Communal kitchen at Drifter Christchurch

Leisure Accommodation Collective (LA Co) has opened the doors of its first Drifter property – a hybrid hotel offering with a mix of private and shared suites, communal spaces, and a program of free events.

The 95-room Drifter Christchurch, located in a heritage building at 96 Litchfield St on the southern side of the city’s CBD, welcomed its first guests over the weekend.

King Suite at Drifter Christchurch

The first of five Drifter properties in development, with other locations including Wellington, Auckland and Byron Bay, LA Co CEO Luke Moran is confident the brand will be popular with travellers.

“We may not be the first brand to combine a hotel and hostel experience globally, but we are set to be the most remarkable,” Moran said.

Shared Bunk Suite at at Drifter Christchurch

“Drifter Christchurch has been uniquely designed to redefine the hybrid hotel sector and deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for travellers who seek more than just a place to stay.”

The Christchurch property can accommodate 372 guests through its varied room types across four levels.

The Revel Room social lounge

There are 32 private suites and 63 shared bunk suites in 4- and 8-bed configurations. The majority of the shared rooms are ensuite, with select 8-bed rooms offering a double ensuite, and some being female-only. Each of the bespoke bunk beds have a privacy curtain, inbuilt power, lighting and lockable storage. 

Guest facilities include a social lounge to mingle with other travellers, a communal kitchen, wellness studio and mindfulness lounge, a cinema and library, as well as multiple co-working spaces, meeting rooms, and outdoor courtyards with fire pits.

The Leisure Club yoga studio

A program of free events for guests spans music, culture, art and wellbeing.

The Rambler bar and restaurant, with capacity for 150 guests and locals, is slated to open on the ground floor in August.

“The entire Drifter concept is built on the idea that travellers want something more when they travel, no matter what their travel intention is,” said LA Co CIO and Drifter Founder Hugh Stephenson.

Outdoor space with fire pit

“I spent years staying in hotels for both leisure and work and always wanted so much more than just a room. I wanted to meet people, share experiences with them and just have a great time wherever I stayed, but it turns out this isn’t something that’s easy to find. 

“Drifter Christchurch is the blueprint for a venue that does make this possible, and we’re so proud of what we’ve created. Seeing guests engaging with the venue, the program of events and each other over the weekend has shown us that what we set out to do is very much something that travellers, including myself, are seeking.”

Indoor cinema at Drifter Christchurch

The property dates back to 1919 when it was built as a manufacturing facility for the Wellington Woollen Manufacturing Company, and its heritage is reflected in the interior design by CTRL Space, with “factory nuanced finishes, industrial light fixtures and vintage furniture”.

Each floor has a distinct tone and energy, with custom art and photography features throughout, including paintings by Mexico City based Australian artist Beni Single.