Wednesday, 14 May 2014

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Award - 4 in a row!!

Wow, 4 in a row! We blogged about our 1st Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Award in 2011, and blogged about the 2nd award in 2012 and blogged about the 3rd last year too. 

This year when the Travelers’ Choice Awards came out, our much beloved category was not there….gone.  We have recently learnt from an official Trip Advisor press release in Japan that; “Until last year the award had been announced as a part of "Travelers' Choice ™ Hotel Awards", but in order to provide accolades of greater clarity to accommodation providers who present “hospitality” to a level such that it remains in the hearts of guests, this year it was decided to announce the service category individually. (taken from a Trip Advisor press release dated 15 April 2014 and translated by Jeff)

We are once again super duper proud to say we’ve done it again.  Yes, Best Service awards 4 years in a row. 

This year we are No. 7 on the list of Top 25 Hotels with Exceptional Service in New Zealand and No. 10 on the list of Top 25 Hotels with Exceptional Service in the South Pacific.  This follows a top 10 finish in 2011, another award in 2012 and No.8 in NZ and No.15 in the South Pacific in 2013.

This is the 12th year of the awards and the second year that NZ has had its own category. The first 2 awards we received were in the South Pacific Category, and last year we were No. 8 in NZ.  This year we have gone up one ranking and have scored in the top ten in the South Pacific category which includes all of Australia as well.

It’s great to see Trip Advisor Awards are continuing to develop because they reward hard work judged by untold numbers of real guests!

So, if you are looking for great service in Christchurch, stay at a great motel which has been judged by the guests themselves.  Stay at a motel that has won in the Best Service category 4 years in a row. Stay at CentrePoint on Colombo Motel!

We’re once again elated and humbled but before we give ourselves a well deserved pat on the back, we’ll say thanks to all our guests who took the time to review us on Trip Advisor! 

As for our pat on the back, it might just be a nice bottle of wine with dinner this evening while continuing to provide more great service to our wonderful guests!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Sewer repair reveals historic Colombo Street

Colombo Street in front of the motel is one of the oldest parts of Christchurch.   Over the past 2 months it has had its sewer repaired as part of the ongoing quake recovery programme and this has revealed to us some of the history of the street and the area.  When the city was first laid out around 1850, the block between Salisbury St. and Bealey Ave. was to be reserve land for use later on but it was in fact sold off earlier than planned, later in the 1950s, to provide funds for the city.  The sewer lines were laid in the 1880s and were followed by tram lines around 1910. Wharetiki, the large Edwardian timber dwelling across the road that was photographed by many people who walked past until it was demolished after being damaged in the quakes, was built in 1904. 

The series of quakes that rattled the region beginning in September 2010 caused as much damage below ground as it did above.    Sewer pipes, storm water pipes, water pipes and power cables have been ripped apart to varying degrees across the city.  The race is now on the repair the damage before it causes more problems.

 The engineer in charge of the repairs told us that while the sewer pipes in this area did not collapse in the quakes - we could still use our toilet – they were badly cracked and this has resulted in ground water flooding into the sewer pipes. This causes problems at the waste treatment station which now has to run overtime to treat the sewage and groundwater mix.  The race is on to repair the sewer pipes before the treatment station wears out from overuse!

As the road works crept along the street we were actually able to see the city’s history right in front of us as the tram tracks buried under the road became visible.  It was great to see a bit of yesteryear seeing the light of day again and reminded us of Christchurch’s past.  It’s been 60 year’s since trams ran over these lines and it leaves us wondering if one day in the future there will once again be trams carrying passengers up and down Colombo Street!

Photo of a tram on Colombo street from 1920s. --->>>

Monday, 13 January 2014

Repairing our Sewer – the Christchurch rebuild

All of our guests use these pipes every day.  Have a shower, brush your teeth, rinse a coffee cup, or just plain flush that toilet – just about whatever you do here at the motel creates a micro flood that needs somewhere to go.  It goes out the gate, down the lateral (the pipes that take wastewater from houses to the main in the street) and into the sewer main!

However, the sewer main, and the laterals for that matter, are pretty much buggered after the quakes and so it’s time for a replacement.  Over the next year just about every sewer pipe in the city centre is due to be replaced and starting today it’s our turn!

