Key to new hotel – no key

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What’s claimed to be New Zealand’s first fully ‘smart’ hotel has opened on the fringe of Queenstown’s CBD.

Mi-pad Queenstown – a striking $15 million, six-storey, 57-room hotel on Henry Street – has been designed by renowned local architect John Blair.

To stay there, you don’t need a key or a key card. Guests booking their stay download the hotel’s personal app, ‘mia’, on their smartphone.

That becomes not only their room key but also what they use to adjust their room temperature and mood lighting, request room service or alert staff that they don’t want to be disturbed after a big night out.

‘Mia’ also becomes a guest’s digital concierge, delivering information on Queenstown’s offerings.

Guests can also share photos and messages through ‘mia’s’ private chat group, while there’s a floor-to-ceiling ‘social wall’ in the entrance lobby.


The hotel’s the brainchild of the property’s long-time land owner, local property developer Lewis Gdanitz.

“Mi-pad is the result of 15 years of research, travelling the world and finding the places that did accommodation really well,” Gdanitz says.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to deliver a property that’s unlike anything else on offer in NZ, operating on a premise of affordable luxury delivered using the latest technology.

“I’m also very proud of the eco-conscious initiatives we have in place for every aspect of the operation.”

The hotel’s been developed by MIPAD Holdings Ltd – a joint venture between Gdanitz and experienced hotel investment and development company TJK NZ Ltd, which owns luxury boutique hotels in Christchurch and Rotorua.

TJK NZ boss Stephen Borcoskie believes it makes sense to open such a unique property in Queenstown.

“Our goal is to always exceed customer expectations by excelling in service delivery, and we’re thrilled to be entering the Queenstown market which consistently leads the way in delivering world-class experiences and lifelong memories to visitors from around the globe.”

Because the hotel’s invested in technology and smart design, its operating costs are 10 to 20 per cent lower than equivalent-quality hotels, and these savings are passed on to customers where possible.

Hotel manager Kylie Hogan, who has 20 years’ experience in international resort management, comments: “We’re offering an innovative, connected hotel experience for smart travellers who’d prefer to spend their hard-earned dollars on experiences rather than pay over the odds for accommodation.”

Although snacks and breakfast options are available, the owners have kept food and beverage offerings to a minimum to encourage guests to savour the CBD’s eateries just a block or two away.

Guests are also free to order-in or BYO, then take advantage of the hotel’s huge rooftop terrace with an open fireplace and 270-degree lake and mountain views.

Mi-pad’s also likely to benefit from being on the long-proposed Melbourne St/Henry St CBD bypass.

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