Wellington Scoop

Staying the night at the airport

airport hotel

Why stay the night at the airport, when it’s only a quick trip into town?

That’s the question from Leviathan on eyeofthefish, after the airport’s announcement that it’s planning to build a 130-bed hotel on the edge of the terminal. Leviathan writes:

Wellington is a small city, with a vibrant centre not very far away at all. Anybody in their right mind would surely want to go into the centre of town, and stay in a hotel there, surely, rather than anchor themselves in a block in Miramar next to a rowdy airport? Do we bump that many people off flights? Do we have that many overnight delays?

The airport company says, however, that it’s done its business case. The DomPost quotes chief executive Steve Sanderson as saying:

“We have been working through the plans and business case for a number of years and, like any major development, it takes time and considerable capital investment to work through to detailed design and the final business case. As part of our master planning, it was identified that the best location is a fully integrated hotel connected to the international terminal and we were very pleased to be able to meet this requirement.”

And Rydges, who’ll be running the hotel, is confident that it’ll be popular, because record numbers of international travellers are flying into the capital and many international flights leave early in the morning and arrive late at night. “Booking a room right next to international departures and getting a good night’s rest will be an extremely convenient option.”

The hotel will cost about $35m, and will include a restaurant, bar and conference facilities. Leviathan has some thoughts about its design.

The design is fairly … average, and that’s a disappointment … It’s not like hotels have to be boring – the airport hotel in Auckland, run by Novotel and designed by WAM, seems to be a ravishing beautiful sculptural structure on tall criss-crossed legs, like a slightly knock-kneed supermodel working the catwalk beside the detritus of cliches that is Auckland Airport. But here we seem to have inherited her fat younger cousin in some old hand-me-downs, with a mixture of horizontal stripey spandrels, and a couple of big V signs to the golf club.

Like it or not, the airport has completed the business case and is calling tenders for the hotel. Next, it’ll be focussing on another business case that’s being developed. Will it be able to prove that there’ll be sufficient customers to justify the cost of extending its runway?


  1. luke, 13. October 2015, 14:29

    There are already a few hotels close by, the Brentwood, Airport Motorlodge and one at Lyall Bay. It may well cannibalise from them. It could also attract business functions/conferences for firms with a nationwide presence who could fly their staff in on the first morning flight from all over the place to attend a function for the day, then be safely back on the last flight to wherever they came from come day’s end, without going into Wellington.

  2. Esjay, 13. October 2015, 16:01

    Ratepayers have part funded the resource consent for the runway, meaning that Wellington Airport are able to splash money around like it’s going out of fashion. What about the argument that Long Haul travellers will spend up large when staying overnight in the city? When accommodation is available at the airport, the vibrancy of our dynamic city will suffer.

  3. Andrew, 13. October 2015, 18:28

    Perspective please. It is but one hotel, not some kind of multi thousand bedroom abomination found on the strip in ‘Vegas. I doubt this will affect the vibrancy in town one bit.

  4. Ross Clark, 13. October 2015, 21:40

    There’s a similar setup at Auckland International Airport; travellers do appreciate (and need) that sort of thing.

  5. Esjay, 14. October 2015, 14:56

    Travellers may take the easy way out and book a room at the airport for the sake of convenience. There are motels in close proximity to the airport, they will miss out as will taxis and buses. If the airport can afford to construct a hotel, then surely it can afford to construct the extended runway. Why should the ratepayer be asked?

  6. Phil C, 14. October 2015, 23:15

    £35m? Cheap hotel, although it’s only 20 minutes from the city centre to the airport at 0300 if you need to get an early flight. Just make sure everything is fastened properly when it’s built. Don’t get Weta hanging things up.