IMAGINE THREE DAYS of eating fine food, drinking the best wines and hanging out in the coolest hotels. Where do you think you’d be? Paris, with its 30-hour plane trip and hip-pocket draining prices? The Napa Valley with a 14-hour flight to San Francisco and two-hour road trip?
No, try a three-hour flight from Australia’s east coast capitals to one of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets — Auckland.
Renowned Kiwi designer Benny Castle says even his fellow Kiwis have an unfair view of the appeal of Auckland, but Benny was quick to talk of the hidden delights of an international city “whose smallness makes it so easy to get comfortable over a delightful long weekend”.
A quick transport from the airport to the SO/ Auckland (SO/ Auckland is the chic version of a Sofitel hotel now popping up all over the place) lands you in the new heart of downtown Auckland, where there has been a migration of hip and high-end businesses from the higher-perched streets, once the centre of the city.
This locale is called Britomart (the locals aren’t sure where the name originated!), the scene of a revival of warehouse and old office blocks into a hotel, restaurant and retail precinct, showcasing the best of creative NZ fashion and design. This is where you find everything from the unique creations of Van Cleef & Arpels to all that you might want in the beautifully restored corner building that houses Tiffany, as well as the best of what Kiwi-design can offer from the likes of Benny Castle’s WORLD store to the dresses of long-established NZ designers like Trelise Cooper. By the way, Benny also lovingly and so meticulous designed and set the mood for this SO/ Auckland.
This excerpt has been republished from Maureen Jordan's article for Harper's BAZAAR Australia.
CLICK HERE to read the original article in full.