The launch of a new hostel brand is set to help NZ cater to growing local and international demand from flashpackers, digital nomads, and other emerging market segments seeking community-driven travel experiences.
The 1,800-bed Haka House chain will operate 13 hostels across 11 centres throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. The first hostels to open will be in Tekapo, Aoraki Mt Cook, and Christchurch. These will be followed by two Auckland sites, as well as Rotorua, Franz Josef, Wellington, Wanaka, Taupo, Bay of Islands and two Queenstown locations by mid-2024.
The new hostel management venture was formed between GCP Hospitality and Haka Tourism Group, founded by Ryan Sanders.
Sanders, in his ongoing role as Haka House CEO, says their investment in renovating and ebranding the properties has been strategically planned to ensure visitors can travel through key tourism destinations and experience a consistently high standard of accommodation throughout their stay.
“There is an undersupply of high-quality shared accommodation in this part of the market, which has created a significant barrier to travellers wanting to visit some of New Zealand’s most popular destinations.
“The launch of the new brand is designed to provide domestic and international travellers with unified and consistent experiences throughout all our newly renovated hostels,” he says.
Sanders says as part of a renovation programme, they have responded to the demand for a more sustainable travel experience with solar power generation installed in several properties.
In addition, the bed linen and duvets sourced for the properties are made from over 160,000 recycled plastic bottles – and a further 1,000 used in the fabric of staff uniforms.
He says the amenity containers available for guests are made from locally sourced post consumer plastic waste.
Sanders says Māori artists Charles and Janine Williams, who specialise in large-scale mural painting and urban design, have also been commissioned to create a series of artworks for each hostel.
“The works will focus on the connection between Māori culture and the natural world in each location,” he says
Sanders says there is a growing number of digital nomads who combine travel with remote working.
“This segment of the market is looking for a higher standard of amenities and technology including high-speed internet, USB A and C charging, as well as well-designed communal areas including fully equipped kitchens, dining and living room areas along with lockable storage.
“Across the network, we will have 1,800 custom-built beds, with rooms that are a mixture of private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, and shared rooms consisting primarily of four and six bed room configurations – including female-only dorms. These rooms are designed to fit the needs of a range of travellers – including those who value privacy and connectivity,” he says.
Erwann Mahe, CEO of GCP Hospitality, says Haka House has a portfolio of design-driven hostels at the crossroads of design, community living and shared experiences.
“Hostels now attract a wide demographic of travellers including couples, young families, along with millennials and Gen Z. These market segments are attracted to the value for money offered by a new ‘hostel 2.0’ accommodation model that provides modern, well-designed rooms, inviting facilities and vibrant spaces which foster social interaction and a community driven atmosphere,” he says.
About Hoka House Hostels
Haka House is a collection of design-driven hostels that combine conviviality, laidback vibes, convenience and affordability, without skimping on style and comfort. We’re proud to uphold Māori values and pay homage to the melting pot of cultures that shape our local communities. Our purpose lies in creating genuine connections between our Manuhiri (guests), our Manaki (hosts), our land and our culture through exceptional travel experiences. Each Haka House goes beyond giving you a comfy bed to sleep in before setting off to explore, or after coming back from a full day of adventures. We’re here to be your welcome refuge and home away from home, where you’ll be surrounded by a friendly community of like-minded curious travellers – all in the heart of bucket list-worthy destinations.