Accor has officially opened Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, the chain’s second luxury hotel in New Zealand.
The official launch follows on from the hotel’s soft opening in February 2012 and the occasion was marked in spectacular style with a traditional Sabrage Champagne ceremony performed by Sofitel Pacific’s Vice President, Ian Alexandre.
The ceremony was deemed a ‘toast’ to the brand’s French origins (Napoleon famously gave his officers bottles of champagne which as a gesture of celebration they beheaded with their swords), and a nod to the hotel’s newly unveiled Champagne bar bearing the same name, Sabrage.
Alexandre was joined by visiting luminaries from the world famous hotel network, including regional Sofitel’s Vice President for Asia Pacific Markland Blaiklock, and local VIP guests to unveil the hotel’s world class features and herald a new era as a Sofitel Luxury Hotel.
With fine cuisine, Champagne, French cheese and wine a highlight of the launch event, the hotel took the opportunity to introduce new executive chef Scott Brown, formerly of New Zealand’s Huka Lodge, to guests. Brown will oversee all dining requirements at the hotel, including its new signature waterfront restaurant, Lava Dining.
New-look mock up rooms designed by leading New Zealand interiors expert Stewart Harris were also revealed on the night providing a sneak preview of the soft renovation to come at the luxury hotel over the next six months.
“After several months to settle the hotel into its new Sofitel branding, we’re very excited to officially launch in such elegance and style,” said Sofitel’s Area Manager for New Zealand and General Manager of Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, Wouter De Graaf.
“Bold, stylish yet elegantly understated, the hotel’s dramatic water filled lobby, chic interiors and tranquil private marina are perfect complements to Auckland’s many other attractions, and our aspiration is for Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour to become the place to be and to be seen – to stay, to socialise, to dine, to entertain and to do business.
“From visiting international stars to locals looking for a little R&R, the hotel already has already carved a reputation for delivering exceptional experiences and now as a Sofitel branded hotel we look forward to continuing that tradition and indeed raising the bar even higher.”
Features of the hotel include 172 bedrooms and suites, all featuring private balconies, floor to ceiling windows and oversized bathrooms with separate rain showers. Every room includes Sofitel’s ‘MyBed’, a personal espresso machine and LCD television.
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is due to open SO SPA, a Sofitel branded spa, at the end of August offering a selection of the best and most effective health and beauty treatments inspired by tradition and combined with forefront French cosmetology.