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QT Auckland takes home Paul Davis Hotel Design award


QT Hotels & Resorts’ newest property, QT Auckland, has won the 2021 Paul Davis Hotel Design Award for the Best Refurbishment in Australasia. QT Auckland opened its doors in November 2020, transforming a former office building into a design-led luxury QT Hotel.  


The Paul Davis Design Awards recognise the best-of-the-best in design and architecture in the hotel, tourism and hospitality fields in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific and celebrate exceptional projects that demonstrate design innovation, a commitment to sustainability design practices and deliver exceptional guest experience.

QT Auckland was selected from dozens of entries assessed by an esteemed panel of industry leaders in interior design, led by GHDWoodhead national practice leader, Leone Lorrimer; design assembly principal, Paul Wiste and Scott Carver director, Angela Biddle.

A metaphor for the inner-city building conversion, the oyster-inspired design flows through 150 rooms and suites, public spaces and meeting rooms, signature restaurant Esther and sixth-floor bar Rooftop at QT.

No detail was spared with the oyster’s influence seen throughout the design – the weathered, rough, raw and natural textures of the shell’s exterior juxtaposed with the smooth, colourful and luxurious nature of the inside.

As a conversion project, design was expertly coordinated around the structure’s existing elements. Far from conventional, QT Auckland’s guest rooms have over 35 unique floorplans, featuring unexpected elements like curved walls, exposed concrete and asymmetrical layouts.

According to the judges, “This project certainly is proof that it is what is on the inside that counts. Taking a former commercial building and repurposing it into a hotel with 35 unique guestroom types is no easy feat. From the reception to the restaurant, to the rooftop bar, this project is so much more than what it could have been if not designed with such thoughtful consideration.”

A true collaboration, every element of the hotel was part of a detailed design process – working with Dean Duckworth, EVENT hospitality and entertainment director of project management and design; QT’s longstanding design collaborator Nic Graham; direction on restaurant spaces by chef Sean Connolly; and QT Auckland’s owners Russell Property Group and Lockwood Property Group.

“Receiving this esteemed design award is a testament to the entire team behind QT Auckland. We’re grateful to have such talented collaborators and partners, whose shared ambition, creativity and commitment resulted in this incredible achievement, making the newest QT Hotel truly best in class,” says Simon White, Event Hospitality and Entertainment general manager hotel operations, NZ.

QT Auckland was announced as the winner of the Paul Davis Hotel Design Award’s Best Refurbishment in Australasia category at Design Inn Symposium on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

For more information about the Paul Davis Design Awards 2021, visit:

For more information about QT Auckland, visit:

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