Trip Advisor have recently revealed their Travellers' Choice list of the Top 25 hotels in New Zealand.
The Langham Auckland claimed the No 8 spot, and was the only five-star hotel in Auckland to make the Top 10.
Only two other 5-star Auckland hotels made the Top 25 list which was compiled using independent Trip Advisor traveller reviews and recommendations.
The vegetarian menu innovations of Hertiage, Auckland executive chef Jinu Abraham have now led to the hotel once again leading trends as it opens a Raw Bar as part of its breakfast menu.
Chef Abraham recently won the New Zealand Vegetarian Dish Challenge 2014, in the lunch category, with his dish of organic tofu and pea stuffed potato, smoked tomato and onions. This is a second win for Abraham, having been the recipient of the inaugural Vegetarian Dish Challenge in 2012.
“Vegetarian dishes are becoming more and more popular and as a chef I am constantly challenging myself to get really creative and develop new ways of delivering vegetarian meals,” said Abraham.
Heritage Auckland, a hospitality industry leader in healthy and conscious dining, was the first hotel in New Zealand to offer vegan/vegetarian options in its main stream menus. The hotel went on to become the first Vegetarian accredited restaurant in New Zealand and recently introduced a Raw Bar alongside its extensive breakfast buffet.
Cereals on the Raw Breakfast Bar at the Hector’s Restaurant at the Heritage Auckland include cranberry, coconut yoghurt muesli with pipettes of raw berry coulis, raw granola and protein bars. Some of the preserves to go with the sliced raw cabbage linseed bread include raw fig preserve and raw chia seed and feijoa coulis. The Raw Breakfast Bar is priced at NZ$19 per person.
“This is an opportunity to change the perceptions of hotel food,” said Abraham. “We are preparing vegetables, fruit, herbs, beans and nuts in ways that retain their natural flavours and nutritional value. Our raw dishes utilise a number of techniques such as preserving, pickling, compression, dehydration and sprouting to enhance the taste. With every meal, we’re celebrating New Zealand’s vibrant and varied cuisine.”
The Langham, Auckland is thrilled to announce the appointment of Mr Michael Shah to the role of Director of Sales and Marketing.
“I am delighted to be returning to Auckland to join this award-winning hotel. The Langham, Auckland is a proud leader in the New Zealand hospitality business, providing an elegant and enchanting experience for guests. I’m so excited to be leading the talented Sales and Marketing team to reach even greater success over the coming years,” says Mr Shah.
Mr Shah has worked extended periods of time in New Zealand holding both sales and marketing, and operational roles in Auckland. More recently he held General Management roles at the award winning Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island and Pacific Resort, Aitutaki. During these periods Mr Shah had a hands-on approach to the Sales and Marketing function, bringing with him to The Langham an extensive knowledge base in hotels and a level of leadership that will ensure the successful running of the Sales and Marketing division.
Food-lovers everywhere are placing greater importance on locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. The raw food movement is sweeping the world. In New Zealand Heritage Hotels are increasingly choosing to buy fresh produce in season.
Combine these major shifts in the way people eat with a simple desire to give them the tastiest food possible when they’re travelling, and you have the Heritage Hotels’ Good Food Project. “The aim, and it’s a bold one, is to reimagine hotel food,” says chief executive officer Graham Yan.
“We’ll be offering all the traditional menu favourites, now using the best seasonal, locally sourced produce wherever possible. We’re also expanding our menus to include a selection of plant-based dishes and raw breakfast options, along with good food for kids and those with special dietary requirements.”
Thought to be a New Zealand-first initiative, The Good Food Project will be gradually rolled out across Heritage’s hotels throughout the country.
The project has come about from a desire to give guests a better experience on every level. “As well as providing an exceptional eating experience at our four plus star hotels, The Good Food Project is part of our overall commitment to ensuring guests have a memorable stay in every way,” adds Yan.
One of the first phases of the project is the raw breakfast bar at Heritage Auckland’s Hectors, which is New Zealand’s first accredited vegetarian hotel restaurant. Executive chef Jinu Abraham is leading the development of the new dishes that will be appearing on all Heritage Hotel menus.
“This is an opportunity to change the perceptions of hotel food,” says Abraham.
(25 October 2013)
Making beds, serving cups of coffee, taking hotel reservations and greeting guests at reception - it’s all in a day’s work for Choice Hotels head office staff as they break out of their usual duties and head to the frontline of Choice Hotels across Australasia.
