Auckland is a massive city, the largest urban metropolis in New Zealand and for this reason it is commonly mistaken as the country’s capital, which is fact Wellington. Auckland is made up of four different cities, which give it a combined population of 1 million people. These cities are North Shore, Waitakere, Manukau and Auckland City itself which form the Auckland Region.
The city is a heady mix of cultures and historical heritages, New Zealand itself is only just over 100 years old and so the indigenous Polynesian cultures are still ever-present in the city and are celebrated yearly in a range of colorful and exciting festivals. The city is an example of good urban planning and governance with liberal laws that allow various cultures to mix freely together and practice their own beliefs without any hindrance.
This is large part also a product of New Zealand’s economic growth, which has been significant since its inception and has made the country and its largest city a ‘first world’ highly developed one with a major tourist industry do to the range of attractions to be enjoyed in Auckland and the country as a whole. Because of this, the hotel industry here is large and consistently busy with over 134 hotels operating in Auckland City alone.
Mixed bag of results for Auckland in 2009, but overall a positive year
The New Zealand Hotel Council (NZHC) announced recently that it’s results for the 2009 financial year showed an overall positive outcome for Auckland hotels, revealing the relative strength of the sector to other domestic markets as well as its weaknesses.
In 2009, when the recession hit proper and H1N1 outbreaks were making international travelers nervous, Auckland managed to maintain an average hotel occupancy of 69.7%, the NZHC said, using data collated from their 34 member hotels in the city. Such figures put Auckland at the top of the domestic hotel industry with both Wellington and Christchurch trailing at 69.4% and 69.3% respectively.
In addition, further anaylsis by NZHC revealed that 49.5% of all hotel room bookings were accounted for by New Zealander’s travelling in their own country, revealing the strength of the domestic travel market in relation to the international market, which is more fickle and vulnerable to social and economic shocks, such as the downturn and H1N1.
Auckland hotels also recorded the largest ADR (average daily rate) drops for their rooms in 2009, with a 8.8% drop in comparison to a national average of 5.7%, this reveals the extent to which Auckland had to adapt to keep occupancy stable.
Boutique Hotel in New Zealand named as among world’s top 101
Mollies Boutique Hotel in Auckland has been awarded prestigious recognition by Tatler Magazine, a British publication that caters to and chronicles the lives of the upper class. Tatler’s 2010 101 Best Hotels in the World list included Mollies, a small but extremely luxurious homegrown hotel in Auckland.
The awards, which usually acknowledge New Zealand hotels rarely and when they do focus on international brands of major lodges, has given a special place on the list to Mollies, which they have praised for its style, good service and range of amenities and products.
“Everything is beautifully done throughout, thoughtful, flamboyant, charming. It’s a seductive place that will win you over. The hotel is a love letter to guests from the owners Frances Wilson and Stephen Fitzgerald,” wrote the magazine.
Mollies is a five-star hotel in Auckland and prides itself on being the gateway to “another world”, the hotel is the product of a collaboration between owners Frances Wilson and Stephen Fitzgerald who used their joint passion for the opera and fine antiques to create a boutique hotel that pushes the boundaries in interior design.
A reflection of the hotel’s size is the fact that it only has thirteen suites, each one of three categories (Junior Suite, Villa Suite and Premium Suite). Every suite has its own balcony and individual interior design and each ranges in size from that of a penthouse apartment to a large studio flat and most have views of the expansive Auckland Harbor, a port that gives the city its nickname “City of Sails”.
There is also, of course, a well-appointed Day Spa and an award-winning restaurant.
Jucy Rentals diversify into hotel market
Jucy Rentals, the leading domestic car rental company in New Zealand, are diversifying their product range with the opening of a hotel that will cater primarily to the budget sector of the domestic travel industry.
In 2010 the company’s famous logo, a pin-up model called Jucy Lucy with long auburn hair and the company’s trademark green and purple colors will become synonymous with a budget hotel in Auckland as well as their fleet of hire cars.
“Accommodation and vehicle hire are two highly complementary areas of the tourism business – it makes sense that while we are talking to our customers about what they need to travel around the country, we also talk to them about their accommodation needs,” Jucy CEO Tim Alpe said at a press conference to mark the hotel’s opening.
The hotel will feature per-night room rates of NZ$49 to $89 (depending on whether you want shared bathroom facilities or a private en-suite) and will feature a ‘pay as you go’ service whereby guests pay according to what they utilize, such as room service, housekeeping and late check out.
The hotel will be well-located in Emily’s Place, which is within the bounds of Auckland’s CBD and will have 60 rooms. The opening of the hotel marks a major milestone for the 9 year old company, revealing its dynamic growth since its inception in 2001.
What started out as a company with 35 cars in its fleet and two staff members has now grown into a major company with a fleet of over 2000 cars and a staff of 120 that tend offices across New Zealand and Australia.
New Formula 1 Hotel in Auckland
Auckland Airport and Accord hotels recently announced they will be working in collaboration to develop a Formula 1 Hotel in Auckland which will become the airport’s newest airport hotel.
The 6-floor, 120 room hotel will feature the same three-bed configuration that is popular with Formula 1 hotels around the world and will offer travelers a choice of accommodation when staying near the airport, an Auckland Airport spokesperson said.
The hotel will be built close to the retail center of the airport and will be completed by 2011, just before the Rugby World Cup. It is expected to cost between NZ$15 and $20 million.