Christchurch takes one large step towards tourism recovery

After nearly four years and millions of dollars, Christchurch’s largest hotel has reopened under a new name.

After nearly four years and millions of dollars, Christchurch’s largest hotel has reopened under a new name.


Formerly the All Seasons, the property was forced to shut its doors when the February 2011 earthquakes hit.

It was the largest hotel in the South Island when it originally opened its doors in 1987 and due to to her central city location became one of Christchurch’s leading hotels.

Two decades later it was retrofitted to become the Hotel So, offering pod-style accommodation.

Christchurch hotel

Doors reopen to Christchurch’s largest hotel.

However, it suffered severe damage during the earthquakes and purchased by Auckland-based Russell Group, who appointed Australia’s Mantra Group to manage it.

Now after being repaired and refurbished, the building reopened its doors this month as the new ‘BreakFree on Cashel Christchurch’.

The reopening is a big step towards bringing the city back to its former tourism glory and is also the the first stage of a multi-million redevelopment plan.

“With the $40 billion rebuild gathering momentum and 90% of the pre- earthquake tourism activities back in operation the city is being enjoyed by many more visitors this summer.”

Tim Hunter, Christchurch & Canterbury CEO 

“More than 35 new restaurant, bars and cafes have opened in the inner city in the past six months, fantastic new architecture is emerging and Christchurch is again becoming a focal point for tourism in the South Island.”

Inside, the hotel now operates 179 of the planned 263 hotel rooms. Dining outlets are also open and the remaining rooms after expected to be complete by 1 September.

Christchurch hotel 2

The property has been redesigned and strengthened.

The ground floor café/restaurant has been refurbished and expanded and the inclusion of a number of high quality traditional hotel rooms located on the top floor executive level.

Other features of the property include a Breakfast Room, Guest Lounge; a conference room catering for up to 80 people and two boardroom style meeting spaces with capacity for up to 20 people; 24 hour reception; internet kiosk; guest laundry and limited onsite parking.

Christchurch hotel feature

The cafe’ has been refurbished and there are plans for self check-in kiosks.

The redevelopment also incorporated some of the latest smart technology throughout the hotel including high-definition and interactive digital entertainment systems and advanced communication and information capabilities.

There are even plans for self check-in kiosks to be implemented late 2016.

“A total investment of over $30m has been committed to the project, which will also see the hotel reach a Grade A seismic rating, incorporate a new exterior façade and provide an active and expanded ground floor opening onto Cashel Street.”

Brett Russell, Russell Property Group Managing Director 

“This will undoubtedly revive what is arguably the City’s most popular hotel by offering modern and vibrant, yet a highly affordable accommodation for the tech-savvy business and leisure traveller.”

What do you think of the redesigned hotel?