Waikato-Tainui today blessed the construction of a 40-room extension to Novotel Tainui Hamilton, which will bring the capacity of Hamilton’s pre-eminent hotel to 217 rooms.
Opened in 1999, the Novotel Tainui Hamilton is owned by Waikato-Tainui through its intergenerational investment arm Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and operated by international hotel chain Accor.
The Waikato branch of Form Building and Development has been contracted to build the extension.
Waikato-Tainui Te Arataura Chair Rukumoana Schaafhausen says the $13 million investment demonstrates the commitment of the iwi to a strong central city for Hamilton.
“The expanded 217 room offer will help central Hamilton thrive and create employment opportunities both for our iwi members and the region as we help grow the tourism and visitor market to the Waikato,” Rukumoana says.
The significant extension, which will take 15 months to complete, will have four levels with 10 rooms per level, with the new rooms to be the same size and layout as typical rooms within the existing hotel.
A special design element of this project will feature a distinctive exterior based on the migration of the tuna (eels) and the importance they hold to Waikato-Tainui as a consistent food source.
“The tuna is a perfect metaphor because it’s life is about travel, and the design shows the adult long fin eels making their journey north out to sea, with the baby glass tuna heading inland to fresh water after spawning.
The patterns either side of the wall mimic the turbulent water and whirlpools of the Waikato awa (river),” says Rukumoana.
The pattern was developed by the head carver for Waikato-Tainui, Renata Te Wiata, under the guidance of his father, master carver Inia Te Wiata. Sadly, this project was the final project that Inia was able to lead before his passing earlier this year.
Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive Chris Joblin believes this extension to Hamilton’s pre-eminent hotel is a vote of confidence in the ongoing growth of Hamilton and the Waikato region.
“With more capacity to cater for peak events such as Fieldays sports events and concerts, Novotel Hamilton Tainui will ensure Hamilton has a nationally competitive accommodation offer. A huge amount of planning is also going in to protect the quality of the hotel guest experience while the team from Form is on site for the extension,” Chris says.
Novotel Tainui Hamilton, operated by AccorHotels, is 4.5 star rated and Planet 21 certified. The hotel has a strong sustainability focus to its operations and the extension’s form and materials will match the existing hotel for maximum visual appeal. On behalf of Waikato-Tainui, Tainui Group Holdings also owns the neighbouring ibis Tainui Hamilton hotel, a half share in the Novotel Auckland Airport, with a fourth hotel, Te Arikinui – Pullman Auckland Airport – jointly under development with Auckland International Airport Ltd.