Crowne Plaza Christchurch pays tribute to the past with pianist Peter Lewis at Christmas

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Christchurch

Crowne Plaza Christchurch is throwing a festive, family Christmas this year all wrapped up with oodles of fun, a glass or two of festive bubbles and the return of the hotel’s legendary ‘piano man’ Peter Lewis.

For 23 years Peter played the piano in the original Crowne Plaza Hotel lobby before his smooth harmonious tunes ended with the February 2011 earthquake.

“I was employed as a full-time pianist from the day the hotel opened, making lots of friends near and far,” said Peter.

“Many of the local guests today still enquire from time to time as to where I might be playing.

“I have lots of fond memories of meeting an amazing range of people including celebrities such as George Harrison from The Beatles, John Cleese and the list goes on.”

In recognition of the many hours he spent tinkling the ivories at the hotel, he was gifted the piano he used to play after it closed its doors.

So it’s only fitting that on the new hotel’s first Christmas Day, he’ll be back to add a touch of nostalgia to the celebrations as a guest performer welcoming diners to their lunch or dinner celebrations.

The menu is groaning with Christmas classics such as stuffed turkey and cranberry sauce, honey-glazed champagne ham, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without kiwi favourites including oysters, prawns in cocktail sauce, Canterbury leg of lamb or Akaroa salmon amongst others.

On the basis that guests are never full enough on this celebratory day, they can top it all off with traditional Christmas pudding, Eton Mess, macaroons or trifle. Or all of the above!

Crowne Plaza General Manager Reinier Eulink is looking forward to the hotel-playing host to a fun-filled family Christmas.

“We’re bringing back a little bit of the old ambience with the hotel’s beloved piano man Peter, tying this in with our past and present,” he said.

“For us it’s also a chance to highlight the wonderful first year we’re having and raise a toast to how far we’ve come.”

Adult diners on Christmas Day will receive complimentary bubbles on arrival with Social Wine Bar open from midday. Festivities can begin on a high note with soft drinks for the kids and even a dedicated television and games room for younger family members!

Meanwhile for businesses looking to kick off the silly season in the office with a Crowne Plaza hosted Christmas work party, the hotel’s function packages are sure to get staff rocking around the Christmas tree.

Custom events start from $40 to $79 with a range of catering offers, each including a welcome glass of bubbles on arrival, so businesses can rest assured it will be no silent night.

Function capacities range from small groups of 10 to 35 guests, to larger scale parties up to 140 guests. Package highlights include festive theming, special accommodation rates, Christmas crackers and of course a menu to make your heart sing.

Essential booking information

Christmas Day lunch seating times are from 11.30am to 1.30pm or 2pm to 4pm, and dinner buffet times run from 5pm to 7pm or 7.30pm to 9.30pm.  Bookings are essential by contacting [email protected] or calling 03 741 2810.  

The Christmas Day buffet menu starts at $49 for children from six to 16 years old and $129 for adults. Children aged five or younger dine for free. 

To find out more about Crowne Plaza’s event venues or book your Christmas party contact [email protected] or call 03 741 2810.  

Picture caption:

1/ Peter Lewis is looking forward to recreating Christmas magic at Crowne Plaza Christchurch

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Champagne breakfast starts Cup and Show Day at Crowne Plaza Christchurch in style

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Christchurch

Crowne Plaza Christchurch has partnered with fabulous Bollinger Champagne for one of the most glamorous and highly-anticipated social events on Canterbury’s calendar.

Crowne Plaza’s Cup Day Bollinger Breakfast on November 14 promises to be a delicious way to get the prestigious Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day off to a racing start.

The two-hour event in the hotel’s renowned Market Place includes a flute of complimentary Champagne on entry, a sumptuous breakfast, gourmet canapé selection, a T2 iced tea station dressed with seasonal fruits, Clinique touch-up makeup artists on the floor courtesy of Ballantynes, and return coach transfers to the Addington race course.

As it’s the new hotel’s first Cup Day event, it’s promising to pull out all the stops, with ‘whispers’ of a decadent chocolate fountain to delight guests.

Lovers of fashion, fascinators, food and fun will be well catered-for, with the gourmet food spread featuring continental and full breakfast options and a ‘cooked-to-order’ egg station.

There will be something to fill everyone’s appetite from bliss balls to pretzel hot- smoked salmon sliders and a Belgian waffle station, meaning guests will have no trouble fueling up for the day’s action. They can also try new breakfast items including a classic kiwi bacon and egg pie.

Cup Day is considered to be Australasia’s most prominent harness racing event, drawing crowds from all over the country.

Crowne Plaza Christchurch General Manager Reinier Eulink said he couldn’t wait to see Market Place buzzing with colour and laughter.

“Cup Day drew over 20,000 people last year so it’s not only a favourite in the hearts and minds of locals but attracts crowds from all around the country,” he said.

“With Cup Week on the calendar it’s great news not only for our hotel but for the region’s tourism industry.

“We have some fantastic partners lined up our event and we’re looking forward to it really kicking off our summer season with a bang!”

Tickets for Crowne Plaza’s Cup Day Bollinger Breakfast are $75 per person. The event starts at 10am and coaches leave at midday, just in time to catch some of the first races.

The ever-fabulous Canterbury Cup Week will also mark the launch of Crowne Plaza’s delightful High Tea experience. Hosted in Social Wine Bar, groups can enjoy a three-tier assortment of high tea classics such as finger sandwiches, macarons, mini salmon quiches and a glass of bubbles. Dining in the fresh, contemporary downstairs space is a very reasonable $38 per person.

