Following a rewarding and inspirational 3 years, St Marys Residence is now highly regarded internationally as one of New Zealand’s most exclusive and luxurious places to stay. With our seamless blending of longer term stays and the opportunity to learn and develop from personally curated experiences, St Marys Residence is again on trend reflecting key dynamics in the luxury travel market.
The external pieces of an itinerary sometimes don’t reveal the inner journey a trip can inspire. To maximise a short or longer term stay in our discreet and designer urban lodge, integrate a stellar range of transformational experiences designed to inspire personal growth and memories for yourself, loved ones or your clients, and also to facilitate exploration of Auckland and its spectacular hinterland.
For leisure or recreational travel, business projects and opportunities, extended family breaks or a rejuvenating sabbatical, St Marys Residence is the ideal luxury haven in one of Auckland’s most central and characterful heritage neighbourhoods.
Exploring the key transformational travel dynamics
The importance of experiences
According to luxury travellers in a 2017 Skift survey, their number one priority is “ Experiences that show me a new perspective of the world”, and there is definitely an increasing demand for travel that opens our eyes to the new possibilities and new people beyond our borders.
Parents are also increasingly planning holidays incorporating educational and experiential activities that provide enrichment and education for their children, and the best of luxury properties and travel planners are enabling busy families to reconnect and recharge while sharing enlightening and authentic experiences.
According to Tina Edmundson, global brand leader for Marriott, it’s vital for these shared family experiences to resonate equally and distinctly with both parents and children.
“It is all about personalising the experience at the high-end – because a luxury moment for you may not be the same for me – but in general we see that parents want to truly connect with their kids during a vacation in meaningful ways.”
There are very few places in the world where, within the space of an hour's drive, you can experience mountain vistas, ancient forests, secret waterfalls, volcanic landscapes and stunning coastlines...from idyllic white sand to grandiose sweeps of dramatic black sand beaches with great surf…something for everyone.
The importance of emotional travel for friends and multi-generational families
The emotional element of travel is equally important as the experiential, and quality time spent with family, friends and partners can create life-long and unforgettable memories.
At St Marys Residence we hold this tenet of travel dearly, and in Auckland and around New Zealand, we can assist by offering you personalised and curated recommendations incorporating shared adventures for friends or family, or emotion-packed private moments of quiet contemplation amidst breath-taking natural beauty.
According to Sylvia Delvaille Jones, founder and CEO of Villas and Apartments Abroad, travellers are increasingly considering their holiday as “an all exclusive adventure and a journey where they learn new things along the way and meet others of a different culture....exposure to other cultures isn’t merely an educational experience." It builds valuable life skills such as character, self-confidence, leadership, resilience and environmental awareness.
Partnering with New Zealand's leading outdoor education specialists, our carefully curated experiences offer a unique and diverse blend of activities, from sailing voyages to wilderness expeditions.
We’re confident our bespoke selection of transformational experiences, enjoyed either as a holiday, or as a balancing adjunct to a business assignation or re-energising sabbatical, will provide a profound sense of adventure and journeying.
New Zealand’s importance as the perfect family destination for busy tech-savvy families
James Ogilvy, principal of luxury consultancy, Ogilvy & Co believes that, “The whirlwind of our digital lives has only increased our need to slow down and appreciate the analog side of life.” Putting heart back into designing experiences is vital to engage the luxury market. This has evolved into a new kind of luxury based on shared experiences, well-being and deep emotional connections. It is time to take a trip with a higher level of consciousness, not just for the planet’s sake.
Our country’s rugged simplicity is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for families, and with direct flights from most cities around the world to Auckland, it is a conveniently reached country.
According to Mara Solomon from luxury villa rentals specialists Homebase Abroad, holidaying Kiwi-style is high on many families’ hit-list.
“Vacationing in the New Zealand outdoors is really taking off. There has been an uptick from clients wanting to enjoy the freshness of the clean air, the outdoor living, adventures, summer events, water-based activities and beautiful nature walks experiencing breath-taking views.”
All around Auckland and the wider New Zealand region, St Marys Residence can collaborate with you to curate authentic and transformational experiences guaranteed to ensure Mara Solomon’s other observation also rings true.
“With so much of our daily lives revolving around our phones and computers, travellers really enjoy putting those away for part of their trip.”
Our top 7 curated transformational experiences around Auckland
Journey to the seaside village of Leigh north of Auckland, and partner with a private guide to explore the nearby Te Hawere-a-Maki/Goat Island Marine Reserve. Discover the reserve’s underwater world by snorkelling, scuba diving or on a glass-bottom boat tour, before learning more at the University of Auckland’s fascinating Marine Discovery Centre. En route back to Auckland, stop for excellent shared plates and craft beer at the rustic but hip Sawmill Brewery near Matakana.
Auckland is once again the proud home of yachting’s biggest prize, the Americas Cup, and the relaxed harbourside metropolis dubbed the ‘City of Sails’ is the perfect place to learn how to sail. Partner with the Russell Coutts Sailing Foundation – inspired by the Olympic- and Americas Cup-winning Kiwi sailor Sir Russell Coutts – to introduce your family to the joys of sailing, or harness the extensive experience of renowned sailing expert Penny Whiting for an exclusive one-on-one sailing experience.
For context and enlightenment, visit Auckland’s Maritime Museum and learn how marine adventuring has been an integral part of the city’s DNA since the first Polynesians journeyed to New Zealand several centuries ago, navigating by the stars.
Other exciting outdoor adventures to be enjoyed as a curated adjunct to the St Marys Residence experience include learning to surf on a black-sand beach, cycling on family-friendly trails around city beaches and through verdant rainforest, or zip lining high above the vineyards of nearby Waiheke Island.
Near leafy Albert Park, the Auckland Art Gallery utilises innovative programmes to introduce art to visitors to the city, and Auckland’s spectacular hinterland is also studded with places to see stunning art in situ with the landscape.
North of Auckland, around 45 quirky and often challenging artworks are located along a forest-clad 2km trail at the renowned Brick Bay Vineyard, while the recently-opened Sculptureum features modern art from around the world, and the excellent Rothko restaurant serving varietals from the nearby Matakana wine region. Time an extended stay at St Marys Residence (from January to February 2019) to experience the excellent Headland Sculpture on the Gulf on vineyard-laden Waiheke Island, and visit year-round with the confidence our personal travel curators and partners can arrange access to the very exclusive outdoor sculpture park at Gibbs Farm on the rural Kaipara Harbour.
Explore the indigenous history and culture of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and the rugged beaches and rainforest of the city’s wild West Coast with a local Maori guide, and also experience the world-renowned Polynesian galleries and a Maori cultural performance at Auckland Museum, embracing the manaakitanga (welcoming hospitality and kindness - the art of hosting visitors) and charming story telling skills of our indigenous people as they share narratives of their deep communion with nature and culture.
We’re excited about our continued evolution as New Zealand’s most luxurious and private urban stay, and we look forward to welcoming you or your clients to St Marys Residence.
Image Credit: Surfing at Muriwai Beach, West Auckland, (Todd Eyre)