Holiday Inn Auckland Airport completes multi-million-dollar transformation

Media Release from Holiday Inn Auckland Airport

Holiday Inn Auckland Airport hotel is now the perfect place to ‘holiday’ before or after connecting to domestic and international destinations, thanks to a multi-million-dollar refurbishment.

Drawing inspiration from New Zealand and the Pacific, Holiday Inn Auckland Airport has a contemporary new look following a full renovation of its public spaces.

The $3million refurbishment, which commenced in June last year, has transformed the hotel’s ground floor restaurant and bar, hotel lobby, reception and swimming pool into eye-catching yet welcoming spaces, with a nod to cultural New Zealand and Pacific heritage.

The property’s ‘open marae-inspired design’ offers the perfect meeting ground for travellers and Aucklanders alike, giving it a ‘welcoming heart’ with bursts of colour, life and energy.

The stylish new lounge bar sits at the heart of the hotel, where the removal of its original floor and ceiling features has revolutionised the space and opened it up to the sub-tropical gardens and the new swimming pool deck.

The hotel’s restaurant is now a destination in its own right, taking diners on a culinary journey of native New Zealand in a Pacific holiday setting – think hanging plants, bursts of colour and authentic finishing touches.

Ten flexible meeting and function areas have received a fresh new look. The refurbishment reinforced the popularity of these rooms which have a relaxed resort, rather than city ‘feel’. The rooms are known to be particularly spacious, with an airy atmosphere and plenty of natural light.

Delighted with the transformation and the investment in Auckland and New Zealand tourism, Holiday Inn Auckland Airport General Manager Scott Schaefer described the new look as a “runway success”.

“From check-in to departure, there’s plenty to do to keep the family or colleagues entertained in comfort while you wait for your next flight or seminar,” he said.

“We have invested in games and other family-friendly amenities, reinforcing Holiday Inn’s family proposition and what the Holiday Inn brand is known for worldwide.

“A new cultural personality shines from within and it’s pleasing to say we’re now fully open for dining, weddings, ceremonies and family events. It is such a privilege to see the owner’s vision for the hotel come to life.”

New furniture, flooring, light fixtures greenery and artwork throughout has added a modern twist, complemented by injections of Maori wood carvings, gifted by the local Iwi.

The pool is an oasis of calm amidst sub-tropical gardens, although it’s just minutes away from Auckland Airport terminals and all major motorways.

A group of committed stakeholders in the project included owners Cockpit International, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Designworks, JSC Ltd and construction company Format.

The creative Designworks team designed the hotel so all public areas were on one level, with a strong central core.

“Guests gravitate towards the central courtyard and pool area now that a variety of spaces have been opened up and flow into what is the ‘welcoming heart’ of the site,” said Designworks’ Group Head of Spatial Design Clark Pritchard.

“The overall style is relaxed and inviting, using a fresh and natural palette of materials interjected with pattern and colour to reflect the Pacific holiday concept while also celebrating New Zealand and Pacific modern art, flora and fauna.”

Jacques De Lange, Managing Director of construction company Format, said they were “proud” to deliver the transformational project.

“Holiday Inn confirmed the strength in their brand by investing hugely in an improved facility,” he said.

“Hotel General Manager Scott Schaefer, the hotel management and design team were outstanding in the delivery process of this lovely project.”

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New faces at Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Queenstown’s premier lakefront hotel, Crowne Plaza Queenstown, has welcomed two passionate ‘foodies’ to its food and beverage operations.

Chilean-born Alvaro Morales has been appointed Head Chef, while Colombian-born Juan Gomez takes the reins as F&B Manager.

With culinary experience from across the globe, Alvaro is elated to step into the head chef role at threesixty restaurant, following his most recent sous chef position with a global hotel property in Taupo.

Having worked for a number of international hotel chains in South America and Europe, he earlier honed his culinary skills working with renowned chefs Joan Roca and Albert Adrià while interning in three-star Michelin restaurants in Spain.

His passion for delivering banquets stems from fond family memories of enjoying huge feasts with his family in the Chilean countryside.

