Novotel Christchurch Airport hosts special visitors for opening night

Novotel Christchurch Airport welcomed its first guests with a special charity night at the $80-million hotel.

The 4.5 star hotel opens to the public today, but more than 100 lucky people were the first to experience the hotel on Sunday night, as part of a charity fundraiser supporting Christchurch teenager, Maddie Collins, who was diagnosed in 2008 with a kidney disorder, Nephrotic Syndrome. She is now in need of a lifesaving kidney transplant, which could cost up to $1 million. 

All 200 premium rooms at the new hotel were handed over to Maddie and her Mum, Sarah, to sell, helping them raise more than $20,000 for their mission to make New Zealand one of the top donor countries in the world.

On Monday morning, as the hotel served its very first breakfast, Sarah Collins said she was overwhelmed by the support shown by Novotel.

“It took a bit of time for the initial offer to sink in. We are just so grateful for this amazing opportunity. All the guests have been buzzing about the hotel. It’s such an impressive building and then you get inside and it’s even more impressive, given these views”

Sarah Collins, Maddie's Mother

Novotel Christchurch Airport general manager Olivier Lacoua said every space in the hotel was created with luxury in mind, and it was therefore fitting that it be opened in such a special way to support a brave Canterbury teenager.

Two years ago, Maddie launched a series of handmade pillowcases and after viewing the design, Lacoua made the decision to purchase some for the Novotel Christchurch Airport to be used as future corporate gifts.

“When I met again with Maddie and her mum recently, I felt we could do much more to help this brave teenager. So while we celebrate the opening of Novotel today, we also celebrate the brave battles of Maddie.”

After a two-year wait, Lacoua and the team were thrilled to now be able to showcase the incredible interior and exterior design of the hotel to domestic and international visitors.

“I think we have one of the best view points of the Southern Alps in Canterbury from our bar, restaurant and conference facilities. People are drawn to this from the very moment they walk through our doors”

Olivier Lacoua, General Manager- Novotel Christchurch Airport

Speaking about the design, Warren and Mahoney’s Principal Architect Bill Gregory said the new hotel offered a warm welcome and excellent hospitality, which reflected the Novotel experience. 

“The building design features two-storey shear walls and steel braced columns, creating a rich combination of inviting public spaces.”
Luxurious timbers, textiles and ceramics have been used internally to contrast the building’s robust exposed external structural elements.

“Set within the heart of the airport campus, the hotel distinguishes itself from the silver, grey and glass materials of the terminal buildings, with the warm roughness of its terracotta cladding and timber veneered soffits. The result is a high performing design that offers a world-class experience for travellers,” said Gregory.

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive Joanna Norris, said the Novotel Christchurch Airport was a significant new addition to the city’s accommodation sector.

“This is a beautiful and stunningly located property. The rooms and conferences spaces are of an exceptional standard and the location enables leisure, conference and business visitors to Christchurch to move seamlessly from their flights directly to their hotel".

“This property complements a strong offering of hotel accommodation in Christchurch at a time when the city continues to experience significant growth in visitor numbers as more and more people explore the beauty of our city and region.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Leeann Watson, who said it was great to see the opening of the Novotel at the airport this week.

“The Novotel brand has a long tradition of being a welcoming mainstay in Ōtautahi Christchurch for visitors. With visitors numbers on the rise for our city and region, together with our Te Pae Convention Centre scheduled to open in 2020, this wonderful new hotel is a great addition to our accommodation sector.”