Executive Chef Mirco Turtschi has been busy refining the details of the Bollinger breakfast and High Tea packages.

“This is Crowne Plaza’s first Cup Day in our new premises so we’re excited to showcase what we do with some stunning gourmet breakfast canapés and summer fruits for the breakfast,” he said.

“Our High Teas will be the cherry on the cake, so to speak, and with the fresh seasonal produce that comes with the warmer summer months we’re very much looking forward to inviting guests to sample that taste of summer.”

Social Wine Bar seating for High Tea is limited and tickets for the Cup Day Bollinger Breakfast event are sure to be in hot demand. Bookings are essential by contacting [email protected] or calling (03) 741 2810.

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1) Enjoy a delightful High Tea experience at Crowne Plaza Christchurch’s sophisticated Social Wine Bar

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Crowne Plaza Auckland – all business, mostly

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Auckland

New Zealand’s leading business hotel, Crowne Plaza Auckland, is helping guests ‘switch off’ from the daily grind.

Located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, the award-winning hotel has launched three new packages – Mostly Energised, Mostly Inspired and Mostly Social – to ensure downtime is as productive as work time.

Whether guests are in Auckland for an event, need some much-needed rest and relaxation, or are looking for a weekend escape, the great value packages are designed to leave them feeling inspired, energised and connected.

Stay active in the city with a Mostly Inspired Package, aimed at outdoor enthusiasts, runners, or the health conscious who want to achieve fitness goals or enjoy a slower-paced scenic walk.

This fantastic package saves guests up to $55 and includes a night’s accommodation for two and a ‘refuel breakfast’ at Aria Restaurant to get the day off to the perfect start.

Thoughtful extras include a personalised Yeti cooling towel (when wet it cools up to 15° below outdoor temperature), an Auckland running map and a bottle of New Zealand’s finest spring water.

A Mostly Energised Package is available for those who need to recharge the batteries.

The package includes a $50 voucher for a treatment of choice at the award-winning Bliss Reflexology & Massage Spa, a rejuvenating night’s stay for two with late check out, the obligatory spring water and a healthy buffet breakfast for two at Aria Restaurant.

The Mostly Social Package is the perfect weekend escape for girlfriends or couples hitting the city for a shopping trip, theatre experience, sports game or an overdue catch up with friends.

This deal is available on all room types and combines accommodation, breakfast for two at Aria Restaurant, a premium bottle of New Zealand wine, parking and late checkout, with savings up to $90.

Crowne Plaza Auckland General Manager Tim Pollock said these unique packages had been created to live true to our new brand tagline “we’re all business, mostly”.

“Our guests seek innovative experiences and we’re providing the perfect base where they can feel productive, connected, rested and restored,” he said.

“Our city has so much to offer and in people’s time-pressured lives a glass of New Zealand pinot, or a run along the waterfront is just as important as the daily grind.”

All packages are subject to booking availability and must be booked one day in advance.

For bookings or more information go to

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1/ Crowne Plaza Auckland is the perfect base for a weekend escape

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Crowne Plaza Christchurch wins silver in national award

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Christchurch

The design team behind the stunning new Crowne Plaza Christchurch has won a silver award in a national competition.

New Zealand design agency Designworks received the silver accolade in the Best Design Awards for its innovative and fresh design approach for the hotel.

The company was a finalist in the hotly-contested Hospitality Spatial Design.

Designworks architect Naomi Rushmer said there was an extremely high standard of entries in the category.

“Our entry for Crowne Plaza Christchurch was in the notoriously tough hospitality category with large entry numbers,” she said.

“To win a silver award on the night was a great result.”

The Best Awards are run by The Designers Institute of New Zealand, and Ms Rushmer said Designworks had a “very successful” night with wins across Spatial, Graphic, Best Effect, Product and Ngā Aho categories.

“The awards are a wonderful opportunity to showcase the new hotel design to a wider audience and we’re delighted with the end result,” she said.

Designworks focused on delivering a creative guest experience for Crowne Plaza Christchurch based around being welcomed into the property, and how that flowed into relaxation, eating and working across the entire hotel.

“As the city’s largest hotel, attracting locals and those from across the globe, the design needed to deliver an exciting and unique experience maximizing the 360-degree views of the Port Hills, Southern Alps and Pacific Ocean,” said Ms Rushmer.

Eye-catching features around the 204-room upscale hotel include a lobby space featuring timber slats wrapping the walls and a large freeform mesh ceiling feature, inspired by the winding Avon River, glowing over the reception pods.

The space connects to the adjacent lobby bar through a striking doubled-sided central fireplace, and a grand open staircase connects to first floor dining, library and meeting rooms.

Full-height windows flood the ground floor with natural light during the day, and dramatic lighting brings the spaces to life at night. The design detail even drills down to feature carpets and rugs drawing inspiration from the braided rivers and topography of the South Island.

Standout design features in rooms include glazed bathrooms (with privacy blinds) that are open to the rooms and changing vistas, and large window seats in every room framing expansive views.

Crowne Plaza Christchurch General Manager Reinier Eulink said the hotel team and owners were “delighted” with the world-class design and congratulated Designworks on the silver award.

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1/ Members of the winning Designworks design team (L-R) Sebastian Negri, Naomi Rushmer and Clark Pritchard

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