Masterwood Joinery win prestigious international design award

In true Kiwi fashion, small-town company – Cromwell’s Masterwood Joinery – staffers were elated and somewhat surprised when announced as winners of a prestigious, international design award in London.

The Society of British and International Interior Design’s (SBID) International Design Awards named Masterwood Joinery’s kitchen the winner in the KBB Design category (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom) on Friday (October 25, 2019).

Masterwood Joinery’s General Manager Jim Cleveland, who attended the high-end ceremony at JW Marriott Grosvenor House, said being proud was an understatement.

“The quality of our competitors was very high and to be honest we thought we would be outclassed, albeit extremely happy just to be finalists,” Jim says.

“When they announced Masterwood as the winner it was a feeling of elation unlike any I’d felt before – we are world champions in the design sector!”

The kitchen in a Lake Hayes home near Queenstown fuses Oriental and commercial chic to create a beautiful, cohesive space, which flawlessly interpreted the design brief of the owners.

“Apparently we were the most excited winners of the night and were crowd and organiser favourites,” Jim says.

“I think the small town joinery shop from a small country beating the big guns from all around the world was the catalyst for that feeling.”

SBID Founder and CEO, Dr Vanessa Brady OBE says the awards continue to grow from strength to strength.

“With a sell-out ceremony and more countries represented this year than any other, it truly is held as the premier interior design awards by the global industry and SBID is proud to present it each year.”

Finalists were chosen by a technical panel of judges which accounted for 70% of marks, while the remaining 30% was via public vote.

Masterwood’s inhouse designer Stefan Sonntag, who also attended the awards, designed the kitchen alongside Stuart Bateman of SB Design, who did the preliminary design and brief.

This is not the first time this kitchen has been in the limelight having has also claimed five major awards at the National Kitchen & Bathroom Association Awards in Melbourne earlier this year.

About the kitchen

Clean, straight lines, natural materials and earthy tones set the scene for the stunning kitchen. Heavy-duty powder coated steel box section legs support two islands, with an unapologetically commercial stainless-steel kitchen extractor suspended above the chef’s island.

At one end of the chef’s island is a cantilevered teppanyaki grill mounted in Ceasarstone, an engineered stone that is also the island’s work surface.

A favourite place in the kitchen for the lucky owners is the self-contained coffee-making area with sweeping views that include The Remarkables mountain range.

While many functional elements are hidden behind six-coat Ameron-lacquered soft close doors and panels, the owners were very definite about having as a ‘feature wall’ – in this case an impressive six door glass-fronted display cabinet.

This effectively distracts the eye from two pantry areas, one being a plumbed and fully equipped butler’s pantry. True to the Oriental theme, form and function are in perfect harmony in these pantries.

About the Awards

The SBID International Design Awards are awarded purely on the quality of the design, innovation, aesthetic and value-added to the project.

Each entry undergoes an exhaustive two-tier judging process by panels of leading industry experts for both technical content and aesthetic creativity. evaluating essential elements such as compliance with the brief, budget, health and safety and fit-for-purpose design.

The Public Vote is the final tier of scoring.

Masterwood’s Queenstown kitchen was a finalist in one of 14 categories from across 48 countries.

All winners for each category received a bespoke crystal trophy crafted by Sans Souci glass deco. Winners are also been featured in the SBID Global Interior Design 2019 coffee table book, which is available to purchase online at www.sbidawards.com

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Canyon Brewing makes its mark in beer awards

New Zealand’s most scenic brewery made its mark on the beer scene with a haul of medals in the country’s most prestigious awards, less than 18 months after opening.

Canyon Brewing, which crafts its award-winning beer alongside the iconic Shotover River, was up against stiff competition in the Brewers Guild of New Zealand annual awards.

There were a record number of 955 entries across beer and cider categories for this year’s competition, just over half of them from small breweries like Canyon.

That didn’t stop the brewery from bringing home a silver medal for its Red IPA, and bronze accolades for its NZ Ale, Pale Ale, Haven XPA, and its Sour Cherry Ale in the fruit and flavoured category.

