BY JAMES WILKINSON
Accor is set to take over management of the former Westin Auckland Lighter Quay hotel following a ten year agreement with owners’ representative Graham Wilkinson.
The property, to be known as Hotel Lighter Quay from September 26, was embroiled in controversy during June and July when Wilkinson gained approval from a majority of the property’s owners to pass across management control to him from Starwood.
Subsequently, Starwood then terminated the management agreement with the remaining owners and the property was operating under the name Hotel Viaduct Harbour for a number of weeks before the Accor deal was signed.
Wilkinson said initially 130 owners had signed up for the Accor management agreement, but was confident more would participate.
Hotel Lighter Quay will be a member of Accor’s MGallery collection and Accor Vice President for New Zealand and Fiji, Paul Richardson, said the company had big expectations for the 5-star property.
“MGallery is a prestigious collection recognised worldwide as providing a distinctive guest experience that reflects each hotel’s individual personality and atmosphere,” he said. “With an exceptional waterfront setting at the very heart of its vibrant neighbourhood, Hotel Lighter Quay certainly fits that definition.
“We know there is a demand for this class of quality accommodation in Auckland,” he said.
Accor’s current management contract extends to the hotel’s rooms only at this stage, with food and beverage facilities only available at present in a “hotel resident’ private lounge.
Wilkinson told The New Zealand Herald on Monday (Sep 19) that access to other food and beverage facilities in the hotel would depend on future negotiations with receivers Grant Thornton.