“Food is family, family is life, and life is family,” he said.

“This is something my grandmother taught me and is still at the heart of my cooking style today.

“Not only is Queenstown a paradise in which to live, it’s foodie heaven, and I’m so excited to be here.

“Food is an integral part of a visitor’s holiday experience and I’m looking forward to creatively showcasing my Spanish heritage, made possible with the exceptional New Zealand ingredients on offer.

For F&B Manager Juan, his desire to challenge himself and progress his career led him to Queenstown.

Joining InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in 2012, Juan has spent the last five years working in InterContinental Wellington’s Lobby Lounge, working his way up from host to supervisor to managerial positions.

His passion for drinks has naturally progressed into a love for exceptional food experiences, and he’s looking forward to being mentored by general manager Anna Edie.

“I’m really inspired by Anna’s comprehensive international hotelier experience and look forward to working under her leadership,” he said.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead my team to offer unique guest experiences for visitors and locals dining at threesixty restaurant, as well as conference delegates and business groups.”

General Manager Anna Edie is “delighted” to welcome Alvaro and Juan to the property.

“It’s an exciting time as we’re heading into a busy winter, and I look forward to watching our food and beverage operations grow from strength to strength under their leadership.”

Conveniently located in the heart of Queenstown’s visitor, retail and business district, Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s ground-floor threesixty restaurant is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, High Tea, or a good coffee.

About Crowne Plaza Queenstown
Located in the heart of Queenstown with superb mountain and lake views, Crowne Plaza Queenstown offers a rejuvenating, friendly and enjoyable experience.

As a 4+ Qualmark rated hotel, rooms provide a peaceful place to stay and are furnished in neutral tones. The chic bar area and award-winning threesixty restaurant enables you to connect with friends, family or colleagues in a modern and contemporary environment.

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VisitorPoint makes TRENZ debut

Media Release from VisitorPoint

New Zealand’s largest and most successful distributor of travel and tourism information is attending the country’s biggest annual business-to-business travel and trade event for the first time.

With more than 30 years’ experience in brochure distribution, VisitorPoint will showcase its new client reporting products at TRENZ 2018 in Dunedin, sharing its success stories with new operators and re-connecting with existing clients.

VisitorPoint currently distributes over 3,500 brochure titles from New Zealand tourism operators the length and breadth of the country. It has over 2000 physical display outlets nationally and operates 36 distribution circuits supported by its 30-strong staff.

Business development manager Jenni Powell said the 300 operators attending TRENZ made it an “obvious choice” for them to attend.

“After listening to the tourism and travel industry about the need for data, we’ve made significant investment into the development of our warehousing and distribution systems to create a one-stop-shop for operators’ print collateral management needs,” she said.

The system being unveiled for the first time at TRENZ will enable tourism operators to manage their print marketing investment in real time using the live VisitorPointOnline Reporting Suite.

Thanks to the innovative system, operators can access live reporting to review existing distribution contracts and costs, and monitor their national stock holding at the click of a mouse.

Most importantly, and in real time, they can track activity through VisitorPoint’s network of merchandised circuits as well as warehouse dispatches to trade.

“It’s vital information for a business to access so they can improve performance marketing to advertisers, as well giving them an invaluable insight into feeder markets and product demand,” said Jenni.

“This in turn helps predict accurate print runs to minimise wastage and maximise return.

“As the largest national distributor of travel information in New Zealand, we have great data to share with the industry which is extremely valuable to help ensure businesses are making the most of their print investments.”

VisitorPoint is currently celebrating its biggest year ever, with over 11 million tourism brochures distributed into the market.

“Our new online reporting suite could not have come at a better time, giving operators national visibility on demand for tourism products.”

Leisure and business tourism is now contributing $1.5 billion into the regional economy annually, with Queenstown and Christchurch leading the charge ahead of Wellington, Auckland, and Hamilton and Waikato.

“Printed tourism brochures are certainly not a thing of the past in New Zealand,” said Jenni.

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