I’ve always been drawn to historic hotels, even if their glory days are behind them. Whether it’s a crumbling palace in India or a slightly faded ski lodge in the States, old hotels have so many stories to tell. But what about a historic building that originally wasn’t a hotel? Not only that, but when it was used as a hotel in more recent years prior to its multi-million dollar overhaul, it couldn’t have been more forgettable? Well, that was slightly rarer territory for me as a travel writer and it’s fair to say my wife and I loved the redone Hotel Grand Windsor.
Mention of my wife Aimee is crucial to this yarn because we chose the Grand Windsor – located at the bottom of Queen Street in Auckland – as the location for our wedding night. Not only that, the new fit-out was so glamourous that we used it for some of our wedding photos.
For my full write-up about the transformation of the Hotel Grand Windsor from a bland 2-3 star hotel into a luxury 5 star boutique, click here to link to my Concrete Playground article.
Here’s a little snippet:
‘Celebrating the status of Windsor House as an almost 100-year old heritage-listed structure, every detail at the hotel is done to hark back to pre-World War Two ideas of opulence. From the main chandelier in the lobby that reportedly took days to assemble, the shine of the marble, the old-fashioned glamour of the lifts to the mini-lounges on each floor, this is a glorious step back in time’.
As for those wedding photos, with huge thanks to Elizabeth May Bridal (how about that dress) and Kate Little Photography, not to mention Aimee, a selection of them are below. Also included are several of my own images of the Hotel Grand Windsor to give you a taster of the refurb. And if you’re intrigued about that guitar gifted to me by Aimee as seen in the photos, my stunned expression is thanks to it being signed with a personal message from my biggest hero, non other than Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. It’s fair to say Aimee is a keeper!