Over the next 2 months the sewer pipes from Salisbury St. to 1/2 way to Bealey Ave are going to be replaced.  It will be a slow moving sewer procession of dig up, remove, replace and cover up.    This and the extra road works that are ramping up will provide plenty of challenges over the next few months but we hope our guests are able to see the good side of it all.
All day today a long procession of trucks delivered gazoodles of stuff for the repairs!  The truck can sit there for a long time cos the road is already blocked off on our side for cars but ok for pedestrians.

Back a week or so ago, the original explanation was that Colombo St. traffic would be one lane, north to south.  We were sending out emails telling future guests of the change when the phone rang and Fletcher said they’d be round with some more info.  As it turns out, there is a water pipe in the way on the other side so now Colombo St. will be one way, south to north.  80% of our guests arrive from the north so having that entrance option blocked off is one of the most inconvenient things that could happen.  But we roll with the punches and so remade the detour map and started sending it out again. 
How to get to the motel over the next 2 months.

It will be an interesting 2 months.  We are once again in a cul-de-sac, amongst a myriad of road works.  We’ll give up on any chance of a drive in (will tell you all if we get one!) and just hope our booked in guests do manage to get to us without too much stress.
Getting ready to dig up the road, an underground check revealed we have all our basic services right at the motel entrance! We have; pwr – 11kv of electricity, Enable – fibre optic cables, T/com – phones, H20 – water and GAS! How colourful!!

Over the next 2 months we’ll provide vivid updates as the sewer procession proceeds.  Hopefully we’ll be able to provide some interesting info about sewer, and lateral repairs, some funny stories about just what is happening and a few extras along the way!!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

All New Website

Welcome to our all new website.  It’s the first major revamp we’ve done and hence it took a long time – probably longer than it should.  But this has updated the contents to what we think potential guests will want to know when booking. 

We’ve expanded our room information and now include a floor plan, room size etc. in a way that is a whole lot more user friendly than our previous version.  We’ve also included all our different policies including our child policy and our Points of Difference – why you should stay with us instead of anyone else!

We have also included lots of information about what’shappening in Christchurch and have expanded the earthquake related information.  After all Christchurch will live with the aftermath of the quakes for many years to come.

Under Location there’s a great new map which should give guests a good idea of just where we are and under About Us we talk about “us” and a whole lot of other stuff we think may be useful.

Hopefully this little blurb will entice you to click on this link to go and look through our new website.  We hope you like it!

Friday, 25 January 2013

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Award - 3 in a row!!

Wow, 3 in a row! We blogged about our first Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2011 and blogged about the second award last year too.  We’re super proud to say we’ve done it again this year in the awards announced recently!

Yes, Best Service Awards 3 years in a row. 

This year we are No. 8 on the list of Top 25 Hotels for Service in New Zealand and No. 15 on the list of Top 25 Hotels for Service in the South Pacific.  This follows a top 10 finish in 2011 and another award in 2012.

This is the 11th year of the awards and the first year that NZ has had its own category.  The first 2 awards we received were in the South Pacific Category but this year we are No. 8 in NZ!!  Great to see that these awards are developing as they reward hard work and are judged by untold numbers of real guests!

In another sign that the Awards are evolving, there is a good variety of winners spread throughout NZ this year.  In fact, apart from The George Hotel (winner in Top 25 Hotels in NZ category), this year we are the only Christchurch Hotel to feature in the awards as opposed to 4 motels last year.

So, if you are looking for great service in Christchurch, stay at a great motel which has been judged by the guests themselves.  Stay at a motel that has won in the Best Service category 3 years in a row. Stay at CentrePoint on Colombo Motel!

We’re once again elated and humbled but before we give ourselves a well deserved pat on the back, we’ll say thanks to all those guests who took the time to review us on Trip Advisor! 

As for us, well it might just be a nice bottle of wine with dinner this evening while continuing to provide more great service to our wonderful guests!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Motel Pays for Guests' Red Zone Tours!

*** Press Release ***

Motel Pays for Guests' Red Zone Tours

$10 per guest, up to 2 guests per room for direct bookings on Fri., Sat. or Sun. nights until end of August 2012. (subject to terms & conditions)

CentrePoint on Colombo Motel has been inextricably connected to the Red Zone since 22 Feb. 2011. Inside the cordon for 18 days and now just one block from the barrier, their finger is on the pulse of changes in the central city area and they continually update information of what is available for guests so that they may take home as positive an image of Christchurch as possible.

Owner Jeff Peters says, “We present the good the bad and the ugly to visitors to the Garden City in the hope that they take home a full understanding of what has happened here. Many of our guests have left comments on Trip Advisor recognising the value of the information we have provided.”

