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Two New Jewels in Queenstown’s CrownJune 6, 2008 By: Stephanie Stephens Travel Agent
Guests can enjoy this resort city from a beautiful boutique hotel or expansive, family-friendly villas
Two new hotels have debuted with a splash in the resort town of Queenstown in New Zealand. This scenic, historic four-season resort town sits at the foot of the stark and spindly Remarkables Mountains, alongside Lake Wakatipu.
Commonage Villa Bedroom
At the new 19-room Queenstown Park Hotel, seasoned hospitality pros Donna Falloon and John Etheridge make each guest’s stay special. The chic boutique property is strategically situated adjacent to a park and under the shadow of canopied trees beneath Queenstown’s famous Skyline Gondola. The pair can answer such questions as where to dine, shop, paraglide or bungee jump. Onsite, your clients will feast on appetizers prepared by Scottish Chef Nick Lyon-Dean and sip top-flight New Zealand wines.
Exterior of the Queenstown Park Hotel
Shaping Up Beautifully
The exterior of this Kiwi-owned and managed urban hotel features plantation cedar, schist and natural zinc enhancements. In the lobby, two gilded mirrors rest against the wall, and chandeliers draped in sheer black shades provide lighting. Neutral tones meet black-and-white geometric shapes on upholstered chairs next to the fireplace. Guest rooms are categorized either standard “Gondola,” with a deck and view, or “Remarkables.” Falloon describes the latter rooms as “larger, sexier and facing the mountains.” She suggests your clients request the largest room—number 9—on the corner. Note: Both room categories have fully equipped kitchenettes. The roomy Tower Suite, with two levels, two bedrooms and three bathrooms, is tailor-made for two couples or a family, and can connect to another Gondola room for more space. The suite features a full kitchen and a spinning entertainment unit.
The decor is crisp, clean and “modern romantic,” says Etheridge. Clients comment on the beautiful Sheridan linen, Punga & Smith furniture and Esther Diamond cushions, and technophiles will enjoy the automation. (Think button-controlled privacy and blackout blinds.)
Guests can enjoy a massage by Body Sanctum, a helicopter trip to majestic Milford Sound or a gourmet grocery pack such as “Italian Passion.” For inquiries about Queenstown Park Hotel, contact Falloon ([email protected]) or Etheridge ([email protected]) or call 011-64-3-441-8441.
Room rates include hosted drinks and canapés, and are priced from around $300 to $430 per night, based on two guests, with the suite from $460 to $545 for four guests; other occupants are additional. Full gourmet breakfast, including blueberry pancakes or coconut French toast, is $16 per person.
So Very Villa
The highly proficient hospitality team of Eichardt’s Private Hotel, headed by General Manager Victoria Shaw, is renowned for surpassing guests’ needs and is now at your clients’ service at the gorgeous new Commonage Villas, which are perfectly perched on Queenstown Hill, with a park-like reserve at their base. The iconic luxury hotel remains the 24-hour port-of-call for those who rent a three-bedroom, three-bath Commonage Villa.
Tasteful decor in unobtrusive modern tones was implemented throughout by Julia Foley from Queenstown Interiors, including granite kitchen countertops, schist fireplaces in the roomy lounge and the latest model flat-screen TVs in each bedroom. Heated floors and carpeted private, lockable garages are additional perks, along with the exceptional locally sourced artwork on the villa walls and the finest stereo systems in the rooms.The master ensuites include spa bath with adjacent separate dressing room.
Opened in November 2007, the pristine alpine-influenced villas, which feature balconies and patios, are arranged in rows: 10 on the front row and four in the back. The views from the first row are unsurpassed, but the elevators built into the back row are great as well. Shaw tells us that although all villas look similar in size from the exterior, “some are configured slightly smaller so one couple staying there won’t feel so overwhelmed by space.” Previous guests say that the villas and accompanying service standards now fill a very specific top-end niche, even among the many top-drawer vacation apartments for rent in Queenstown.
After a limousine transports guests from nearby Queenstown Airport, they will find fresh flowers, a fruit bowl and chocolates in their villa. Additional services include an executive chef to serve the family on the villa’s welcoming dining table, or stocked provisions in the cabinets for preparing meals in the kitchenettes. The concierge will gladly arrange for golf, skiing or a “tramp” (hike) on one of New Zealand’s great walks.
To learn more or book Commonage Villas, contact Shaw at [email protected] or call 011-64-3-441-0450. Prices for a one-bedroom are around $750, two bedrooms for $840 and three bedrooms for $925. A minimum three-night stay is required.