Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Low-Cost But Sophisticated Hotel SO To Open

Low-Cost But Sophisticated Hotel SO To Open

Despite the very unsettled recessionary market, central Christchurch’s Hotel SO has experienced such a positive reception to its ultra-modern, low-cost model that it is now moving into the second and final phase of its expansion.

Hotel SO Sales and Marketing Manager, Steven Dixon says, “Thanks to a consistently high occupancy rate since opening, we are now in a position to open 100 more rooms. We need to open these extra rooms to be prepared to satisfy demand in the coming summer – based on our current read of the market, failing to do so would result in having to turn people away.”

Mr Dixon attributes the strong response to Hotel SO to its unique offering: knowing, because of their extensive focus-group research, that free access to WiFi internet, a comfy bed and a quiet room were on the top of the list of requirements for business travellers, Hotel SO’s creators set about developing a value-for-money model that gives a five-star experience at a fraction of the price.

Next on the list, the research found, is room cleanliness and a good shower so business travellers can feel rested, refreshed and on top of their game when they have a day of meetings ahead. Space in the room was cited as the least important factor.

Around a third of Hotel SO’s visitors are business-related travellers, and the hotel is still experiencing a month-by-month increase in the number of business guests.

“There is nothing more frustrating for modern business travellers than being offline during a business trip – it’s like having your lifeline cut off,” says Mr Dixon. Equally, the last thing you want is to be kept awake by a hard bed, noisy corridor or humming fridge when you have to get up early and be on the ball for a breakfast meeting.

“The face of business travel is changing – travellers have told us that things like the trouser-press and wake-up call aren’t as important now. In a fast-moving business environment they want to keep abreast of emails and update Twitter from their hotel room, which should double as a remote office. And you can never understate the importance of an old-fashioned good night’s sleep.”

Hotel SO challenges what it calls over-priced, tired, old hotel models by offering a designer hotel equipped with cutting-edge technology at a non-designer price – room rates start from $69.

The compact rooms remove unnecessary space while still providing quality hotel accommodation, with features such as custom-made Sleepyhead beds and sound- proofing, at a fraction of the price of a standard hotel room. Each room comes fully equipped with free wireless broadband, iPod facilities, flat-screen entertainment systems, a silent fridge with no moving parts and a specially designed high-powered shower with maximum water efficiency.

Online business entrepreneur and The Best Ideas are Free author Ben Young says access to internet while travelling around New Zealand is a pain.

“Free WiFi alone can be the deciding factor on where to stay. Having access to your online office while travelling, allowing you to check emails and reports and keep up-to-speed with colleagues and clients, is very much in tune with what travellers are demanding these days,” he says.

Hotel SO has all the standard features and services guests expect from a hotel, but its upmarket design and lower price point set it apart in the market because New Zealanders are accustomed to paying for superior features.

“Today’s hotel needs to be on the cutting edge in terms of design and technology, and that’s where Hotel SO is,” said Mr Dixon. “Our rooms can be modified according to individual colour, light, sound and temperature preferences, and all rooms are completely sound-proof.”

Hotel SO features a lounge, bar and restaurant with 24-hour food and beverage service.

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.