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A Fresh Taste For Conferencing
Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland, New Zealand’s largest hotel, has recently launched their all-new Conference and Events Menus.
The team at Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland are passionate about food, and believe it’s a vital component of any event.
These new menus have been designed to highlight the very best of New Zealand, with a focus on sourcing fresh, local produce and complementing traditional Kiwi dishes with a contemporary twist.
Favourites such as the ‘Kiwi buffet breakfast’, ‘Honey glazed champagne ham with apple and cinnamon sauce’ and ‘Mini pavlova dressed with Chantilly cream and seasonal fruits’ make an appearance, while new dishes include ‘Vodka marinated salmon gravlax in filo flutes’, ‘Kawakawa rubbed eye fillet steak with a kalamatta olive and new potato cake, buttered courgettes and a green peppercorn jus’ and ‘Seafood platter of fresh natural New Zealand rock oysters, crystal bay prawns, cold smoked king salmon and green lipped mussels with a spiced marie rose sauce’ to name but a few.
The Conference and Events menus provide a comprehensive offering; with buffet, plated and healthy breakfast options, Deluxe and Superior coffee breaks, daily buffet lunch menus, working style lunches, canapés, plated and buffet dinners, as well as the option to customise menus in conjunction with the Executive Chef. Vegetarian and gluten free options are available, and a dedicated event coordinator will work with you to allow for special dietary needs and other requirements.
Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland’s Day Delegate packages provide a comprehensive solution for your meeting needs. The Deluxe Day Delegate package starts from $68NZD, the Executive Day Delegate package is from $75NZD and the Premium Day Delegate package is from $89NZD per person per day.
These all include use of the meeting room, morning and afternoon tea and coffee with snacks, buffet lunch plus much more.
“We believe a successful event is about more than simply a venue, it’s a combination of excellent food, a great location and outstanding service levels. Our new menus have been specifically designed with our conferencing and events clients in mind; we are already receiving positive feedback from our key conference clients and are seeing a lift in enquiry for future events,” says Richard Dodds, Director of Sales at Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland.
Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland features 15 dedicated and versatile conference, meeting and events spaces, from the Grand Ballroom which can seat 800 people in a traditional theatre style setting and up to 1000 guests’ for a cocktail event. In addition to this are smaller rooms that are well suited to residential training programs, workshops and seminars, with a selection of boardrooms and meeting rooms suitable for interviews and break-out sessions.
Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland also features 452 guest rooms and suites, a gym, indoor pool, 24 hour Concierge, 24 hour business centre, two restaurants, including the authentic Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant- Katsura, and a bar.
In conjunction with their new Conference Menu launch, Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland is running a ‘Smart Banquets’ offer. Book and confirm your next Banquet Dinner before 31/12/13 and receive complimentary pre-dinner canapés from the new Conference and Events Menu.*
*Terms and Conditions Apply.
Refurbishment Leads onto Significant Conference
In April 2012, Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland was given the opportunity to pitch for what would become one of the hotel’s largest pieces of residential conferencing business since the completion of its refurbishment in early 2012. New Zealand’s biggest hotel saw an extensive refurbishment which touched almost every part of the property including 452 guest rooms and suites, the lobby area, the two restaurants and bar.
This all came to the fore when the hotel won the bid to host the large pharmaceutical company’s conference in February 2013. The successful placement of this corporate conference business was a further acknowledgement of the status Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland holds as a leading venue for residential conference business in the heart of downtown Auckland.
Sydney based professional conference organiser Joy Jones, of Harris Jones Event Management, says one of the major requirements of the event was for all 300 delegates to be accommodated on site and for enough break out rooms to be made available at the same hotel, so that senior leaders and VIPs could easily walk around to each group throughout the week. ‘We needed a hotel offshore that would arouse excitement and a safe city to host a conference.’
Richard Dodds, Director of Sales and Marketing at Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland says 'the group required a plenary session as well as 23 breakouts. Our Grand Ballroom can easily accommodate up to 800 theatre style, so this became the main plenary area. We then converted 14 accommodation suites into breakout areas, our Club Lounge became a meeting room, Katsura Japanese Restaurant was used as a private dining room and three executive suites also became meeting spaces. We even moved the hotel’s management team from their offices and converted these into executives meeting suites, giving them 3 extra spaces. It was a smooth transition for delegates to move from the business centre through to the executive meeting suites, so it made sense. That highlights just how flexible we can be,’ says Dodds.
