Operating far from the main centres has been no barrier for several winners in the 2018 New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards, announced last Thursday evening at a gala dinner in Auckland.
High-performing staff members from the previously un-nominated Franz Josef region won three of the 12 awards. The Hotel Industry Awards celebrate and recognise the individuals and hotels delivering outstanding visitor experiences, and set a benchmark of excellence for others to aspire to.
The awards were part of the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference, co-hosted by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL Ltd.
A new award, Regional Hotel Employee of the Year, was presented for the first time to recognise the best operational employee working in a hotel not located in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Queenstown.
Sally Attfield, hotel sector manager at TIA, says the new award is 'an opportunity for regional staff to shine'.
It was awarded to Rohan Thakur, front office manager of Te Waonui Forest Retreat in Franz Josef.
'It’s often difficult to work in a remote region, but Rohan is surviving and thriving in that environment. He is knowledgeable about the product, customer- focused, flexible, and calm under pressure. He’s a great leader and is always looking for ways to develop and motivate his team,' says Attfield.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat’s Richard Bungeroth picked up the award for Hotel Industry General Manager of the Year, while Mick Yuan from Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier was named Hotel Industry Food and Beverage Employee of the Year.
'It’s extremely pleasing to see that hotels in remote regions are meeting the challenges of providing excellent customer service and can foot it with main centre properties that benefit from much easier access to staff and resources,' Horwath HTL Ltd director Stephen Hamilton says.
The hotel sector’s most prestigious prize, the Hotel Industry Achievement Award, also went to a hotelier who built her career in the regions. The Hotel Industry Achievement Award was presented for the fifth time this year to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of an individual to the New Zealand hotel and tourism industry.
It was won by Kathy Guy, group general manager of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel and the Wairakei Resort Taupō, and a director of scenic flight operator Mountain Air.
'Starting out as a waitress, a job that fitted around her young family, Kathy worked her way up to management level. In addition to overseeing the restoration of the iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel, she has been active in both the regional and national tourism industry, representing her region on a number of boards and setting up the Ruapehu Marketing Group,' says Attfield.
Hamilton says the New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards attracted a record number of entries this year, giving the judges a difficult task.
'The calibre of the finalists and winners shows our hotel sector is in good heart and is providing people with excellent career opportunities across a range of disciplines.'
The hotel industry is a vital part of New Zealand’s $36 billion tourism industry, supporting employment for thousands of people and injecting millions of dollars into our country. They also give back to their local communities in many ways.
The judging process selected candidates who demonstrated a number of common factors, such as receiving recognition from hotel guests beyond the norm, demonstrating a remarkable commitment to their employer, having undergone training to further their career, and personal attributes such as personality, problem solving, and anticipating guests’ needs.
The winners of the New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards are:
Hotel Industry Achievement Award
- Kathy Guy, Group General Manager of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel and the Wairakei Resort Taupō
Hotel Industry General Manager of the Year, sponsored by AHS Hospitality
- Richard Bungeroth, General Manager, Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier
Hotel Industry Senior Hotel Executive of the Year, sponsored by NZ Sotheby’s International Realty
- Les Morgan, Director of Hotels, Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Industry Outstanding Young Hotel Executive of the Year
- Danielle Davies, Business Development Manager – International, SKYCITY Hotel and SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland
Hotel Industry Administration Employee of the Year
- Eugenia Marquez, Marketing Executive, Cordis Hotel, Auckland
Hotel Industry Concierge of the Year
- Ingmar Becker, Chief Concierge, Bolton Hotel, Wellington
Hotel Industry Environmental Initiative of the Year, sponsored by SKAL
- Sudima Auckland Airport
Hotel Industry Food and Beverage Employee of the Year, sponsored by ServiceIQ
- Mick Yuan, Restaurant and Bar Manager, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Hotel Industry Front Office Services Employee of the Year, sponsored by the New Zealand School of Tourism
- Neil Hemraj, Front Office Manager, CityLife Hotel Auckland
Hotel Industry Housekeeper Employee of the Year, sponsored by Vendella
- Annalise Stewart, Executive Housekeeper, InterContinental Hotel Wellington
Hotel Industry Regional Hotel Employee of the Year
- Rohan Thakur, Front Office Manager, Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier
Hotel Industry Revenue Manager of the Year, sponsored by ARMA
- Roma Patel, National Reservations & and Yield Manager, Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Industry Sales, Marketing & Distribution Employee of the Year, sponsored by Fastrack Group
- Leigh Higgins, Director of Sales – Corporate and MICE, Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel is expanding its accommodation by adding three new rooms, which will all feature views of The Remarkables mountain range.
