All posts filed under “News

NZ WINTER GAMES PREVIEW

It is as close as the Winter Olympics get to New Zealand – the Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ – set to hit Queenstown and surrounding resorts August 25 to September 10 this year.

Stars from the Winter Olympic, Paralympic and X Games all head to New Zealand’s Southern Alps once again for the season’s first major competition and setting performance benchmarks for the year ahead.

This is a brilliant opportunity to watch elite athletes competing for one of the years world titles in freestyle skiing, snowboarding, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and curling, and of course the festival and atmosphere around the event – the only edition in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the top 5 winter events globally.

The official site for the games describes “a uniquely Kiwi experience that athletes, coaches, judges and spectators all rave about. The relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, sporting action and festival fun – it’s going to be the biggest party on southern snow…”

Highlights for Queenstown based viewing will be the Slalom and Giant Slalom at Coronet Peak from 28-31 August and the unique Night Slalom on Friday 25th.

At The Remarkables; spectators can take in The North Face Frontier, qualifying series events for the World Freeride Tour on both slopestyle and free-ski courses – an unbelievable chance to see the very best attempt what you and I wish we could do!  September 3-8th.  This preview video ought to get you excited about the action ahead for the games as a whole!

Back in town – see the New Zealand and Australia battle on the Ice Hockey rink for trans-Tasman supremacy, always a highlight of the winter season!

On mountain there will be a variety of Festival events to round out the action, on both Cardrona and Coronet Peak – while Cardrona will also host slopestyle and halfpipe events for both ski and board disciplines.

The Spire Hotel is your perfect Queenstown base to take in all the events and apres activity – book your winter escape with our team today!

 

 

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Your 3 New Favourite Travel Accessories

tsh-blog-image_0000_layer-3The contents of one’s suitcase can determine the flavour of one’s travels to a significant degree.  From the humble compass to the ubiquitous selfie stick, the gadgets we pack can aid and enrich our forays into foreign lands. And as the gizmos grow and the technologies develop, travelling may become less hassled, our experiences more full, and our memories more vivid.  Any 21st century jet-setter worth their e-passport requires some cutting edge technology to see them on their way.  Here we take a look at some of the latest travel accessories on the market beyond the neck pillows and charge packs.

Pushing the limits of airline weight restrictions is the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens ($79.99 USD), weighing in at less than one ounce.  This nifty smartphone attachment comprises four advanced optic quick-change lenses allowing you to expand group photos with the Wide-Angle, envelop your surroundings with the light bending Fisheye, and capture the minutest of details with the 10x and 15x Macro lenses.  Enhance the capabilities of your device’s already advanced camera and diversify your memories with this simple yet effective add on.

Find it here: https://www.olloclip.com/

 

The Bluesmart Smart Suitcase ($449/$549), dubbed a ‘personal travel assistant’, is ideal for the frequent flyers.  Glide effortlessly through customs and enjoy the added security of this high spec revolution in luggage technology.  Boasting a global location tracker, inbuilt digital scales, app-controlled remote locking, and an on board battery charger, this suitcase is so smart it will even carry your belongings for you 😉

Find it here: http://bluesmart.com

 

 

It used to be that when travelling to countries with a foreign tongue that a humble phrase book and good intentions where the only tools available to you to communicate with the locals. Waverly Labs are changing that with The Pilot (estimated $299 USD), the world’s first ‘smart earpiece’.  Currently in the development stage, each earpiece of The Pilot receives and translates audio into users’ different languages.  Once made available in May 2017, Pilot owners may effortlessly dissolve the language barriers that so often inhibit interactions in foreign lands.

Find it here: http://www.waverlylabs.com, and here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/meet-the-pilot-smart-earpiece-language-translator–2#/

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New Zealand’s Best Luxury Romantic Hotel

wolrd-luxury-hotel-awards-2016We are thrilled to announce that The Spire Hotel has been named New Zealand’s Best Luxury Romantic Hotel at the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards held in Qatar! The World Luxury Hotel Awards are the globes most prestigious and exclusive Awards recognising the best facilities and service excellence the hotel industry has to offer – the pinnacle of achievement for luxury hotels.

Winners of the World Luxury Hotel Awards are chosen from public votes, with each hotel judged against strict criteria on all levels of service, location and amenity against both multi-national and boutique competition.

“The Spire team is absolutely thrilled to take home the New Zealand’s Best Luxury Romantic Hotel award – a result which exceeded all of our expectations.”

