A $30 million hotel development has been branded a “game changer” for the earthquake-stricken Kaikōura Peninsula.
Sudima Hotels has been given the green light for the 4.5-star hotel, which is designed to cater for domestic and international leisure travellers and offers 118 rooms, a restaurant and bar, conference facilities, gym and pool.
Mayor Winston Gray says the project, coming in the wake of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, is a major boost for the region.
“I believe this development will be an absolute game changer for our community,” he said.
“Since the earthquake we’ve had a lot of disruption, including a few times where accommodation in town was completely sold out.”
The hotel will be built on the town shoreline at 114 The Esplanade on the corner with Yarmouth St, offering an outlook to the mountains and sea and within walking distance of Kaikōura’s restaurants and bars.
According to Mr Graham, it will not only provide employment opportunities, but boost accommodation and conference venue options in the area.
The town has long been a major destination for tourists, and tourism spending and visitor numbers are rising again following a 13-month, post-earthquake repair project to restore the damaged part of State Highway 1.
Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala, the chief executive of Sudima Hotels, said the new development would attract other tourism investment.
“And importantly for us, the addition of a Kaikōura hotel will strengthen Sudima Hotels’ national portfolio, especially in the South Island, where we have an existing Christchurch Airport hotel and a second in construction in Christchurch’s city centre.”
The hotel will open as a “single-use plastic-free” hotel, consistent with the company’s goal for all its hotels by 2020.
Sudima is also working with Be Accessible to design the hotel to gold or platinum accessibility status.
The chain will unveil a re-brand “with a modern, contemporary and guest-centric identity” before the Kaikōura hotel opens in summer 2019/20.