AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND—IHG’s colorful voco brand is coming to New Zealand in mid-2021, following the signing of a franchise agreement between IHG and Pro-invest.
voco Auckland City Centre will incorporate all the elements of the voco life, including 200 guestrooms that are designed around the “Me Time” concept with premium beds for a quality sleep experience, superior showers, innovative lighting and user-friendly technology. Beyond guestrooms, the hotel will feature an all-day restaurant and bar, and guest gym.
Located in the very heart of Auckland’s center, at the corner of Albert and Wyndham Street, voco Auckland City Centre will not only look different, but will also have a distinctive vibe. It will feature fresh, natural and modern design; bringing the outdoors inside and offering playful and energizing workspaces, dining and social areas, and natural outdoor spaces. It will also feature design and technology elements to enable guests to maintain the balance they desire every day.
The property was originally announced as an EVEN Hotel in 2017, however following IHG’s launch of voco in 2018 it became clear that the new brand would not only resonate with the colorful, unstuffy and laid-back Kiwi spirit, but also that its “tread light” philosophy made it a perfect fit with Pro-invest’s culture of environmental governance, which includes a commitment to targeting high energy efficiency ratings across its portfolio.
Sustainability Focus Struck a Chord
Ronald Barrott, CEO of Pro-invest, said: “We are extremely excited to have the honor of opening New Zealand’s first voco. Such an iconic address demands a great brand, and when IHG first launched voco in 2018, its sustainability focus really struck a chord with me and I realized that it was a perfect fit for us. I’m so excited to add voco to our portfolio of hotels, complementing our growing estate of Holiday Inn Express hotels in New Zealand and Australia, in partnership with IHG.”
Leanne Harwood, IHG’s Managing Director—Australasia & Japan said: “With the momentum voco has created since its launch, we are delighted that Pro-invest has taken the opportunity to realign their EVEN project with the new sustainability-focused voco brand. It’s wonderful to continue this journey with Pro-invest as they bring our sixth voco to Australasia in the very heart of the Auckland CBD. voco celebrates the individuality of the hotel, stunning location and local people, with each stay tailored to deliver a unique and memorable experience to guests from New Zealand and all around the world.”
The property will be dual-branded, sharing its site with an IHG-branded cousin, the 294-room Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre. The two hotels will have separate branding and guest entrances but will share facilities to provide a better guest experience.
Additional Hotel Openings
Pro-invest recently opened Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank in December 2019, adding to its existing Holiday Inn Express properties in Sydney Macquarie Park, Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle. This year they will open Holiday Inn Express Sydney Airport and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown, followed by Melbourne Little Collins and Sunshine Coast in the coming years.
The signing of voco Auckland City Centre continues the rapid growth of the brand since it launched in June 2018, complementing voco hotels in Australia’s Gold Coast, Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, Melbourne and Sydney. Its sustainability milestones at existing voco hotels in Australia include more than half a million plastic bottles recycled so far to make voco bedding, locally-sourced food, more than 300,000 bees producing honey and honeycomb for the restaurants, and paperless check-out.
IHG currently has 51 hotels operating under four brands in Australasia, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, voco and Holiday Inn Express, with another 35 in the pipeline, including Hotel Indigo.