Art Deco Experiences
Lonely Planet describes Napier as the ‘charismatic’ New Zealand city that ‘can provoke a Great Gatsby swagger in the least romantic soul’. Visit at any time of the year and you’ll immediately see what the writers mean.
Napier was rebuilt in the early 1930s, following the massive 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. The new buildings reflected the styles of the times - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission, and Art Deco – as well as incorporating some unique Maori motifs. What was bold and modern then is heritage chic now, and the city takes pride in protecting and promoting our unique architecture and style.
You can delve into the stories and finest examples of Art Deco by visiting the Art Deco Centre directly opposite the hotel and exploring the shop, taking a guided walking tour or a vintage car tour.
You’ll discover more about the earthquake that brought about Napier’s renaissance in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake exhibition at MTG Hawke’s Bay, also just across the street from Art Deco Masonic Hotel.
If you’re keen to really embrace the Art Deco spirit, there’s no better time to visit Napier than the third weekend of February when local Heritage organization the Art Deco Trust, stages its annual Art Deco Festival. The city gleams with vintage cars; vintage steam trains; deco dining; art deco shows; vintage aircrafts and aerial displays over the city while people dressed in Deco era style bring glamour and elegance to this unique festival which attracts people from many overseas countries.
Art Deco Trust also offers year round Luxury Vintage Car Tours, Daily Guided Walks, an Art Deco Shop that stocks Art Deco accessories as well as beautiful home wares and gifts and of course the Winter Deco Festival, a smaller boutique version of the summer festival, held in July.– an extravaganza of elegance celebrating an era of sophistication and an all-important time in Napier’s history. But be sure to book your accommodation at Art Deco Masonic Hotel as soon as you can as the place fills up quickly when over 40,000 people flock to the Art Deco Capital!