Oaks will open a 226-room nine-story hotel in Wellington next month, part of expansion plans for the Thai-owned Minor hotels which operates several brands in 25 countries worldwide.
Speaking exclusively with AccomNews, chief operating officer Craig Hooley said the group had identified the Antipodean market as one of its key focusses for growth.
“New Zealand is an important market for us, we’re opening Oaks in Wellington this year, which is our first Oaks in Wellington, and we have two hotels in Queenstown and two hotels in Auckland,” he said.
“We see Auckland and other key cities in New Zealand as growth markets for us in the future.”
The group also owns The Coffee Club, a café brand with franchises throughout Australia, and plans to establish the loyalty-driven offering alongside its property portfolio in Aotearoa.
“Part of our process is working that brand into our hotel product but also expanding those through New Zealand in a retail environment,” said Hooley.
Oaks Wellington, located in Courtenay Place in the city’s entertainment precinct, will offer skyline views, a fitness centre, executive meeting rooms, a restaurant and bar.
“We are very proud to be bringing our Oaks Hotel, Resorts & Suites brand to New Zealand’s capital city. Courtenay Place in particular has a unique and rich history in the Wellington region, and we’re excited for our guests to explore the area from their base at our stylish and modern hotel,” said Hooley.
“This new opening allows us to continue to realise our vision of being the future global leader and innovator in the residential-style accommodation business – a vision that has been growing for almost 30 years and with 50 Oaks hotels across Australia and New Zealand.”
Originally founded in Australia in 1991, the Oaks group was bought by Minor Hotels in 2011. Then struggling, it has revived its fortunes in part through establising its credentials with lucrative overseas markets.
Last year the brand was awarded Best Hotel Partner for Oceania at Ctrips’ annual hotel awards, and also took out the Chinese travel agency’s Guests’ Choice Award for Australia and New Zealand.
“With the Oaks brand, we found the ‘room with a kitchen’ was a really compatible type of product for the China market,” said Hooley.
“We’ve done a lot of work around being China-ready. It also allows us to understand how learnings from that market can be applied to other markets, and we’re seeing now the Indian market is similar to that, so it’s been a good learning for us and it’s a strategy that we’ll continue to pursue as long as it’s growing the way it is.”