In this feature, we look at Naumi Hotels, the design-led and sustainable hotel brand with a great deal of heart that has become a pioneer in New Zealand’s boutique hotel sector.
Naumi is all about fun – it’s about exploring the fantastical in colourful and eclectic surroundings. The element of surprise is crucial in the design of each of their seven hotels. It starts with breathing new life into an interesting existing property rather than building from scratch. For Naumi, this is the essence of sustainable design: repurposing what is already there in partnership with local New Zealand design firm Material Creative.
The hotel group’s most recent opening, Naumi Wellington, was originally one of many People’s Palace hotels that the Salvation Army built in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Edwardian-era building has been repurposed for the contemporary traveller. It is the same approach they take across all their properties.
Collaborating with local designers and suppliers to support the local design and artistic community while creating an experience that is eclectic, bold, and colourful is key to their process.
North Island, New Zealand
Naumi Hotel Wellington is the latest jewel in Naumi’s crown in the city’s electric Cuba Street neighbourhood. With 62 spacious rooms decked out in Naumi’s irrepressible bright colour palette, the hotel experience is joyful in each of its spaces while also housing one of Wellington’s most popular restaurants and bars, Lola Rouge, that serves up delicious South-East Asian fusion cuisine alongside an innovative cocktail list.
The Parlour is a pastel-hued dreamscape inspired by light-filled Parisian conservatories: a space to enjoy High Tea and cocktails, and the mini bar is a delight of New Zealand delicacies. These dining outlets are shared with Naumi Studio Wellington, a 116 boutique hotel and sister property to Naumi Wellington, awash with colour and floral prints and decked out in the artwork of local artists.
Most international trips to New Zealand will involve going through Auckland Airport. Naumi Auckland Airport is the perfect place for a pit stop as a hotel that has redefined the airport experience with suites inspired by design legends. The eclectic and vibrant Ziggy Suite takes inspiration from fashion icon Missoni, and its signature quilted knits in a warm kaleidoscope of colour and pattern.
The Dotty Suite is a polka-dot paradise inspired by Yayoi Kusama, renowned for her bright work featuring repeated dot patterns. It has a restaurant, Paksa, ‘wing of a bird’ in Sanskrit, that offers a delectable spread of Asian-inspired dishes and classics with a focus on health and well-being, and a pool to stretch off and cool down in after a long flight.
South Island, New Zealand
Sitting on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, set against the majestic Southern Alps, Queenstown has a tendency to evoke a “pinch me” sense of disbelief.
Naumi’s two boutique hotels in this adventure capital of the world look out onto a big alpine landscape playing into that dreamlike atmosphere. The Central Private Hotel by Naumi Hotels and The Dairy Private Hotel by Naumi Hotels are two of Queenstown’s most beloved hotels.
The former takes its design palette from nature with rooms and suites in lashings of earthy greens and warm, deep purples and reds. Connecting guests to the majesty of its surroundings, there is a garden to sit in and enjoy, plus a hidden sauna to wind down in after exploring.
The Dairy is an alpine chalet a ten-minute walk from The Central and a celebratory clash of old and new, bold and familiar across their alpine chic, bold and botanical rooms.
With cosiness at its core, guests can enjoy the Lounge, the Den and Sweet Station at this hotel. At night, jump in the jacuzzi and warm up by the fire pit to take in Queenstown’s twinkling lights.
Other reasons to visit New Zealand in 2023
- Emirates’ non-stop daily direct between Dubai and Auckland has been relaunched.
- 2023 is also the year New Zealand will jointly host the highly anticipated FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside Australia.
- 2023 will also see exciting new openings for some of New Zealand’s most famous offerings – Great walks, stunning landscapes, and rich Māori culture. The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track in the Fiordland area of the South Island will launch as New Zealand’s 11th and newest Great Walk, and the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark is tipped to become New Zealand’s first UNESCO Global Geopark in Spring 2023.
Often hailed as one of the best design hotels in Asia, Naumi’s first property is Naumi Singapore, a sky-high sanctuary that blends effortless luxury with grounding tranquillity.
This 73-key hotel features artistic rooms, including the Suvarna Suite, a sophisticated gilded room where gold is the central design thread; Eden & Nirvana, a Warhol-inspired designer suite; the Gabrielle & Camellia, ultra-chic, monochrome suites inspired by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.
Befitting of this Garden City are the Patio Rooms, with their private decks flanked by a green living wall for a place of serenity in the middle of the city. Hit Cloud 9 Rooftop Pool & Bar for the bright lights of the Singapore skyline.
People & the Planet
People are at the centre of Naumi’s DNA. Through their philanthropic arm, Naumi Humanity, the hotel group supports communities across Singapore, New Zealand and India, where the family that owns Naumi hail from.
Naumi provides women from low-income communities around the world with upskilling and employment opportunities to increase household income. Naumi’s goal is to help break the cycle of poverty in marginalised communities. They work on issues of food insecurity, hoping to provide children with an equal chance to a better childhood, where they can focus on their education and increased quality of life.
To date, Naumi Hotels have partnered with KidsCan in New Zealand to provide 125 hot meals daily to children in low decile schools in New Zealand (students living in low socio-economic or poorer communities). Furthermore, they have supported the nutrition of 100,000 children in India and have fed 13,000 children from food-insecure backgrounds in Singapore.
In Singapore, Naumi has set up educational grant programs with institutions to provide financial support to women pursuing their undergraduate studies.
Through unique product placements in their hotel rooms, Naumi has helped double the income of 30 women in India in 2021. So far this year, they have supported 37 women with opportunities to up-skill and create unique products for Naumi.
One of the projects they are rolling out is their new lightweight bathrobes made from waste sari offcuts by women in slum communities in India. Previously, they have created Hope Tote Bags that guests can use at all their hotels and then purchase, with 100 per cent of the profit going towards food insecure children.
From an environmental perspective, there is no single-use plastic across any of the properties, and the hotel group are sourcing solutions to reduce land waste to a minimum.
CEO Gaurang Jhunjhnuwala says, “We love our guests to be amazed and delighted when they arrive at our hotels – for the hotel’s whimsical and unique designs and also for the heart that is at the centre of Naumi Hotels. People are at our core and having a positive impact.
Our guests are intrinsically connected to the work that we do. We encourage guests to engage with the local community of our hotels, so they give back to local businesses while having the best time on their travels exploring new places to eat, drink or see art. Naumi is all about fun and adventure.”
If you would like more information on Naumi Hotels, visit www.naumihotels.com.
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