Holiday Inn Express opens first NZ hotel in Queenstown

Holiday Inn Express opens first NZ hotel in Queenstown

Pro-invest Group is set to launch its first hotel in New Zealand with its doors opening to guests in Queenstown for school holidays and the start of the ski season.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is a 227-room hotel, on the corner of Stanley and Sydney Streets in Queenstown’s centre. It officially opens to guests on Friday 10 July.

The hotel opening is being seen as a massive ‘shot in the arm’ for the beleaguered Queenstown tourism industry and a mark of faith in the resurgence of domestic and future international visitors.

The hotel’s room offering includes spacious suites – a Holiday Inn Express ‘first’ in New Zealand and Australia – in addition to superior rooms, which provide breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.

Ronald Barrott, Pro-invest Group Chief Executive Officer, said the Group was excited to launch a new product at its first New Zealand property and expected strong demand.

“We are committed to expanding the Holiday Inn Express brand in New Zealand and we’re confident that Queenstown’s reputation as premier destination makes it the ideal place to start,” he said.

“Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown has a stylish vibe, complete with an outdoor lounge with firepit. It’s also equipped with the smart, simple rooms, and features business and leisure travellers know and love.

“With school holidays approaching, the ski season underway and New Zealand’s COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted, we are anticipating that Queenstown and our latest hotel will be a popular destination for many holidaymakers.

“It provides easy access to popular ski destinations of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Treble Cone, while popular tourist attractions such as the Skyline gondola and the town’s dining precinct are on your doorstep. Queenstown is the home of adventure and also the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Milford Sound.

“The hotel’s location will also appeal to corporate and business travellers and makes for an ideal events and convention venue, as it’s only a short distance from the CBD.

“We are pleased to contribute to Queenstown’s vibrancy with another high-quality hotel offering.”

The hotel is equipped with all the features the Holiday Inn Express brand has become renowned for including an Express Start breakfast, power showers, black-out blinds, high-quality bedding with a choice of pillows and uncapped Wi-Fi.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown also features a fitness room, sauna, two flexible meeting rooms, self-serve laundry, dry room, onsite parking and a free business centre.

The hotel’s architecture – designed by local architectural practice McAuliffe Stevens (MSRA) – combines abstract elements representing ice and erratic rock forms to pay homage to the hotel’s landscape history and achieve a design that fits with the surrounding urban environment.

The hotel’s General Manager, Jason Sabin, said his team was looking forward to showcasing what smart, simple travel is all about.

“Our rooms provide all the quality conveniences that make you feel at home, even when you’re away,” he said.

“We are proud of our sustainability-focused facilities and initiatives, such as the carpets throughout the building which are made from recycled fishing nets.”

Mr Barrott also highlighted other initiatives.

“From a design perspective for instance, all air leaving the hotel passes through a heat recovery plant. This extracts the energy from air coming from the hotel’s bathrooms and other areas and transfers that energy, whether it’s heat in winter or cooling in summer, to the incoming fresh air. The results are a substantial reduction in energy used to pre-treat the incoming air for the hotel ventilation,” he said.

“We are also excited to continue rolling out IHG’s flagship sustainability initiative, A Greener Stay, which Pro-invest in collaboration with IHG introduced to the APAC region back in 2017.  A Greener Stay allows guests to take part in conserving the environment through opt out of housekeeping services should they stay two or more nights, resulting in energy and water savings. As an added reward, guests who choose the opt-out receive up to 500 IHG Rewards Club points per night.

“As a group, Pro-invest is committed to developing, operating and managing its hotel portfolio in a sustainable manner and continuously improve on its ESG strategies wherever feasible.

“We look forward to welcoming locals looking for a staycation, travelers exploring the region from all over New Zealand and – circumstances permitting – from overseas very shortly.”

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is the first and only hotel under the Holiday Inn Express brand in New Zealand to date. It is the sixth Holiday Inn Express property since 2016 to be opened by Pro-invest Group, following the launch of Sydney Macquarie Park, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Melbourne Southbank hotels in Australia.

Pro-invest Group has plans for additional New Zealand properties.

“We have acquired a prime site in Auckland on the North Island to help continue the Group’s international growth in the coming years,” Mr Barrott said.

“This site will become New Zealand’s second Holiday Inn Express hotel and Pro-invest and New Zealand’s first voco hotel in 2021.”

The voco Hotels brand is a lifestyle-orientated brand by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Pro-invest Group develops and operates Holiday Inn Express and voco hotels in Australia and New Zealand under a franchise agreement with IHG.

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From fire to water – Tekapo Springs celebrates 12th anniversary with community event and Australian bushfire family offer 

From fire to water – Tekapo Springs celebrates 12th anniversary with community event and Australian bushfire family offer 

A multi-award-winning Tekapo tourism operation business is celebrating 12 years in business with the launch of new attractions and a very special Australian bushfire relief package.

