25 August 2015 Last Friday (August 21) evening saw the Quality Hotel Elms, part of Choice Hotels Australasia, raise an impressive $15,000 for Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand (CFNZ) through its charity auction evening.
The evening entertainment consisted of a six-course degustation dinner, charity auction, whiskey tastings, a live local musician, raffle prizes and was MC’d by The Sound FM’s Heather Keats. All proceeds from the collective fundraising efforts via ticket and raffle sales of the event will be donated to CFNZ, which goes towards CFNZ fieldworkers who travel the country to support and positively influence the lives of those living with cystic fibrosis. Chris McLaughlin, Hotel Manager of Quality Hotel Elms, said the evening was their way of giving back and showing support for the property’s existing relationship with CFNZ. Cystic fibrosis is the most common life threatening genetic disorder affecting New Zealand children. The condition affects several organs, causing shortness of breath, a chronic cough and repeated chest infections. The average life expectancy for those with cystic fibrosis is significantly lower than the general population. Choice Hotels has more than 35 hotels dotted across New Zealand. Conveniently located in city centres, metropolitan areas and regional centres, Choice offers a variety of options ranging from the entry-level Econo Lodge, to the convenient Comfort, full-service Quality, and the premium Clarion brand.
St Moritz hosts unforgettable incentive for Australian company
18 August 2015 Representatives from much-loved Australian brand Lorraine Lea have enjoyed a three-day incentive trip in Queenstown, choosing Hotel St Moritz as the “perfect” place to stay.
Lorraine Lea is famous for its beautiful linens, soft furnishings and home decorator items, a success story in the ever-changing homewares industry for 29 years. In total, 76 staff and leaders from across Australia (and two from New Zealand) descended on Queenstown after qualifying for an annual leadership seminar. Normally held in Australia, the company decided to head overseas for its latest seminar to experience a unique four-season destination. A defining factor for the trip was finding a special and truly memorable place to stay and Hotel St Moritz ticked all the right boxes for the company. Lorraine Lea’s director of sales, marketing and business development Anne Petracca said it was important to choose accommodation that truly captured the essence of the town’s alpine feel. “We wanted our leaders to stay in a stylish and elegant hotel that encapsulates everything Queenstown is about,” said Anne. “The views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range and the stunning interior design, architecture and bespoke furniture at St Moritz all added to the experience. “The hotel for the brief of being easy walking distance to the town centre but not bag-smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle. “A conference room with modern AV technology, free Wi-Fi, and the bar and warm fire in the hotel lobby provided plenty of areas within the hotel where our leaders could meet, relax, network and get to know each other.” Due to weather conditions, flexible group check-in times were required as some leaders were whisked away on arrival into Queenstown to board awaiting helicopters for a flight seeing tour of Milford Sound, something Hotel St Moritz staff were happy to accommodate. The group were met with a traditional Maori Powhiri welcome in the hotel lobby and staff were more than happy to assist with printed personalised banners, customised signature Lorraine Lea cocktails and cupcakes. The conference part of the incentive was held in-house at Hotel St Moritz’s The Den, the hotel’s effortlessly stylish, dedicated event space. Breakfast, morning teas and lunches were delivered seamlessly, with all dietary requirements met.
Councils should target baches and B&Bs – MANZ
MANZ Chief Executive Michael Baines
12 August 2015 The Thames Coromandel District Council is absolutely correct to target home owners who rent out baches or operate a Bed and Breakfast as they are well overdue for paying their fair share, says the Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ).
Unregulated and untaxed commercial accommodation providers such as baches and B&Bs have had a sweet run for far too long and its time more Councils followed Thames Coromandel’s lead to bring these freeloaders into line, MANZ Chief Executive Michael Baines says. “As far as short-term commercial accommodation goes it’s simple. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first, second or third house. If you’re renting it you’re making a profit, therefore you should be treated as a commercial accommodation provider. End of story.” “We would like to see all Councils follow Thames Coromandel’s example and introduce extra charges for bach-renters and B&Bs,” Mr Baines says. “These home owners can complain all they like about the fact they pay rates already, their costs are still not a patch on what the likes of Motels are forced to pay. So we have been forced to subsidise these cowboy operators who have no guarantee of safety or quality and are trying to take away our business.” The growth in homes to rent online through sites such as AirBnB poses a real threat to New Zealand’s legitimate accommodation providers which are an integral part of our tourism industry. “We cannot afford to start losing commercial accommodation providers, especially at a time when a strong tourism sector is shielding us against the effect of lower dairy prices. If this happens we will cause severe damage to our tourism sector which will have long-term implications,” Mr Baines says. “Competition in business is a fact of life and we welcome it – as long as we are on a level playing field. This move by Thames Coromandel District Council is a first step in this direction and we’re hoping that other Councils follow suit.”
An icon redefined - 88 new rooms for Sudima Christchurch Airport
7 August 2015 The first stage of a two-year $25 million redevelopment project at Sudima Christchurch Airport is now complete, and access to a new wing incorporating 88 state-of-the-art executive rooms and suites has shifted from construction workers to guests. This extensive redevelopment project will assist in elevating the hotel to sought-after 4.5-star accommodation status.
