Located in the heart of the city, SO/ Auckland is set to shatter conventional hotel norms and become the city’s hottest destination for locals and visitors alike.
One of just seven very individual hotels worldwide, SO/ brings a new level of design audacity and boldness to the Auckland hotel scene, says General Manager Stephen Gould. “The decision to launch SO/ in Auckland comes at a time when tourism in New Zealand is booming and reinforces that this stunning natural beauty is also a bustling metropolis and the must-visit destination of the South Pacific,” he adds.
To bring their creative and individualistic designs to life, but also make it inherently a reflection of Auckland, SO/ brought on board WORLD for its playful mix of sophistication and dynamic style. The renowned Kiwi fashion innovators have created an avant-garde masterpiece not seen before in Auckland.
“We created a stylised topographical map of Auckland and over-inflated the role of volcanoes. The emblem needed to be both nostalgic and futuristic, appealing to Auckland’s mythical past but setting itself in the future of what this city will become. The swirling, hypnotic effect feels as though you’re looking directly into the eye of a volcano, reflecting that feeling of stepping into a boutique hotel; a hypnotic experience where the outside world is left behind and a new experience begins,” says Benny Castles, Designer and Director for WORLD.
The ground floor of the hotel has been creatively fitted out by Dutch design house, Moooi and is inspired by founder and renowned creative, Marcel Wanders who is famous for creating multi-layered sensory experiences.
Challenging traditional hotel concepts and with a ‘just say SO’ attitude, Stephen says guests can expect service excellence with contemporary flair.
There is no dull lobby but rather a bar that looks like it might be the meeting spot for celebrities, the fashion elite and rockstars,” Stephen sats. “Staff don’t wear name-tags and you can help yourself to the minibar because everything’s free!
“The HI SO rooftop transports you to another world and in equal parts feels like you’re no longer in Auckland while offering the best vista of Rangitoto and the city of sails. Finally, Auckland will be able to offer somewhere both locals and visitors will want to hang out, see and be seen,” he says.
SO/ Auckland will offer a taste of French inspiration at Harbour Society restaurant on the 15th floor, helmed by French Chef Marc de Passorio, former owner of Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Esprit de la Violette. de Passorio sold L’Esprit de la Violette before choosing Auckland as his next culinary home.
“In 2012 I visited New Zealand for the first time and fell in love with the country. It offers so many things, from fantastic produce and wine to amazing scenery wherever you go, fresh air and generous, friendly people. I had never visited a place like this before and since then it has been my dream to return,” says the Chef.
“When Stephen invited me to join SO/ Auckland as the Head Culinary Designer I felt it was fate and an offer impossible to refuse. I am excited to start this culinary adventure and feel this is the perfect opportunity to share my experience, ideas and techniques,” adds Chef Marc.
Inspired by its surrounds, the 130-room hotel will also feature a café, Club Signature lounge, SO Spa, SO Fit and indoor heated pool.