Queenstown to benefit from Hilton Hotels

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Swanky global hotel chain Hilton Hotels promises Queenstown will be the winner when its luxury resort opens at Kawarau Falls soon.

Australasian bosses of the Hilton brand revealed plans about its local venture – due to open sometime in the next three months – to a who’s-who of Queenstown at Amisfield tonight.

Ashley Spencer, Australasian vice president of operations, says the chain’s sales offices in North America, China, United Kingdom, South East Asia, Middle East, Japan and Australia will be able to sell Queenstown to high-end travellers worldwide with the arrival of its two local hotels.

“We are hoping to sell to markets that may not have been touched so far.”

Known as the Kawarau Village, the complex will boast the five-star, 178-room Hilton Queenstown and the four-star, 98 studio-room Kawarau Hotel. The village will be managed by long-time travel, tourism and hotel worker Marlene Poynder.

The Hilton will include the Wakatipu Grill restaurant – accessible by boat or water – plus a luxury spa and 25-metre lap pool. In keeping with the “village” theme, there’ll also be a gastro pizza pub and a deli-grocery store accessible to the Wakatipu community.

“We want to be great neighbours, we want to be responsible neighbours,” Spencer says, adding that the company will “pull our weight” in the tourism community.

“We have been waiting to be in Queenstown for a lot of years, 10 years or more. Strategically for us, Queenstown is an absolute must, and we are absolutely delighted to be here.”

Spencer also put paid to any suggestion that US socialite and Hilton empire heiress Paris Hilton could attend the opening.

“I’m sorry, Paris Hilton won’t be coming to the opening. We will find some other eminent dignitary to come and do that.”