The horror stories that came out of the bushfire tragedy prompted Tekapo Springs to reach out to an Australian family that’s ‘lost everything’ with a collaborative package to take them from the fire-ravaged region to the peace and tranquillity of Tekapo.

The family has yet to be told, but their dream holiday will include return flights to Christchurch with Air New Zealand, a five-night accommodation package including Accor Hotels’ Peppers Bluewater hotel in Tekapo and a rental car from Thrifty.

Tekapo Springs has donated the return flights and activities at their complex, including the hot pools, day spa treatments and a tour with Tekapo Star Gazing.

Tekapo Jet, Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking, Christchurch Adventure Park, Christchurch Tramway Restaurant, Hassle Free Tours – Christchurch Hop On Hop Off Tour, KJet Queenstown and Ziptrek Ecotours have also offered activities.

Tekapo Springs’ sales and marketing manager Andy Murray says they’re “thrilled” with the response so far.

“We’re celebrating 12 years of having built a fantastic business in Tekapo so thought it was time to give back to our local and wider community,” he says.

“We know after having talked to Australian visitors who’ve lived through the fires just how much they appreciate getting away from it all, so we came up with this gorgeous family package. Along with the other businesses that have given so generously, we can’t wait to host them.”

The Australian relief package was announced this week as Tekapo Springs officially launched its fun new summer activities, the Jumpernaut and Aqua Drop waterslide.

Tekapo Springs was founded by Karl Burtscher, who still owns the company. It developed over the years to become a multi-award-winning, world-renowned and year-round tourism attraction featuring three hot pools, two cooler pools and an aqua play area, a day spa, a café and bar, steam and sauna rooms, unique stargazing products, and an ice rink and snow tube park.

It operates 364 days a year, employs up to 50 people and welcomes around 150,000 people a year.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved,” says Karl. “We’ve had an awesome summer as domestic tourism in New Zealand has been really strong, so we celebrated by having some fun, acknowledging our 12thbirthday milestone and giving back in the best way we can to our friends in Australia who’re having a hard time.”

Karl thanked the Albury Ice Hockey Club (now called Mackenzie Ice Hockey Club) as without their support and allowing the sale of the land, the Tekapo Springs complex of today would not exist.

“I also want to say a huge ‘thank you’ the local Tekapo and the wider Mackenzie community as without their support this would not have been possible,” he says.

Mackenzie district Mayor Graham Smith attended the birthday celebration along with Canterbury Cricket stars Chad Bowes and Cam Fletcher. The Mayor got into the spirit of things by racing the young cricketers on the Jumpernaut followed by a speed trial on the Aqua Drop, where speeds of 41km per hour were reached.

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Sudima Hotels to Open New Property in Queenstown’s Five Mile Precinct

Sudima Hotels to Open New Property in Queenstown’s Five Mile Precinct

One of New Zealand’s most sought-after tourism and leisure hotspots is getting a brand-new hotel to meet increasing demand for high quality accommodation in Queenstown.

The 4.5-star hotel at Queenstown’s popular Five Mile precinct, set to open in the 2021-22 summer season, will operate as Sudima Queenstown and add to Sudima Hotels’ current portfolio of four hotels (Auckland Airport, Rotorua, Christchurch City and Christchurch Airport) and two more due to open in 2020-21, Auckland City and Kaikōura.

The property is owned by Clearmont Group, developer of the mixed-use Five Mile retail and business centre. Director Craig Greenwood says that after over four years in the planning they’re “delighted” construction has started on the signature four-storey ‘Armadillo’ building which completes the entrance to the Five Mile centre.

“In choosing a hotel operator we felt we needed a brand which delivered a quality experience at an affordable price, and we believe Sudima Hotels fulfils these brand values,” he says. “The hotel will also have a conference centre, meeting a need identified by our business customers, and there will be a further 2700m2 of retail on the ground floor.”

The building was designed by Queenstown’s JCY Architects director Richard Chambers and his team, inspired by the rugged geological strata of the area and developed in close collaboration with Clearmont Group and Sudima Hotels.

“The building will complete the retail loop of the centre with a lobby on the ground floor accessing the hotel above. The palette of materials developed from previous buildings on the site includes weathering steel, warm timber-like tones on the upper levels and board-marked concrete panels with timber soffits.”

Construction by Naylor Love began earlier this month, with the company’s regional manager Greg Boland saying they were proud to have worked with Five Mile from the start of the development.

“The design team has put a lot of time into making sure that the new hotel ties in with the look and feel of the rest of the development, and we’re looking forward to delivering a stunning building that fulfils their vision,” he says.

