Crowne Plaza Christchurch wins silver in national award

Media Release from Crowne Plaza Christchurch

The design team behind the stunning new Crowne Plaza Christchurch has won a silver award in a national competition.

New Zealand design agency Designworks received the silver accolade in the Best Design Awards for its innovative and fresh design approach for the hotel.

The company was a finalist in the hotly-contested Hospitality Spatial Design.

Designworks architect Naomi Rushmer said there was an extremely high standard of entries in the category.

“Our entry for Crowne Plaza Christchurch was in the notoriously tough hospitality category with large entry numbers,” she said.

“To win a silver award on the night was a great result.”

The Best Awards are run by The Designers Institute of New Zealand, and Ms Rushmer said Designworks had a “very successful” night with wins across Spatial, Graphic, Best Effect, Product and Ngā Aho categories.

“The awards are a wonderful opportunity to showcase the new hotel design to a wider audience and we’re delighted with the end result,” she said.

Designworks focused on delivering a creative guest experience for Crowne Plaza Christchurch based around being welcomed into the property, and how that flowed into relaxation, eating and working across the entire hotel.

“As the city’s largest hotel, attracting locals and those from across the globe, the design needed to deliver an exciting and unique experience maximizing the 360-degree views of the Port Hills, Southern Alps and Pacific Ocean,” said Ms Rushmer.

Eye-catching features around the 204-room upscale hotel include a lobby space featuring timber slats wrapping the walls and a large freeform mesh ceiling feature, inspired by the winding Avon River, glowing over the reception pods.

The space connects to the adjacent lobby bar through a striking doubled-sided central fireplace, and a grand open staircase connects to first floor dining, library and meeting rooms.

Full-height windows flood the ground floor with natural light during the day, and dramatic lighting brings the spaces to life at night. The design detail even drills down to feature carpets and rugs drawing inspiration from the braided rivers and topography of the South Island.

Standout design features in rooms include glazed bathrooms (with privacy blinds) that are open to the rooms and changing vistas, and large window seats in every room framing expansive views.

Crowne Plaza Christchurch General Manager Reinier Eulink said the hotel team and owners were “delighted” with the world-class design and congratulated Designworks on the silver award.

Picture caption:

1/ Members of the winning Designworks design team (L-R) Sebastian Negri, Naomi Rushmer and Clark Pritchard

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Internationally-experienced marketer embarks on key role for IHG New Zealand

Media Release from IHG New Zealand 

IHG New Zealand has welcomed internationally-experienced Kelly Eichholtz to the position of Area Director of Sales and Marketing New Zealand.

Based at Crowne Plaza Auckland, Kelly is responsible for building and developing InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) New Zealand-based sales, marketing and revenue teams.

Kelly has joined the Auckland team from her previous role as Director of Sales and Marketing at InterContinental Wellington.

Christchurch-born Kelly launched her IHG career in London, spending a total of six years working in sales and marketing for flagship properties, including Crowne Plaza London – The City. She also worked as a key account manager representing 68 properties throughout the UK and Ireland.

Before returning ‘home’ to IHG and New Zealand, she was Director of Business Development at the five-star Hilton London Bankside, as an executive member of the opening team.

Commenting on her appointment, Kelly said she was thrilled about overseeing the company’s New Zealand portfolio.

“It’s an exciting time to be working for IHG in New Zealand as we are fortunate to have a great mix of brands across the region,” she said.

“We have other key developments planned, new properties coming on board and growing markets in Auckland and Christchurch.

“I want to continue to grow and evolve our leading sales, marketing and revenue teams to build a proactive and innovative vision.”

Outside of work, Kelly has a passion for travel, and following her return from the UK is keen to explore the holiday destinations of Asia Pacific.

IHG Area General Manager New Zealand Tim Pollock said Kelly possessed outstanding leadership qualities.

“Kelly’s expertise and experience at an international level, along with her ability to integrate top line strategies, is a substantial asset for IHG,” he said.

“It’s a time for development and growth across the country, and we’re delighted to welcome talent like Kelly at such an exciting time.”

IHG operates six properties in New Zealand including InterContinental Wellington, Crowne Plaza hotels in Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch and two Holiday Inn properties in Rotorua and at Auckland Airport.

Picture caption:

1/ IHG New Zealand’s new Area Director of Sales and Marketing Kelly Eichholtz


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Hotel St Moritz unveils new look in the heart of Queenstown

Media Release from Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown

One of Queenstown’s finest boutique hotels, Hotel St Moritz, has unveiled its new-look rooms and suites following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment completed to coincide with the start of the resort’s vibrant summer season.

This charming and singular property, a member of the global MGallery by Sofitel collection, revealed its $4million-plus room transformation as a result of joining the Sofitel universe.

Renowned interior designer Stewart Harris has delivered “elegant, residential, handsome and desirable” touches to the hotel’s 134 rooms and suites, following the completion of its stunning bathrooms last year.

Mr Harris has worked with the hotel since its development in 1998 and has delivered a distinguished design retaining the hotel’s charming alpine character. His brief was to firmly reflect the Central Otago landscape, and to bring a sense of cocooning and serenity to the special location.

Hotel St Moritz General Manager Jo Finnigan expressed her delight with the new look and is certain that the renovation will continue to elevate the boutique hotel in the luxury market.

