In the suburb of Remuera in Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand is a true Pandora’s Box - Cotter House. A small, luxury hotel and an Inner City Heritage Luxury Retreat, the property is owned by an avid art collector who is introducing a new experience, The Auckland Art Trail, in order to share her love and knowledge of the local art scene with guests.
The owner, Gloria Poupard-Walbridge, has a diverse art collection at the property which includes seven pieces by well-known New Zealand artist, Claudia McKay.
Spanning the period 1989-2001, the collection provides a good cross section of her work.
The Auckland Art Trail is hosted by Gloria who takes guests on a tour (which is complimentary for guests staying two nights or more) of her favourite haunts which include local artists’ studios such as Simon Payton’s studio, Warwick Henderson’s Gallery in Parnell, the new EA Lang gallery in High Street and Oedipus Rex, the dealer for Claudia McKay.
A rare example of Regency style, Cotter House dates back to 1847 when an enterprising English colonist named Joseph Newman arrived in New Zealand. He paid 20 shillings an acre to the Te Moana tribe of Orakei for the 24-hectare farm. On his death, the house and surrounding land were sold to the Cotter family who owned it until 1926.
Gloria, who came to New Zealand in July 1985 for a three month holiday, fell in love with the country and bringing Cotter House back to its former splendour and contributing to preserving a significant piece of New Zealand heritage quickly became her dream.
Today, the mansion springs to life with renewed splendour. Combining exquisite antiques with an extensive modern art collection, Cotter House boasts a classic French décor that reflects the continental flair of its Colombian-born, French-raised owner.
A consummate hostess, Gloria has the benefit of 21 years experience in the diplomatic service and speaks five languages. Cotter House’s popularity with guests is reflected in the comments in the Visitor’s Book which include: “Thank you for a great time and start to our honeymoon. It’s a lovely place with a terrific host!” Frank & Sacha Swager, Netherlands; “It is as good as it gets - anywhere in the world!” Frank & Irene Porter, Edinburgh, UK; “Wonderful and cozy. Delicious food and warm hospitality!” Holly Hollenbeck, Ross, California, USA.
The four rooms and suites are individually decorated in true Cotter House style blending contemporary art with luscious fabrics and antiques collected from Gloria’s travels across the globe.
Cotter House also features a bar should guests wish to invite friends or colleagues for a pre-dinner or pre-show aperitif, a heated swimming pool, courtyard deck and health spa facilities including in-room massages, beauty treatments and access to an exercise pavilion. Scheduled Yoga, Pilates, Tai-chi and Feldenkrais classes take place in true Cotter House style in the Ballroom!