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Voco bringing ‘me time’ to Auckland

IHG will debut its voco brand in New Zealand from mid-2021 under a franchise agreement between the hotel giant and and the sustainability-focused Pro-invest group.

voco Auckland City Centre will feature 200 guest rooms designed around the ‘me time’ concept of premium beds for a quality sleep experience, superior showers, innovative lighting and user-friendly technology. The hotel will feature a restaurant, bar and guest gym.

Located in the CBD at the corner of Albert and Wyndham Street, voco Auckland will encompass ”fresh, natural and modern design; bringing the outdoors inside and offering playful and energising workspaces, dining and social areas, natural outdoor spaces” according to IHG.

The property was originally announced as an EVEN Hotel in 2017, but following IHG’s launch of voco in 2018 it was decided the new brand would “resonate with the colourful, unstuffy and laid-back Kiwi spirit”.

The brand’s green approach makes it a good fit with Australian-founded Pro-invest’s commitment to high energy efficiency ratings across its portfolio.

Ronald Barrott, CEO of Pro-invest, said: “We are extremely excited to have the honour of opening New Zealand’s first voco.

“Such an iconic address demands a great brand, and when IHG first launched voco in 2018, its sustainability focus really struck a chord with me and I realised that it was a perfect fit for us.

“I’m so excited to add voco to our portfolio of hotels, complementing our growing estate of Holiday Inn Express hotels in New Zealand and Australia, in partnership with IHG.”

The property will be dual-branded, sharing its site with another IHG-branded property, the 294-room Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre. The two hotels will have separate branding and guest entrances, but will share facilities.

Leanne Harwood, IHG’s managing director for Australasia & Japan, said: “ It’s wonderful to continue this journey with Pro-invest as they bring our sixth voco to Australasia in the very heart of the Auckland CBD.

“voco celebrates the individuality of the hotel, stunning location and local people, with each stay tailored to deliver a unique and memorable experience to guests from New Zealand and all around the world.”

The signing of voco Auckland City Centre continues the rapid growth of the brand since it launched in June 2018, complementing voco hotels in Australia’s Gold Coast, Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, Melbourne and Sydney.

Its sustainability milestones include more than half a million plastic bottles recycled so far to make voco bedding, locally-sourced food, more than 300,000 bees producing honey and honeycomb for the restaurants, and paperless check-out.

Grand plans

The voco announcement comes as Hotel Grand Chancellor (Auckland) lodges plans for a new 12-level 191-room hotel on the southern side of the NZ International Convention Centre, complimenting the Grand Chancellor’s Auckland City property on Hobson Street.

Auckland Council has notified plans for the new property at 78-80 Wellesley St, opposite the NZICC.

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: editorial@accomnews.co.nz

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