Hospitality Business Magazine

Sarin Group unviels Thorndon Quay apartment hotel

New Zealand-owned family business Sarin Hotels has opened a 72-room apartment hotel on Thorndon Quay – the eponymously named Proximity Apartments, located near Sky Stadium and The Beehive.

The project has been four years in the making, with delays caused by Covid-19. The new 9-storey building is owned by Wellington property developer Craig Stewart and is his first hotel development.

As the third hotel operated by Sarin in the Wellington area, and its eighth throughout New Zealand, the 4.5-star Proximity Apartments join the Sarin-managed DoubleTree by Hilton Wellington and The Sebel Lower Hutt, which opens in May/June. The group also operates the Lower Hutt Events Centre.

Offering short, long and residential stay options, Proximity Apartments are priced in the $199-$299 per night range.  The hotel features undercover parking, 24/7 guest services, full-service kitchenette and digital check-in.

Speaking about the launch, Udai Sarin, CEO of Sarin Hotels said, “Wellington offers so much to travellers. It’s not just the political capital it’s becoming the country’s cultural capital as well. 

“During one of my business trips, I realised this is one of the very few cities across the globe to have a great balance between work and play. These new apartments are affordably priced, and styled to meet the needs of businesspeople, domestic and international tourists alike.”

Given the city’s ongoing room shortage, David Perks, General Manager, Tākina Commercial Development at Wellington City Council welcomes the new hotel.

“As Wellington has emerged from the pandemic the demand for commercial accommodation in the city has quickly picked up to what it was in 2019, with demand driven by an unusually varied business mix of leisure and business travellers.

“Tākina – Wellington’s new Convention and Exhibition Centre – opens at the end of May. We expect to see 500,000 visits to the centre, 60 percent from outside the Wellington region. Hoteliers are going to be busy every day of the year.”

Also commenting on hospitality’s post-pandemic recovery, Stephen Hamilton, Director of leading hotel, tourism and leisure consulting firm Horwath HTL New Zealand, also predicts the recovery in Wellington’s hotel occupancy will be reasonably strong.

“Average room rates in Wellington particularly have risen, and in the last six months were 25 percent higher than the same period before the first national lockdown three years ago. The imminent opening of Tākina will provide a further boost to hotel occupancy in the city, and probably room rates as well.”

Other Sarin family-operated hotels include the stylish new Observatory Hotel in Christchurch’s Arts Centre, which recently received a 5-star ranking, as well as Christchurch’s MUSE Art Hotel, Holiday Inn Queenstown Frankton Road, Ibis Invercargill by Accor, and another Proximity Apartments hotel in Manukau.