Novotel Christchurch Airport welcomed its first guests with a special charity night at the $80-million hotel.
Ahead of its opening to the public, more than 100 lucky people were the first to experience the hotel as part of a charity fundraiser supporting Christchurch teenager, Maddie Collins, who was diagnosed in 2008 with Nephrotic Syndrome. She is now in need of a lifesaving kidney transplant which could cost up to $1 million.
All 200 premium rooms at the new hotel were handed over to Maddie and her mum Sarah to sell, helping them raise more than $20,000 for their mission to make New Zealand one of the top donor countries in the world.
On Monday morning, as the hotel served its very first breakfast, Sarah Collins said she was overwhelmed by the support shown by Novotel.
“It took a bit of time for the initial offer to sink in. We are just so grateful for this amazing opportunity. All the guests have been buzzing about the hotel. It’s such an impressive building and then you get inside and it’s even more impressive, given these views.”
Novotel Christchurch Airport General Manager Olivier Lacoua said every space in the hotel was created with luxury in mind, and it was therefore fitting that it be opened in such a special way to support a brave Canterbury teenager.
Two years ago, Maddie launched a series of handmade pillowcases and after viewing the design, Lacoua made the decision to purchase some for the Novotel Christchurch Airport to be used as future corporate gifts.
“When I met again with Maddie and her mum recently, I felt we could do much more to help this brave teenager. So while we celebrate the opening of Novotel today, we also celebrate the brave battles of Maddie.”
ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive Joanna Norris said the Novotel Christchurch Airport was a significant new addition to the city’s accommodation sector.
“This property complements a strong offering of hotel accommodation in Christchurch at a time when the city continues to experience significant growth in visitor numbers as more and more people explore the beauty of our city and region.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leeann Watson, who said it was great to see the opening of the Novotel at the airport.
“The Novotel brand has a long tradition of being a welcoming mainstay in Ōtautahi Christchurch for visitors. With visitor numbers on the rise for our city and region, together with our Te Pae Convention Centre scheduled to open in 2020, this wonderful new hotel is a great addition to our accommodation sector.”
Welcoming, supportive communities are a vital part of what New Zealand has to offer our visitors. Sustainable businesses find ways to protect and enhance their social licence to operate within their communities. Novotel Christchurch Hotel is meeting Industry Goals 5 & 6 ('New Zealanders strongly support and reap the benefit from tourism operating in their communities') and Business Commitment 9: Community Engagement ('Businesses actively engage with the communities in which they operate'.)