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THE WAVERLEY HOTEL.

"ViSiTORS to Auckland are surprised at the Solidity and magnificence of her public buildings. Even George Augustus Sala was .^amazed that any Harbour Board at the Antipodes could boast such palatial offices as those recently erected on the reclaimed land. .From a wilderness of ti-tree and fern and a f scattered village of raupo or rude wooden hovels, Auckland has grown in a generation :to a busy, flourishing city, with fine buildings, snuseums of 'art, repositories of literature, seminaries of learning, and most of the institutions of the ripened culture and civilisation of the old world. The city has doubled its dimensions and population in a decade. Teu years hence it will take rank" as one of the foremost cities in the Southern Hemisphere, .the entrepot of Polynesian commerce, the ■world's sanitorium, an example to the nations j in social and political reform and progress, a model of industry and productiveness. The signs of that great future are around us, and anay be read by all who have eyes to see. 'Climate and soil, geographical situation, and abundant resources are moulding Auckland's iuture. Her people are borne along irresistibly by their circumstances and environments. It €s their destiny to become great and prosperous. One of the most remarkable signs of material progress is to be seen in the large number and magnificence of the hotels recently erected. The standing stigma on Auckland used to be an absence of superior .hotel accommodation. Travellers accustomed «to the luxurious hotels of London, New York, San Francisco and Melbourne, spoke Ncontemptuously of the discomfort and of Auckland hotels. But that stigma no longer exists. In proportion to its population and the requirements of the travelling public, the city is quite abreast, af not ahead of most colonial metropoli, and the work of improvement still goes on. If we could quote figures showing the amount invested in hotel property in Auckland ■during the past two or three years, our headers would be astonished at its magnitude. ■ This much at least we may thank the temperance agitation for, that it has given ms a Superior class of hotels, and has perihaps rendered the trade of the Licensed Victualler more respectable than it was. The most recent of the new class of hotels is the Waverley, which stands on the rf^reclaiuaed land in close proximity to the new central railway station, now rapidly .approaching completion. The Waverley stands in the very thick of the traffic irom the sea and the country districts. It is the most advantageously situated hotel in the city. It is replete with all the modern appliances, splendidly furnished, with enormous accommodation for travellers and boarders, it commands a view of the entire harbour and the adjacent shores ; in short, it has been designed and iitted up with all that science and forethought could devise and unstinted capital provide, for the comfort and convenience of *he public. It is under the management of a •gentleman whose breeding, education, and knowledge of the world, render him peculiarly qualified to do the honours to guests ■with courtesy and efficiency. Attentive to the smallest details, possessed of thorough 'business capacity, with the air and manners of a gentleman, Mr Panter, the proprietor of the Waverley Hotel, cannot fail to make i;he house the most- popular resort in Auckland of the travelling public. The design of the building, which is a •conspicuous object from the harbour xand the wharf, is modern Italian. It consists of three storeys and a basement floor, with broad concrete foundations, resting •on massive piles, upwards of forty feet in length, driven down through the mud and drift of the old foreshore, to the solid bed-rock. The superstructure is of brick, with slate roof. It covers an area -of 82 x 46 feet, the elevation from the street level to the parapet being 70 feet. The light ;and ventilation from windows in the exterior walls have been greatly increased by two open :areas in the centre of the block. 'Admirably •designed throughout, down to the smallest -detail, the Waverley Hotel is a model of com- j pleteness, comfort, sanitary perfection, com- j bined with strength, durability, and compactness, and a credit to_the architects, Messrs Mahony and Son. The contracts for the building were entered into in February, 1884, and the work has only irecently been completed. Every step in the / operation was vigilantly supervised by the \ architects, and every part of the work has ibeen carefully and faithfully performed. The contract for the foundations was entrusted to Ttfr Sutherland— price, £1215— and it could not have fallen into better hands. Mr Matthews undertook the superstructure and Interior fittings, the contract price being £7500, and the most casual observer cannotfaii ix> be struck with the neat and substantial character of the work down to the minutest detail. The elevator was supplied by an American iirin at a cost of £500. This will prove a •great convenience in hoisting luggage to the upper floors, or for aged and infirm people who dislike the fatigue of climbing the stairs, though the latter are constructed on so easy " a grade as to reduce the exertion of ascent to 3. minimum. Messrs Branston and Forster, whose names are associated with most of the foest buildings in the city, supplied the plumbing, etc. The task of furnishing the numerous apartments was entrusted to Mr F. W. Revell; of Hobson-street, and was the largest order of the kind ever executed in

