Weekend Herald

From Zed to Akaroa: rocker adds new strings to hospitalit­y chain

- — Article supplied by Colliers

Rock star turned Akaroa restaurate­ur Ben Campbell is planning to breathe new life into one of the best-known historic landmarks in the Banks Peninsula town.

Campbell is the bass guitarist for Zed, who topped the charts in 2000 with Renegade Fighter and later Glorafilia.

A dual resident of Akaroa and Christchur­ch for the past six years, he has bought the Grand Hotel, adjacent Waeckerle’s Cottage and 1909sq m of surroundin­g land for an undisclose­d sum ahead of auction. He already owns Ma Maison restaurant and co-owns Mandala restaurant in the town.

The properties were sold by investment sales specialist­s Courtney Doig and Michael Lough of Colliers in Christchur­ch.

“We are ecstatic the property holdings are in Ben’s hands. It’s great he’s an Akaroa local, and he’ll be a long-term custodian of the property. That was very important to our client who’d owned the holdings since 1989.

“Ben is an experience­d operator with a great vision to see the buildings through another chapter in their history,” Doig says. “We’re really excited to watch his plans come to fruition.”

Doig says the move to split the offering into three separate opportunit­ies – the hotel, the cottage and the land – helped fuel interest from a

broad range of potential buyers.

Located at 4-16 Rue Lavaud, the hotel and cottage occupy a prime position at the gateway to the town. The hotel dates back to 1883, and has seen many changes over the years.

“I’ve always thought how important the Grand Hotel is to Akaroa. It’s such a landmark

and it sets the tone for what to expect.

“I love that it’s pretty much the first thing you see, apart from the view, as you drive into Akaroa. Both The Grand and Waeckerle’s Cottage are so drenched in history and I’ve always thought they would be great buildings to sympatheti­cally restore,” Campbell says. “My plan for The Grand is the same as my plan for Akaroa – for it to be a place of recharging and rebalancin­g, a space to enjoy friendship and community in this beautiful secluded bay.

“My passion is creating inspiratio­nal spaces where people feel like working, living and having fun. Music is fundamenta­l to my life and work. The Grand is a perfect place to showcase New Zealand and internatio­nal talent.”

He plans to sympatheti­cally restore Waeckerle’s cottage as a living museum and make it available for short-term rental.

“There’s also the potential to offer it to upand-coming Kiwi writers and artists as a monthlong residency through the off-season. We’d work with Creative NZ and the Arts Council and our local trust to select the participan­ts, then hold exhibition­s in The Grand.

“I want to live a good life here. I want to build an historic future where we appreciate all that has been given to us by those who have gone before.”

 ??  ?? The historic hotel and cottage occupy a prime position at the gateway to the town of Akaroa.
The historic hotel and cottage occupy a prime position at the gateway to the town of Akaroa.
 ??  ?? Ben Campbell
Ben Campbell

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