Kāmana Lakehouse becomes Queenstown’s highest altitude boutique hotel

George Sell By George Sell
10 December 2018 | Updated 10 December 2018

New Zealand: Kāmana Lakehouse opened this week after a multi-million-dollar brand development by owners Coherent Hotel Ltd.

Kāmana Lakehouse is set to be the flagship for future new Kāmana 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 hotel sits on former Aspen Hotel's site, a privileged location in Fernhill at the heart of Aspen Grove area.

The interiors of the 73 ensuite rooms, located high above Wakatipu Lake, feature contemporary design, the highest quality beds, plush furnishings and luxury amenities.

The interior design, brand positioning and restaurant are all inspired by the Kāmana bird and its natural habitat. The Australasian Crested Grebe or Kāmana [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.

General manager Richard Crouch, who was previously Aspen Hotel's GM, said: "The location here with panoramic views across Lake Wakatipu is spectacular, and our product is allowing guests to engage with that in a real way. These views are what attracted Alison Laity and her team at Colwall Property Investment in the first instance, inspiring them to create the Kāmana Lakehouse. The room décor is modern with a high level of attention to detail including modern connectivity, excellent bedding comfort and small indulgent touches such as the Real World New Zealand-made, natural body care. This will surely become Queenstown's next hot spot, perfect for a beautiful modern Mediterranean alfresco meal, an après-ski cocktail, or a get together with friends."

Mario Sandulescu, who joined the team in 2017, is the new Hotel Manager at Kāmana Lakehouse. He has over 10 years of experience with brands like The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, in luxury properties from Europe, Singapore, Caribbean and United States.

Richard said: "Mario joined us one year ago to develop the property repositioning path. Working with the team onsite and Colwall directors he was instrumental in creating the Kāmana Lakehouse brand."

Joining the team more recently is new head chef Juan Pablo Aravena, previously from Millhouse at Millbrook.

Richard said: "For me, as a manager, it is re-invigorating to surround myself with such incredible talent."

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