There’s a stylishly warm elegance combined with a down-to-earth spirit that makes Michael and Manjit the perfect luxury accommodation hosts on the ground in Auckland.
Welcoming you into the luxurious urban retreat they have created in the heart of Auckland’s land and seascapes on the Viaduct Marina, the couple has enjoyed careers working for leading hotel brands and successfully negotiating the corporate world both in Aotearoa, New Zealand and abroad.
“We’re offering that innovative home away from home” says the pair.
“It’s a modern-day luxury hybrid – it combines the appeal of a retreat, the elegance of an inner-city penthouse apartment, the cosiness of a private home with all the comfort and convenience of an international five-star hotel in an ultra-central setting with iconic harbour and ocean views". #homemeetshotel
"Best part of the job - spending time with people, making meaningful connections, and offering memorable LOCAL experiences and service with character. What's also important right now is what is not changing - the heart of hospitality remains - it hasn't lost its way. At the end of the day we just want to take care of people”.
Previously owner-operators of the gorgeous St Marys Residence – an exclusive Urban Luxury Lodge – Point Residence is a fresh, independent luxury accommodation offering that has adapted to changing times without sacrificing the timeless quality of a sophisticated urban oasis, blending sensuality and sustainability.
In a two-part exclusive, local creative and lifestyle journalist, The New Zealand Herald’s Viva Magazine Creative Director Dan Ahwa gets to know the dynamic duo and why your time at this world-class, luxuriously inviting residence is an experience to treasure.
Enjoy the read, and here's to happy and safe travels!
Michael: Time together really is a precious luxury these days. Luxury hospitality will always be about extraordinary, transformational experiences. Connecting people to space, place and stories – all with a caring human touch.
True hospitality is really about creating those authentic and rewarding experiences, which create lasting memories for people – whether they are here for a short- or long-term stay.
Manjit: Everyone is trying to find their bearings again about feeling safe. Venturing out into the world once more – that’s something that the entire industry, regardless of what level you’re operating at, has had to reset and think seriously about. For many of us, travel is such a rewarding part of our lives. We’ve found the use of exclusive stay properties increasing in demand, along with private memberships around the world. Families and business executives desire security and the freedom of movement and personal health is taking on a new degree of preciousness. Point Residence is equipped for that as an exclusive use property – very much like private air charters and villas, it's become the go-to option for affluent travellers and high-end executives who are seeking the ultimate in safety and security. Covid-19 has reinforced that demand for personal space and private memberships.
The reality is that personal safety is the new luxury – preparedness is the new status badge.
Manjit: In the "new normal," the main driver is that physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social and health dynamic. For a lot of guests and those seeking long-term residential solutions, the reassurance of having someone trustworthy like a family member or friend on the ground is so important these days. Often the city is new to them and the space is foreign. So having that sense of support is vital and the accessibility to that support becomes even more important. It’s very tailored, it’s certainly very personalised and it provides our guests the opportunity to hit the ground running, knowing we are on hand to provide all the day-to-day requirements they need.
Michael: The planning, design and innovation that’s gone into the property – while it may be about luxury and comfort, what is most important is the person who is residing in our property and their emotional connection to the space. There’s a concept around the subtle balance between the perfect tangibility and the seductive intangibility, which is made up of their experience and emotions and how it touches them. It’s that combination of design excellence and the feeling of ‘I’m at home’ – that’s the essence of what you experience at Point Residence.
Michael: Our thing is that with a lot of trips being designed around emotional experiences such as celebrations, romance or replenishing the body, mind and soul – the art of quickly establishing trust is extremely important. Along with our handpicked team of local luxury experts, we’re able to offer a rich and rewarding Auckland experience. This then helps Point Residence become a destination in itself. People can experience the entire offering that they aspire to accomplish while they are in Auckland - and not just a fragment of the trip.
Manjit: I agree. Point Residence provides security and a sense of place where you feel at home and very connected to a critical asset of Auckland – our beautiful harbour.
Michael: In terms of the biophilic architecture there is a lot of work around the Viaduct design and how it incorporates nature into design to help the creativity of the city’s sustainability, stability and wellness goals.
