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Upmarket: An artist's impression of a proposed five- to six-star hotel as seen from Queenstown's Frankton Rd

Redrawn plans for a Queenstown hotel reflect the new district plan’s more liberal height restrictions.

Auckland-based Shundi Customs Ltd has relodged a resource consent application for an 86-room, five- to six-star hotel on Frankton Road, close to downtown Queenstown.

The guest wing rises four levels above Frankton Rd, but, because the site slopes six metres down towards Lake Wakatipu, there are also two levels below ground level.

Shundi Customs – which is constructing Auckland’s tallest building, a 52-storey tower on Customs Street – previously submitted plans for a 68-room hotel on the same site that was one level lower.

Under the new district plan, however, the restricted discretionary height limit in this area has gone from 12m to 15m.

The revised design by Dunedin architect Ashley Muir, from Mason & Wales, largely adheres to the new height limit but breaches it by 2.12m for a central lift shaft.

In his architectural design statement, Muir says Shundi Customs’ owner, the Shao family, who’ve been building high-quality apartment and hotel buildings in China since 1996, asked him to design a hotel “of the highest quality”.

Better, they specified, than even Auckland’s Stamford Plaza, formerly the Regent Hotel.

“When I asked why … they observed that there were a number of hotels in Queenstown of a moderate to high standard, but none which were of a very high standard.”

Part of Muir’s brief was also that the majority of rooms have to face the lake, and that they all have a generous floor area.

His design includes, along the 96m-long Frankton Rd frontage, two semi-matching two-and-and-a-half level pavilions to house the hotel’s 433sqm restaurant, two meeting and conference rooms and a gym.

Perspective: The planned hotel seen from Lake Wakatipu

Behind the porte cochere there’s a glazed entry pavilion, the floor slab of which floats above two reflecting ponds.

There’s also a 370sqm presidential suite on top, which can also be used for functions, that opens on to a roof garden.

There’s also basement space for 58 carparks, which will be accessed only by valet parking.

In the ‘assessment of effects on the environment’, in the consent application prepared by John Edmonds and Associates, it concludes that “the effects on neighbours have been minimised through breaking up the building into smaller components, the high standard of design and materials, the landscape treatment, the building setbacks from the boundaries, the use of a variety, and recessive materials”.

However it concedes some neighbours to the south “will experience dominance and shading effects that have the potential to be more than minor, and the temporary noise effects on the property to the east have the potential to have more than minor effects for the duration of the construction”.

Shundi Customs bought the 4656sqm site three years ago for $10.4 million-plus.

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