Sofitel soaks up NZ-first status


Queenstown’s Sofitel Hotel & Spa has received a plaque flagging it as New Zealand’s first hotel to get Qualmark “exclusive” status. 

Sofitel Luxury Hotels’ Bangkok-based Asia-Pacific boss Markland Blaiklock and hotel general manager Wouter De Graaf accepted the plaque last week. 

Until now Qualmark – Tourism New Zealand’s quality assurance system – has only conferred “exclusive” status on luxury lodges. 

Last year the five-star, 82-room hotel, which opened in 2005, spent $2 million on a makeover of its public areas, including the new 80-person Left Bank Cafe. 

“Our hotel certainly meets the definition of a Qualmark ‘exclusive’ hotel to the letter – intimate, elegant and sophisticated, offering true privacy aimed at the luxury traveller,” De Graaf says. 

The hotel has also earned enviro-gold status in Qualmark’s category for green operators.