Christchurch, New Zealand
The Modern Luxury
In 1850 a great ship known as Sir George Seymour arrived in Canterbury, New Zealand, as part of a flotilla of four big vessels that was carrying immigrants from the UK. The legacy of the name still remains until now on and it is preserved at The George, a chic hotel in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the serene Hagley Park and river Avon, this hotel was established in 1974. Known first as Arlington Motor Lodge, the hotel went through 2 more changes before it finally became The George in 1987. As soon we enter this hotel, we can feel a modern yet sophisticated ambience. This entrance area also has an interesting blended lobby where lobby, bar, restaurant and lounge become one.
The blended lobby concept comes from Richard Dalman of Dalman Architecture, who did a major renovation in 2005 to this area. Throughout this brilliant concept, the blended lobby becomes a business and social hub, where guests may connect with colleagues and friends as well as their “devices”. This new lobby environment provides lively social areas, relaxed spaces for coffee meetings and more intimate spots for undertaking individual work while still making the guest feel part of the vibrancy of the hotel.
With its total 53 rooms, this luxury boutique hotel choose to go with a subtle and understated approach. Refurbished in 2009 by Warren & Mahoney, a Christchurch-based Architectural firm, each suite now has a lighter, more spacious feeling, with rationalized storage space, and the addition of glamorous mirrored entry lobbies. The addition of sliding opaque glass doors to the bathrooms also created a more useable floor area and improved the flow between spaces.
Dark timber, mirror, mosaic tiles and plush velvet give the space a sophisticated, upmarket look, while the muted color pallet creates a feeling of calm and serenity. The focal point in each room is the perforated graphic lacquer panels featuring an abstracted oak leaf design inspired by the planting of an English Oak tree at the 1863 inauguration of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The panels reference The George’s enviable parkside setting, and provide an elegant point of difference in a world of ubiquitous hotel artwork.
The George might be located at the end of the world; however, it is full of surprises, especially design-wise.