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New Zealand’s largest hotel operator, Accor, welcomes Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel into its portfolio.
The hotel is the first five-star hotel to open at the Auckland Airport precinct, being only 100m from the front entrance of the international terminal. Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel is set to quickly establish itself as one of New Zealand’s most architecturally striking hotels.
The name ‘Te Arikinui’ is gifted to the hotel by Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII, the Maaori King. Its meaning is ‘Supreme Ariki’ or ‘Supreme Paramount Chief’. From the hotel’s name to its distinctive three-pointed star shape and unique cultural designs embedded in both its exterior and interior, this hotel is a stunning expression of the significance of this location to the iwi of the Tainui waka.
Architecturally designed by Warren and Mahoney, the hotel is shaped by the design concept ‘Sea to Sky’ and inspired by the journey of adventure and discovery by the people of Tainui waka following their arrival at Manukau Harbour around 1350. This hotel complements Warren and Mahoney’s previous work on the Novotel Auckland Airport hotel that sits some 50 metres to the east of Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel.
Kiingitanga, celestial voyages, stories of great taniwha, and references to ancient and precious korowai are the inspiration for the cultural design patterns created for Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel. The designs along the building’s columns and etched into the windows are inspired by five taniwha of special significance to Tainui. These taniwha provided directional guidance and protection during the journey with the Tainui waka on its voyage from Hawaiiki to Aotearoa and continue to guide and protect today. The fifth taniwha provides protection to the Tainui people along the Waikato and Waipa rivers.
The hotel’s cultural design elements were created by Renata Te Wiata (Ngaati Mahuta), Carving Manager of Waikato Tainui.
The interiors of the 311 guestrooms and Te Kaahu restaurant are designed by the Space Studio team to embrace understated luxury within a space that heroes simplicity, comfort, and light. Décor is refined and stylish, and features a custom designed carpet referencing the wash of the ocean as it reaches the shores of the Manukau Harbour.
The inclusion of cultural design elements carved into the stone and timber panelling, and applied to fabric wall coverings, and locally made iwi-designed bed throws, provide an interior that is uniquely Aotearoa and seen in no other hotel in the world.
Helmed by esteemed chef, Nancye Pirini (Te Whanau aa Apanui, Te Rarawa) whose carefully curated menu offers a selection of Aotearoa’s finest cuisine, Te Kaahu offers relaxed fine dining with a sense of understated luxury, with views over the runway and Manukau harbour. The menu is a modern take on traditional New Zealand cuisine, elevating and celebrating the best of Aotearoa and heroes locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality and freshness. Beyond the restaurant sits the Te Kaahu lounge, an exclusive haven for meetings, relaxation, and dining.
Highly regarded New Zealand fashion designer, Kiri Nathan, of, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Hine iwi, designed signature pieces for the women’s front office uniform such as capes, jackets, and blouses inspired by the hotel.
Other features of the hotel include a gymnasium, the Toorea and Kootare meeting rooms also located on the 9th floor, and the Kuriri Café and Eatery – a grab ‘n’ go artisan food and coffee option located in the lobby. Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel provides absolute convenience for those who live far from the Auckland International Airport and want to be close for that early morning departure or late return.
Accor Pacific chief operating officer PME Adrian Williams says the opening of the hotel was well-timed, with global travel making a strong comeback after the last three years.
“It is incredibly exciting to welcome this architectural landmark to our hotel portfolio. This hotel is a first in its class example of indigenous cultural design.
“We are already seeing strong interest and demand for Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel, offering guests exceptional premium hospitality experiences alongside a stunning fusion of cultural and superior design.”
Te Arikinui is the third Pullman hotel to open in Aotearoa, New Zealand and is joining another eighteen Pullman hotels across Australia and the Pacific. It is jointly owned by Auckland Airport and Tainui Group Holdings.