Words Josie Steenhart
Residing in the more chill part of the Viaduct, QT Auckland opens up a realm of relaxed seaside opportunities offered by the up-and-coming Westhaven quarter, from cafes and eateries to parks, playgrounds and strolling spots to the very good New Zealand Marine Museum – while also being a hop, skip and jump to other city hotspots such as Britomart, Queen Street and Ponsonby.
Having only opened in November 2020, Auckland’s QT boasts 150 super stylish rooms and suites of nine different types, as well as Sean Connolly-led restaurant and bar Esther on the ground floor and appropriately named Rooftop bar on, you guessed it, the 6th floor rooftop.
Appreciators of design and the finer things in life will feel right at home here. The unique aesthetic is strongly inspired by the hotel’s harbourside locale, starting dramatically with a stunning hanging sculpture of coloured glass globes (think jellyfish, seaglass or maybe buoys?) in the lobby created by NSW artist Minka Gillian and a mesmerising digital work by New York artist Jennifer Steinkamp installed on a giant LED screen by the elevators.
The oceanic theme continues into the rooms, designed by Nic Graham, which nod surprisingly chicly to oysters, and where the QT chain’s signature attention to detail features cool local artisanal touches such as resin soap dishes by Auckland artist Chan Andreassend and handblown Lava Glass lamps and bathroom cups that Nic found while on holiday in Taupo.
There are water filters installed in the spacious hallway, perfect for topping up water bottles (there are spares in the room if you forgot to bring your own), striking bathrooms you’ll enjoy lingering in (ours had a clever internal sliding window, perfect for talking to partners while brushing teeth or keeping the sea in view while you shower) and as with all QTs around the globe, the beds are large and heavenly.
Led by its ‘Director of Chaos’, the hotel’s front-of-house team provided dynamic and impeccable service and were dressed to suit in custom uniforms designed by sustainable Kiwi fashion darling Maggie Marilyn.
Far from an afterthought, the eating/drinking options here pack as much punch as the accommodation – whether it’s relaxed brunches, long lunches or lavish dinners at Sean Connolly’s renowned Mediterranean-focused Esther (which spills onto the lawn and terrace outside on a nice day) or elevated tapas, craft cocktails and fabulous views at Rooftop.
Again, design fans: don’t miss the gold Marana Forni disco ball oven or Molteni stove in custom green hue in Esther’s captivating open kitchen.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Room rates start at $280. See qthotels.com/auckland for more info and special offers.