Marriott International has announced the first Ritz-Carlton property in New Zealand, scheduled to open in 2019.
The Ritz-Carlton, Auckland will offer 300 rooms and suites, as well as two fine-dining restaurants, a street level cafe and two ballrooms.
The hotel will be located next to Sky City, Auckland's casino and events centre in the city's central business district, situated at the base of the Auckland Sky Tower.
Marriott says the Ritz-Carlton Auckland will offer, "uninterrupted 360 degree views of Auckland's twin harbours with easy access to nearby vineyards on Waiheke Island beyond by helicopter, as well as allowing guests to experience the thrills of the America's Cup on an original racing yacht".
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Steve Armitage, the General Manager Visitor & External Relations, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), says the consent allows the developer to build a 209-metre-high structure, with up to 51 levels (including roof levels), plus 10 podium levels.
"ATEED welcomes the announcement of the proposed Ritz-Carlton hotel, which is one of about half a dozen major hotel projects expected to be completed in the next five years," says Armitage.
"The ongoing growth of visitors to Auckland has created a significant shortage in hotel accommodation in Auckland - particularly in the summer high season - as it has in other key visitor destinations around New Zealand. Auckland had overall hotel occupancy of nearly 85 per cent in 2015.
"There is a clear need for more hotels beyond those already planned. With international tourism growth projected to continue at about 5 per cent per annum, the demand for hotels is expected to out-strip supply over the next 10 years in all key tourist regions, and demand for four star and above accommodation will be the strongest category.
"The Government this year identified a priority to address the acute current and future hotel accommodation shortage. That resulted in Project Palace, a New Zealand Trade & Enterprise-led initiative to drive more investment into hotel development in five key centers, which ATEED is involved in," says Armitage.
"ATEED has identified a number of potential Auckland hotel sites (both in the CBD and along key growth corridors) and is marketing them to a number of international companies which are keen to invest in new hotels in Auckland."