Melbourne businessman targets ultra-rich with Queenstown’s most expensive hotel suite - Insights

Melbourne businessman targets ultra-rich with Queenstown’s most expensive hotel suite

One of the most highly valued pieces of real estate on Queenstown’s waterfront will be home to the country’s most expensive hotel suite, commanding up to $10,000 per night for sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounding peaks.

Skyline Enterprises has begun work on the $6 million, 781m2 high-end premium site in the heart of the resort town’s CBD, with neighbouring Eichardt’s Private Hotel (owned by Melbourne businessman Andrew Cox) announced as tenants for a penthouse apartment and two further Lakefront suites to meet ultra-high net worth visitor demand.

The expansion takes the luxury hotel’s capacity to 7 suites, with the 240sqm penthouse suite (plus 100sqm balcony) featuring a commercial grade kitchen primed for private chef usage, two suites each with ensuites, a sauna, spa and even a powder room with uninhibited views across the picture-perfect lake.

Eichardts Private Hotel

Eichardt’s Private Hotel is part of the Imperium Collection of luxury boutique hotels, owned by Christchurch-born, Melbourne-based businessman Andrew Cox.

Cox was quick to recognise that Queenstown is seen as a key New Zealand gateway to premium visitors, and most recently purchased nearby New York style boutique property The Spire Hotel to add to his mix of exclusive, small and luxurious hotels, apartments, a private residence and restaurants within the group.

“Obviously we are talking to a very small yet powerful group of guests.  These people value privacy however they want to be in the thick of the action and with all the amenity of home.

“They choose Queenstown because it offers them what money can’t buy – a unique experience to share with their networks that melds understated luxury, safety, food, wine and activities that no other destination in the world can compete with,” says Cox.

The hotel has seen its capacity consistently stretched as the ultra-rich – and their gatekeepers – have made Queenstown a must-visit destination on their travels, where families often travel for months at a time by private plane or super-yacht.

Last May a private jet terminal was opened in Queenstown to cope with the large volume of private planes frequenting the alpine town, primarily transporting occupants from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

“Our guests want to fly in and out with relative anonymity.  It’s important that our packages can be tailored to meet the whole group’s varying needs whether that be heli-skiing on untouched powder to the latest beauty treatment taken in their private quarters.

“When they go home, word spreads fast of the level of comfort in these circles, and it made sense to add a new dimension to Eichardt’s to meet demand,” Cox adds.

Skyline Enterprises CEO Jeff Staniland says the location and opportunity of the development is unmatched providing a ringside seat at the best view in town.

“Queenstown is known for its forward-thinking and considered hospitality, and we have been careful to reflect the history of Eichardt’s in our modern design.  It is exciting that this world-class hotel is a key part of our development, and we look forward to announcing our retail partners in due course.”

The new accommodation interiors will likewise mirror the expert eye of Virginia Fisher seen at the current hotel however will integrate well with the modern edge of the expansion.  This is in keeping with the Michael Wyatt-designed exterior of the new build which shows a façade clad primarily in Oamaru stone, while further along Church Street it will feature weathered and exposed steel.

The building design includes decks and terraces at the upper levels, with the deck at the upper floor level enabling that part of the building to be set back from Marine Parade so it does not dominate the street.

The foyer entrance melds the old with the new and will be modified to provide a central and private gateway between the new build and the hotel’s well-known Bar and private guest Parlour.

“It’s about offering the next level of comfort seen at Eichardt’s currently with even more options to customise the experience.  Privacy is key to the design and will offer a safe and very secure accommodation offer with unsurpassable views, the best of Queenstown literally below the doorstep and memories ready to be forged,” says Cox.

Tourism NZ focusses mirror the developer and hotelier’s vision, with $20 million of its budget tagged for the premium sector over the next four years.

Completion is expected in early 2016, with the hotel already having a booking for the New Year’s period that December through its luxury affiliate network.  Rates for the penthouse suites are $10,000 per night, with the two additional Lakefront Suites available for $1950 per night.

The ground floor retail space of approximately 700sqm has been set aside for a cluster of high-end retail stores, the first floor for either premium office space or more retail.

In addition to the new accommodation options, Eichardt’s will also open a bistro restaurant at ground level of the new development to complement its world-famous Bar and cocktail list.

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