But being so close to the Red Zone has also made the continued operation of the motel an everyday challenge and Jeff says they warmly welcome every business that returns to the central city area and celebrate every time the cordon is rolled back or another road opens.

The combination of these two realities spawned the Red Zone Tour Special which Jeff hopes will result in a positive outcome for both Christchurch and the motel. Jeff says that while Christchurch is busy on week days, there is plenty of accommodation available over the weekends and hopes to provide some evenness with this special plan.

Last Sunday, Jeff and his partner Naomi took the Red Zone Bus Tour so they could accurately promote it to their guests. They even blogged about it.

What’s more, two guests have already taken up the offer and they mentioned it in their Trip Advisor review -

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Beyond the Cordon - Red Zone Bus Tour

 (Fanciest bus in town for the Red Zone Tour!)

Red Zone Tours have started so we booked online and headed along to see just what the fuss was about – is it worth paying $15 per person to see our own city.

Our tour started just as the fog that had hidden the battered city centre since morning started to lift.  While chilly on the bus till the end, the low cloud cover diffused the direct sunlight allowing a panoramic view on all sides of the bus uninterrupted by any dazzling sunlight.

(Back of the bus is an ad for the tour!)
We arrived at the advised 10 minutes before departure only to find that all the higher seats at the back of the bus had already been taken.  We sat in the middle belly section of the bus but still found the view to be fine. The bus was obviously the Red Bus Company’s newest addition - swank but the yellow swoosh window coverings at the front and back of the bus did obscure the view outside a bit.

(Traveling down Salisbury St. (seen from the Motel)) 

There was the obligatory safety talk about remaining seated and to follow the instructions of the staff in case an emergency evacuation was necessary.  After going on the first Red Zone bus tour several months ago I knew they were realistic warnings as the bus was indeed to pass right beside many buildings that are on the demolition list.

 (Passing very close to protective containers...)

The commentary was a live presentation by a representative of the Canterbury Museum which added credence to the narrative.  How participants appreciate the information will depend on just who they were.  Myself, living just 1 block from the Red Zone barrier, and having seen a lot since the quakes really wanted more.  More stories, more statistics, more anything….more than what I already knew.  But for someone from the outer suburbs who had avoided the Central City area since the quakes or even a traveler from outside of Christchurch or even from overseas may have found the scenes from the bus windows and the commentary an absolutely mind boggling gooble of over information that left them numb at the end of the 40 minutes.

 (Octagon Live)

There was a graphic presentation using past & present photos etc. playing on the screen at the front of the bus but the screen was a bit too small even from ½ way down the bus.  But, I would also say that what with concentrating on the commentary and looking out the window I did not find myself looking at the screen too much so maybe it is just right the way it is.

 (Looking west from Cathedral Square)

Our tour was 40 minutes long and of that we would have spent only about ½ in the actual Red Zone.  But this did not subtract from the Tour and if anything gave an overview as areas of interest outside of the Red Zone were also introduced during the tour.   We even drove right past the Motel down Salisbury St. and photographed the next tour for effect!

(Red Zone bus passes a top quality Motel) 
Some have dismissed these tours because most of the Red Zone can now be seen from outside the fence due to the various cordon reductions but taking the bus tour does allow close up and personal glimpses of parts of central Christchurch no-one without a Red Zone pass has seen with their own eyes for a very long time.  It also allows a close up view of places we walked of right pre 22 Feb.

 (View from the bus window.)

For the visitor from outside of Christchurch or outside of New Zealand, it gives them a chance to see what happened and is still happening in our everyday lives.  It helps them learn about Christchurch now and we need these people to take our story, Christchurch’s story back home with them so that the world can develop an understanding of what has happened to our beautiful city.

 (Christ Church Cathedral - the pigeons love it!)

After the tour, we visited the Earthquake Exhibit in the Canterbury Museum which we thoroughly recommend to all visitors to Christchurch – especially those that choose to take the Red Zone Bus Tour.


As mentioned in our previous blogs, we will be offering our Red Zone Bus Tour Special.

At CentrePoint on Colombo Motel, we will pay up to $10 each for up to 2 persons per room for direct reservation guests who stay with us on Fri, Sat or Sun nights until the end of August 2012 and take the Red Zone Bus Tour – and you get to stay just 1 block from the edge of the Red Zone northern boundary. *Subject to terms & conditions.