Auckland’s Hyatt Regency Hotel will get a new name in January but who owns the hotel remains a mystery.
The five-star hotel on Waterloo Quadrant was recently sold for $60 million to a confidential buyer within the GPR Hotel group.
As a result, the international Hyatt Hotels brand will quit its management of the hotel on January 20, when international hotel management group Accor will take over and rebrand the hotel to its five-star Pullman brand.
Pullman is Accor’s corporate “check-in, chill out” brand of upscale hotels for business travellers and the Hyatt will be the first to launch in New Zealand, joining a network of 50 internationally.
Its entrance is part of a major New Zealand expansion by Accor, which this week also took over what was Hotel So in Christchurch for conversion to its All Seasons economy brand.
Accor will become New Zealand's largest hotel group when it opens the new Novotel and Formule 1 hotels at Auckland Airport in the middle of next year.
The company said yesterday there were a number of other projects under consideration in New Zealand.
The Hyatt opened in 1968 as the Intercontinental, or "Big I" as it became known, and boasts some of the largest conference facilities in Auckland, with the capacity to host events for up to 1000 delegates.
These include the grand ballroom and Top of the Town boardroom – one of Auckland's most exclusive venues – on the top floor of the hotel. The hotel received a $7 million refurbishment last year.
As the Pullman, it will offer 267 rooms, suites and apartments, with three executive levels.
Last month, the National Business Review revealed that, before the sale to GPR, the Hyatt had been bought by South Canterbury Finance (SCF) and hidden under the name of retired Christchurch meat salesman Peter Symes – brother-in-law of SCF director Edward Sullivan.
SCF took back control of the hotel two weeks before the finance company went into receivership.