Sudima Queenstown at Five Mile is close to Queenstown Airport, major ski fields and main routes north and south. The hotel will feature 120 guest rooms (king, twin and family), a restaurant and bar with alfresco dining, four meeting and conference rooms and ski storage. The décor will have natural finishes throughout to complement the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Sudima Hotels is an award-winning leader in the New Zealand accommodation and hospitality sector. Last year it won three New Zealand Tourism Awards, taking home the Supreme Tourism Award, along with the Environmental and Employer of Choice awards.

Sudima Queenstown is set to open as a single-use plastic free property, built to a standard that will enable certification to carboNZero status as soon as possible. This will further bolster Sudima Hotels’ reputation as a leader in sustainability, diversity and accessibility.

Sudima Hotels CEO Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala says, “We’re thrilled to be announcing a new property in Queenstown, and proud to be chosen by the Clearmont Group as their hotel partner as they further augment the already successful Five Mile precinct.

“We set out to provide exceptional customer service in a welcoming and unpretentious manner and strive to be industry leaders in social and environmental responsibility. We look forward to progressing our mission and pushing ourselves forward with the opening of two new hotels this year and Queenstown a couple of summers from now.”

About Sudima Hotels

Sudima Hotels is a New Zealand hotel brand that is passionate about and committed to delivering environmentally friendly and accessible hotels in New Zealand. It is an industry leader in setting sustainability benchmarks, having achieved the first carboNZero certification for a New Zealand hotel, and initiating a movement within its group of hotels to become single-use plastic free by 2020. All its hotels are accessible and have been rated between Bronze and Platinum for accessibility by Be. Lab.

Underpinned by strong values that centre on caring, doing the right thing and working together, Sudima Hotels focuses on helping guests make the most of their day. Both corporate and leisure travellers will feel welcome and be greeted with a smile at Sudima Hotels.

Sudima Hotels current locations include Auckland Airport, Rotorua, Christchurch Airport and Christchurch City. It has hotels under development in Kaikōura, Auckland City and Queenstown.

Sudima Hotels is owned and managed by Auckland-based entrepreneur and property investor Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala.

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Outstanding Wine Experience On Offer At Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa

A stay at Central Otago’s newest luxury lodge would not be complete without an outstanding wine experience.

And that’s exactly what’s on offer at Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, nestled among the vines in the region’s founding winery.

As Central Otago’s pioneering winery, Gibbston Valley has a deep history of winery excellence and land guardianship, reinforced in recent years with its standing as a BioGro certified organic vineyard, and BioGro certified organic winery.

Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, featuring 24 villas, a striking central lodge building and separate spa, opens later this month and offers the ultimate in relaxed luxury, fine wine, culinary excellence and 5-star personal service.

Winemaker Christopher Keys says the Lodge & Spa’s Essential Wine Experience is the perfect opportunity for guests to get up close to what the winery team does.

“At the Winery everything is hand-tendered and made, from vine to fruit to wine,” he says.

“By the time each bottle makes it to the table, there are endless stories encapsulated in every glass.  People, place and seasons are captured in our wines, so the Essential Wine Experience is a fantastic way to unravel this, bringing our wines, our people, land and story to life.”

The half-day educational experience, exclusive to Lodge guests, winds through the working core of Gibbston Valley for a behind-the-scenes view of its operation. Sights and smells turn into tastes and chats with winemakers and chefs.

Leaving the sunlight behind to enter New Zealand’s largest wine cave, Christopher says there’s a “sensory change” as guests pass into its depths.

“There’s nothing else like it,” he says. “The atmosphere is peaceful and contemplative – just you and hundreds of barrels of Pinot Noir lining the walls.”

Guests then enjoy an entertaining cinema experience with the showing of Bud to Bottle – a short film of the winegrowing process – in the Lodge’s private wine education theatre.

“It’s a visually spectacular piece that perfectly captures the annual cycle of winemaking,” says Christopher. “Our idea is to satisfy those who are curious about the essence of winemaking.”

The film is followed by a tasting session of Gibbston Valley’s premium and Single Vineyard releases, led by an experienced winemaker.

The experience ends as it should, with food, wine and conversation at the at the Lodge Restaurant. Executive Chef Anthony Gradiska and his team will delight in preparing a convivial lunch featuring seasonal produce from the winery’s organic gardens, expertly paired with wines.

The Lodge Concierge will be available to advise guests on additional customised experiences, such as a guided helicopter trip to understand the ‘ins and outs’ of making Gibbston Valley wines from above. The helicopter experience will stop at all the Winery’s major vineyards, as well as additional spots to catch some spectacular views.

For further information and bookings go to gibbstonvalleylodgeandspa.com

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