Hotel NewsNew Zealand

Drifter: Glimpse of next-level hospitality to hit NZ & Australia

LA Co's Drifter Christchurch & Drifter Byron Bay are designed to set a new bar in experience-based lifestyle accommodation  

Leisure Accommodation Collective (LA Co) is set to revolutionise the accommodation industry in New Zealand and Australia with the launch of its innovative hybrid hotel brand, Drifter.

Drifter, designed to redefine the hospitality experience, is slated to debut its first locations in Christchurch and Byron Bay in mid-2024, with plans for further expansion in 2025. 

Drifter Christchurch render

The new Australian lifestyle accommodation venture Leisure Accommodation Collective (LA Co) is behind Drifter’s roll-out as part of its growing network of experienced-based venues which also includes The Village hostel portfolio in Australia.  

Under the leadership of CEO Luke Moran, LA Co is known for its commitment to elevating the hospitality experience. 

Moran expressed his excitement about the venture, stating: “We’ve seen amazing results as we’ve looked to elevate every part of the hostel experience with our portfolio of eight Village properties across Australia.

With Drifter, we have an opportunity to take an even bigger step forward in meeting growing demand within the accommodation sector by creating lifestyle precincts that blur the lines between a traditional hotel and hostel to create truly new and exciting venues for travellers of all walks.” 

Drifter Christchurch, Loft Suite, render

Drifter sets itself apart by targeting free-spirited travellers of all ages, the properties offer a design-centric aesthetic with diverse rooms ranging from superior private suites to premium shared bunk rooms, workspaces, meeting rooms, buzzing bars and dining areas, wellbeing studios, and a rotating roster of social and cultural events showcasing both local and international artists and musicians.  

Drifter Christchurch, Shared Suite, render

Josh Hunt, Drifter CMO, said: “In developing the Drifter brand, we wanted to create experience-based precincts to cater to diverse travellers from across the globe. Drifters have the vibrancy and energy of a shared accommodation venue combined with the curation of music, art, food, drinks, and culture most often seen in boutique hotel offerings.”  

Each Drifter property boasts a distinctive design ethos, with Drifter Christchurch and Drifter Byron Bay leading the charge.

Drifter Christchurch, slated to open its doors in May 2024, will be housed in one of Christchurch’s iconic heritage buildings at 96 Lichfield St. With 95 rooms, a 150-seat bar, co-working spaces, meeting rooms, and wellness facilities, Drifter Christchurch promises to be a dynamic hub for travellers and locals alike.

Rambler Bar, Drifter Christchurch render

Meanwhile, Drifter Byron Bay, scheduled to open in June 2024, will be a sanctuary in the heart of Byron Bay, offering 52 rooms across private and shared spaces, along with communal amenities such as a courtyard oasis with a sundeck, firepit, plunge pools, and entertaining areas.

LA Co is already eyeing further expansion, with plans for additional Drifter properties in Auckland and Wellington underway. LA Co is led by CEO Luke Moran, who has 25 years of hotel leadership experience across Mantra Group, Lancemore Hotels and The Langham Group, and supported by industry heavyweights including Chairman Bob East, chair of Australian Venture Co, former chair of Tourism Australia, and former CEO of Mantra Group, as well as Drifter co-founders Hugh Stephenson, Joshua Hunt and Ryan Sanders.   

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