“Hotel St Moritz’s unique personality is perfectly matched with the open-minded character of the MGallery by Sofitel brand, and I’m delighted with how Stewart has animated our personality through this design,” she says.

“Stewart’s design embodies the style, stories and allure of Queenstown with a whimsical twist. He cleverly brings together ‘charming’ with ‘luxury’.

“The refurbishment demonstrates our owner’s obsession with quality and I’m convinced we’ll remain a one-of-a-kind as ‘there’s zero homogeny in this building’!”

Rooms feature carefully selected artwork showcasing local rural fauna, including an earnest Hare fondly named Bruce after a regular guest.

A touch of Scottish heritage married with the region’s charm comes to the fore with tartan cushions offset with deep velvets in rich ochre, deep teal and copper. Autumnal colours throughout also reflect the local landscape.

The thoughtful touches include bespoke gold and cream herringbone woollen throws in each suite, designed by Ms Finnigan.

Kitchenettes in each suite have been replaced with a modern wet bar, albeit functional kitchen appliances such as toasters and microwaves remain. All suites now feature a Nespresso machine for those essential coffee moments.

Staying connected to the outside world is easy with new and enhanced cabling ensuring high-speed internet and brand-new Smart TV’s featured throughout the hotel bring a new level of entertainment to the property.

Hotel St Moritz was developed by owner and original developer Graham Wilkinson in 1998. The hotel is currently New Zealand’s only MGallery by Sofitel property, joining a collection of 90 boutique hotels around the world.

AccorHotels Senior Vice President Operations, New Zealand, Fiji and Polynesia Gillian Millar says today’s guests are enamoured by the MGallery by Sofitel brand, seeking to “show in, rather than show off”.

“Hotel St Moritz in Queenstown embodies the understated luxury of the brand, and this tremendous refurbishment reinforces that,” she says.

“Their timing is impeccable, as Queenstown’s visitor demand is unprecedented, particularly at the luxury end of the spectrum.”

Click here to visit Hotel St Moritz’s website.

Picture caption:

1/ Designer Stewart Harris brings the allure of Central Otago into Hotel St Moritz

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Work underway on Remarkables Residences residential townhouse development in Queenstown

Media Release from Bayleys and GYP Properties Pte Ltd

A significant milestone has been reached with work underway on Queenstown’s Remarkables Residences – a $200m residential development comprising three to five-bedroom multi-storey townhouses in the popular Frankton area.

As tourism and population growth continue to fuel demand in New Zealand’s favourite playground, the Singaporean developer has commenced construction work on the first development of this scale in Queenstown.

News of work starting is seen as “extremely positive” for the resort town, offering buyers the chance to get their foot in the door of the Queenstown market for a competitive price.

The development is being driven by GYP Properties Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore public-listed Global Yellow Pages Limited, and marketed by the Bayleys Realty Group.

Established local civil contractor Andrew Haulage has been appointed to carry out earthworks and roading, and the first sod was turned late last month with machinery already on site.

An announcement on the appointment of the building company will follow soon.

Fifty-six homes in Stage One went on the market just over two months ago, ranging in price from $860,000 to $985,000. Buyer enquiry has been strong, and only a handful of homes remain on sale in Stage One, which is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2018/19.

Bayleys Project Sales Manager John Greenwood said the company was “delighted” with the response to date.

“A good majority of enquiry in Queenstown has been from those walking in to our display suite in the Five Mile retail and business centre, just across the road from the development,” he said.

“Potential buyers have been showing high levels of interest when coming through, with real interest from the local market as well as Auckland.

“Buyers are a good mix of owner-occupiers who see the location as being at the heart of the ‘new Queenstown’, and investors who see the real need for permanent rental accommodation in the town.”

The proximity to four local ski fields makes the residences highly desirable for skiers and travellers, so those investing from elsewhere can enjoy excellent rental returns.

Master planning around the development ensures residents and visitors will be surrounded by exciting lifestyle amenities, including retail and dining.

The development offers flexibility for a range of potential buyers with a wide variety of house designs and configurations. These architecturally-designed homes include three to five-bedroom options, some with additional studio or office spaces. The ‘less-than-$1m’ price tag has been seen as “fantastic value” for many buyers to date.

The display suite at Five Mile Centre is open 10am to 4pm daily with local realtors Sheryl Williams and Mark Martin from Bayleys Queenstown available to meet potential buyers. To register interest or request further information go to

About Remarkables Residences

Master-planned by Development Advisory Services and designed by Auckland-based Ignite Architects, these are well-built, stylish and low-maintenance homes that are a very modern interpretation of popular developments of this kind.

Different building forms within each street offer individuality amidst a community, while each residence is thoughtfully designed to optimise sun and natural light. Quality fixtures and fittings are used alongside energy-efficient design elements for year-round comfort.

Green spaces incorporated in the development include a main public square and smaller Pocket Parks throughout the area. There are good links to surrounding biking and walking tracks, as well as easy access to public transport.

Remarkables Residences is in one of the most accessible parts of Queenstown, close to the airport and a very short walk to retail and hospitality outlets. It is just 15 minutes from central Queenstown and Arrowtown, and 30 minutes to ski fields.

Picture caption:

1/ The Remarkables Residences development uses neighbourhood architecture to create unique streetscapes

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