Inside Sudima Kaikoura: A world-class experience for locals and visitors


The innovative design features being implemented in a new luxury Kaikoura Hotel will “set a new benchmark” in hotel experiences for locals and guests alike.

Construction began recently on the four-storey 4.5-star Sudima Hotel complex. The project boasts design aspects that are unique to its coastal location, and takes into consideration the elevation and orientation of the corner site on The Esplanade/Yarmouth Street.

These features include an expansive art gallery-style atrium that will exhibit local Maori heritage from the area, which will be developed in partnership with the local iwi Te Runanga o Kaikoura, hapu of Ngati Kuri.

“To be able to showcase the local history from this unique area of New Zealand is something you won’t find anywhere else in the world,” Kirk Roberts chief executive Jade Kirk says.

The head of the multidisciplinary consultancy firm says it’s something that, as New Zealanders, we should be proud of.

The hotel’s atrium links through to the bar and restaurant on the ground floor, with 360° views of the ocean and beyond.

The world-class views extend throughout the whole hotel, with each of its 120 rooms designed in such a way to provide views for every guest.

“Typically, hotels have a ‘light side and a dark side’, so to offer views for all guests to enjoy the atmosphere of Kaikoura, no matter what part of the hotel you are staying in, is a rarity,” Mr Kirk says.

“The feedback we have been getting already is exceptional, and we’re really excited by this project.”

As well as architectural design, Kirk Roberts is offering full services to Sudima Hotels to create the hotel complex, including structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental design, civil engineering, full project management, quantity surveying, BIM modelling and fabrication design.

The hotel is an innovative modular design, which means the majority of the hotel’s superstructure, services, rooms and fit-out will be fabricated off-site in Christchurch for assembly in Kaikoura.

This innovative approach, which has been embraced overseas and is a developing area in New Zealand, has a significant impact on the overall project’s timeline, reduces waste and increases efficiency in the build, all while ensuring a high-quality standard.

“Careful planning is involved when working in a small regional area to ensure there is not a strain on labour and resources, and this is where modular builds are key,” project manager Michael Tohill says of the project.

“Plus, because the fabricated components are built to a specific size, it reduces the amount of building waste involved too.”

While large structures typically pose a seismic risk, Mr Tohill says measures are being taken to ensure the hotel is designed and built to more than 100% of the new building standards (NBS).

As well as a focus on safety, there is also a considered focus on sustainability, in regards to the economic and environmental impact of the hotel.

“The hotel project is a great opportunity to retain the skills and workforce in the region, to help create something that will ultimately give a lot back to the locals in terms of job opportunities, and more tourism spend,” Mr Tohill says.

Mr Kirk says there will be increased job opportunities, with an estimated 40 to 60 people required to help run and support the hotel.

“The increase in visitors, hotel staff and their families will provide room for existing businesses, such as eco-tourism and adventure tourism companies, to expand and also attract new business ventures.”

Sudima Hotels chief executive Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala says Kaikoura is an important part of New Zealand’s tourism sector.

“It is our hope that we can continue to support and encourage the recovery of Kaikoura, following the earthquake that impacted the town and its economy.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Kirk Roberts on this hotel, and we look forward to opening the hotel doors later in 2020.”

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