They will be styled in a similar fashion to the existing premier Remarkables rooms, but will feature individual gas fireplaces, an open balcony and views over Queenstown Recreational Ground to The Remarkables.
Invercargill’s Ascot Park Hotel will undergo a $2.1 million renovation following investment by the Invercargill Licensing Trust.
The Trust has approved extensive upgrades to 53 of the hotel’s 116 rooms, with 13 completed to date and another four currently in the construction phase.
IHG’s Crowne Plaza has installed Tesla destination chargers at all of its properties throughout Australia.
Tesla owners can now travel throughout NSW, VIC, ACT, WA, QLD and even in New Zealand knowing that multiple Crowne Plaza properties have the chargers. Each hotel has installed two destination chargers, with most locations delivering between 40km and 80km of range per hour.
Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina Cairns will transformation 184 guest rooms, as part of a $13 million transformation.
The design and décor of the guest rooms focus on modern simplicity with nautical accents, moving away from the traditional and embracing comfort, practicality and the local environment.
Construction at Novotel Melbourne South Wharf is ploughing on, with the 300+-room hotel set to be a big asset to the adjacent Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The South Wharf hotel will be the fourth Novotel for Melbourne, and the build is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the city.
Cordis, Auckland has officially completed its multi-million dollar refurbishment, following its rebranding from The Langham Hotel in November last year.
The refurbishment included 411 rooms and suites, a new Lobby Lounge and Club Floor.
Pullman Brisbane King George Square Hotel has re-appointed Staging Connections as the sole in-house event services provider, ahead of planned upgrades.
The hotel is the city’s largest conference venue with 12 flexible meeting rooms, including the Presidential Ballroom, Grand Windsor Ballroom, and King George Room, and cater up to 750 guests.
The design team behind the new Crowne Plaza Christchurch has won silver in the Best Design Awards.
Designworks was a finalist in the hotly-contested Hospitality Spatial Design category in the competition run by The Designers Institute of New Zealand.
Rydges Hotels and Resorts New Zealand has been voted number one in New Zealand at the National Travel Industry Awards.
The hotel chain won ‘Best Hotel Group’ category at the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards announced before 600 guests at Sky City Grand on the weekend.
Queenstown’s Hotel St Moritz has unveiled new-look rooms and suites, along with upgrades to public areas to coincide with the start of the resort’s summer season.
The Queenstown property is a member of the global MGallery by Sofitel collection. The upgrades include new furniture in the lobby, Lombardi restaurant and boutique conference and incentive spaces The Library and The Den. New and enhanced cabling ensures high-speed internet, and new smart TVs have been installed.
Hilton Lake Taupo is undertaking a redesign of its conference and event facilities that are set to reopen in December 2017.
The refurbishment and extension to the hotel’s heritage wing will see the Victorian design of the original building, built in 1889, sit alongside state-of-the-art technology and contemporary furnishings to create a world-class event hub.
‘The development work will reinforce Hilton’s position as the clear choice for conferences, meetings, weddings, social functions and corporate events in the Central North Island region,’ says Adrian Teh, general manager, Hilton Auckland and Hilton Lake Taupo.
The announcement earlier this year of the Pullman coming to Rotorua is great news for the city, and reflects its transformation into a leading business events destination. Destination Rotorua’s business events manager Craig Murray says that while it is staying true to its roots, the city is adapting to fit with the changing world around it. ‘Rotorua is changing.
The value of consents for hotels, motels, and other short-term accommodation shot up to $490 million in the June 2017 year, according to new figures from Statistics NZ.New hotels in Auckland and Canterbury drove the 216% increase from the June 2016 year. The figures reveal the Auckland value for short-term accommodation buildings was boosted by consents for two substantial new hotels – Park Hyatt Auckland and SkyCity’s New Zealand International Convention Centre.
Three of New Zealand’s key wholesalers have joined forces to promote travel to South America. Adventure World, Viva Expeditions and World Journeys say the time has come to get more agents onboard with the huge potential they all believe exists to grow sales. ‘South America is one of the fastest growing destinations for NZ travellers and agents need to get upskilled to get their share’, the committee says.
Wyndham Hotel Group has announced its third Ramada Suites for Auckland – Ramada Suites Victoria Street West, Auckland – which will be the company’s 12th property in New Zealand.
Construction has begun and is slated to be completed late in 2018. With a mix of hotel and residential accommodation, the property will feature studios, executive suites and one-bedroom apartments, all with kitchen facilities and either harbour or city views featuring the Sky Tower.
Crowne Plaza has made its return to Christchurch, promising to be the largest upscale hotel in the CBD with 204 modern rooms, a new café, bar and restaurant and four modern event spaces.