“We are honoured to represent New Zealand on an international stage as luxury tourism continues to soar both here and abroad. We are dedicated to remaining industry leaders in all areas of hotel innovation and excellence,” says owner Andrew Cox.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards was established in 2006.  Previous award winners have included some of the great names in luxury accommodation including Swissôtel, InterContinental, Hilton, Kempinski, Anantara & Mövenpick Hotels, which compete annually to receive top honours.

The Spire Hotel has also been nominated for the World’s Leading Boutique Hotel award in the upcoming 2016 World Travel Awards (announced 2 December).

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The Spire Nominated for World’s Leading Boutique Hotel

the-spire-hotel-leading-boutique-hotelThe Spire Hotel is very proud to have been nominated in the 2016 World Travel Awards in the following categories:

  • World’s Leading Boutique Hotel
  • Australasia’s Leading Boutique Hotel
  • New Zealand’s Leading Boutique Hotel

The Spire Hotel has been lucky enough to achieve similar accolades from the World Travel Awards in the past, having previously been awarded Australasia’s Leading Boutique Hotel in 2008, 09, 11, 12 & 13. We have never before been nominated for the World’s Leading Boutique Hotel and are humbled to have been selected.

World Travel Awards was founded in 1993 to recognise, acknowledge and reward excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry worldwide. Now celebrating our 23rd anniversary, World Travel Awards™ is recognised globally as the hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Please join us in casting a vote for The Spire Hotel in any of the above categories by heading to the World Travel Awards website and submitting your vote here.

Thank you to all of our guests and supporters past and present, and we hope that we will be able to share in this success once again.

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Film Locations around Queenstown

Located at the bottom of New Zealand lives a town like no other, surrounded by beautiful scenery and perfect in any season. Queenstown is known for many things, including very famous television & movie productions, with several film locations to be found in and around Queenstown.

This small piece of paradise has hosted international movie & television stars from Hollywood, Bollywood, and Australia. Production companies too, have come from far and wide to capture Queenstown’s beautiful landscapes, filming on the side of hills, on top of snowy mountains, or even in the blue lake.

“The view of Queenstown and The Remarkables is the greatest sight on earth”. – Stephen Fry, British actor, August 2011

“I went to Queenstown and honestly you have the most beautiful country in the world. Those scenic views were literally breathtaking. That ride down to Queenstown when I saw those vistas I thought ‘Oh my God – this is where God lives’.” – Actor John Travolta, 1999

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009):

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a movie based on a Marvel Comics superhero directed by Gavin Hood, and stared Hugh Jackman (Australian) as the lead actor. The movie was mostly shot in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

In 2008 the production moved to the South Island of New Zealand. Many scenes were filmed in Dunedin, but as you can see by the familiar background in the picture above, it was also filmed in Queenstown, at Deer Park Heights.

During filming 20th Century Fox tried to store their explosives at the Queenstown Ice Arena for the scenes shot at Hudson Farm but after experiencing delays in filming due to weather, the production company packed up and moved to Sydney, Australia.

The Movie was a huge success opening at the top of the box office and grossing at $179M in the United States and Canada, over $373M worldwide.

Location: Dear Park Height and Queenstown Ice Arena.
Activities: Queenstown Ice Arena is a 5 minute walk from town center, right next to Queenstown Gardens and is open 7 days a week. The arena is the perfect place to have some fun close by.

Unfortunately, Deer Park Heights was closed down that same year in 2009, after being open to visitors for 40 years.

Top of the Lake (2013):

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Top of the Lake is an Emmy Award winning crime/drama TV show written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee. The show is directed by Campion and Garth Davis, and was first aired in 2013, with a second season to be released in 2017. Filmed and set in New Zealand, the series follows a detective (Elisabeth Moss) investigating the disappearance of a 12 year old girl.

The filming took over 18 weeks and was shot entirely on location in Queenstown and Glenorchy, with Glenorchy referred to as the series’ fictitious town of Laketop.

After the success of season one, having won a Golden Globe and a nomination for a BAFTA, the series was extended for a second season which will be shot in Sydney Australia, staring Nicole Kidman.

Location: Glenorchy and Moke Lake.
Activities: A beautiful 50 minute drive (45km) away from Queenstown along the shore of Lake Wakatipu is Glenorchy. Also known as an outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise, walkers, photographers, adventurers, holiday makers have all found themselves captivated by this amazing wilderness and southern kiwi way of life.

The Water Horse (2007):

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The water Horse is an American/British/New Zealand family fantasy drama directed by Jay Russell. The film is an adaption of Dick King-Smiths children’s novel “The Water Horse”.