The awards, in their 13th year, have a huge reputation across the globe as one of the most prestigious accolades a brewer can win.

All Canyon’s beer is handcrafted on site in the ‘on-display’ microbrewery, which also serves up fresh, flavoursome food in its restaurant, open seven days a week.

Head brewer Jono Kauri and his team are delighted with the awards wins, which reflect the brewery’s mantra to deliver well-constructed, balanced and clean beers that while approachable, are also memorable.

“It’s about letting the raw materials and ingredients shine through into the finished beer,” says Product Development Manager Justin Koen.

“We pay close attention to detail throughout the brewing process, from paddock to pint, to ensure our brews are of outstanding quality, and the awards are testament to that.

“We’re thrilled to have shown that the beer we produce down here in Queenstown more than stacks up against many larger and more established breweries. It shows it shows the standard of success a small dedicated team can have.”

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Accolades come thick and fast for Ziptrek Ecotours

The accolades are flowing thick and fast for the team at Queenstown’s Ziptrek Ecotours.

Last Thursday (October 24) Trent Yeo won the PATA New Zealand Trust Emerging Tourism Leader Award in the prestigious New Zealand Tourism Awards, recognising his work as an outstanding tourism professional.

And last Friday (October 25) Ziptrek Sales Executive Kenny Wynter was announced as the only Queenstown-based member on the seven-strong YoungTEC Executive team for 2020.

YoungTEC is an arm of the Tourism Export Council which offers support, education and networking opportunities to young tourism professionals.

Trent says his award, while recognising his achievements in setting up the pioneering zipline company in tandem with multiple roles in industry organisations, events and working groups throughout New Zealand, could not have been achieved without his ‘team’.

“The tourism leader award isn’t just about me; it recognises the hard work of all the crew, past and present, who have contributed so much in the almost ten years we’ve been in operation,” he says.

Ziptrek Ecotours is a recognised leader in business innovation, eco-tourism and sustainable business practice, and Trent says the award could not have come at a better time for the business and the industry as a whole.

“Entering the award brought into sharp focus how much time and effort I’ve put not only into  Ziptrek but into the wider industry,” he says. “I’m really excited to be at the peak of my career when the New Zealand tourism industry is moving so strongly towards developing our sustainability on a global scale.”

The judges recognised Trent’s ability and commitment to go beyond his own business and demonstrate what they called “great examples of transformational leadership”, impressed with giving his time and generosity to the industry at the same time as the business recorded excellent achievements.

They also praised his entrepreneurial approach and innovation, and his dedication to responsible and sustainable tourism.

Meanwhile, Kenny said he was “excited to contribute, collaborate, learn and listen” in his role on the YoungTEC executive to continue to improve on New Zealand’s unique tourism offering.

New YoungTEC executive team member Kenny Wynter of Ziptrek Ecotours

He began his tourism journey by studying for a degree in International Tourism Management, and his passion for social licence meant his dissertation explored Corporate Social Responsibility.

After graduating he was naturally drawn to work for Ziptrek Ecotours, giving him an introduction to the world of eco-tourism. After working for them for a year, he left to gain international experience before returning to Ziptrek in 2017.

“I’ve been working to spread the word about their stance as the pioneers in eco-exhilaration ever since,” he says.

His other industry roles include being a member of the BYATA steering group for Queenstown, taking issues and initiatives to a national level, and also being an active member of Queenstown Young Professionals.

Multi-award-winning Zipline Ecotours is celebrating ten years in business this year, as the pioneers of ziplining and eco-tourism in New Zealand.

For a little more on Trent, check out this awesome Destination Queenstown clip:

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Villas among the vines – luxury Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa opens in December

Villas among the vines – luxury Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa opens in December

Central Otago’s most exciting luxury offering is on final countdown to opening.

Located in the heart of Central Otago’s founding winery, Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa will offer the ultimate in relaxed luxury, fine wine, culinary excellence and 5-star personal service.

