Travel

New era for Auckland Viaduct hotel

Auckland's former Westin Hotel, which has hosted stars such as Pamela Anderson, will become a Sofitel hotel.
Auckland's former Westin Hotel, which has hosted stars such as Pamela Anderson, will become a Sofitel hotel. Supplied

AUCKLAND'S former Westin Hotel on the edge of the Wynyard Quarter is to be rebranded Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour.

Accor, the world's largest hotel chain, yesterday announced it was changing the 173-room waterfront hotel to become a Sofitel, following last year's announcement that it would manage the property which was initially under its MGallery range, although it traded as Hotel Lighter Quay.

The building at the intersection of Halsey St, Gaunt St and Viaduct Harbour Ave is Accor's 10th in Auckland and 33rd in New Zealand and for some years traded as the Westin, which launched with a high-profile anti-tobacco campaign.

The hotel has hosted stars such as Pamela Anderson, David Beckham and Kanye West and has served as the headquarters for New Zealand Fashion Week.

Paul Richardson, Accor New Zealand vice-president, said yesterday the Sofitel was a luxury offering which Auckland needed. "The property is outstanding and with Accor management and Sofitel branding we believe we can develop it to its full potential.

"This is an area of Auckland that truly reflects the most attractive attributes of the city and we will complement that with distinctive accommodation, backed by quality 5-star service.

"We expect the hotel to become as much a destination for New Zealand travellers as overseas visitors and over the next month we will launch a new restaurant and relaunch the spa centre, which will be one Auckland's most desirable urban spas," Richardson said.

Wouter de Graaf, general manager of the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa, will move to Auckland to manage the property.

Rooms will start at $299 a night.

Accor previously had only the Queenstown hotel under the Sofitel brand.

The Auckland property was originally developed by Nigel McKenna's Melview Developments but was marred with disputes over payments from the former management to investors who own rooms.

The hotel had three names during a short period, changing from Westin Lighter Quay last autumn to Viaduct Harbour Hotel in July then Hotel Lighter Quay in September.

Behind the name change was a fierce fight as room owners demanded payments and became so disenchanted that they split away from Westin and carved out a separate lodging business, undercutting the Westin by charging cheap rates.

>> Read more travel stories.

Topics:  auckland, new zealand, travel, travelling



Take a walk through Mur'bah

HISTORIC WALK: Rani Neil encourages people to explore Murwillumbah.

Discover Murwillumbah on this new walking trail.

NORTEC is making business simple

BUSINESS TRICKS: Felisimina Jom from Nortec Small Business Solutions wants to help small businesses in the Tweed succeed.

Find out ways your small business can succeed.

Tweed hockey star scorching

Queensland Blades' Abby Eleison, Rebecca Greiner Savannah Fitzpatrick and Jodie Kenny with the four National Championships titles.

Tweed hockey star scorching on the national stage.

Local Partners

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.