$22m Tourism Development For Hawke’s Bay
Media release from Scenic Circle Hotels
6 September 2002
$22m Tourism Development For Hawke’s Bay Prepares To Open
New Zealand’s largest independently owned hotel group is preparing to open its biggest purpose built development yet. Fitting out of Scenic Circle Hotels’ new 109-room Te Pania Hotel on Napier’s waterfront started this week.
The 3½-star hotel opens on 22 October and is attracting considerable attention from the travel industry and investors. Te Pania Hotel has already taken forward bookings for over 11,000 room nights.
Scenic Circle Hotels is working with another Christchurch-based developer, Robert Brown Developments Napier Limited, on the $22 million project. It is the first purpose-built hotel project that either company has undertaken in the North Island.
Scenic Circle Hotels and Robert Brown first partnered up to develop the apartment style Aurum Hotel and Suites in Queenstown, which opened in June 2001. The Aurum has enjoyed buoyant guest numbers throughout winter and summer, with high sales of unit titles to private investors.
Te Pania Hotel is Scenic Circle’s third purpose built hotel in less than two years. It also opened the Punakaiki Rocks Hotel, an eco-tourism property on the South Island’s West Coast, in December 2000. This property has also exceeded expectations and an expansion is now underway.
Te Pania looks set to follow in the Aurum’s and Punakaiki’s successful trail. General manager of Hawke’s Bay Tourism, Hamish Lowry, says the new hotel will fill a desperate need in the region for a large capacity hotel that can accommodate sizeable conference delegations and tour groups. The hotel is expected to be embraced by the conference market, and is perfectly situated - directly opposite the War Memorial Centre, Napier’s main conferencing venue.
“One of the driving forces for Scenic Circle Hotels to enter the Hawke’s Bay region was demand from travel wholesalers who need a large capacity hotel of a certain quality to be available,” says Scenic Circle Hotels’ managing director Brendan Taylor. “The forward bookings show that the demand is certainly there. Bookings through until 2005 have been taken based on the value associated with Scenic Circle’s name, so we’re very positive about Te Pania’s future. We’re also considering other opportunities in the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast regions, due to the demand that’s being registered.”
The project has been strongly supported by the Napier City Council, with close working relationships being established early on and continuing throughout the planning and construction processes. The council has also invested in redeveloping Napier’s saltwater pools, which are also on Marine Parade and will complement the hotel facilities.
Architects Warren & Mahoney, another Christchurch firm who also worked on the Aurum in Queenstown, were responsible for Te Pania’s look and feel. Designed to complement its seaside location, Te Pania’s long, slender six-storey building follows a simple curve, echoing the shape of the bay that it borders. The rooms are designed to make the most of the remarkable sea views, and each room features floor to ceiling glass on the seaward side, and large windows that slide open to allow the sea air to roll in.
Construction, under the management of Arrow International, has run so smoothly that the opening date has been brought forward by over two months from initial plans. Guests will now be welcomed from the start of the Hawke’s Bay’s visitor season, rather than half way through it.
“It’s been a relatively long-term project that’s taken about four years to come to fruition, but we are now nearing the ‘end of the beginning’ and we’re looking forward to being part of the Hawke’s Bay’s growing tourism industry,” says Mr Taylor.
Reservations at Te Pania Hotel are being taken through Scenic Circle Hotels’ central reservations office, phone 0800-69-69-63.