Our Hotel History, Scenic Hotel Auckland
Are you feeling the urge to dance? That might be because Scenic Hotel Auckland is built on the site of the former Auckland social hot spot the Trocadero Dance Club – a well-known dinner and dance venue popular with American servicemen and their sweethearts during World War Two. The Trocadero was demolished in the mid-1950s during Auckland’s expansion but we like to think that some of that romance and energy remains in our beautifully refurbished hotel.
Our building was designed by Mitchell and Mitchell and commissioned by the Australian based insurance company Mutual Life and Citizen’s Assurance Company Inc. during expansion throughout New Zealand following the Great Depression. The building closely resembles the MLC Building in Wellington (completed in 1940).
Following its opening in December 1956, the distinctive wedge shaped MLC Building was reportedly hailed as a “dignified and attractive addition to Auckland’s main business area” and as “an expression of confidence in the future greatness of the city”.
Nine stories high, it was the tallest building in Auckland and boasted the most modern lifts in Australasia; three high speed lifts capable of carrying 16 people at 500 feet a minute as well as featuring what were then innovative aluminium alloy window frames.
Our Historic Places Trust Category 2 rated building has housed several government tenants in the past including the Secret Service, if rumour is to be believed.
In 1999, the building was sensitively converted into a hotel/apartment complex while retaining the Art Deco design of the building. The complex has been managed by Scenic Hotel Group since its opening.
The building’s Art Deco theme informed the interior refurbishment of the hotel that was carried out in 2009. Features such as the curved timber reception desk, curved metallic lift facings and geometric tiling in the foyer are strong examples of art deco interior design elements that have been maintained and extended throughout the rest of the building.