Queenstown’s highest altitude accommodation, Kamana Lakehouse, launched late in 2018, has been awarded a Four Star Plus rating and Silver award for sustainable practice from Qualmark, the Tourism New Zealand official quality assurance mark.
“A sophisticated tourism business that consistently exceeds visitor expectations,” was noted by the Qualmark assessment conducted earlier this year in April.
The hotel, owned by Coherent Hotel Ltd, has had a major multi-million-dollar brand development and reconstruction of the former Aspen Hotel, located high above Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Hotel Manager Mario Sandulescu said he is immensely proud of the team effort made to achieve this rating. “Kamana represents understated luxury and comfort, a brand and experience that strives to create a sense of place. We found our own path and took time to define and refine the experience our guests encounter, but we weren’t sure how that might be assessed. The Qualmark rating is a reflection of where we are in our journey five months after reopening our doors; an encouraging start with room to grow.”
He credited the result to team effort. “It started with our enthusiastic owners and project team at Colwall who envisioned this place as a unique offering in Queenstown. That energy was then multiplied by the service delivery team at Kamana Lakehouse who not only embraced this rebirth journey but keep finding creative ways to add value and exceed our guests’ expectations.”
When Kamana Lakehouse opened in December 2018, 73 rooms were completed to a very high standard, featuring contemporary design and the highest quality amenities. The reception, living and dining space at the centre of the property received great attention, being transformed into an intimate dining space – Nest Kitchen and Bar – featuring floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the famous Lake Wakatipu and Remarkables mountain range.
Mario said the reconstruction not only focused on what guests can see, with the “less waste, less harm” sustainability motto key to the development. “I am equally proud of achieving Qualmark Silver Award for Sustainability,” says Hotel General Manager Richard Crouch. “For our first try, this award is not only great reason to celebrate but an encouragement to continue on this path.”
The hotel was commended for its move away from single-use bathroom amenities, instead using luxury New Zealand-made, chemical-free, re-fillable products from Real World. “We want to become better custodians of our environment, and that is more of an everyday work in progress rather than a fixed goal,” said Richard.
“Not only are we looking closely at food waste minimisation, growing our own produce and power saving initiatives, but also investigating ways for team and guests to have a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the area. “A healthy tourism development and looking after the future generation resonates with K?mana Lakehouse aspirations,” he said.
What’s next for Kamana Lakehouse?
Since opening Kamana Lakehouse, Nest Kitchen and Bar now has a private dining space and conference area. Ahead of the winter season, the bespoke ski storage room is complete, and the hotel has stocked the wine cellar with 800 bottles of the best New Zealand wines. It is further expanding leisure activities with electric bikes on offer, adding a gym facility and private hot-pool facility.
The lakeview rooms terraces are to be extended and new balconies added to the East Wing. Renovations to the building exteriors will lift the overall appearance, while a new elevator in the K?mana building will make access easier. A small touch, a luxury courtesy SUV for guest drop-offs, will add to the luxury experience. The team has grown adding several leaders who made all the difference in achieving this Qualmark rating.
Kamana Lakehouse, opened in late 2018 following a multi-million-dollar brand development by owners Coherent Hotel Ltd. The company is part of the Colwall Property Investment Ltd. group that owns other top-ranked hotels in New Zealand with extensive experience in adding value and redesign in properties including the redevelopment of InterContinental Hotel in Wellington.
Kamana Lakehouse is set to be the flagship for future new Kamana properties, that will each reflect the distinct environment of its New Zealand location. The brand is positioned as an independent boutique hotel designed to create customer-centric experiences in a luxury décor.
The setting could not be more ideal for the new brand, as it sits on former Aspen Hotel’s site, a privileged location in Fernhill at the heart of Aspen Grove area. Located high above Wakatipu Lake, there are 73 contemporary ensuite rooms, surrounding a central living, dining and reception space. At the heart of this space sits Nest Kitchen and Bar.
The interior design, brand positioning and restaurant are all inspired by the Kamana bird and its natural habitat. The Australasian Crested Grebe or Kamana [in its Maori name] is a diving bird native to New Zealand’s southern lakes region including Queenstown. A rare and elegant presence on the Otago lakes, it is regarded as a treasure by locals.
For more information visit www.kamana.co.nz