‘That was one of the main reasons for us wanting to bring the brand back to the city. We’ve worked closely with IHG and our design team to develop an international hotel with a local feel, and we feel we’ve achieved that,’ he says.
The hotel location radiates history. One of Christchurch’s first hotels, The Golden Fleece, opened on the same site in 1851 after the legendary ‘First Four Ships’ arrived with the city’s early settlers.
This is reflected in Crowne Plaza Christchurch’s dining and meeting spaces; ‘Market Place’ restaurant and bar echoes the original name of nearby Victoria Square, ‘Café 1851’ reflects the notable date for the hotel site, and the ‘Ellis, Gartner and Oram’ meeting rooms are named after the original Golden Fleece owners.
Reinier Eulink, general manager, Crowne Plaza Christchurch, says that while history is woven into the heart and soul of the property, the emphasis is firmly on the new.
‘We’re opening in a competitive market, and the city’s still rebuilding, but we’re looking to the future and are excited to be part of the regeneration,’ he says.
‘The former Crowne Plaza originally opened at a time when hotels had a more formal style of operating, but the new hotel is a ‘new generation’ Crowne Plaza with a more contemporary style in line with the resurgence of the CBD,’ explains Eulink.
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Vic Allen says the return of Crowne Plaza Christchurch to the central city is fantastic news.
‘That’s not only due to the hotel’s excellent location overlooking Victoria Square but also because it will inject some much-needed conference and meeting space into the city,” he says.
‘Work on the refurbishment of historic Victoria Square should be completed early next year, and construction of the nearby Convention Centre within three years, making the hotel an even more attractive proposition for corporate, domestic and international visitors,’ Allen explains.
‘With the central city rebuild now well underway, visitor numbers are expected to increase significantly this summer so the additional hotel capacity is very timely.’