Rendezvous Hotel reopens today

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 01/05/2013
Daniel Touin

The Rendezvous Hotel re-opens its doors to guests for the first time since the earthquake.

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After a "disappointingly long" closure, Christchurch's Rendezvous Hotel will reopen today, boasting arguably the best views in central Christchurch.

The hotel will offer 171 rooms while apartments on the upper floors are for sale for between $850,000 and $2.5 million.

The 22-storey Pacific Tower on Gloucester St suffered cosmetic and structural damage in the February 2011 earthquake and repairs took longer than expected.

Rendezvous general manager Brad Watts said he was "excited but quite apprehensive" about welcoming back guests, adding staff and contractors had worked "incredibly hard".

The hotel was meant to have reopened early last year but further repairs were needed.

Watts said today was being treated as a "soft opening".

"It's just about testing that everything is ready and that the systems are working . . . but as of the weekend we'll be taking bookings."

On May 12 about 40 American guests on a coach tour of New Zealand would be checking in.

Only three levels of the hotel would be occupied for the next few weeks while "finishing touches" were carried out.

The hotel had employed 22 staff and more would be added, Watts said.

The tower was more than 80 per cent compliant with the building code, he said.

"I was here when the February [2011] quake hit . . . I didn't know how bad it was until I left the hotel. I have complete faith in this building."

Watts said the reopening would further invigorate the area.

"New Regent St is only over the road . . . and hopefully more businesses will start popping up soon. I think getting the Rendezvous back up and running is important for us, for visitors and for the recovery."

The hotel occupies most of the Pacific Tower but the rest is apartments for rent or sale.

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