Filming took place in 2006 in Queenstown, Scotland and Wellington, with Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu doubling as a Scottish Loch. New Zealand special effects artists also provided the digital creation of the “Water Horse”.

Location: Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu.
Activities: Lake Wakatipu is right on the door step of central town and is a great spot for walks, picnic’s, photo opportunities and maybe a quick swim. Don’t be fooled though, the lake does not get any warmer in summer than it does winter – the average temperature of the lake is between 8-10 degrees Celsius.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003):

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It is well known that The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand. Based on the novel “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson (New Zealand) directed all 3 of the high fantasy adventure films.

The entire project took 8 years, with the filming for all 3 films done simultaneously and entirely in New Zealand. Queenstown, Arrowtown, Glenorchy and Wanaka were the prime film locations, and everywhere you look you will recognise the famous mountainous scenery.

This trilogy put Queenstown on the movie map, showing off the perfect backdrops New Zealand has to offer. The movies won 4 Oscars and 3 BAFTAS’s just to name a few. The box office revenue grossed $2B worldwide.

Location: Arrowtown and Kawarau Gorge.
Activities: Arrowtown is just a 20 minute drive out of Queenstown. It is an old miner’s town that hosts the Annual Autumn Festival. Arrowtown is a beautiful place to escape to for an afternoon or evening.

Kawarau Gorge, also known as Anduin River, is home to the AJ Hackett Bungy Bridge – a great activity for thrill seekers.

“I feel I know Queenstown quite well.  I’ve been to places that have the same sort of spirit elsewhere in the world but nowhere in quite such a magnificent setting.” – Sir Ian McKellen, Oscar-nominated English actor (played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit), in NZ to film The Hobbit in May 2012

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Winter rest days shouldn’t be boring

winter-rest-days-the-spire-hotelImagine the panic. You rise early to don your brightly coloured winter gear, shovelling breakfast down in a rush to beat the queues up the mountain, only to discover that the lifts are shut because of adverse weather conditions. With the situation not set to improve you need to re-group and after a quick conversation with the concierge at The Spire Hotel, you come up with a plan for your day away from the slopes. Rest days don’t have to be boring; yours certainly won’t be!

Before the kids have had time to start complaining, you are whisked away on a private charter helicopter out to the west coast. Visually unparalleled, Milford Sound is a must do when visiting New Zealand; huge rainfall gives the region its unique character with rainforests, rivers and waterfalls on show. The helicopter is admirably suited to this diverse terrain, ensuring optimum visibility and unrivalled safety to experience this incredible landscape. The morning draws to a close with a gourmet lunch atop Cecil Peak overlooking the Wakatipu basin.

Next it’s on to adrenalin. You always said that you would never tackle the bungy jump yet here you are on the precipice of the AJ Hackett Bungy platform at the Kawarau Bridge, the world home of bungy. You can see the family watching off to the side; you have no choice but to jump. After the most exhilarating 10 seconds of your life and posting bragging rights to social media you head five minutes down the road to Peregrine Wines.

Central Otago is the southernmost wine producing region in the world. Built on a foundation of passion and ingenuity, the region is home to world class pinot noirs and a wealth of other wines. A private tour behind the scenes arms you with the knowledge you need next time your friends pass you the wine list!

After a thrilling day taking in the best that Queenstown has to offer away from the slopes, you unwind in the comfort of your suite at The Spire Hotel with an in-room remedial massage preparing you for a big day back on the slopes tomorrow. Let’s hope the weather plays ball or you may end up doing it all over again! Now wouldn’t that be awful 😉

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The Spire Hotel aims for New Zealand’s Best! 

the-spire-hotel-new-zealands-bestThe Spire Hotel is proud to have been nominated in the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards in the following categories:

  • New Zealand’s Best Luxury Boutique Hotel
  • New Zealand’s Best Luxury Romantic Hotel
  • New Zealand’s Best Luxury Suite Hotel

The World Luxury Hotel Awards is a recognized global organization providing luxury hotels with recognition for their world class facilities and service excellence provided to guests and voting is now open.

The 10th Anniversary of the World Luxury Hotel Awards and this year’s annual gala ceremony will be a celebration of legendary proportion. The World Luxury Hotel Awards event will offer hoteliers the unique opportunity to savour and celebrate their achievements of the past year with their industry peers. The World Luxury Hotel Awards is a recognized global organization providing luxury hotels with recognition for their world-class facilities and service excellence provided to guests. Awards are presented to luxury hotels in over 50 different categories on a country, regional and global basis. Public vote selects all winners, reflecting real recognition for the hard work and dedication of hotel staff and hotel standards.

