New 14 level tower
Boutique city hotel planned
13 July 2005
By ANN-MARIE JOHNSON
Tourists intent on enjoying all Courtenay Place has to offer will be able to stay there 24 hours a day if a new hotel is approved.
Two Wellington businessmen want to build a boutique hotel at the eastern end of Courtenay Place, above the old McDonald's building.
The $30 million 14-storey Hotel Rococo would have about 40 hotel rooms and a similar number of serviced apartments.
It would be set back 30 metres from the Courtenay Place frontage and the McDonald's building would be retained. The main entrance would be on Alpha St on a site that is now used for car parking. The resource consent application was publicly notified by Wellington City Council, mainly because the building will be about four storeys above the area's height limit.
Development partners Glen Hooker and Graeme Hunt say the hotel will fill a gap in the market, with no other luxury hotels in the area.
In the past, they have refurbished the nearby Cambridge Hotel and developed the concept designs for the Sanctum apartment complex.
Mr Hooker said those projects had been successful because they took account of the surrounding urban environment, which was also a focus of the new hotel's design.
"We recognised the importance of doing something that fitted into the Courtenay character area," he said.
"The idea is only to offer accommodation, and let Courtenay Place service clients (for food, drink and entertainment)."
The building was designed to fit in with the area, and in particular would not detract from the adjacent heritage Adelphi building.
It was among a cluster of taller buildings, including the Base Backpackers building, so its height would not be out of place, he said.
Despite the number of new hotels opening in central Wellington – including the Bolton, the Museum Hotel extension, the Just Hotel and the Holiday Inn – Mr Hooker was confident there was room for more top-end rooms, particularly serviced apartments.
(I have a render, will scan and post later.)