Napier's Dome tops global list

By Roger Moroney

Napier's landmark The Dome has won an international accolade which places it as one of the world's finest spots for luxury accommodation.

TripAdvisor, a global leader of travel websites which works on traveller feedback rather than industry reviews, has awarded The Dome its Certificate of Excellence, placing it among the best spots to stay in the world.

The award has delighted owner Ailne Bradley, who said it came at a time when The Dome had bucked the national trend of reduced guest nights.

"This is a fantastic achievement not only for The Dome but for Napier as a tourist destination."

She said TripAdvisor had "enormous" influence and focused on the best hotels.

"We are absolutely ecstatic to be in such great company."

Ms Bradley said more than 60 per cent of their guests were "free, independent travellers" mainly from the United Kingdom and Australia, with the majority of bookings made online.

Social networks and online communication sites were crucial to The Dome's operations.

"They are far-reaching marketing tools," she said.

The Dome had a website, a blog, a Twitter account, two Facebook pages and fed into more than 30 online channels - one of which was TripAdvisor.

While some accommodation providers had been struggling in past months, Ms Bradley said The Dome was well placed with a growth of 80 per cent in occupancy rates over the past year, and a large number of bookings already in place for next year.

There were also bookings already in place for the high summer season of 2014.

She said what appealed to guests was its affordability, given the luxury and world-class views they could enjoy.

"That often means our guests stay longer - they get the chance to really experience The Dome and unwind."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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