From all the team at The Spire Hotel we would like to thank all of our guests past and present and everyone who has made The Spire such a wonderful place to visit! To vote for The Spire Hotel please head to the following page: http://www.luxuryhotelawards.com/hotel/the-spire-hotel/

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Après ski made easy in Queenstown

apres-ski-the-spire-hotelAnyone organising a winter getaway to Queenstown this season knows that there is a little more to the planning of the what-and-where than just skis and boots. Once you’ve decided which mountains you want to visit, got your rentals organised, and booked your accommodation and transport, one must consider how to spend those chilly evenings après ski. We’re here to help, with some great accommodation packages available with The Spire Hotel.

In order to make the most of your winter adventure you will need at least 3 nights here in Queenstown. There are so many options for dining, drinking and adventuring you want to ensure that you get to tick off your favourite of each. With your accommodation at The Spire Hotel sorted (a Deluxe Suite if you please) you can take advantage of the inclusions that come part and parcel with your luxurious suite. Daily breakfast in your room or downstairs in the bar letting the smell of freshly ground coffee and the smooth soundtrack awaken you to the morning.

After last chair and the departure of the sun, head into No5 Church Lane for your après cocktails creatively prepared by our seasoned bartenders. Freshly tailored for those cold winter nights, the new winter cocktail list contains sweet, bold, and fragrant selections. Check out the Aztec Ruin for a delicious combo of coffee and chilli, or Whiskey Business for those who want to wander off the worn path and try something truly unique.

In the spirit of using exotic words for drinking and dining, enjoy a Mezze dinner for two in No5 Church Lane – also included in your accommodation package. Mezze is the Greek/Turkish custom of serving many small dishes simultaneously or in succession, to be shared around the table; and while sampling the flavours of the region a bottle of Surveyor Thomson pinot noir is the perfect compliment. A truly diverse affair.

To find out more about this package and to check availability simply head to our accommodation packages page and send us an enquiry.

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48 Hours in Queenstown by The Urban List

the-spire-hotel-48-hours-in-queenstownWhat can 48 hours get you in Queenstown? A lot according to The Urban List who recently mentioned The Spire Hotel in their piece on the lively mountain town titled 48 Hours In Queenstown. You can go from adrenaline-fueled fun in the a.m. to a vineyard tour at lunch and soaking in a scenic hot tub by sundown in this versatile holiday hub.

Known for being New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown is the ultimate all-year-round getaway. It’s just a skip, jump and a hop from Aussie and a measly two-hour flight from Auckland, so it would be criminal not to check it out at some point.

Although you’ll probably want to set up camp and stay there forever, Queenstown is definitely a place you could tackle in a blissful two days. From braving it on the bungy to eating epic burgers and discovering some seriously world-class vino, here’s how The Urban List says you should spend 48 hours in Queenstown.

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The Spire Hotel wins Luxury Contemporary Hotel of the Year

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The Spire Hotel has been awarded the title of Luxury Contemporary Hotel of the Year in the 2016 Asia & Australasia Awards Guide!

The Luxury Travel Guide Awards represent the pinnacle of travel and tourism achievement, championing the best in their respective fields; therefore to come out on top is truly an achievement you should be proud of.

All winners of the 2016 Asia & Australasia Awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by our experienced in-house professionals as well as a number of celebrity guest judges. This ensures that only the most deserving teams, businesses and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades.  Award winners that have demonstrated success and innovation will gain a place in our soon-to-be published award winners’ guide, which will be distributed to over 500,000 readers.

The Spire Hotel is delighted to receive this recognition for our commitment to excellence and ensuring all of our guests have an unforgettable stay in Queenstown.

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The Spire Hotel Earns 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate Of Excellence

the-spire-hotel-blog-tripadvisorThe Spire Hotel today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.

“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travelers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travelers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”

The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

The Spire Hotel named Top 5 on the South Island

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The Spire Hotel has been named within the top 5 ‘must-stay’ hotels on the South Island by Qantas Travel Insider Magazine. We are very pleased to be included within this list, sharing the prestige with some other fantastic properties around the island.

Renowned for its natural beauty, the South Island of New Zealand offers travellers a multitude of experiences that you’ll not soon forget, including some wonderful bespoke hotels. Qantas Travel Insider rounded up the best luxurious stays throughout the island for you to unwind after an adventurous day of exploring.