Holiday Inn Express opens first NZ hotel in Queenstown

Pro-invest Group is set to launch its first hotel in New Zealand with its doors opening to guests in Queenstown for school holidays and the start of the ski season.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is a 227-room hotel, on the corner of Stanley and Sydney Streets in Queenstown’s centre. It officially opens to guests on Friday 10 July.

The hotel opening is being seen as a massive ‘shot in the arm’ for the beleaguered Queenstown tourism industry and a mark of faith in the resurgence of domestic and future international visitors.

The hotel’s room offering includes spacious suites – a Holiday Inn Express ‘first’ in New Zealand and Australia – in addition to superior rooms, which provide breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.

Ronald Barrott, Pro-invest Group Chief Executive Officer, said the Group was excited to launch a new product at its first New Zealand property and expected strong demand.

“We are committed to expanding the Holiday Inn Express brand in New Zealand and we’re confident that Queenstown’s reputation as premier destination makes it the ideal place to start,” he said.

“Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown has a stylish vibe, complete with an outdoor lounge with firepit. It’s also equipped with the smart, simple rooms, and features business and leisure travellers know and love.

“With school holidays approaching, the ski season underway and New Zealand’s COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted, we are anticipating that Queenstown and our latest hotel will be a popular destination for many holidaymakers.

“It provides easy access to popular ski destinations of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Treble Cone, while popular tourist attractions such as the Skyline gondola and the town’s dining precinct are on your doorstep. Queenstown is the home of adventure and also the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Milford Sound.

“The hotel’s location will also appeal to corporate and business travellers and makes for an ideal events and convention venue, as it’s only a short distance from the CBD.

“We are pleased to contribute to Queenstown’s vibrancy with another high-quality hotel offering.”

The hotel is equipped with all the features the Holiday Inn Express brand has become renowned for including an Express Start breakfast, power showers, black-out blinds, high-quality bedding with a choice of pillows and uncapped Wi-Fi.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown also features a fitness room, sauna, two flexible meeting rooms, self-serve laundry, dry room, onsite parking and a free business centre.

The hotel’s architecture – designed by local architectural practice McAuliffe Stevens (MSRA) – combines abstract elements representing ice and erratic rock forms to pay homage to the hotel’s landscape history and achieve a design that fits with the surrounding urban environment.

The hotel’s General Manager, Jason Sabin, said his team was looking forward to showcasing what smart, simple travel is all about.

“Our rooms provide all the quality conveniences that make you feel at home, even when you’re away,” he said.

“We are proud of our sustainability-focused facilities and initiatives, such as the carpets throughout the building which are made from recycled fishing nets.”

Mr Barrott also highlighted other initiatives.

“From a design perspective for instance, all air leaving the hotel passes through a heat recovery plant. This extracts the energy from air coming from the hotel’s bathrooms and other areas and transfers that energy, whether it’s heat in winter or cooling in summer, to the incoming fresh air. The results are a substantial reduction in energy used to pre-treat the incoming air for the hotel ventilation,” he said.

“We are also excited to continue rolling out IHG’s flagship sustainability initiative, A Greener Stay, which Pro-invest in collaboration with IHG introduced to the APAC region back in 2017.  A Greener Stay allows guests to take part in conserving the environment through opt out of housekeeping services should they stay two or more nights, resulting in energy and water savings. As an added reward, guests who choose the opt-out receive up to 500 IHG Rewards Club points per night.

“As a group, Pro-invest is committed to developing, operating and managing its hotel portfolio in a sustainable manner and continuously improve on its ESG strategies wherever feasible.

“We look forward to welcoming locals looking for a staycation, travelers exploring the region from all over New Zealand and – circumstances permitting – from overseas very shortly.”

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is the first and only hotel under the Holiday Inn Express brand in New Zealand to date. It is the sixth Holiday Inn Express property since 2016 to be opened by Pro-invest Group, following the launch of Sydney Macquarie Park, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Melbourne Southbank hotels in Australia.

Pro-invest Group has plans for additional New Zealand properties.

“We have acquired a prime site in Auckland on the North Island to help continue the Group’s international growth in the coming years,” Mr Barrott said.

“This site will become New Zealand’s second Holiday Inn Express hotel and Pro-invest and New Zealand’s first voco hotel in 2021.”

The voco Hotels brand is a lifestyle-orientated brand by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Pro-invest Group develops and operates Holiday Inn Express and voco hotels in Australia and New Zealand under a franchise agreement with IHG.