Hospitality Business Magazine

Proposed $22m luxury Glenorchy hotel appealed

A $20million luxury boutique hotel proposed for a prime Glenorchy waterfront site at the head of Lake Wakatipu was granted consent by Queenstown Lakes District Council-appointed commissioners in March, however, that decision was recently appealed.

Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman Jack Barlow has confirmed that late last month the commissioners’ decision, issued in March this year, had been appealed.

Douglas Rickard-Bell, director and project manager of Blackthorn Ltd which is developing the proposed Grand Mount Earnslaw Hotel in the tiny township, says: “We think it’s a great proposal and we’re happy for the process to run. It’ll be great for the local economy and employment.”

The small luxury boutique hotel covers 17 percent of the site with sprawling lawns opening out onto the lakefront, just adjacent to Glenorchy’s iconic waterfront ‘red shed’. The site was once home to the old Mount Earnslaw Hotel, which burned down in 1959.

The plans include a 52-room, two-storey hotel with some attic rooms and a Hydro Day Spa. There are also three small boatshed rooms. “Guests will be able to come down off the hill and rehydrate in the hot and cold plunge pools and sauna,” says Douglas.

An 88-seater bistro restaurant is planned overlooking the lake with plenty of sunny outdoor seating.

Douglas, who has been involved in hotel development in Australia, says he’s confident that the Queenstown Lakes District Council-appointed commissioners’ consent will be upheld at appeal. If so Blackthorn Ltd is hoping to get construction underway by early next year.