Tuesday, 20 November 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Resource consent for resort hotel in Whitianga to be lodged

Later this week Whitianga Waterways will lodge an application for resource consent to develop a luxury resort hotel in Whitianga. The application was prepared by Dave Lamason of Whitianga-based town planning firm, Planners Plus.        

The hotel will be situated on a 2ha block of land next to Joan Gaskell Drive, on the opposite side of the canal, bordering the western side of the Marlin Waters retirement complex.

The hotel will be comprised of 106 accommodation units, a 134-seat restaurant, a health and beauty spa, a gymnasium, a guest swimming pool, and a conference facility for up to 150 people.

The single level accommodation units will be able to host a maximum of two guests each and will all be freestanding. Twenty-six of the units will be ‘flotel’ units, floating in the canal. All the units will have an en-suite bathroom as well as a spa pool in their own private outside areas.

It will be possible for boat owners, including scenic tour and charter boat operators, to dock outside the hotel. Whitianga Waterways will also develop a small beach area for hotel guests to enjoy, situated immediately adjacent to the hotel.

Extensive landscaping will be done, mostly using vegetation native to the Coromandel. “We designed the hotel so that it fits in with the Coromandel environment,” says Peter Abrahamson, project manager of the Whitianga Waterways. “We want guests to have a true Coromandel experience, that's one of the main reasons why we opted for freestanding units as opposed to hotel rooms linked by a long corridor.

“We've also made a concerted effort to limit the hotel's carbon footprint. The roofs of the guest units, for example, have been designed so that solar panels can be fully utilised.

“The hotel will be called ‘Wai Ngakau’, meaning ‘the soul/spirit of the water’. We believe Whitianga should be the base from where guests to the Coromandel should explore what the peninsula has to offer, and we hope the hotel's name and design will contribute to that.”

The hotel will be operated and managed by Whitianga Waterways. “We want the hotel to benefit the local economy as much as possible,” says Peter. “Obviously a lot of work will be created during the construction phase, but several jobs will be created in the operation of the hotel as well.

“We would like to partner with local tourism operators to provide hotel guests with an unforgettable experience. We would also like to explore how we can work with Mercury Bay Area School to create educational opportunities for local tourism and hospitality students.

“We believe the hotel will open a segment of the tourism market that has bypassed the Coromandel to date, especially with regard to conferences and coach tours.”

The hotel will be developed in two stages. The restaurant, health and beauty spa, gymnasium, guest swimming pool, conference facility, and most of the land-based accommodation units will be completed in stage one. Stage two will comprise of the remainder of the land-based units and the ‘flotel’ units.

Work on stage one is expected to start in the second half of next year.

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