Auckland's Hilton hotel is adding 21 rooms on its top floor in the area that used to be a luxury apartment.
The work comes as the chain celebrates 100 years and aggressively expands around the world.
The hotel on Princes Wharf is gearing up for a forecast surge of visitors in the city for the America's Cup in 2021 and for Apec meeting later that year.
During summer, the hotel can charge well over $1000 for its suites and the eighth-floor transformation will add to 166 rooms and suites already in the hotel on Princes Wharf.
It will include a ''bow suite'', which has 270-degree views of the harbour, in the front of what was once an apartment touted as the country's biggest and most expensive apartment - once with an asking price of $10 million.
The 911sqm apartment was once owned by failed property developer and one-time rich lister, David Henderson. In 2014 it was sold for just $900,000 in a mortgagee sale.
The owners of the Hilton site, M&L Hospitality, expect to finish the new hotel floor later this year.
Hilton Auckland manager Adrian Teh says the completion date was something of a ''moving target'' for the Auckland property that turns 18 this year.
Hotel yields in Auckland had been growing strongly since around 2015 but have softened in the past year as tourists travel in greater numbers to other parts of the country and more hotels are opened in the city.
''While I think that more supply allows us to review what we do and the services we offer, I think generally in the lead-up to the America's Cup and Apec in 2021 the demand is still there,'' Teh said.
Stephen Hamilton, managing director of hotel, tourism and leisure experts, Horwath HTL, said there would be a 16 per cent increase in hotel room supply in 2019/20 over the total in this year which stands at about 9600 beds.
Average Auckland room rates softened slightly in 2018 (by as much as 2 per cent on 2017) but still were up to 13 per cent on 2016.
''It looks as if the trend of reducing occupancies and room rates in Auckland hotels which was starting in the latter part of 2018 is continuing in 2019.''
That trend was not seen in other parts of the country.
''There is evidence that hotel performance in several regional centres has been continuing to improve. Regional dispersal appears to be happening – at least as far as hotels are concerned,'' Hamilton said.
Hilton has hotels, resorts and its Double Tree-branded properties in Napier, Taupō, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Teh said there was growing demand for highly personalised service in hotels and developing technology.
Some Hilton guests could skip check-in with a ''digital key'' on their smart phone and the chain was developing an app that would allow them from anywhere in the world to set up the room at their next destination.
One traditional hotel feature that wouldn't be changing was mini bars, a feature Hilton pioneered in the 1970s but which was falling out of favour with some other chains.
''We're a full-service hotel and it's in our best interest that mini bars remain in the room. While I understand some hotels may opt out, we think our guests still want that service,'' Teh said.
During the past 100 years, Hilton had pioneered other advances.
Hilton's legacy began on May 31, 1919, when New Mexico-born Conrad Hilton travelled to Texas with plans to buy a bank. While that deal fell through, Hilton instead bought the Mobley Hotel in Cisco.
In 1925, the Waco Hilton added innovations including cold running water and air conditioning to common areas.
Later, in the 1950s, Hilton was one of the first to make a major investment in air conditioning and by then he had established the first coast-to-coast hotel chain in the United States; opened his first hotel outside the continental United States, the Hilton Caribe in Puerto Rico and expanded overseas with the Hilton Istanbul, the first hotel built from the ground up in Europe after the World War II.
Other innovations included the first hotel to instal televisions in guest rooms - the Roosevelt Hilton in New York in 1947 - through to what the company says is the first underwater hotel suite in the Maldives.
During the past 100 years, Hilton has checked in three billion guests.
The company has a portfolio of 17 brands comprising more than 700 properties with more than 923,000 rooms, in 113 countries and territories and says it is ''doubling down'' on expansion, expanding into 20 more countries by 2020.
There are already more than 2300 hotels in Hilton's construction pipeline.
At Auckland, head concierge Manz Ne'emia has been a fixture for the past 17 years.
He has welcomed famous figures ranging from President Bill Clinton, to Prince William, to Kanye West.
But the highlight was in 2005 when the 42-year-old held his own wedding reception at the hotel.
Ne'emia's a model of discretion about hotel guests; if there are any tales, he's not telling many.
Although he says the 2005 British and Irish Lions rugby team - who were based at the hotel and were ''all good'' - did once drink the bar dry.