Sudima Christchurch City: Stylish and sustainable

Sudima Hotels opened its $40 million luxury boutique hotel in Christchurch City last year, exciting much of the industry.

Why? Because Sudima Christchurch City is one of the first new-build hotels to open since the earthquakes and it is incredibly stylish, but most of all it was built to be environmentally friendly. This property is in line with Sudima Hotels’ environmental commitment and focus on sustainability, the brand has consistently implemented a range of environmental initiatives across all their hotels.

The thoughtfully designed, Sudima Christchurch City is a 5-star boutique hotel providing 86 stylishly appointed rooms, quality dining at standalone restaurant Vices & Virtues and pampering at the independent day spa Moss.

Hotel manager Maree Welgus told us what the property’s environmentally focused yet bespoke accommodation experience means: “Building Sudima Christchurch City marked another milestone for Christchurch’s post-quake recovery, showed our support for the people of Christchurch and signified our confidence in the recovery of Christchurch as tourism destination.”

What is so special about this hotel?

First, it looks good! Maree said: “The hotel’s architecture is designed to reflect a strong sense of connection to the rejuvenating city. It has a classic air with a touch of modernism and art deco in empathy with the surrounding city architecture. The hotel facade is clad in gold-hued aluminium panelling, with rounded corners and glass. The glass-clad central atrium plays an important part in the design, the two-canopy system keeps the rain out while allowing in fresh air and natural light.

“We focused on connecting to the New Zealand environment with naturalistic use of wood and natural wood finishes, and our furnishings have tasteful natural earthy tones and textures. Even the bedheads capture the environment, with tonal paintings by up-and-coming New Zealand artist, Aroha Gossage. In Vices & Virtues we have also used colours that draw on the natural environment that surrounds Christchurch, with natural toned timber, terracotta and green. Moss is finished in natural Blackbutt timber, white painted brick and pastel colours to give a minimal yet warm and relaxing environment.”

Outstanding commitment to the environment

Maree explained: “With sustainability a core brand value, at Sudima Christchurch City we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment.” She revealed that Sudima Christchurch City works with suppliers who have sustainability commitments that are in line with Sudima Hotels, which is a member of the Climate Leaders Coalition. The hotel uses sustainable practices and materials and operates a ‘Care Team’, part of their role is to discuss and implement sustainability initiatives at local hotel level: “Caring for our environment and promoting sustainable practices has always been part of our core beliefs – it’s who we are.”

What local environmental initiatives are operating at Sudima Christchurch City?

Maree revealed: “We aim to be single-use-plastic-free by year-end and we have already eliminated a significant number of items. We use larger bottles for our shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion to reduce plastic waste. We offer biodegradable slippers, 100 percent compostable dental floss, natural NZ made shower bombs, bamboo toothbrushes and organic sanitary items.

“We also use a ‘FibreClean’ system, which has reduced housekeeping chemical usage by 95 percent. Un-bleached cotton bags are provided for guest laundry instead of plastic bags. To reduce waste, we are working with Wasteco in Christchurch to implement the most effective initiatives. We are also working with enviromark to have the hotel certified carbonzero.”

What has been the reaction from your guests?

“The positive feedback has been tremendous from both guests and staff. Our TripAdvisor rating has gone from #137 to #32 in the first six months. Staff are invited to spend a night in the hotel as part of their induction which allows them to experience Sudima Christchurch City as a guest too.”

What about your team?

“As the manager of the hotel I am inspired to deliver exceptional customer service, I thrive on feedback. When recruiting, attitude was one of the main attributes I looked for as I wanted to form a caring and positive team. People also flourish with helpful feedback and at Sudima Hotels we develop and upskill our staff on their career paths.”

What are you most proud of?

“There has been so many highlights and achievements since the hotel opened June 1, 2019. There are two stand outs for me, receiving 5-star rating from Qualmark and a Platinum rating with Be. Lab – we are the first hotel to be Platinum-rated in New Zealand!

“In 2019, Sudima Hotels won the overall Supreme Tourism Award at the New Zealand Tourism Awards, along the hotly contested Environmental Award – these accolades reflecting our well-rounded approach to the environment, communities, guests, and staff.”

Finally, Maree added: “Sudima Hotels is the first hotel group in New Zealand to undertake carboNZero certification and operate the only carboNZero hotels in New Zealand. These include Sudima Auckland Airport, Sudima Lake Rotorua and Sudima Christchurch Airport. All new builds, including our Sudima Christchurch City, are built to a standard that enables carboNZero certification as soon as possible after opening.”

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