15 Sep 2020

New Auckland luxury hotel aims to buck the Covid-19 trend

From Checkpoint, 5:27 pm on 15 September 2020

With the borders closed amid a global pandemic, timing isn't great for opening New Zealand's newest luxury hotel.

But after building delays and Covid-19 setbacks, the Park Hyatt is finally welcoming guests to its Auckland hotel today.

Reported to have cost more than $200 million to build, the Viaduct set-up has four restaurants and bars, an infinity pool, and a fitness centre.

While big spending international tourists are off the cards for now, general Manager Brett Sweetman said rooms were filling up with Kiwi bookings - 80 of the 195 rooms are operational at the moment with 70 full this weekend.

The America's Cup is still a big drawcard for many guests and the interest is so strong they've not considered becoming a quarantine hotel.

But with rooms starting at $450 a night, and going up to $14,000 for the presidential suites, it's likely they were beyond the budget for managed isolation anyway.

The $1000-a-night harbour suite is proving to be the hotel's most popular offering so far.

Sweetman said they had a range of guests coming to stay from across New Zealand.

"People can't travel overseas so I think there's great opportunities for New Zealanders to come to this hotel and have a true international luxury experience and spoil themselves." 

It's not just getaways that are proving popular for New Zealand's bigger spenders right now.

Top Auckland restaurant The French Cafe is filling up every table it can at the moment - spends are typically between $150 and $200 per person.

Car dealers aren't doing too badly either - one Auckland dealer says there are signs of resilience across its Aston Martin, Bentley, McLaren and Lamborghini brands - only a slight 10 percent dip on sales from last year. 

The luxury market is in stark comparison to those doing it tough, with 12.1 percent of working age New Zealanders now on the benefit and a recession due to be officially announced on Thursday.