$200m hotel boom

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A $200 million hotel complex with more than 550 rooms is the latest mega development in the pipeline for Queenstown.

The developers – a syndicate of New Zealand and overseas investors – want to build a five-star hotel, a four-star hotel and residential apartment building at Remarkables Park.

They’ve already bought the 10,910 square metre site off Remarkables Park Ltd’s Porter brothers, and submitted a resource consent application to Queenstown’s council.

On the corner of Red Oaks Drive and Mountain Ash Drive, it’s just three minutes’ walk from the Porters’ planned conference centre.

“In the past, there was some criticism that we didn’t have enough hotels at Remarkables Park to support a convention centre,” Alastair Porter says.

“This puts it beyond question.”

This latest proposal follows three Remarkables Park developments promoted by Auckland-based Safari Group.

They are the 54-room Ramada hotel, which opened two years ago; the new Wyndham Garden’s 75 serviced and 55 residential apartments; and the proposed Ramada Kawarau River, with 87 hotel and 99 residential apartments.

At the southern end of the syndicate’s new proposal is a 152-room five-star hotel topped by an entertainment and viewing solarium on the seventh floor.

The hotel may also include hot pools.

The middle building, with multi-coloured halogen lights, is a 257-room four-star hotel with 32 extra rooms for staff accommodation.

The northern-end six-level building, with oak shutters and a roof garden, comprises 144 serviced apartments.

It is designed by Christchurch architect Thom Craig.

In the resource application, he states: “The generous ‘cuts’ through the various built forms allows for access to sunlight and the dramatic play of light and shade as the sun moves across the site.”

There’s provision for almost 230 basement carparks across the complex, along with provision for bus drop-offs outside the two hotels.

Almost half the site’s landscaped, including courtyards between the wings of each building.

Auckland-based CBRE broker, former Queenstowner Buzz Scown, who introduced the consortium to the Porters, says “we’ve got a number of the larger international hotel brands waiting to jump in and manage it”.

A novelty for New Zealand, he says, is the proposed modular construction, whereby the rooms will be built offshore and shipped over and trucked on to the site.

“Everything can be built off-site under one roof rather than trying to have 1000 subcontractors on-site.

“It doesn’t cheapen the quality, in fact it improves the quality.”

Once the foundations and groundworks are completed, Scown says the buildings can be completed in a matter of months.

Scown won’t divulge his clients’ names, however the shareholder/director of the company behind the apartment building is Tony Tosswill, of Lake Tekapo, representing holding company NZ Horizon Hospitality Group Ltd.

Tosswill’s involved in a Malaysian resort and projects in his hometown.

He was also behind plans for a five-star, 17-storey Dunedin hotel which was turned down last year.

scoop@scene.co.nz