Christchurch’s brand new $80 million airport hotel has finally opened, almost two years behind schedule.
The 4.5 star Novotel was due to be completed late 2017 but has been plagued with reported problems including the wrong grade of steel being ordered, weather damage to the bathroom pods while they awaited installation and a water leak.
The last postponement of the 200 room hotel meant guests who’d booked had to be redirected to other accommodation.
Construction company Fletcher Building are yet to reveal how much the delays and penalties have cost them.
They also declined 1 NEWS request for an interview, instead directing media to speak with the hotel’s general manager, who was unable to comment on construction matters.
“It’s my job to make sure with the teams we focus on the operation,” said Oliver Lacoua, the hotel’s general manager.
Leeann Watson, the chief executive of the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce said economically, it’s crucial major Christchurch developments run to schedule during the rebuild phase.
“The visitor numbers have increased year on year, and we’re continuing to get greater foot traffic in the CBD… but ongoing delays pose a big challenge for the city,” she said.
Regardless of the setbacks, Novotel is happy to finally be open for business.
“We’ve had so many cycles where we said we were going to open, then we had to push the dates back.. but now we’re open, this is actually real,” said Novotel’s general manager Olivier Locoua.