Auckland, the aniouut being £2000. What strikes the visitor at the first glance is the artistic taste that has been displayed in the thorough harmony preserved in the furniture of the various apartments. There is a pleasing; absence of garishness and exaggerated colours ; everything is soft, refined, and agreeable to the senses. By the way, is Mr Itevell an {esthete ? One would think so, judging from his selection of curtains, carpets, chairs, tables, etc. Some of the rooms are perfect poems in upholstery. There are three main entrances to the hotel — from the reclaimed land adjacent to the Railway Station, to a waiting-room and to the cafe ; from the wharf to the public bar ; and from Queen-street to the private bar, and to a broad flight of stairs leading to the upper floors. There are openings from the bar to each of these entrances, the private bar being so designed as to be en- | tirely screened from observation from the other entrances, and by the aid of handsomely draped curtains the sound from the public bar is completely excluded. The waiting-room is comfortably furnished, and on the walls hang the best niaps of the world on Mercator's projection, of the British Isles, Australia, the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand, and other parts of the globe. Further on is the cafe, a commodious, well lighted and ventilated, and handsomely furnished room, 43ft. by 21ft. The tables are placed in the Continental style — separate, and will comfortably accommodate 100 persons at a sitting. The uniform charge being Is a meal, we confidently anticipate that this will become the favorite resort for luncheon. Care has been taken to prevent noise, the floors being covered with thick linoleum and matting. On the right of the dining-room there is a large pantry, com municating with the kitchen on the basement floor by means of a lift, and amply supplied with, hot and cold water. A staircase at the back affords access to the servants' apartments and the kitchsn. From the passage there is an elevator, already noticed, which can be brought into use at a moment's notice by a bell which summons an attendant. It may be mentioned here that there are electric bells in all the principal apartments and passages on each floor, and the slightest signal will be instantly answered by a servant. The bar-parlour is very handsomely and comfortably furnished, the walls being ornamented with choice pictures, while guide books of all descriptions, timetables, and descriptions of New Zealand scenery and places of resort are placed on the tables, in fact no pains have been spared to render the room cheerful and comfortable. Descending to the basement floor, the visitor finds himself among a number of spacious rooms, set apart for kitchen, wine and beer cellars, store-rooms, and so forth. From the boots' room an electric wire communicates with a bell at the private entrance, which will be a great convenience to travellers arriving late by steamer or train, or lodgers returning after the usual time of closing. On the first floor there is a smoking-room, a billiard-room 28 x 18, furnished with one of Bennett's best tables and all the modern appliances, and commanding a splendid view of the wharf, harbour, and North Shore. Thisroom is relieved with fine oil-paintings, while the floor is thickly covered with linoleum and matting to deaden the sound of footsteps. Farther on is a spacious and well-furnished dining-room, 37 x 15, which will be also available for meetings of societies, clubs, and other public bodies. The most prominent object in this room is a massive side-board of mottled kauri, beautifully inlaid with totara panels, and re wa- re wa edging, and surmounted by a large pier-glass in a finely carved frame. This piece of furniture is a veritable work of art, and reflects the greatest credit on its maker, Mr Kevell. Communication between an adjacent pantry and the kitchen is provided by a lift and speaking tube. The private drawing-room on this floor measures 22ft. by 15ft. 6in. It is furnished with great taste, strict harmopy being preserved down to the smallest detail. There is a grand piano by a celebrated maker, books of reference, volumes of photographic views of places of interest to the tourist, and in short everything that can conduce to comfort and ease. The other apartments on this floor comprise several bedrooms, a bathroom, lavatory, etc. On the second floor there is a spacious and comfortably furnished sitting - room, commanding a magnificent view of the harbour, 12 rooms for married couples, with private sitting-rooms adjacent, and 28 single rooms. The smaller rooms average 10ft x lift., with a height of 12ft. All these rooms are completely furnished. The bedsteads are of iron, stroag and handsomely designed, with spring mattresses, chests of drawers, dressing tables and washstands, and the floors are carpeted. These rooms are light, airy, cheerful, wellventilated, and almost all command fine views. There are also closets for linen, hot, cold, and shower bath, and other conveniencies. Near the head of the staircase there is a sink, with taps supplying hot and cold water, the former being supplied from a tank on the upper floor, heated by means of steam pipes. The passages are roomy and conveniently designed, and the means of egress easy of access ; but Mr Panter intends as soon as possible to provide fire-escapes, affording in case ot fire (which, by the Way, is very unlikely to occur, as the building is detached and every precaution is taken to prevent such a catastrophe) easy access to Queen and Railway 5 streets, or to the central areas. The third-floor is. similar in design, fit-

tings, and furniture to the second, and therefore need not be described. It may be mentioned, however, that the height of the ground floor is 16ft, Ist floor 13ft, 2nd floor 12ft, and 3rd floor lift.

The visitor cannot fail to be struck with the elegance of the apartments, the general air of comfort and repose, and cheerful appearance of the spacious rooms, the thorough harmony of the furniture and ornaments, the utilization of every modern scientific appliance,, and the skilful adaptation of means to secure smoothness, ease, and efficiency of control by one head. In fact the hotel is a credit to the city, a model of skilful architecture, an example of cultivated taste in the choice of furniture and ornamentation, and a complete refutation of the stigma that Auckland could not boast of a first-class hotel on a par with those of other large cities. Here the weary traveller can find rest and repose, enjoy the fresh sea breezes, contemplate the fine scenery and the busy harbour, and command at a moment's notice every luxury that he desires or skilful catering can supply ; while the man of business will find the fullest and most accurate information within reach of his hand, at an hotel only a few yards distant from the marts and great mercantile houses of the city. Mr Tanter is a connoisseur of wines and spirits, and will keep only the best brands in stock. He has also a staff of thoroughly trained servants and attendants, and an artiste de cuisine of reputation. The enterprise that has been displayed by Mrs Jagger in building and furnishing this splendid hotel deserves success, and we wish it all the prosperity that a full house and a thriving business can bring.

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THE WAVERLEY HOTEL. Observer, Volume 7, Issue 333, 25 April 1885

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