While the pandemic somewhat curtailed the celebration that saw Team New Zealand retail the America’s Cup on Auckland Harbour earlier this year, there will be no dampening of the mood when Cordis Auckland cuts the ribbon at its new Pinnacle Tower.
Expanding the hotel’s room count by nearly 250, the new tower also bolsters the property’s meeting and conference facilities with a variety of new and flexible facilities. With the grand opening now scheduled for later this year, HM caught up with Cordis Auckland General Manager, Franz Mascarenhas, for a look at what the new tower has in store not just for the hotel, but for the wider Auckland tourism sector.
Franz, congratulations on the new tower. Who could have imagined what New Zealand and the world could have gone through between signing this deal and opening the finished product? How has Cordis adapted and managed this process through the various global hiccups that have presented themselves?
We are indeed very proud of the fact that despite the challenging time, we have had the opportunity to upgrade our facilities and will be unveiling The Pinnacle Tower on October 1, 2021. The new tower will feature an additional 244 premium rooms and signature Cordis suites.
This will make Cordis, Auckland the largest hotel in New Zealand in terms of room count, with 640 rooms and suites. As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude has been in the pipeline for quite some time and the pandemic on the flip side enabled the construction of The Pinnacle Tower to be able to continue with no disruption to guests.
What are some of the major features of the new tower and what sort of anticipation have you seen from guests at what’s to come?
The Pinnacle Tower offers breath-taking 180° views of iconic Auckland landmarks from the upper floors of the hotel including Harbour Bridge, One Tree Hill, Rangitoto, Mount Eden and Sky Tower. A brand new Club Lounge and additional events spaces will be home to one of New Zealand’s largest commercially curated and commissioned art collections which will include pieces from some of New Zealand’s most prominent Maori artists. The art collection delivers a richly textured and distinctive New Zealand story that highlights key ideas in Maori mythology and philosophy.
In addition to the new tower, at Cordis, Auckland, we have also enhanced our F&B experiences. We recently opened a new bar, ‘Our Land is Alive’ – a neighbourhood bar, showcasing only the best of New Zealand through locally sourced food and beverage, to meet the demands of our expanded ‘Eight’ Restaurant, which offers an interactive dining experience featuring the delicious flavours of eight international kitchens.
How does this new tower position Cordis in terms of competitiveness as, once the world opens back up, New Zealand bids for and ultimately wins new major events?
Trust and safety will be at the forefront of every traveller’s mind and this is a significant opportunity for us to gear ourselves up to provide that level of confidence that will reinforce New Zealand’s image as a safe destination.
The Pinnacle Tower has multi-purpose inter-connecting room options which are ideal for families and groups offering flexibility, functionality and style along with brand new facilities for business travellers including access to Auckland’s largest exclusive club lounge. With the opening of the new tower, Cordis, Auckland has the capacity, facilities and resources and is poised to host and support future New Zealand bids and wins for future major events.
What does the new tower do for Auckland generally, as many new hotels have opened up in the city over the last 18 months, with more to come?
Auckland has always been one of the most attractive holiday destinations and we are very optimistic that once we have seen the last of the long COVID-19 tail, New Zealand will benefit from a surge in arrivals as a consequence of past suppressed demand. Karangahape Road and the vibrant surrounding area where Cordis Auckland is located will soon be very connected to the rest of Auckland with a new train station in the making.
Cordis, Auckland is very much the social centre of the Auckland community and with our new Pinnacle Tower, we will be the biggest and one of the best hotels in New Zealand.
The hotel’s amazing collection of art by New Zealand artists is thoughtfully curated to reflect the local culture and to reinforce our commitment to ensuring we represent and reflect the best of the destination. We will be at the forefront of the hospitality Industry and will be the venue of choice for events, big and small, accommodation for leisure, business and MICE and will strive to always create memorable experiences for our guests in Auckland.