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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Five New Boutique Hotels to Inspire Your Next Weekend Getaway

Book into Auckland's striking brick-clad hotel, Dunedin's new five-star boutique or an eye-catching Queenstown property with a complimentary drinks hour.
By Stephen Heard
June 16, 2021
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By Stephen Heard
June 16, 2021
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The thick of a global pandemic seems like an unlikely time to open a brand new hotel, but the past few months has seen a surprising number of boutique properties pop-up across the country. If you're looking for some inspiration for your next weekend getaway, how about booking a room at Auckland's striking new brick-clad hotel? Dunedin also has its own new five-star boutique worthy of a visit, and there's an attractive new design-led property in Wellington, too.

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NAUMI STUDIO HOTEL, WELLINGTON

This eclectic new boutique hotel in Wellington's Cuba Street precinct showcases the work of local artists and designers. The 116-room Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington is the fourth property to arrive from Singapore-based private hospitality label Naumi Hotels in New Zealand and, like its sister properties, the Wellington outpost is an absolute feast for the eyes, with bold spaces "inspired from seafaring, the literary world and an enduring love." Guests will see the work of several New Zealand artists and designers. A large-scale floral backdrop in the reception area was created by Art Dep't NZ and is completely covered in gold leaf. Underfoot the botanical theme is brought to life by rugs from painter Karl Maughan, while the lobby features a larger than life floral sculpture from light artist Angus Muir. There are six room types to choose from, and the onsite bar serves up the likes of lychee mojitos and bourbon sours.

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THE HOTEL BRITOMART, AUCKLAND

The striking brick-clad Hotel Britomart was officially the country's first 5 Green Star hotel when it opened last year. That certification marks a commitment to sustainability during the build and the use of eco-friendly materials. It offers 99 guest rooms and five suites — three of which have lush sky gardens and front-row seats overlooking the Waitemata Harbour. Cheshire Architects, who also master-planned the Britomart neighbourhood, looked after the new hotel both inside and out. Inside are "cocoon-like" rooms with timber-lined walls, tiled bathrooms and built-in sofas. Smaller touches include hand-made ceramics, bronze-and-paper table lamps and minibars full of locally sourced treats. You don't have to walk far for a first-class meal, either. The ground floor is home to several new food and beverage offerings, including a seafood-focused restaurant from the Orphans Kitchen team, the new 70-seater from top chef Michael Meredith, and the refreshed outpost of Cafe Hanoi.

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HOTEL FITZROY, AUCKLAND

Privately owned hotel group CPG Hotels is currently in the process of opening a collection of boutique five-star hotels across New Zealand. One of the first under the Fable banner is Hotel Fitzroy. Located just a short walk from the main strip of Auckland's shopping and dining precinct, Ponsonby, the property takes over a historic two-storey villa. A contemporary black-panelled building stands behind the property, bringing the room count to ten. Inside, each guest room has been outfitted with premium soft furnishings, linens and amenities. There's also an intimate library for guests to unwind or enjoy complementary snacks and fine wine. Hotel Fitzroy offers custom experiences including a dedicated host service and tailored activities. While the property doesn't offer an on-site restaurant, guests can order continental or cooked tray service breakfast direct to their room. The complimentary mini bar is also replenished daily, while the room service menu is available 24 hours.

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THE DAIRY AND THE CENTRAL PRIVATE HOTEL, QUEENSTOWN

The folks from Naumi Hotels haven't only brought their bold, design-led approach to the capital. Queenstown also welcomes two new eye-catching properties from the Singapore-based private hospitality label. Rustic glamour and old world charm meet in Queenstown's The Dairy Private Hotel, while sister property The Central Private Hotel brings a fresh take on retro postmodernism. At both boutique properties guests can take their pick from 14 spacious rooms — every space comes with its own bright cacophony of colour. Each property comes equipped with an inviting lounge area and its own complimentary drinks hour serving award-winning New Zealand wines. With a nod to its past as Queenstown's original 'dairy' (corner store), The Dairy also offers an old-fashioned sweet selection. Here, you'll also find an outdoor jacuzzi with views across the picturesque Remarkables.

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FABLE DUNEDIN, DUNEDIN

Dunedin's historic Wains Hotel has been given a new lease on life under the new masthead Fable Dunedin. The boutique five-star opening, found just a short walk from the Octagon, brings the Victorian-era hotel into the modern age without losing the glory of its past. Guests are welcomed by a concierge in a top hat and tails, before being guided to one of 50 luxurious rooms or suites that come lined with vibrant custom designed carpets and specially commissioned tartan blankets paying homage to the city's Scottish ties. The Press Club restaurant and bar is led by Fable Group executive chef, Jinu Abraham. Abraham has prepared a menu sourced heavily from local suppliers alongside an extensive whisky menu. There's slow-cooked lamb shoulder served with miso-glazed pickles, Otago wild fallow with venison boudin noir, and pork belly matched with scallops.

Published on June 16, 2021 by Stephen Heard

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