Report - - Holiday Inn on Avon, Christchurch - December 2014 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Holiday Inn on Avon, Christchurch - December 2014


Is this the future?
Regular User
Located in Christchurch, the Holiday Inn on Avon is a former chain hotel that was abandoned in 2011 due to the widespread earthquakes that occurred in the area. It lies within one of the red zones, indicating that it sits in one of the worst affected areas of the city. There were formerly two Holiday Inns in Christchurch: a thirteen story property on Durham Street which has since been demolished, and the ‘river retreat’ located on the outskirts by the river Avon. It is reported that the future of the site, which is set against the bank of the river Avon, is undecided, although the damage is colossal. The front section of the hotel is worst affected and the main entrance now leans at a strange angle. A new mound was created in the road that runs across front of the premises and into the car park; large cracks also appeared in the tarmac, and in some areas large holes in the ground appeared. Fortunately, no one was hurt or injured and the entire hotel was successfully evacuated when the disaster occurred. In a statement following the successful evacuation, given the extent of the structural damage, emergency crews stated that the evacuees had made a lucky escape.

Although the grounds surrounding the property are maintained to some degree, and despite regular security patrols and a responsive unit, parts of the building have been subject to arson attacks. Consequently, some sections of the building have deteriorated severely – mainly due to the water damage from fire hoses – and the local people who live in close proximity are extremely attentive to unfamiliar visitors when they turn up in the area. This, however, wasn’t cause for deterrence of our curiosity. And so, the usual drill ensued: we turned up, looked for signs of security’s negligence and squeezed ourselves through a very small and damp hole where there was plenty of soggy carpet left on the floor. Fortunately, for myself, Nillskill’s trousers soaked up much of the moisture before I crawled through. Once inside the task of navigating the great maze of corridors began; made much more difficult by security who have sealed most of the fire doors throughout the hotel. It is incredibly hard to restrict access to all areas in such a large building though, especially when there is a large garden positioned in the middle on the premises that allows you to dip in and out of rooms, and with a little patience we managed to explore most of the site (it helped that we found the room keys too mind). Our excursion was unfortunately cut short when we accidently tripped an alarm in the main reception area. By that point, after avoiding various other alarms and windows, we had unwisely lowered our guard. This distraction was, for the most part, caused by the incredible damage we were witnessing. For example, the ground beneath the main reception desk had forced it upwards, so that it now sits at a bizarre angle. Likewise, the floors in this section were unevenly positioned, and combined with the various leaning walls and buckled door frames, the sight was spectacular. For myself, the most incredible sight was to be found in the lift lobby, where the floor had split into two, causing the staircase to bend. In here, while the whole room was there, and everything still in place, the feeling it offered was something akin to being on a sinking ship. Overall, apart from our little mishap with the alarm, the explore was an interesting one due to the hotel being largely intact in many areas; to the extent that we found many ‘classic’ hotel objects: miniature alcoholic beverages, complimentary toiletries, gym equipment and complimentary slippers.

Explored with Urbex Central NZ.

1: Burnt Out Corridor


2: Burnt Out Wet Room


3: Complimentary Toiletries


4: Do Not Disturb Sign


5: The Garden in the Middle


6: The Old Fountain


7: Side Stand in a Room


8: Room Key and Reward Card


9: Upstairs Corridor


10: Another Corridor (apart from this, the other corridors are pretty generic)


11: Access to all Areas


12: Holiday Inn Complimentary Matches


13: A View from the Balcony


14: Complimentary Notepad inside Room


15: Damaged Staircase


16: Heading Towards the Lift


17: The Disorientating Lift Lobby


18: Old Leaflets in the Lobby


19: The Main Reception and Bar Area


20: The Gym


21: The Sauna


22: The Pool


23: The Pool with Seating Area


24: 'Life Jacket'


25: Poolside Seating


26: Main Reception Area 'Places to Visit' Leaflets


27: The Raised Reception Desk


28: The Office Behind the Main Desk


29: The Holiday Inn on Avon


30: Hotel Entrance Sign