Fairway to heaven


Plans are unveiled today for a $60 million luxury lodge next to Queenstown’s Jack’s Point golf course. 

The hotel – slotted for a north-facing terrace below the summit of Jack’s Point itself – comprises a 35-suite lodge. 
Facilities include two restaurants, pool, spa and gym. It also includes 79 individual chalets – four of them large. 

It’s designed to complement the dramatic surrounding landscape and the adjacent championship golf course. 

Jack’s Point developer John Darby says the site was originally zoned for a lodge eight years ago. 

A resource consent application was lodged today. 

The lodge will be developed by a group of investors with a history in Asian-Pacific visitor accommodation real estate. The group will buy the 40-hectare terraced site off Jack’s Point. 

Darby expects the lodge will be managed by a “well-established international five-star operator”. 

“Negotiations are well advanced but [the operator’s identity] remains confidential.” 

The design is by Auckland firm Fearon Hay, which had a Glenorchy Road house shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Awards three years ago. 

“The form is quite a contemporary one but one that reflects the strong geomorphic form at Jack’s Point,” Darby says. 

“The weathered timber, local stone and raw concrete will integrate well with the natural patterns and textures of the site.” 

Many of the buildings will have tussock roofs, he says. 

“The corridor for this hotel will be outdoor sheltered paths linking back to the lodge, so the experience will be very natural. Chalets will have their own private courtyards.” 

There’ll be stunning 180 to 270 degree views of the Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains, Darby adds. 

“We think it’s the best of both worlds, where the efficiency and quality of service can be provided as though it was a large five-star building but it’s broken down into a core lodge and separate chalets to avoid a large-block appearance.” 

Chalets will be from 75 square metres – about double the size found in most hotels – and more than 200 staff will be employed. 

Darby says the hotel will pull in a market similar to those served by local boutique lodges, but most of those have 12 rooms or fewer. 

“Its scale will enable larger groups to equally be accommodated.” 

Darby says tariffs would fit in between those charged by local boutique lodges and three- to four-star hotels. 

Construction will start in the second half of next year with completion by the summer of 2013/2014, Darby hopes. 

“The trigger for this project was the increasingly improved direct air access to Queenstown from Australian centres and the links that creates into Singaporean/South East Asian markets. 

“While economic conditions would be considered tough, we think it’s a good time to plan and build given that in three years’ time we believe growth into Queenstown will be significant. 

“And to attract the high-end visitor we need to have accommodation to justify the journey to Queenstown – hence the emphasis on the natural environment and outlook and a golf course that’s become internationally