Ho­tel pulls with car park views

North Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DENISE PIPER

It is not at a tourist des­ti­na­tion and it has views of a car park, but one of the coun­try’s new­est ho­tels is al­ready do­ing a roar­ing trade.

Ra­mada Suites Albany opened its doors in April and will have its of­fi­cial open­ing on June 29.

Gen­eral man­ager Jac­qui Cheal said North Har­bour was cry­ing out for ac­com­mo­da­tion, par­tic­u­larly for busi­ness­peo­ple, due to the growth of busi­nesses in the area.

‘‘Be­fore we were open, we were get­ting phone calls ask­ing about when we were open­ing,’’ she said. ‘‘There was def­i­nitely a need.’’ The Ra­mada was the first pur­pose-built ho­tel on the North Shore for about 10 years and was one of very few in the area.

Its lo­ca­tion - over­look­ing Albany Bus Sta­tion’s park ‘n’ ride and the North­ern mo­tor­way - made it very con­ve­nient, es­pe­cially for busi­ness trav­ellers, Cheal said.

The ho­tel had 66 ser­viced suites which all have kitchen and laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties, plus dou­ble-glaz­ing to keep out any traf­fic noise, she said.

The high de­mand meant the Ra­mada had good oc­cu­pancy rates since it opened, in­clud­ing be­ing 98 per cent full on some week­days.

The ho­tel was also fully booked dur­ing the World Masters Games, which was on through­out Auck­land when the ho­tel had just opened, Cheal said.

It was also booked well in ad­vance for spe­cial events, she said.

An international sports team was set to stay later in the year and some peo­ple were al­ready book­ing for the Ed Sheeran con­cert next March, Cheal said.

‘‘It’s been al­most over­whelm­ing, the re­sponse,’’ she said.

Cheal said other guests in­cluded a fam­ily wait­ing for a new house to be fin­ished.

Due to cus­tomer re­quests, the ho­tel was chang­ing one of its suites into a meeting room, suit­able for 12 to 14 peo­ple with a small break-out room.

‘‘We get at least one to two calls ev­ery week ask­ing for a meeting room,’’ Cheal said.

Com­pli­men­tary ser­vices were start­ing to open up around the new ho­tel, in­clud­ing a cafe, gym and re­tail ser­vices.

Eigh­teen pri­vately owned apart­ments were also be­ing built in a new block next to the ho­tel.

Ra­mada was part of the Wyn­d­ham group, the big­gest ho­tel chain in the world.

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