Hotel’s mega-makeover


You wouldn’t recognise it from the old days.

Following a multi-million dollar renovation, Queenstown’s Aspen Hotel has jumped star ratings and this week was rebranded ‘Kamana Lakehouse’.

Kamana is the Maori name for the Australasian crested grebe, a native diving bird found locally.

Lakehouse reflects the prominent lake views from the hotel’s Fernhill location.

The hotel was bought two years ago by Auckland-based Coherent Hotel Ltd, whose Hong Kong parent company owns other top-ranked New Zealand hotels.

The upgrade to all 73 rooms and the public areas has taken 18 months, with the final 16 rooms coming onstream by the end of next month.

“It was almost a rebuild, more than a refurb,” general manager Richard Crouch says.

“We’ve done it to a very solid four-and-a-half [star] standard, if not a little higher.”

Previously it was three-star-plus.

“There’d been very little in the way of investment for a long time,”

Crouch says the hero of the project is the Nest Kitchen and Bar, with second-to-none views from floor-to-ceiling windows.

The rooms, meanwhile, feature contemporary design, high-quality beds, plush furnishings and luxury amenities.

The hotel started life as Country Lodge in the early 1970s.