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Airedale Boutique Suites: Auckland landmark goes back to the future

12 Apr 2021  By Contributor

A $23m Art Deco-inspired makeover sees the Auckland landmark join Scenic Hotel Group’s Legacy collection.

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It’s back to the future for an Auckland landmark whose latest incarnation is as the Airedale Boutique Suites.

Formerly Scenic Hotel Auckland, Airedale Boutique Suites represents the new premium brand ‘Legacy’ collection from New Zealand owned and operated Scenic Hotel Group.

Standing sentinel on the corner of Airedale and Queen Streets, Airedale Boutique Suites is part of a legacy that started as Auckland’s tallest building. The crest carries the Mutual Life & Citizens Assurance Company’s initials, and the distinctive Art Deco-inspired building is known to this day as the MLC Building.

While the company has long since departed, and its CBD neighbours now tower above, the allure of this grand dame has stood the test of time.

As a Category 2 listed building with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the two-year, NZ$23m transformation was a labour of love for Scenic Hotel Group.

Scenic Hotel Group Managing Director Brendan Taylor says the delivery of the 99-room Airedale Boutique Suites is “testimony to Scenic Hotel Group’s investment in the future of its people, the places it serves and the wider world”.

The devil was in the detail, says Taylor, who imported tiles from Italy to perfectly match the originals.

The resulting restoration and refurbishment transformation presents a sense of modern nostalgia.

Hotel General Manager Melissa Alexander describes this as being “where local history and heritage are intertwined with fresh ideas that reflect future expectations of our guest experience”.

“We have achieved this throughout the hotel by seamlessly blending past and present with inspired design that acknowledges and celebrates the humble glamour of the buildings’ Art Deco past together with modern style and comfort.”

Melissa continues: “The resulting experience for guests is one of mindful luxury that delivers a premium experience with thoughtful ease. We are unpretentious and provide that beautiful blend of authentic hospitality that New Zealand is renowned the world over for.”

Guest enhancements focus on delivering a calming design to ease the stresses and demands of a faster way of life by providing a tranquil resting place in the city centre.

Touches all around are designed to make the world a kinder, gentler place to be. These speak to Scenic Hotel Group’s sustainable tourism and hospitality mandate and includes initiatives such as reduced printed collateral, smart technology, and putting people and the planet first.

Sitting across from Auckland’s Town Hall and in the heart of Auckland’s Entertainment Quarter, Melissa says it was essential to reflect this area’s vibrancy. A part of that is a swanky new dining offering at the accompanying Trocadero Restaurant and Bar.

Its namesake, the Trocadero Supper Lounge, once stood on the same site in Auckland’s swinging dance hall heyday.

Today’s offering, while more subdued, is nonetheless social. Kiwi chef Andreas Pfyl, who recently returned to New Zealand, has a Michelin-starred international culinary career that includes the two-star Hangar restaurant in Austria, also renowned for being owned by Red Bull.

While the Trocadero Restaurant and Bar’s ethos is to “let the flavours dance,” Pfyl says it is “very much to their own tune,” preferring to let the fresh, simple flavours of New Zealand speak for themselves without undue interference.

To this end, Pfyl’s style has been described as “simple dishes, exquisitely cooked”.

An oasis of calm where accommodation is defined by character, shape and service level, Airedale Boutique Suites is finding favour with both business and leisure travellers as well as offering a welcome new dining option for visitors to Auckland’s entertainment quarter.


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