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 crowneplaza.nz/auckland_mostly.

Picture caption:

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

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New Crowne Plaza Christchurch blazing a trail for business success in revitalised city centre

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Christchurch

Just three months since opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch is setting a benchmark for business success.

The hotel opened to great fanfare as the city records record growth from its visitor economy, the CBD has come alive with the opening of retail centres such as The Crossing and in all more than $1 billion-worth of new buildings are touted for the retail precinct.

In the three months since opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch has exceeded opening budgets for rooms, food and beverage and conferencing as the ‘new kid on the block’, the city’s largest upscale CBD hotel.

The tourism boost looks unlikely to slow down anytime soon.

Latest Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) figures show Christchurch hotel occupancy for September has increased almost 5% on the same time last year. Other industry reporting also highlights this trend with stronger year-on-year demand for CBD hotels in the 4.5 to 5-star market.

ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau and Industry Partnership Manager Caroline Blanchfield said visitor spending was increasing year on year, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy.

“The amount of money being spent by visitors in the last 12 months has exceeded pre-earthquake levels, with visitors spending $2224 million in Christchurch and $3472 million in Canterbury in the year up until August 2017, based on Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures,” she said.

Ms Blanchfield said it was good to see hotels such as Crowne Plaza opening in the city and doing so well.

“Increasing numbers of visitors are coming to Christchurch as the city continues to emerge, with new bars, restaurants and retail shops opening weekly. It is fantastic to have a range of accommodation providers on board to meet different visitor needs.”

While many new buildings have opened or are about to open in the CBD, construction work continues apace. Yet to come are developments on Colombo Street, smaller rebuilds on Cashel Street, The Terrace, EntX Entertainment Centre and the Victoria Square renovation – all within walking distance of the hotel.

“We’re looking forward to some of these additional commercial projects being completed in the next six to 12 months and the flow-on effect of increasing numbers of visitors and office workers to the city,” said General Manager Reinier Eulink.

Forward demand is very strong especially in the leisure market with guests booking well into 2018.

The hotel’s internal ‘Guest Love’ customer satisfaction survey currently ranks Crowne Plaza Christchurch in the Number One spot for Crowne Plaza hotels throughout Australasia.

“This confirms the hotel is succeeding in delivering consistently great guest experiences and building lifetime relationships with guests,” said Reinier.

The hotel is also booked well in advance for special events coming to the city.

Within those first few weeks of opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch has already hosted Emirates Team New Zealand, Highlanders and Chiefs rugby teams and corporate groups from Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

It is hosting teams visiting the city for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup starting on January 19 and being played at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. Both semi-finals will be played in Christchurch on January 29 and 30.

Crowne Plaza Christchurch is also experiencing strong bookings for the month-long Golden Oldies Sports Celebration starting on April 1 2018.

“The city is attracting increasing numbers of international events and we’re delighted to host participants and spectators,” said Reinier.

The hotel is experiencing strong demand for meetings and conferences, with its event spaces proving a major drawcard for the property. With four flexible spaces on offer, the hotel has been a popular addition to the Christchurch market and was also invited to host the welcome event for the Convene South tradeshow in September, introducing the hotel to more than 100 event planners.

The names of the meeting spaces connect the hotel to the early history of Victoria Square and previous hotel owners. The larger Golden Fleece room accommodates up to 150 people and the smaller Ellis, Gartner and Oram rooms are designed to be used individually or combined to cater for larger numbers.

One of the city’s first hotels, The Golden Fleece, once occupied the site of the new Crowne Plaza.

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1/ Crowne Plaza Christchurch is experiencing strong demand for meetings and conferences at the hotel

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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.

Picture caption:

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

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Yonder – the healthy alternative with a difference

Media Release from Yonder, Queenstown

Healthy nutrient-packed bowls, affordable breakfast options and decadent treats are ‘wowing’ foodies at Queenstown’s newest eatery.

The delightfully named café, bar and experimental kitchen, Yonder, is a contemporary new spot for locals and visitors who like the odd indulgence, good coffee and a healthy lifestyle.

The kitchen team, handpicked by Malaysian-born head chef Jamie Samakkody, have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Inspired by cities around the globe, the menu’s accessible and affordable. Yonder’s chefs are committed to making breads, nut butters and yoghurts in house, and experimenting with seasonal ingredients to create nutritious dishes that are big on flavour.

With an unstoppable energy for cooking, Jamie and sous chef Phil Norfolk are driven by their passion to “rock the culinary world”.

Known for their “genius” skills in concocting tasty vegan and gluten free treats, bakers include Sophie Collins-McKenzie and Toby Wood.

Director Gary Livesey says Yonder is about pushing boundaries from different angles to offer healthy options in creative ways.

“We saw a niche in the market to deliver wholesome options with healthy fare, without breaking the bank,” he says.

“It’s fantastic to see our chefs thriving in the new environment and experimenting daily to produce vegan and vegetarian dishes that can be naturally sugar, diary, gluten and nut free.

“We’ve got such an awesome team who are helping us deliver intimate experiences throughout the day for our breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night guests.”

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) four years ago, Gary is the first to admit that Yonder is a ‘self-indulgent’ project based around personal healthy living.

“My biggest struggle adapting to my new lifestyle has been finding cool places to eat with friends, where no-one had to make a compromise,” he says.

“Yonder’s bridging this gap and we’ve created a beautiful space where health-conscious individuals can enjoy an affordable feed while friends tuck into tasty indulgent dishes, all with some live music ‘on the side’.”

Drawing on fresh and local ingredients, Chef Jamie’s passion for serving up freshly baked goods and Asian-inspired dishes has certainly sparked some ‘table talk’.

Lunch and brunch is a step up from the classic Kiwi fare with a gluten free and vegan blueberry stack, vegan tofu scram, and pulled lamb flat bread on the menu, or ‘locals favourite’ a tuna poke bowl is sure to whet the appetite.

Dinner puts smaller sharing dishes front and centre with salt n’ sichuan squid, bao buns and perfectly roasted roots. If you’re in it for yourself, mains include an ancient grain salad, brisket and chips or a kimchi bowl.

Pastry chefs at heart, the kitchen brigade gets to go to town with fantastically colourful café cabinet temptations. Tempting those with a sweet tooth, there’s an ever-changing array of cheesecakes, raw slices and cakes, made in-house daily.

Yonder is open daily for breakfast, brunch and coffee from 7.30am to 3.30pm and dinner from 5pm to 10pm. Once the sun fully sets, Yonder’s the ‘go-to’ spot for live music and events until 1.30am.

Picture caption:

1/ Korean-inspired kimchi and tuna poke bowls are a highlight on Yonder’s brunch menu

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