Christchurch's Airport Novotel hotel opening delayed again

Fletchers is still building the Novotel Christchurch Airport hotel after beginning the project in 2016.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF
Fletchers is still building the Novotel Christchurch Airport hotel after beginning the project in 2016.

Guests booked into Christchurch Airport's new Novotel hotel are having to be redirected to other hotels after yet another opening delay.

The hotel had been taking bookings for stays from November 1 after numerous construction issues delayed completion from an original late-2017 date.

Online reservation sites are now taking bookings for the hotel from December 2.

The Airport Novotel has 200 rooms.
The Airport Novotel has 200 rooms.

A spokeswoman for Accor, the hotel's operator, was unable to confirm that as an opening date.

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She said guests with reservations this month were being advised ahead of their arrival that they had been rebooked elsewhere. Staff training is under way in the building.

The hotel pictured this year.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF
The hotel pictured this year.

Christchurch Airport has also not been advised of an opening date, but a spokesperson said contractor Fletcher Building was "working through the final certification process".

"Once that is complete they will hand the site to us and the hotel will open."

The airport has invested $80 million in the 200-bed hotel, being built for it by Fletcher on airport land next to the international terminal.

The under-construction Novotel pictured under construction in 2017 through airport artwork Cumulus Gate Pavilion, by sculptor Gregor Kregar.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF
The under-construction Novotel pictured under construction in 2017 through airport artwork Cumulus Gate Pavilion, by sculptor Gregor Kregar.

Construction began in 2016 and was originally scheduled to finish in December 2017 but has encountered a string of major delays.

They included Fletcher having to re-order steel after the wrong grade was supplied, weather damage to bathroom pods awaiting installation, and serious damage to the hotel from a water leak.

After the original completion date was pushed out to 2018, the hotel began taking bookings for that September before indicating it would not be open before 2019.

The Sudima hotel chain originally took on the lease of the property but global hotel chain Accor will now run it under the Novotel brand. Accor also has a Novotel in Cathedral Square, an Ibis hotel on Hereford St, and BreakFree on Cashel St.

The 4.5-star five-storey airport hotel has been designed by architects Warren and Mahoney and overlooks the airport runways.

Advertised room rates range from $293 to $485. The hotel promises ergonomic comfort, dining with views of the alps, a bar, function rooms, and a gym "with motivating views".

Artist's impression of the Novotel at Christchurch Airport.
Artist's impression of the Novotel at Christchurch Airport.

Fletcher has declined to reveal how much the delays have cost the company, which this year returned a profit after a loss last year which was attributed to major building projects.

Airport owner Christchurch International Airport Ltd, three-quarters owned by the city council and a quarter by central government, makes more than half its profit from non-core activities such as property leasing.

When the airport announced the Novotel project in 2016, it said the need had been created by record passenger growth, especially from Asia, and travellers wanting short-term stays near the airport. Other visitor accommodation on the airport campus is the Sudima hotel and Jucy Snooze pod hotel.

Stuff