We're unsurprised yet stoked to see a range of city centre establishments being recognised with amazing awards. From restaurants and bars to retail shops, hotels and more, be sure to add some of these venues to your list when planning your next trip to the city centre. 


The Hotel Britomart, for winning Tripadvisor's #1 hotel in New Zealand 

Ranking out of more than 3000 hotels, The Hotel Britomart has been recognised as #1 in New Zealand in the annual Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice awards. 

The Hotel Britomart is New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star Hotel, a peaceful retreat within the heart of the buzzing shopping and hospitality precinct. Set over 10 floors and designed by Cheshire Architects, the unique aesthetic features of the hotel include a cobbled square and distinctive brick exterior with irregularly placed windows which link the building with its unique heritage environs. 

Read more about the hotel and book a stay, here

The Hotel Britomart
QT Auckland

Inside a room at QT Auckland

QT Auckland for its quirky fit-out, which scored best refurbishment in Australasia 

Following its opening in November 2021, QT Auckland was named the winner of the Paul Davis Hotel Design Awards for the Best Refurbishment in Australasia. The Paul Davis Design Awards recognise the best-of-the-best in design and architecture in the hotel, tourism and hospitality fields in New Zealand.

Restaurants and Bars 

alma, for winning Metro Restaurant of the Year award's Best Restaurant 2022

Designed to bring joy, comfort and pleasure, alma's food style travels through seasons, produce and localities. Metro recognised them as this year's best restaurant alongside best in smart dining, best chef (Jo Pearson), best young chef (Vallensie Cavella Wijaya), plus, their beef tongue with green olive and lemon won best dish! It's a no-brainer to add this one to your list. 

Amano, for winning Dish Cults Icon of the Year Award 

Amano is a grand institution bringing delectable dishes, pastries, and world-class service to the Britomart Precinct. The Cult Icon Awards look to customers in a diner-voted celebration, and this year they saw Amano taking the Cult Icon of the Year Award. Whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, you won't be disappointed by a trip to Amano. 

Best Ugly Bagels, for winning Dish Cult's Favourite Dish 

Simple yet delicious, bagels are loved by many! So, it's no wonder one of the best bagel spots in the country took out the Cult Favourite Dish for 2022. The King Salmon at Al Brown's iconic Best Ugly Bagels features cream cheese, salmon, capers, onion, and dill. However, the bagel itself is arguably the best feature of this dish. Modelled after Montreal's hand-made, wood-fired bagels, these classic, crispy but chewy bagels are a must-try. 

Jo Pearson
Best Ugly Bagels
Amano interior
Mr Morris

Mr. Morris, for being Metro's Best New Restaurant and Viva's Supreme Winner 

After taking a break from the Auckland restaurant scene when Merediths closed in 2017, Michael Meredith returned to the Auckland dining scene with Mr. Morris on Britomart's Galway Street, much to diners' and critics' delight. The dining experience, paired with the inventive Pacific-influenced cuisine, has already drawn high praise despite being open for less than a year - being the Supreme Winner in Viva's Top 50 Restaurants for 2021, as well as being awarded the Best New Restaurant and Best Wine Line accolades from Metro's annual Top 50 list too


Gochu, for winning a 'Metro Best Dish' award for their charred chicken, gochujang, comté

Meaning chilli pepper in Korean, Gochu brings you a new New Zealand Korean cuisine experience like no other, serving fresh, flavour-filled dishes plus modern wines, cocktails and good times. It's no surprise Gochu's charred chicken, gochujang, comté made it into Metro's best dishes for 2023. It comes to the table sizzling, covered in bright spicy gochujang, which then gets slathered in a comté and leek oil sauce, a layer of moreish savouriness that alchemises perfectly with the other components. See the full list of Metro's Best Dishes, here

Denizen Hospo Heroes, as voted by you 

Put your trust in the hands of the public and add these Hospo Hero winners to your list. 


Juliette Hogan, for winning the Supreme Business Excellence Award 

First launching in 2007, Juliette Hogan is considered one of the most successful fashion designers in New Zealand. With a dedicated fashion niche of feminine but not too girly, grown-up but relaxed this retailer took out Westpac's 2021 Supreme Business Excellence Award.

Maggie Marilyn, for being a finalist for the Going Circular Award 

Maggie Marilyn recently opened its first flagship store in Britomart, this being the first step in a bold plan to move towards a completely circular model of sustainability. In 2021 the New Zealand label was a finalist for the Sustainable Business Network's Going Circular Award, read more about their awesome initiatives here.

Maggie Marilyn
Womens garments on display
Maggie Marilyn

Health & Beauty 

The Facialist

The Facialist, for the best holistic facial, as voted by the people

The Facialist specialises in holistic facials and skincare with a beautiful boutique clinic located in City Works Depot. Thousands of votes were cast to crown The Facialist the best of the best in the 2021 Denizen Everyday Heroes Awards - so book in for your next facial here and treat your skin to something truly special.


Aotea, for their Social Responsibility Award 

With a commitment to act in the best interest of society, it's no wonder Aotea was recognised with a  Social Responsibility Award. They lead the way by providing scholarships to their rangatahi Māori, manufacturing products in NZ and using solar panels for 100% of their power.

Attractions & Activities

All Blacks Experience, for being named as winners in Best Design Awards Digital Section

The intelligent and inspirational vision behind the All Blacks Experience was recognised as the best of the best when they were named winners of the Digital (Interactive and Exhibition) Section of the Best Design Awards. This 45 minute experience immerses manuhiri in the history, culture and people of the All Blacks and is a must-try. 

Comvita Wellness Lab, for its award winning retail and experiential space

Manuka honey producer Comvita recently opened its Wellness Lab experiential space on Quay Street, featuring a tasting tour that helps visitors explore mono-floral honey through five senses, including smell, touch, sight, and hearing. It's quickly become one of the most unique retail experiences you can enjoy in the city centre and received the top accolade in the Retail Award category at the 2021 Interior Awards

Wētā Workshop, for excellence in theme parks, museums and visitor attractions

This fantastical film effects workshop takes groups on a journey through Wētā Workshop wizardry's creative process, and it's one that needs to be seen to be believed! It comes with no surprise that Wētā Workshop won a Themed Entertainment Association Award, an international award recognising excellence in theme parks, museums and visitor attractions. 

All Blacks Experience
Comvita wine tasting
Weta Workshop

Award-winning outdoor spaces 

At the 2022 Best Design Awards, Wynyard Quarter's Tank Park received the Gold Pin in the Public and Institutional Spaces category! 

Silo Park Tank Park.jpg

At the recent Auckland Architecture Awards, two Downtown Programme projects, Te Wānanga and Te Ngau o Horotiu won their categories, and we can see why! 

Te Wananga

The new downtown public space, Te Wānanga (above), won in the Planning & Urban Design category, while Te Ngau o Horotiu (below), Auckland’s downtown ferry facility won in the Public Architecture category.

Te Ngau o Horotiu

Photo by Auckland Transport 


Establishments recognised for their fit outs 

The Best Awards is an annual showcase of excellence in design. 2021 saw many city centre establishments winning gold in the spatial category. Check them out below. 

Last updated: 30 May 2023