Two of Christchurch's largest hotels will reopen within the year following damage from the 2011 earthquake in New Zealand's South Island's largest city.
The Novotel Christchurch will reopen in April 2013, pipped to the post by lower-cost sibiling Ibis Christchurch, which will accept guests from September 2012.
Business travellers heading to the South Island will breath a sigh of relief, since most of Christchurch's larger hotels have been demolished following earthquake damage, leaving a severely constrained hotel room supply in the city.
Novotel and Ibis parent company Accor's regional manager Zayne Boon calls it a "critical shortage of accommodation in Christchurch", which the company hopes to partly remedy with the Ibis and Novotel reopening.
As the main hub for the South Island's mining, resources, timber, wine and agricultural production, passengers connecting to meetings or client visits often have to stay overnight in Christchurch to catch their onward flight.
Accor's Zayne Boon explains that guests will also find fully refurbished hotels when they arrive in Christchurch:
"Both of the hotels were relatively new – the Ibis was built in 2007 and the Novotel 2010 – so they were built to very exacting standards and their structures received only minor damage during the earthquakes."
"The main problems were internal and required a complete re-fit of both hotels, so when they re-open they will have a very fresh and new feel to them."
"The heritage Warners Hotel wing of the Novotel had to be demolished, but the new part of the hotel survived the impact of the earthquake very well, despite being located right in the heart of Cathedral Square."