"Kia Ora" means "welcome" in Maori, the native language of New Zealand. When you visit the land of the Long White Cloud you might very well arrive in the island nation's capital of Auckland, on the North Island. If you do, we have a special recommendation for a gay-owned B&B.
The Great Ponsonby Art Hotel is located in the Ponsonby gayborhood. This 1898 wooden home has lovingly been restored to its original charm and casual elegance, without destroying the archetype of a colonial timber home. It is now a warm, fuel efficient gay-owned and operated boutique hotel offering bed and breakfast. Using recycled timber and windows where possible, recycling the roofing iron as fencing, and using the original bricks as paving, has ensured that the historic feel of the property remains today.
The hotel is situated just two minutes stroll to Ponsonby's vibrant gay cafés, restaurants, galleries, or a five minute taxi ride to the harbor and city centre, for the perfect vacation. The community of Ponsonby is an urban village, one of the earliest areas of Auckland, and luckily many of the historic buildings still remain. It is also the trendiest part of town, a place where Aucklanders come to eat, drink coffee, and have fun. It is also very close to the city centre for convenient access to the many tourist attractions.
Set in a large, beautiful garden The Great Ponsonby offers a choice from eleven rooms of varying size and price. Complete with all amenities and furnishings, the decor incorporates both New Zealand and Pacific artworks. Courtyard studios are bigger than villas. Spacious suites or the penthouse are over twice as large again. Breakfasts are legendary—friendships have been forged in the dining room and crepes lingered over on the verandah.
Nearby dining options including established French, Italian, Jewish, Indian, Japanese, Malaysian, Turkish, Pacific Rim Fusion, organic, and vegetarian restaurants, plus Auckland's best fish restaurant. There is everything from haute cuisine to peasant tucker. Also, there are plenty of choices for bars, bistros, and live music which are gay and gay-friendly. Ponsonby Road, the main road, is lined with cafes, bars, and boutiques. Brightly glazed ceramics are crafted and fired in and around the Ponsonby area and can be brought at the artisans' studios.
Ponsonby is ten minutes from the waterfront and a stones throw away from the Auckland Zoo, Museum, Galleries, Eden Park, and the Viaduct Basin, home to the Americas Cup.
Guests can enjoy visiting the Tongan women who sell tapa cloths—wall hangings made from beaten bark—on Saturday morning, or attending the Samoan Church on Ponsonby Road. Two local parks have quirky sculptures in them.
Any stay at The Great Ponsonby will provide a true LGBTQ vacation experience in Auckland.