As our exciting and challenging inaugural year comes to a close – just twelve months ago we launched St Marys Residence as Auckland's premium private accommodation and exclusive event venue – we have been taking stock of the accolades the property has garnered throughout 2015. High profile and authoritative commentators and publications from around the world have been unanimous in their appraisal of the Residence, and Manjit and I feel both honoured and encouraged that our original vision of a luxury urban lodge has been so successful in its first year.
After a busy first summer welcoming guests from New Zealand and around the world, in April we were thrilled to be showcased in the Winter edition of World, New Zealand's premier lifestyle, design and travel magazine. A beautiful front cover photograph of our roof terrace and Auckland harbour segued to a stunning multiple page story on our journey in opening St Marys Residence in one of the city's most cosmopolitan and characterful central city neighbourhoods.
Word of our unique urban blend of luxury, seclusion and relaxation soon spread across the Tasman to Australia, and in May, respected travel writer Sheridan Rhodes showcased St Marys Residence in both theSydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne.
Her considered take on The Residence - “Think Ralph Lauren meets Auckland's Asian and Pasifika influences, and you start to get the picture” - perfectly captured our worldly design aesthetic, and we were pleased that Sheriden was a very worthy winner of a beautiful bottle of Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne in our recent quest to uncover the best social media posting about St Marys Residence.
In June, the influential Robb Report, truly the benchmark for reporting on luxury travel and lifestyle in North America, included St Marys
Residence in their carefully curated list of “Five Beautiful New Zealand Vacation Villas".
With their evaluation including “St Marys Residence seamlessly combines the opulence of a presidential suite with the comfort of a private residence... the real 'Wow' factor comes from the abundant outdoor spaces showcasing Auckland's beautiful harbour”, we entered the last six months of our first year with real confidence.
Complementing the stellar media coverage of St Marys Residence has been the establishment of important relationships with key marketing and reservation partners, including being part of the portfolio of luxury properties represented by Villa Getaways. Their recommendation certainly aligned us with some truly iconic accommodation.
“I have stayed at The Ritz in Paris, The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, The Oriental in Bangkok, Raffles in Singapore, Four Seasons and Aman Resorts, and of course many top private villas worldwide, and I can assure any accommodation connoisseur that St Marys Residence will conform to their taste” – Mr Patrick Bowler, Villa Getaways Chairman.
In September, we also collaborated with Select NZ, curators of exclusive and authentic New Zealand experiences for the discerning traveller, and our luxury urban haven now provides international guests with the opportunity to include Auckland as part of customised journeys exploring our beautiful country. Most recently in October, St Marys Residence was featured in Priority magazine for Singapore Airlines First and Business Class passengers showcasing 'New and Noteworthy' openings in Auckland, and we recently hosted a television crew from the United States.
Just twelve months after launching, it's been quite a superb year for ourselves and St Marys Residence, and we look forward to hosting more discerning guests and innovative events from New Zealand and around the world in 2016.
Best wishes for a relaxing and rewarding holiday season from Auckland, New Zealand.