An important historical landmark for the city
The Hotel Grand Windsor was first built as Windsor House in 1928 by W.R Cooke & Son Ltd. The 10 storey building (the maximum height allowed at the time) was known as Auckland’s first skyscraper and became a popular place to be seen for locals and visitors alike.
Under the ownership of Cooke’s, it started as a popular tea-room and soda fountain with a grill restaurant for 3-course meals on the first floor. The soda fountains were especially popular at the time and were hailed for their therapeutic properties. This drew many customers from far and wide, eager to quench their thirst and improve their health prospects at the same time.
The remaining floors of the building housed teams of the city’s finest bakers and confectioners who used the most state-of-the-art machinery to bake and create Auckland’s most famous ice creams including the iconic Rangitoto Special ice cream sundae.
Restoring the art deco jewel of Auckland
Ownership of the building changed over the years and it became an office building used by AMP Life Insurance, Pan American Airways and ANZ Bank. The ground floor was also converted into retail space for Stevens Glass and a China Shop.
In the year 2000, the building was bought and turned into a 3-star hotel. In 2017 it underwent a multimillion dollar restoration and became the 5-star Hotel Grand Windsor sitting as part of the MGallery by Sofitel family.
With no expense spared, this great building has once again reclaimed the glory and prestige of its former years and stands as an important part of Auckland’s social, cultural and architectural history. It represents an era of economic prosperity and elegance before the Great Depression took hold and much was lost.
Windsor House, now the Hotel Grand Windsor, survived it all and is an incredible tribute to our past and a wonderful time capsule in which to escape from modern life.