To Auckland with love...

To Auckland with love...

Infused with a curatorial and cosmopolitan attitude, Monocle magazine has its inquisitive and international eye firmly on the best the world can offer.

And when the magazine's founder – and one of the planet's most savvy publishers – pens a love letter to Auckland, it reminds us why the city is such a romantic destination for travelling lovers looking for a secluded urban stay.

Discover Tyler Brûlé's impressions of Auckland here , and read on for our own heartfelt Valentine to our wonderful home city.

A perfect romantic sojourn in Auckland begins in the sophisticated urban setting of St Marys Residence, located in one of the city's most characterful and central neighbourhoods. Our exclusive, single reservation policy guarantees guests enjoy the ultimate in comfort and privacy, and elegant décor, culinary excellence, and an architectural 'Wow' factor combine to make the Residence a discreet haven of seclusion perfect for a couple's discovery of the city.

Our recommended glamorous Auckland adventure begins in nearby Ponsonby. Ease into the delicious shared relaxation of a special couples massage at a premier day spa, before champagne aperitifs at the intimate and cosy Mea Culpa followed by zingy and zesty modern Asian cuisine at the energetic Blue Breeze Inn. Food-obsessed lovers should also book a romantic table for the ultimate dinner date at Ponsonby's Sidart, where the stunning flavours of Sid Sahrawat's innovative menus continually provoke, tease and inspire the senses.

Combine a visit to the emerging Britomart Precinct in downtown Auckland to discover the finest international apparel brands for men and women – including Brit heavyweight Ted Baker and local fashion legends Karen Walker and Kate Sylvester – and enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired lunch at Ortolana. Nearby dessert options include artisan ice-cream at The Store – devour a shared serving of the luscious salted caramel flavour - or something altogether more adult at Milse, a specialist restaurant dedicated to decadent desserts. Return in the evening for delicate shochu cocktails at the uber-cool Fukuko bar, before dissolving with your loved one into a sake and sashimi dream at nearby Ebisu.

To experience just why Monocle's Tyler Brûlé rates nearby Waiheke Island so highly, catch a sleek helicopter or heritage float plane to lunch at superb vineyard restaurants like Mud Brick or Cable Bay, or enjoy a relaxed picnic at gorgeous Man O' War Bay. Definitely visit Frenchman's Hill Estate, our sister vineyard on the island, and be surprised by the creativity and romantic vision of designer Anna Desbonnets who also informed the elegant and sophisticated décor of St Marys Residence.

Back on the mainland, nearby coves and beaches - often remarkably private given their central location on the sparkling waters of Auckland's expansive harbour – are easily walkable from the Residence's city fringe location. Alternatively, retire back to the Residence's chic interiors and enjoy private canapés and even more private Auckland harbour views from the secluded and spacious roof terrace.

Best Valentine's Day wishes from Manjit and myself, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy Auckland's most romantic stay.

Michael Coutts

Owner & Host

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