As a part of a renewed focus on customer service, Choice Hotels is sending its entire New Zealand and Australian head office team out to spend a day in the life of a hotel operator as they launch their Head Office to Front Office initiative this month.
The Choice Hotels Head Office to Front Office concept was developed to provide head office staff with a better understanding of the day-to-day management of running a hotel and at the same time help to deliver a better service to guests at their hotels across Australasia.
Choice Hotels CEO, Trent Fraser, is confident the new initiative will benefit both the Choice Hotels head office team and their franchisees.
“Getting back into hotels at an operational level helps us support our franchisees, learn from them and experience first-hand the challenges within the industry,” says Fraser. “I’m hopeful that we’ll all be able to learn something from each other.
“I would like to see our staff identify areas where we can better support franchisees and at the same time help our franchisees to improve their service delivery by offering guidance and suggestions,” says Fraser. “Superior customer service is critical in our industry and we firmly believe that properties that have a strong customer service focus enjoy a sustainable competitive advantage, attract better customers as well as more talented and motivated employees.”
A strong believer in walking the talk, Fraser will do just that himself. He will be heading out to properties in New South Wales and Western Australia to do his bit on the frontline.
“Whether it’s lending a hand to housekeeping or taking orders from the bar, I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up,” says Fraser.
Head Office to Front Office will kick off in New Zealand this week with Melbourne-based General Manager Franchise Services, Anthony Stanley, paying a visit to the team at Quality Hotel Emerald in Gisborne.
New Zealand based Choice Hotels corporate staff will be travelling to hotels across the country in coming weeks offering their services for an eight-hour hotel shift working in operational areas including Housekeeping, Restaurant, Kitchen and Front Office.
Choice Hotels Head Office to Front Office will run until 30 November with plans to make it an annual event.
In addition to Head Office to Front Office, Choice Hotels will deliver customer service training programmes to both corporate team members and its franchisees. Commencing in early 2014, the series of programmes will concentrate on internal and external customers with an emphasis on providing exceptional and memorable service.
(24 September 2013)
Choice Hotels has added an impressive property to its accommodation offering in inner city Hamilton.
Quality Hotel Ambassador (formerly The Ambassador Motel) joined the Choice Hotels group this month offering centrally located accommodation to suit a range of travellers from corporates, to families and large sporting or tour groups.
The property has recently undergone extensive refurbishments and now boasts 38 studio rooms and 13 suites offering quality accommodation, without compromising the retro charm of the property.
Rooms consist of executive and business studios, and one and two bedroom suites with Wi-Fi and Sky TV in every room. The hotel also has a fully equipped conference room available for hire, comfortably accommodating 15-25 people.
Onsite is Quality Hotel Ambassador’s own café, bar and restaurant, Cube Lounge, which is open 7 days a week. Cube Lounge was built in the 1970s and still retains a lot of the characteristics of this era in its interior.
The recently upgraded hotel pool and barbecue area provides a comfortable setting for hotel guests to relax and socialise.
Located in the heart of Hamilton, Quality Hotel Ambassador is within short walking distance to Waikato Stadium, Claudelands Event Centre, an array of great bars and restaurants and is just 20 minutes from Hamilton Airport.
Aileen Cobern, Choice Hotels’ general manager sales and marketing, is pleased to welcome Quality Hotel Ambassador Hamilton to the Choice Hotels group.
“Quality Hotel Ambassador is conveniently located in Hamilton’s CBD which provides another great accommodation option for corporate travellers or large groups,” she says. “The 1970’s charm throughout the hotel gives guests an insight into the care the owners have taken to preserve this history of the property during the extensive refurbishment.”
For further details on Choice Hotels properties throughout New Zealand, please visit www.choicehotels.co.nz
Eaton, Hong Kong launches 16 new family rooms
Eaton, Hong Kong has recently launched its first Family Room, offering families a purpose built option for their trips to Hong Kong.
Spacious, of modern design and equipped with all that a family needs, the 16 newly renovated family rooms are designed for maximum functionality bringing family members a relaxing and pleasant stay.
Each of the new rooms is able to accommodate up to four adults or a couple with three children. The rooms are divided into two bedrooms with a bathroom featuring rain shower. The parent’s room is equipped with a queen-sized bed and high-tech facilities including blue-ray DVD player and iHome for iPhone 5 while the children’s room features a full-sized single sofa bed and two full-sized bunk beds which are suitable for both children and adults.
