The only question now about a five-star Hilton hotel’s arrival in Queenstown is whether Paris will be coming for the opening.
Mountain Scene can reveal the swanky international chain will be a part of the under-construction Kawarau Falls Station beside Kelvin Heights.
A “Hilton Restaurant” is referred to in a $1.5 million building consent for a first-level hotel restaurant at Queenstown’s troubled Kawarau Falls development.
Since Starwood Hotels and Resorts – which planned a Westin-branded property – pulled out, there’s been widespread speculation Hilton will run a nearly completed 178-room hotel at Kawarau Falls.
Despite repeat indications a Hilton is coming, the chain has refused to confirm plans.
In March, Mountain Scene revealed the international chain was advertising a management position at “Hilton Queenstown”, close to The Remarkables skifield.
The chain has stated it’s interested in operating in Queenstown but hasn’t confirmed a deal with Kawarau Falls’ receivers, who were called in by the Bank of Scotland International in May last year.
According to a close source, Hilton Restaurant, including a bar, has about 150 seats, half of them outdoors, with one deck as close as three metres to the lake.
Materials will include stone, timber and schist.
The building consent reveals the designer is Aucklander Tom Skyring, who fitted out Queenstown’s new Ballarat Trading Co bar/restaurant in The Mall.
Skyring has designed swanky Auckland hospitality venues such as Pasha and Dine by Peter Gordon – plus Bangalore Polo Club in Christchurch.
The Kawarau Falls hotel is expected to open about December 1.
As for whether Queenstown will be blessed with an appearance from hotel heiress Paris Hilton, we can only hope..