John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, has officially opened BreakFree on Cashel – the largest hotel in Christchurch.
The opening of the 264-room room hotel follows the complete redevelopment of the former All Seasons property, which was badly damaged by the 2011 earthquake.
Mr Key, who is also New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism, toured the hotel and checked-in using its new online kiosk system.
The opening of the BreakFree on Cashel, which is operated by Australia’s Mantra Group, marks a milestone in Christchurch’s recovery from the devastating earthquakes that destroyed much of the city in 2010 and 2011.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel addressed the opening, saying that the launch of the hotel “symbolises the positive aspects of our city’s recovery and helps to increase the sense of momentum which I know we are feeling at the moment”.
“Developments like BreakFree on Cashel are crucial to inspire the confidence to invest in Christchurch and entice the return of visitors,” the mayor said.
The NZ$30 million (US$19m) project also made the building earthquake-proof, with a Grade A seismic rating, and used recycled materials salvaged from buildings demolished following the earthquakes.
It has been redesigned in a modern style, with check-in kiosks, pod-style rooms, Smart TVs in the rooms and free Wi-Fi. Other facilities include a restaurant and bar, a breakfast room, laundry facilities, two boardrooms and a conference room for up to 80 people.
“The hotel provides a glimpse of the future urban hotel design incorporating the important elements that make a great hotel – a clever use of space, comfortable quality beds and seamless social spaces that integrate lifestyle and technology,” said Michael Moret-Lalli, Mantra’s director of acquisitions.
The hotel marks Mantra’s return to Christchurch’s CBD, although the company does also operate the Peppers Clearwater Resort, 7km from the centre of Christchurch.