The return of the brand to the city is a significant milestone for the current owners of the former office building, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism.
Building co-owner Shane Le Compte of local investment and development company MC Christchurch Holdings says the former Crowne Plaza Christchurch had a loyal following amongst Cantabrians.
The Mangatera Hotel in the Manawatu township of Dannevirke is on the market.
The hotel offers conference, function and event facilities, a 60-seat restaurant and nine accommodation rooms.
It employs two full-time staff, with an additional pool of 12 part-time personnel working in all disciplines of the business during peak function and event periods.
The Mangatera Hotel land, buildings and business are being marketed for sale by Bayleys Napier. According to Bayleys’ Napier commercial salesperson Rodger Howie, the hotel’s buildings encompass a total floor area of approximately 1,033 square metres and is situated on some 4,433 square metres of freehold land. It
Sydney Airport's newest hotel, the Mantra Hotel is set to welcome its first guests from July 19.
The hotel will feature 136 studio rooms, a restaurant and bar, and an integrated lobby and reception space.
The nine-level new-build hotel will feature a 24/7 atmosphere and service, express check-out, and internet kiosk.
Holiday Inn Auckland Airport will undergo a full refurbishment of all public spaces, starting next month.
The three-million-dollar redevelopment will transform the hotel’s public spaces, including the restaurant and bar, function rooms, hotel lobby, reception and swimming pool.
Building on the heritage, community and cultural significance of the hotel's location, creative design agency Designworks is tasked with drawing inspiration from New Zealand and Pacific to create a ‘welcoming heart’ for the hotel.
A $50 million new-build ibis Styles Hobart is set to open in late July, after an agreement was reached between AccorHotels and Singapore developer Fragrance Group. It will be the first of three hotels opened by the group in Hobart.
Currently in final stages of construction, it will be the Tasmanian city’s largest hotel.
With 296-rooms spanning 10 floors, the hotel will be the largest in the Tasmanian capital city and bring much needed design-led affordable quality accommodation to Hobart. Ibis Styles Hobart will boast a rooftop indoor heated lap pool, two saunas, a gymnasium and free wifi throughout. A number of rooms will have views over the River Derwent.
AccorHotels has announced a new 5-star Pullman hotel will open in Rotorua in late 2018/early 2019. It will be the first internationally branded 5-star hotel to open in the city.
Pullman Rotorua is currently being developed as a conversion of an existing nine-storey building once used as a government building in the central business district on Arawa Street.
The 130-room hotel will feature an executive lounge, business lounge, chill-out lounge, restaurant and bar, gymnasium, car parking as well as five meeting rooms catering for conference and events.
Marriott is debuting its Element brand in Australia in the Richmond area of Melbourne.
The new hotel will be a part of the Botanicca Corporate Park - a campus-style office park featuring modern commercial spaces and a variety of retail and lifestyle amenities.
There will be 168 guestrooms and a few of them will feature kitchenettes for guests that are after a longer stay.
Wyndham Hotel Group is bringing a second hotel to Queenstown, Wyndham Garden Remarkables Park.
The hotel will feature meeting space, a gym, onsite car parking, and a wide range of accommodation including studios, executive suites, and one-bedroom units complete with kitchen facilities.
It’s also within walking distance of Queenstown Airport and the shuttle to the Remarkables, as well as a short drive from Coronet Peak and The Remarkables snow fields.
Wyndham Hotel Group currently has more than 100 hotels operating under a range of brands and is now bringing a new one to New Zealand.
Ramada ENCORE’s first build will be in Christchurch’s CBD, near the Canterbury Museum and Arts Centre and other attractions.
Christchurch has recently gone through a tourism boom, the city’s tourism revenue grew 5% NZD $2.2 billion in the year ending January 2017, making Christchurch the country’s second largest tourism market – an ideal spot for the new brand.
The Heritage Auckland now has a new executive chef at its helm, Gerard O’Keefe.
A plethora of experience under his belt, O’Keefe is also quite familiar with the hotel’s kitchen as he was previously working as the executive sous chef.
Growing up in as the son of a former Navy chef, O’Keefe was introduced to his culinary journey at quite a young age.
One of the largest hotel trade expos to happen in New Zealand will take place late May, when the Marriott International Global Sales Mission is held at the Maritime Room in Auckland.
Conference and incentive organisers, wholesalers and corporate travel agents/travel management companies are among the invitees.
The Mission is the first time Marriott has brought its showcase to these shores and encompasses what used to be known as the Starwood Expo. It is significantly larger than the Starwood event – with at least 24 hotels expected rather than the previous 15.
