From one location to NZ’s largest hotel chain in 20 years

Auckland – On April the 1st, 2003 Quest Apartment Hotels New Zealand (Quest) opened their first purpose-built property in New Zealand in Heather Street, Parnell; 20 years later Quest has 37 properties, offers 700,000 room nights per annum, and has a turnover of more than $75 million dollars. 

Adrian Turner, Group General Manager, Quest New Zealand and Fiji, believes that Quest’s unique structure and local first strategy has been instrumental in driving this growth.

“In 1996, Stephen Mansfield took his first exploratory trip to New Zealand to do his market due diligence and aside of the main centres of Auckland and Wellington, he identified Parnell, Newmarket and Ponsonby as key locations that would be instrumental in the growth of Quest in New Zealand.” 

“Then when he took on the Master Franchisor rights for New Zealand in 1998, Quest started with two properties, one in Auckland and one in Wellington. But Quest Parnell, which was first identified in 1996 and opened in 2003, was a real turning point as it was first purpose-built property where we worked with local developers to select the perfect location and design amenities specifically for business travellers.” 

Since then, Quest used this formula to develop stylish, spacious, and well-appointed accommodation in locations designed specifically to meet the needs of the extended-stay corporate and business travellers. Over the years unique business friendly services have been designed specifically for the core market of business travellers including ultra-fast wi-fi included with in the room rate, online shopping services and local restaurants billed directly to the room, and keyless check-ins.

The formula has clearly worked, with Quest expanding to 12 properties by 2016, 34 by 2018, and 39 by 2022 (including three during the pandemic). Quest now has more than two billion dollars of property and business assets under its management and had an average occupancy rate of 85% across the group (pre-covid).  

Turner added “As the franchisor we are extremely proud of Quest Parnell as a property as 20 years on, it still represents the Quest brand extremely well and can stand proudly alongside our newer developments.” 

Quest Parnell franchisees Paul Baker and Pennie Baker have been part of the Quest family since 2006 and have experienced the growth first hand, seeing the brand as a real asset: 

“From the outset we had clients that wanted to stay at a ‘Quest’ and we have guests that have stayed with us over 600 times in the last 15 years”, said Paul. 

Pennie added, “It’s because the guests come first; you can’t leave anything to chance because looking after one person well can lead to another 100 room nights. It is amazing what owning a Quest franchise does to you, the Quest ‘way’ and way of life got into our blood and became a part of us that we could never imagine. There is such a sense of satisfaction and pride, and we wouldn’t change it for anything.”