Work on New Zealand's biggest new hotel, projected to be finished around the middle of this year, is "slower than first envisaged" and next March is the earliest guests can book.
"Now accepting reservations for stays from March 1, 2020," says the web site for the $300 million 195-room Chinese-owned Park Hyatt on Auckland's waterfront on the former America's Cup bases.
A spokesman for the hotel's developer, Fu Wah, said today: "The project has been slower than first envisaged, but that is in line with most projects of this size in Auckland, due to complexity of the build, constraints on labour, etc. Fu Wah is happy with the high quality of the finished product. The end is now close."
Fu Wah was founded by one of China's richest women, Madam Chan Laiwa and at the 2016 ground-breaking ceremony she attended with then-Prime Minister Sir John Key. The Herald reported how the hotel's completion was expected in 2018.
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Other projects running late in Auckland are the $1b Commercial Bay office/retail tower on Quay St and the $703m NZ International Convention Centre.
Forbes estimates Chan Laiwa's wealth at US$5.8b and says: "Chan Laiwa's Fu Wah International Group is one of the largest real estate developers headquartered in Beijing.
Fu Wah is best known for its Jinbao Street development with Jinbao Tower, the Regent Building and the Beijing Hong Kong Jockey Club. Fu Wah has also been expanding outside of China in recent years, investing in hotels in Australia and New Zealand. Chan is the curator of the China Red Sandalwood Museum."
The Park Hyatt is at 99 Halsey St opposite ASB North Wharf and its east, south and north faces look towards the waterfront and the CBD.
Despite delays, the spokesman said good progress was being made.
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"Currently the hotel is moving into the final phase of the fit out and the process for council consents around compliance is about to commence. As areas are completed, they will be inspected by the council which has been very helpful and signed off.
"Then, Hyatt can have access to that area and begin preparation of rooms and facilities for full commercial hotel operations," he said.
The hotel was now employing staff. Around 40 people, including the senior management team, were so appointed.
"The final staff complement will be around 250. Trial runs, including staff training, is commencing in November and December followed by a soft opening for the public," he said.
Māori pouwhenua or land posts are planned to be installed at the hotel in an event in the next few weeks.
Restaurant/bar areas are The Pantry, The Living Room, Captain's Bar and signature space Onemata.
The business says: "Park Hyatt Auckland offers boutique meeting and event spaces to facilitate a range of business and personal gatherings. From small boardroom style to a cocktail event of 400 people, Park Hyatt Auckland will create the most memorable occasion completely tailored to your business. This includes seasonal menus, theming, AV and unique activities in and around the hotel."
Event areas are The Boathouse, a pre-function meeting are and the Harbour Room, showing sit-down dining special event space.
Images of the new areas are shown on the hotel's web site.