The exterior of the new Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport has now been completed, with a June opening in sight.
Standing tall at nine levels high, the hotel has officially moved into its fit-out phase, on track to open towards the end of June this year.
The hotel features 136 contemporary guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, car parking, and an integrated lobby and reception space.
Neil McDonald is the Mantra Group Area Manager for Sydney, he says it’s been a hive of activity onsite over the past few months and it was an exciting moment to see the structure of the hotel completed.
Wyndham Hotel Group has opened the Ramada Suites Albany, located on the North Shore in Auckland. The move further expands Wyndham’s presence in New Zealand.
The Ramada Suites Albany is Wyndham’s second Auckland property. It will have 66 rooms.
The development is the fourth joint venture between Wyndham Hotel Group and local developer Safari Group, after the 42-room Ramada Suites Auckland, Federal Street and the 44-apartment Ramada Suites Christchurch City, both opened in 2015; and the 54-room Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Remarkables Park, opened in 2016.
The Hotel Grand Windsor in Auckland is set to relaunch as a boutique five-star hotel come June 2017, and Convene attendees have the chance to experience its glamour for themselves.
The glamour of the Art Deco era has inspired the revamp, which has seen $9 million invested on the refurbishment.
Hotel Grand Windsor general manager Renato Gualberto says he and his team want to exceed customers’ expectations by providing the level of service seen in the great London hotels of last century, with a modern twist.
The new Sebel Hotel being built in Lakewood Court, Manukau is a welcome addition to the area, according to MP for Papakura Judith Collins.
Collins says hotels benefit local residents by providing job opportunities and ore potential customers for conference centres, retail shops and restaurants. Tourism is now a $14.5 billion export earner for New Zealand, with 188,000 people working in the industry.
‘Visitors are incredibly important to our economy and a quality hotel facility near Auckland Airport and south Auckland’s many attractions in Manukau and beyond will ensure south Auckland gets its share of income from them,’ Collins says.
The new Park Hyatt Auckland being built in the city’s Wynyard Quarter was a hot topic at the AsiaPacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) mid February.
Due to open towards the middle of next year, the waterfront property will have 199 all-balcony rooms.
Area director of sales and marketing, Pacific at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Kate Atkinson, says the lead-in rooms are large – 45sqm – and a welcoming thoroughfare in the middle of the looby will be inviting for the public.
‘There’ll be a restaurant and bar but obviously the hotel is located in a dining precinct so there will be plenty of choice for guests. The event space will include an open air roof top garden with retractable roof.’
Atkinson says New Zealand is a big focus for Hyatt – Auckland especially.
‘We know what the demand is. Auckland is an international destinaton and we are looking at the high-end visitor.
‘Hyatt has been actively looking at another New Zealand location but whether that is in Auckland or elsewhere, we are waiting for the right sport.’
Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney has completed a full-scale multi-million dollar refurbishment, designed to capitalise on the growing demand for quality accommodation with the opening of ICC Sydney, the new convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct.
To mark the launch of the newly refurbished hotel, Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney is offering a package deal from $119 per night for two people in a premium room, with buffet breakfast for two and a late checkout at noon.
Valid for travel until 15 March 2017.
Senior Hotel Executive of the Year has gone to Hotel Grand Chancellor’s Judy Chen, director of sales & marketing for Wellington and Auckland.
The New Zealand Hotel Awards took place last week, and saw 320 hotel professionals celebrate the industry.
Chen, who has been with Hotel Grand Chancellor for 12 years, took out the acclaimed award, and says the win was a ‘career highlight’.
Heritage Hanmer Springs has unveiled its Spring Deal, for company retreats or conferences booked between 1 September to 30 November.
The deal includes single accommodation in a superior room, full cooked breakfast, a Hanmer Springs Thermal Pool Pass and a choice of one of the following activities – Quadricycling, Archery, Paintball or Clay bird shooting, priced at $175 GST incl. a night. The rate is $225 GST incl. for a two person room occupancy.
Heritage Hanmer Springs specialises in conferences and special events for up to 150 people. In the main building is a large ballroom and historic dining room with an open fire in winter and large windows opening out onto a sunny terrace, tennis and petanque courts in summer.
Heritage Hanmer Springs is set in the Hurunui region with an array of recreational and gourmet opportunities from artisan foods, craft shopping, award-winning wineries and spa indulgences. For outdoor enthusiasts there are a myriad of activities including golf, jet boating, quad biking, horse riding and cycle trails.
The deal is based on a minimum of 10 and a maximum 30 delegates, available Sunday to Thursday inclusive and subject to availability. Conference facilities and other meals are additional. Offer is valid for new bookings only.