In just over two months, its doors will swing open to reveal a stunning architecturally-designed lodge complete with striking feature fireplace, soaring ceiling, sun-filled conservatory, al fresco dining area, an exclusive restaurant and a Lodge Cellar overflowing with historic vintages.

With a locally-sourced schist stone exterior mirroring the rugged Central Otago environment, Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa will be firmly planted in the vineyard’s rich history.

The world-class luxury accommodation experience is oozing with sophistication, sleek interior and exterior design, accompanied by lush landscaping and peaceful water features.

Twenty-four beautiful, sumptuously comfortable and modern villas are nestled just above the first vineyard block ever planted in the valley, in perfect view of the vines and distinctive Central Otago landscape on adjacent hills.

A secluded on-site spa will be a luxurious retreat for health, beauty and wellbeing, offering a serene, relaxing environment for a range of indulgences including – fittingly – vinotherapy treatments.

Gibbston Valley Winery CEO Greg Hunt says the Lodge & Spa gives guests the opportunity to connect with the land and the winery experience on another level.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have created a totally unique and completely enriching new experience for guests,” he says.

“It’s more than just unwinding among the vines – it’s about exploring the vineyard and gaining an intimate, deeper understanding of the behind-the-scenes workings of a world-class winery to a degree that’s not available anywhere else in the world.

“Going at their own relaxed pace, guests will be able to take the time to indulge in outstanding food and wine and really experience Gibbston Valley in all her glory.”

A highlight of the Lodge experience will be the opportunity to sample exquisite cuisine, carefully created to pair beautifully with premium, handcrafted Gibbston Valley Wines.

The exclusive Lodge menu is the brainchild of renowned Chef Anthony Gradiska, guided by the seasons and fresh produce grown in his Chef’s Gardens scattered around the Lodge and Spa buildings.

Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa is set to have a distinct sustainability focus, going to great efforts to do away with single-use products and introducing eco-conscious options throughout the entire operation.

The diversification of the vineyard has been an involved four-year planning project to ensure all elements of the Lodge & Spa meld seamlessly with the iconic look and feel of Gibbston Valley and the 30-year-old winery.

Additional Lodge features include a small wine education theatre, private meeting rooms, and unique indoor and outdoor spaces for intimate boutique weddings.

Each villa, boasting a modern, sophisticated décor, open plan indoor living space and the latest technology, also features a secluded sun-washed courtyard surrounded by lush landscaping and a private covered deck with dining area.

As a matter of course, a selection of premium Gibbston Valley Wines personalized to guests’ preferences greet visitors on arrival.

Customised concierge services round out the experience by providing the very best advice and local knowledge on wine tasting, cycle tours, walking tracks and packages for activities on-site and throughout the wider Central Otago region.

Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa is set on 1000-acres of privately-owned land, dotted with many kilometres of exclusive biking and walking trails. The Queenstown Trail, New Zealand’s most popular Great Ride, passes the property and provides access to over 130kms of off-road trails between Gibbston, Arrowtown and Queenstown.

Luxury experience packages available at Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa include the Wine Immersion, Food & Wine Indulgence, Relax & Revive, Romantic Escape and Ride the Vines.

Rates start at $825NZD per villa. For further information and bookings go to www.gibbstonvalleylodgeandspa.com

 Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa – what you need to know

  • Villas feature 100m2 of private, open plan indoor living space
  • Bathrooms feature a large walk-in shower, separate feature tub and dual basins
  • Complimentary bike use included for guests
  • Private wine tastings and intimate dinners available in the Lodge Cellar
  • Seasonal à la carte restaurant menu
  • Exciting range of wining, dining and leisure activities on the doorstep
  • Shuttles available for guests into Arrowtown and Queenstown
  • Spa features three private treatment rooms, a sauna, secluded hot pools and small gym
  • Just 20 minutes from Queenstown’s International Airport
  • Lodge & Spa designed by Queenstown architects Wyatt + Gray
  • Villa design by Space Studios
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