Construction has officially begun for The DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka, on the grounds of New Zealand Bloodstock.

The South Auckland business is just 20 minutes' drive from Auckland International Airport, and is the first and only hotel to be situated in the Papakura-Franklin area. Guests were yesterday invited to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the project, where local MP Judith Collins cut the ribbon to mark the official commencement of construction.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka features 120 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, and conference facilities. Heidi Kunkel, Hilton's vice president of operations for Australasia, attended the ceremony. "The DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka will certainly be a wonderful addition to our current portfolio of hotels across New Zealand," Kunkel said.

"We're thrilled to get construction underway," NZ Bloodstock managing director Andrew Seabrook said. "This hotel will not only be appealing to our international thoroughbred and standardbred clients, but also to tourists, business operators and event organisers alike."