Sofitel stamps its mark on Viaduct's troubled Westin hotel

New chapter for conflict-plagued hotel.

The troubled Westin hotel on Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour has been relaunched as part of the international Sofitel hotel chain.

New branding went up this morning on the 173-room hotel on Lighter Quay – now the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour.

The hotel, built by bankrupt property developer Nigel McKenna, was plagued by conflict between unit holders, managers and receivers last year.

Chairman of the body corporate, Graham Wilkinson, that held 116 of the 173 units, set up a rival hotel operation through his company Hotel Lighter Quay, meaning that for a while there were two hotels operating out of the same building.

The hotel has been in limbo since the Westin pulled out in August.

But international hotel management company Accor, which is behind the Sofitel chain, says today marks the start of a new chapter for the hotel, now the second Sofitel in New Zealand alongside the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa.

Wouter de Graaf, who manages the Queenstown hotel, has been appointed general manager of both hotels and will be based in Auckland.

Accor New Zealand Vice President, Paul Richardson said he expected the Sofitel Viaduct Harbour to become as much a destination for New Zealand travelers as international visitors.

“Over the next month we will launch a new restaurant and re-launch the spa centre, which will be one Auckland’s most desirable urban spas.

“It is important for Auckland’s development as a world-class destination to have more genuine luxury hotel brands to offer visitors,” said Mr Richardson.

Room rates for Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour start at $299-a-night.

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