Compostable slippers might be the first clue to the fact that Auckland's The Britomart Hotel, Waitemata Harbour, is New Zealand's first five Green Star hotel.
Set in the 6.5 hectare waterfront Britomart precinct and certified by by the New Zealand Green Building Council, environmentally friendly paints, efficient design to avoid excessive heat gain or loss and highly efficient water use are among some of the credentials in this structure created from hand-made bricks.
The once down-at-heel area was revived following an international design competition in 2002 that saw heritage buildings regenerated. It's now a thriving home to bars, cafes and boutiques featuring local designers such as Karen Walker and Kate Sylvester and accessories label Deadly Ponies.
Cheshire Architects are behind the 10-floor building of 99 guest rooms, including five Landing Suites that evoke the coastal spirit of high-end accommodation at The Landing in the Bay of Islands.
While some rooms have panoramic views of tWaitemata Harbour, others look to the city skyline. All have organic cotton sheets, built-in sofas and a mini-library of New Zealand books.
All-day restaurant Kingi in the laneway of the heritage Masonic House next door to the hotel focuses on sustainable seafood dishes with produce from around the country, including hot smoked kahawai from Little Barrier Island and octopus carpaccio from Tora Bay.
The Hotel Britomart project includes the refurbishment of three adjacent heritage buildings and a pedestrian-friendly laneway connecting Galway and Customs streets.
Rooms cost from $NZ349 ($329) a night. See thehotelbritomart.com