Global hotel operator Accor is taking over the management of Hotel Viaduct Harbour from next week as the Rugby World Cup moves closer to the finals.
The hotel will be renamed Hotel Lighter Quay and be part of Accor's collection of 45 upmarket hotels.
Owners of rooms in what was formerly known as the Westin Auckland Lighter Quay have been in a long-running dispute with the receivers of the bar, restaurant and other facilities.
The room owners cancelled their leases after the former management company was placed in receivership. After failing to reach agreement with the receivers at the time, the room owners opened a no-frills hotel in July under the name Hotel Viaduct Harbour. It has 172 units and a representative of the majority of the owners, Graham Wilkinson, said about 130 had signed up for the Accor deal. He was confident more would join.
"We decided we are going to get on with our lives. We've got one of the biggest hotel companies in the world willing to operate it and they'll tap us into the marketing and distribution and that for us is the key."
Bookings were strong for the weekends over the next four weeks but rooms were still available midweek. Full rates for superior rooms are listed on wotif.com at $620.
Wilkinson said the deal with Accor was for 10 years and a vote of confidence by a major operator.
Owners pay a management fee to Accor based on profitability.
Wilkinson said Accor had plans for a residents' private lounge with guest access to food and beverage services.
"However, access to the bar and restaurant facilities retained by the current receivers [Grant Thornton] will depend on future negotiations between them and the room owners."
Accor vice-president New Zealand and Fiji Paul Richardson said the group has big expectations of the hotel.
"Auckland sorely needs this premium waterfront hotel and it has been disappointing to see it not operating at its full potential," he said. "We know there is a demand for this class of quality accommodation in Auckland, and this extends well beyond the world's biggest rugby tournament."