Sudima Hotels and Resorts chief executive Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala says: “Sudima Christchurch Airport is a special place that holds many memories for people who have stayed with us over the years. The developments and investment in the hotel are key to our commitment to not only the local region but the tourism industry in New Zealand, and we are actively seeking new investment opportunities in main centres around the country.” Opened on 31 July 2015, the brand new executive rooms and suites present a fresh and modern offer to domestic and international guests, with contemporary design by Catalyst Consulting. Stage two of the extensive redevelopment project, due for completion in late October 2015, will include a brand new lobby and façade, plus an expansion of the hotels current conference facilities to cater for up to 300 guests in theatre-style. In addition, the hotel will boast two additional conferencing venues able to host a further 120 guests theatre style as well as two new board rooms all with natural light. Sudima Hotels and Resorts director of operations Les Morgan says it’s thrilling to see Christchurch city starting to take shape, and developments at the neighbouring Christchurch Airport have vastly improved the gateway to the city. “Sudima Christchurch Airport’s grand reopening in November will present quite a dramatic image. The new façade will be visually striking and set the tone for travellers coming through the city. “The travel and tourism market is vibrant and has really opened up which is encouraging for our industry. The developments at Sudima Christchurch Airport are among many within the airport precinct, and coincide with the recent opening of Spitfire Square, which was highly anticipated. We are working collaboratively with the airport to ensure our accommodation and conference offerings really hit the mark and are supremely attractive to guests.” Sudima Christchurch Airport is a two-minute walk from the airport and offers a first-class full-service facility, including an on-site bar and restaurant. The hotel will boast 241 rooms upon the $25 million development project’s completion. www.sudimahotels.com.
Industry associations look to merge
4 August 2015 Hospitality New Zealand (HNZ) and The Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ) have begun discussing a merger of the entities and the creation of a new sub brand representing commercial accommodation business across New Zealand.
The prospect of a having one organisation has been welcomed by the national presidents of both associations. “The voice of accommodation in New Zealand has been fractured for many years,” states Adam Cunningham, President of HNZ. “The need to ensure all accommodation providers are being well represented whether they be defined as motel, serviced apartment, hotel, or any other accommodation style provided, is essential in an industry that is the backbone of tourism.” Describing the motivation behind the talks, Peter Nash, President of MANZ says: “We have initiated this to help ensure we maximise benefits and advocacy for business owners who need all the help they can get.” “Gone are the days where our industry could have a myriad of small Associations all fundamentally doing the same thing, we really want to see a united voice and a united industry,” adds Mr Nash. Hospitality New Zealand represents approximately 2500 hospitality businesses, with over 20 percent of those in the accommodation sector. The Motel Association has 800 motel business owners, with both associations containing members from across New Zealand. “It is early days and there is much work to do to ensure these talks result in a positive outcome for all our members and the industry as a whole. However, we have spent several months talking with our members across the country, and to date the feedback has been very positive indeed,” states Mr Nash. “Like all things, this cannot go ahead without the backing of the people. The future of our industry rests on innovation. As always, we are looking to the future to ensure our operators have every opportunity to prosper, and ensuring government understands our needs to sustain and grow an industry that is hugely important to New Zealand’s future,” concludes Mr Cunningham. Talks will continue until the Annual General Meetings of both associations later this year, with an expected outcome to be announced in October.
The Langham lights up
4 August 2015 It was glitz and glamour throughout when more than 300 corporate, travel trade and media guests attended a glittering Cocktail and Trade Show in The Great Room at The Langham Auckland recently.
Among those present were the CEO of Langham Hospitality Group, Bob Warman, and Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Simon Manning. Mr Manning told the audience; “As a company we place huge importance on the Pacific. If it wasn’t for all of you, we wouldn’t be here. In nearly every hotel we have on planet earth, we see a New Zealander staying with us.” Other senior Langham executives had flown in from London, China, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Sydney to personally introduce their hotels to all those present. No expense was spared to impress the invited throngs. Guests walked the red carpet to the ballroom’s grand entrance where trays of Champagne and rose lemonade awaited them. Inside the ballroom, a huge centrepiece of pink flowers took centre stage with a flowing pink chocolate fountain, dessert tasters and a giant block of ice inlaid with native silver ferns wowing the crowds. Fairy lights and strings of glittering crystals created a luxurious backdrop for guests to mix and mingle, as the hotel group’s senior management informed guests of the latest developments in Langham hotels worldwide. Langham Hospitality Group is a luxury hotel operator dating back to 1865, when The Langham, London originally opened as Europe's first 'grand hotel'. Today, the Group covers four continents, with hotels located in cities and resorts around the world including Auckland, Beijing, Boston, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Shanghai and Sydney. The group's rapid expansion continues with its two brands The Langham and Langham Place, the soon-to-launch ‘Cordis’ brand, as well as its affiliate brand Eaton.
Langham Auckland pledges work for youth
4 August 2015 The Langham Auckland’s managing director Franz Mascarenhas and Mayor Len Brown have signed in front of Auckland Council members and invited guests a pledge to help support more young New Zealanders into employment.The partnership will help support Auckland’s youth into more Food and Beverage and Housekeeping positions at the hotel with increased work experience, training and internship opportunities.
Mr Mascarenhas said he was delighted to sign the pledge given 23,000 young people are currently not in employment, education or training in Auckland and 27 per cent of Auckland’s youth is unemployed. “So it’s clear there is room to improve Auckland’s productivity – and it’s our clear intention that this partnership forged with Auckland Council will help turn those statistics around.” The recruitment philosophy at The Langham Auckland is based on finding the right fit by recruiting people who have the right attitude and competencies to excel. Every new employee undergoes a two-day welcome induction program and can further develop their skills with optional training programs including departmental SOP training to learning high level management skills. The Langham has also recently introduced an extended 60 day induction program called the ‘Passion’ to help employees provide the best possible service to meet the high demands of its guests. This program covers topics from understanding the basic needs of guests to providing leading service excellence and sustaining guest loyalty. “As the leading property in a (relatively) small market, maintaining a high service culture among staff really comes down to creating the right environment for our colleagues to thrive in. We strongly believe that if our colleagues are happy that will inevitably reflect on our guests,” says Mr Mascarenhas.