Installed with free wifi access to keep all hotel room guests connected anytime and anywhere, with extensive local and international television channels, mini-bar, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, iron and board, in-room safe, two large flatscreen TVs, well equipped Exert Fitness Centre and more, the Family Room represents exceptional value for money and choice that families should not miss.
“Hong Kong is a destination on a lot of families’ wish-lists but until now hotels have not always been geared to accommodating their needs. At Eaton, Hong Kong, we thought long and hard about what we could do to address that and are certain that families will greatly enjoy this new and smarter room product,” said Shane Pateman, general manager of Eaton, Hong Kong.
Conveniently located on Nathan Road, the heart of Hong Kong's business shopping districts, Eaton, Hong Kong is only a few minutes away from the Jordan Mass Transit Railway connecting to the whole City and many famous attractions in the city including Temple Street and the Jade Market. All hotel guests are invited to explore the local culture and excitement by a series of complimentary hotel activities such as local tours to the nearby tourist spots and daily Tai Chi Class.
For information on Eaton, Hong Kong, please visit hongkong.eatonhotels.com
(12 September 2013)
The Distinction Hotels Group is delighted to announce the latest addition to its New Zealand owned and operated hotel group -- the Princes Gate Hotel in Rotorua.
After 27 years at the helm of the iconic 5-star property, Brett and Vlasta Marvelly have entrusted Distinction Hotels with the management of the Princes Gate Hotel, effective as of 1 October 2013.
“After 27 years we know it’s time and feel Distinction has similar values to ours,” said Mr Marvelly. “We are confident they will carry on with our philosophy of genuine hospitality with service and style that has become the hallmark of the Princes Gate Hotel.”
A lot of time and effort has seen the historic building grow from a 37 room hotel in 1986 to the present day 50 beautifully appointed rooms. Every room is a blend of timeless elegance, combined with modern luxury.
Further complementing the hotel are the two on-site restaurants, bar, conference facilities, thermal pools and the newly opened ‘Monarch’ function room.
Distinction Hotels Chief Executive Duncan Fletcher said the company was very excited to have one of New Zealand’s finest establishments join the Distinction ‘family’.
“The Princes Gate is not only a hotel but an attraction in its own right,” he said. “We plan to continue the Marvelly family’s high level of service and feel that the Princes Gate will perfectly complement our range of other hotels located throughout New Zealand.”
The Distinction Hotels Group will now have a portfolio of 10 hotels in locations throughout New Zealand. These are comprised of premium Distinction Hotels and their ‘sister’ Discovery Hotels brand which includes three 3 star hotels. The Princes Gate Hotel will be re-branded to a Distinction Hotel in the near future.
About Distinction Hotels Group
100% New Zealand owned and operated, the Distinction Hotel Group offers seven premium hotels in the North and South Island, featuring elegant accommodation and comprehensive conference venue facilities. Distinction Hotels pride themselves on providing an international standard of accommodation for the discerning traveller. In 2011 the group launched their 'sister' Discovery brand. Discovery Hotels offer a range of great value accommodation options to suit all travellers, combined with true outstanding 'kiwi' hospitality. Discovery Hotels are currently located in Whangarei, Ruapehu and Queenstown.
www.distinctionhotels.co.nz │ www.facebook.com/distinctionhotelgroup
The Langham Auckland named Hotel of the Year
The Langham Auckland has been named New Zealand Hotel of the Year at the 2013 Hotel Management Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence. The HM Awards, held in Sydney on September 6, recognise the leading accommodation properties in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
The Langham Auckland’s managing director Franz Mascarenhas says he is “extremely proud” of the achievement. “It is a well-appreciated recognition of the efforts of the passionate staff of the hotel, who on a daily basis serve with the intention of creating great memories for our guests.”
HM magazine editor-in-chief James Wilkinson says the Awards recognise the people who make hotels what they are. “Sure it’s fantastic when a hotel can be rewarded for its aesthetics, style, design and comfort, but it is the people who work in hotels that give the accommodation industry in Australasia its soul,” he says.
The Langham Auckland was chosen over several strong finalists including The George, Christchurch, Novotel Auckland Airport and Eichardt’s Private Hotel in Queenstown.
The HM Awards were judged by a 20-strong panel featuring travel writers, industry leaders and consultants.