We’ve incorporated those elements into our property which infuse that health and wellbeing benefit on arrival - that innate human instinct to connect with nature. It gives guests the benefit of being able to physiologically engage with the environment and have that sense of harmony continue throughout their living spaces.
Manjit: I also think whatever our enterprise these days, we’re all in the health and wellness game. So, we all have to play our part and ensure that the community that we serve is safe and well – so we will do everything we can to meet our guests' needs so they can have peace of mind. That means operationally too – whether it’s upskilling our team or heightening our already stringent cleaning and sanitisation measures, contactless services etc. It’s a very intuitive and responsive level of service.
Interview continues below...
Michael: Absolutely. In most cases, a less is more approach is ideal too. When people are absorbing their environment, that ability to remain silent and let them soak it all up is appreciated. That sense of being able to read the situation and knowing where to draw the line is important as well. Ultimately, we are dealing with C-suite executives, and they are used to having everything they want. So when they come in they say ‘wow this is all mine’? For them, it’s an opportunity to signal to their families and say this is for all of us and all of our hard work.
Manjit: Our enforced year of no travel has brought all those human needs to the fore. We were all busy doing things and suddenly we’re stopping and becoming a bit more mindful and more conscious about how we engage and what we choose to do in our downtime.
Michael: What you’ll find in terms of family holidays is no matter what age, the children often love hanging out with their parents and grandparents, because they will have the luxury of time spent together – which can sometimes be a rare thing in their busy lives - and families really treasure that. It creates those memories of when we talk about our holidays i.e. ‘remember when we went to Auckland and we played scrabble in that beautiful waterfront property’ - these are the things that bring people together, and what exclusive use properties allow them to do, all under one roof.
Manjit: Where do we start! Obviously our guests and members look to us for guidance to steer them in the right direction. We are ultimately ambassadors for Auckland and so that’s a huge responsibility for us.
Michael: First and foremost, Auckland is a natural land and seascape, so we genuinely believe that New Zealand is the best home in the world and Point Residence is probably the best rental apartment in Auckland - totally biased here Dan! What we saw during the America’s Cup was that the world got to see what Auckland has to offer.
Basking in the jewel harbour, the dormant volcanoes and crystal waters – Auckland spoke, and the world listened. From the opening views and landscapes of Auckland City, the harbour, the Sky Tower, the picturesque isles of the Hauraki Gulf, a flotilla of boats on the water each day - we saw families sitting side by side watching the races – all basking in the glorious sunshine. That’s a dreamscape to envy these days. Amongst all that – and this was a real gem I thought – the history of Auckland from a Maori perspective was shared with the world. We had experts who gave us the meaning into the cultural enlightenment of the treasure we call our home and the widespread celebration of Te Reo (Maori language) in our everyday conversations.
Manjit: That creative energy is everywhere in the city. I go for walks around the city and see how we build our livelihoods with a very small domestic population. We’re very high on ingenuity and creativity and it is certainly inspirational. We’re looking at that new generation of entrepreneurs, educators, the millennial dreamers bringing their creative energy into the community and breathing a sense of dynamic perspective into the city. That includes the designers, the chefs, the restaurateurs, the sustainability warriors, the environmental and social change agents – everyone is making their mark in their own way in our city. What’s become important is we are all – regardless of what generation - more mindful of our choices and we’ve started to embrace these stories, their vision, their enthusiasm and aspiration for not only making our community of Auckland - but the world a better place in the process.
Manjit: Ahhh…the mood lit bar! Everybody’s favourite hangout to kick back and relax.
Michael: During our travels to Portugal, off the beaten track, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the terra firma (feet firmly in the sand), we discovered the beautiful refreshing taste of this cocktail. Here's our take for the perfect Hendricks Gin and Tonic - a delicious aperitif any time of the day. #traveltales
Ingredients: 2 Strips of Cucumber Peel, 1 Lemon Slice, a handful of Blueberries, 50ml Hendricks Gin, 100ml - 150ml Tonic to taste.
Method: Place ice in an oversized Reidel wine glass, add a lemon slice, pour Gin over lemon slice, add cucumber strips, add blueberries, top with Tonic. Finish off with a deft squeeze of lemon. Stir to combine. Cheers!
We look forward to making your stay
Michael & Manjit