Joy Jones says 'nothing, at any point during the week, was too much trouble for the hotel.'
‘Check-in was smooth and changes were accommodated with no fuss,’ she says. ‘The food and beverage team at Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland provided great food which was always hot and delicious and the staff were quick to action anything at hand. With 300 delegates on site for the week and all conference space utilised it was truly a great experience for all involved.’
Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland General Manager, Paul Gallop, says that 'the feedback received from this large conference mirrors what management hears on a regular basis. ‘The level of service from every member of Rendezvous Grand Hotel’s staff was, and continues to be, about giving a personalised experience at every customer touch point. While the renovation has been important, it has also been about aligning all staff around a service culture. This has made the real difference in winning new and retaining previous business.”
The group was given a Maori welcome, and the hotel ensured a seamless run of events, from check in right through to check out. Another positive was the fact that the hotel is able to offer a dedicated drop off and pick up point for coaches. ‘We have the ability to have up to 5 coaches outside the hotel enabling efficient transfers to the airport or to off-site dining venues.
The hotel became their community for the week,’ says Gallop. ‘Another real advantage for the group was the complimentary internet access, which is part of our Value Promise and applies for unlimited devices. We actually had 800 devices using the internet during the pharmaceutical conference.’
He says the group was also given a choice of breakfast venue, including Straits Cafe, the Aucklander bar and the Atrium Lounge with its abundance of natural light. Up to 900 guests can be catered for at any one time.
Richard Dodds says 'the conference arose out of sales calls in Australia with assistance from the sales arm of Rendezvous Hospitality Group based in Sydney.'
‘They were looking at Auckland hotels and we hosted the decision maker for the conference when she came to the MEETINGS Expo in Auckland last year.’
He says the conference took advantage of Auckland’s various offerings for groups, using the restaurants at Wynyard Quarter for one off-site dinner and the Maritime Museum for a cocktail function.
The in-house audio visual provider at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland, Auckland Conventions, also rose to the occasion. ‘From an audio visual point of view, an event of this scale always comes with its logistical challenges,’ says event staging manager Louis Terblanche.
He says the total of 23 breakout rooms, involving multiple speakers and events, obviously required many different set-ups. ‘A lot was going on at any one time so, potentially, a lot of things could go wrong.
I think the key to success for an event like this is a combination of meticulous planning, good communication with the client and a lot of focus and commitment from the team. Being flexible and being able to adapt to the clients’ requests on the day, often anticipating all scenarios before the event commences, is important to the success of any event.
The team was able to adapt to an ever changing program.’
Richard Dodds adds that the hotel is definitely seeing an increase in residential conferences, especially from New Zealand Professional Conference Organisers, who may not have used the hotel in the past. Only recently the hotel placed a large conference into August 2013, which is very short lead business, but where the client wanted to achieve an exclusive feel.
‘We understand that we are more than a venue or an accommodation provider. It is our role to understand the required outcomes of a conference planner, whether that be revenue generation, networking, creating a community or fostering a defined theme. We get under the skin of the event and see how we can mirror the required outcomes of the client. This is the exciting part as we can turn the hotel into an exclusive conference environment. The large Atrium of the hotel leads itself to incredible theming displays, and being able to provide big allotments of rooms of up to 300 gives delegates a real feeling of congeniality and community. Having complimentary 24 hour wireless internet, low cost mini bars and no credit card surcharges all adds to the value proposition.’
Partners And Sponsorships
Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland currently sponsors the following organisations as part of our commitment to the community.
- Official hotel accommodation partner of the Auckland Seafood Festival 2013.
- Official hotel accommodation provider of the Auckland Arts Festival 2013.
- Official Accommodation Partner for the Aotea Winter Ice Rink 2012 and 2013.
- Official Hotel Partner of the Auckland Diwali Festival 2013.