Now Open: Te Arikinui Pullman Hotel Is the First Five-Star Hotel in Auckland Airport's Precinct

The hotel is a homage to Tainui waka iwi, with stunning Māori designs featured from the exterior of the building to the furniture in the rooms.
Emma Clark-Dow
February 15, 2024

Who said that an airport hotel couldn't be luxurious? Te Arikinui Pullman Airport Hotel has officially opened for business, establishing itself as the first-ever five-star hotel in Auckland's airport precinct. Aided by architects Warren and Mahoney, the hotel has worked hard to represent the iwi of Tainui waka, who first arrived in the area in 1350. This can be seen throughout different aspects of the building, including Te Arikinui, the name of the hotel. This moniker was gifted to the building by Māori king Kiingi Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero VII, and translates to "supreme paramount chief".

Te Arikinui Pullman has 311 guest rooms, two dining facilities — one being more of a takeaway cafe and the other a restaurant — and a gym for those looking to squeeze in a workout before a long flight. While the Te Arikinui may have all the bells and whistles of a typical hotel, the feature that sets it apart is the incorporation of Māori-inspired designs, carefully created by Renata Te Wiata, the Carving Manager of Waikato Tainui.

Throughout the Te Arikinui Pullman, guests will see nods to Kiingitanga — the name used to describe iwi that recognise the Māori king — as well as tall tales of taniwha, a key aspect of storytelling in Māoridom. Five taniwha can be seen snaking along the hotel's windows, signifying the taniwha that guide the Tainui waka iwi to Aotearoa, continuing their role as protectors into modern day.

The hotel's main restaurant Te Kaahu is fronted up by Head Chef Nancye Pirini and offers guests a contemporary twist on New Zealand cuisine. The restaurant's team source high quality ingredients from local producers, with the menu offering a wide range of steak and seafood, as well as an elevated version of a good old boil up.

Accor Pacific's Chief Operating Officer Adrian Williams said the hotel's books were filling up fast. "We are already seeing strong interest and demand for Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel," Williams said.

"It is incredibly exciting to welcome this architectural landmark to our hotel portfolio. This hotel is a first in its class example of indigenous cultural design."

Find Te Arikinui Pullman Airport Hotel at 37 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport. Bookings can be made on the hotel's website.

Published on February 15, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
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