19, 2020
  shares

The flagship Auckland property for QT Hotels & Resorts is now open for business. The property found on the edge of the waterfront is the tenth location for the boutique hotel group and the third in New Zealand.

The brand is particularly known for its flashy interior design. Where QT Wellington houses the largest privately-owned collection of art in New Zealand, the Auckland outpost draws inspiration from the oyster and the oyster trawler to present "quirky luxury," across its 150 rooms, public spaces, restaurant and rooftop bar.

Playing on the different textures of the briny bivalve, designer Nic Graham completes the oyster narrative by throwing concrete wallpaper and blood-red paint with plush sofas, seafood print carpets and blown-glass lamps. Art installations are abundant, including a suspended piece tipping its hat to Auckland's fishing industry, a hanging sculpture by New South Wales artist Minka Gillian and works from locals Ilya Volykhine, Louise McRrae and Max Patté throughout public spaces. 

The top-floor Premier Suite sounds ideal for a luxurious staycation in the city, offering a private balcony and views across the harbour. Inside, guests are treated to a rainfall shower and super king bed. Further rooms up for booking at the new property include the deluxe twin-share with city views and Viaduct-facing balcony suites.

QT Auckland also features a new dining concept from celebrated chef Sean Connolly. After taking his name off the bill at SkyCity's The Grill and Gusto at the Grand last year, the chef joined rival hotel chain to offer a taste of the Mediterranean.

Esther is inspired by the flavours and spices of Sicily, southern France and Morocco. The European-style bistro has room for 98 diners across breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the indoor bar can seat 21 and the al fresco dining option can accommodate for 16 guests.

Connolly has been working with QT chef James Laird to bring Esther's menu to life. From an open hearth and gold discoball wood-fired oven comes a selection of snacks, small plates and communal sharing options. Dishes range from lamb tomahawk chops with mechoui labneh to saffron linguine, seafood escabeche, rabbit agnolotti and baked saganaki cheese.

A table-side trolley service adds some theatre to the experience, while guests also walk away with a seed packet from Clevedon tomato growers, Curious Croppers.

Upstairs, Esther's Mediterranean tapas menu also makes an appearance at the hotel's rooftop bar — from flatbread pizzas to lamb souvlaki, croquetas, falafel and borek.

Rooftop at QT is perched on the sixth floor of the property, with bar manager Roberto Giampaolo leading the cocktail menu packed with summery concoctions like watermelon frosé and nitro espresso martinis. The 200-capacity space features lounge-style seating, tables for two and open areas to unwind with friends.

QT Auckland is now open at 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland. For more information and to make a booking, visit qthotels.com/auckland.

Published on November 19, 2020 by Stephen Heard

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