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The 70 room Sofitel Queenstown Will Set New Benchmarks
for Luxury in Queenstown, New Zealand

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BANGKOK, 9 August, 2005 - New Zealand’s first Sofitel hotel, the five-star Sofitel Queenstown, will launch in New Zealand’s premier resort destination on September 1, 2005.
 
The Sofitel Queenstown features 70 opulent and stylish deluxe rooms, ten executive suites, two penthouse suites, and two levels of restaurants, bars and boutique retail, all in the finest location in the heart of Queenstown.
 
Queenstown is New Zealand’s most popular resort destination, with the town nestled in the southern Alps, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and fronted by Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is an all-year round resort destination, with skiing in winter months, trekking, soft adventure and sight-seeing in the warmer months. 
 
The surrounding district, Central Otago, is renowned as one of the great wine producing areas of the country, with its pinot noir considered amongst the world’s finest. The vineyards are part of a vibrant wine and food scene, characteristics which are featured prominently in the Sofitel Queenstown.
 
Sofitel is the luxury five star brand of the Accor hotel group, with more than 180 Sofitel hotels and resorts in prime locations around the world. The launch of Sofitel Queenstown is part of the largest expansion drive for the Sofitel brand in Asia Pacific, and follows recent launches in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Fiji.
 
The large and stylish deluxe hotel rooms, furnished by Auckland-based interior designer Megan Judd with a classic French twist, feature the incomparable Sofitel ‘MyBed’, the first time the award-winning beds have been available in New Zealand.
 
MyBed ushers in a whole new concept in rest, with a guarantee of plush softness. MyBed marks a return to the past with an eye to the future, resulting in a bed to make grandmothers proud: raised high, immaculate and plumped up with welcoming feathers.
 
The rooms are warm and welcoming shades of cream, chocolate and coffee, with European-style draped curtains and a walnut feature wall behind the bed. To ensure guests make the most of the crisp and clear Alpine environment, French doors open out onto ‘Juliet’ balconies, most with views of snow-capped mountains, the lake and the vibrant resort town. 
 
All rooms and suites have ultra-sophisticated sound systems, wide-screen plasma televisions in the bedrooms, bathrooms and lounges, and home theatre systems with a choice of CDs and DVDs. 
 
Keeping in touch has never been easier with high speed broadband, wireless LAN and a separate computer dataport in each room, and when the relaxation mood takes over guests can put on a movie, sip coffee made with their own in-room espresso machine or choose a full size bottle of Central Otago Gibbston Valley pinot noir or chardonnay from the bureau bar.
 
The vast bathrooms feature extensive walnut wood shelving, individually lit makeup mirrors and natural body and skincare products by celebrated French company L’Occitane.
 
But the undoubted star of the bathrooms is the astonishingly deep double spa bath created by UK design guru Sir Norman Foster. 
 
The Sofitel Queenstown is the first hotel in New Zealand to feature the unique soak bath that is 1800mm long, 470mm deep and takes up to 190 litres of water.
 
General Manager Mark Wilkinson said he was delighted to open the doors of the eagerly-awaited property.
 
“Without a doubt this is the most stunning property I have seen in New Zealand or Australia,” he said. “The attention to detail on fitout is second to none.”
 
Mr Wilkinson said the Sofitel Queenstown would set the benchmark for exceptional luxury and service and would change the way Queenstown was perceived in the national and international visitor market.
 
“Sofitel is a beautiful boutique hotel with a fantastic feeling to it,” he said. “It’s right in the heart of town, it’s elegant and stylish, and thanks to the restaurants, bars and boutique retail it’s a real meeting place with an exciting buzz of its own. 
 
“I think our guests will pick up on the sense of being very much part of the ‘vibe’ and feel of the town, while also having a haven of peace and comfort.”
 
Meetings, conference and incentive groups can take their pick of the most high tech meeting room in Queenstown. The Sofitel Queenstown boardroom caters for groups of up to 32 and features $70,000-worth of state of the art technology. It is fully automated from a totally portable colour touch-screen controller through to the best quality electric screen money can buy. All technology in the room is totally hidden from view but appears at a touch of a button. This comprehensive conferencing facility can also play movies or music at full quality surround sound, so the room is also perfect for private dinner parties or events. 
 
A highlight of the Sofitel Queenstown will be its signature restaurant ‘Vie’, which overlooks a stunning landscaped garden and tranquil waterfall.    
 
‘Vie’ is the domain of renowned Executive Chef Shane Watson, formerly of Palm Cove’s Sea Temple Resort and Spa in Queensland, and TV star of reality show ‘My Restaurant Rules’. 
 
Shane is promising an exquisite five-star dining experience, showcasing his commitment to seasonal, fresh and ‘clean’ cuisine. It will feature the very best of New Zealand’s regional cuisine and produce, skilfully combined with a delicate touch of French artistry. Produce including export-quality seafood, organically produced meat, the freshest herbs and a wide range of imported and local cheeses is being sourced extensively from local growers and purveyors. The wine list will feature 120 New Zealand and international wines and champagnes.
 
On the lobby level, tucked away behind a sweeping staircase and water feature and alongside the reception area, the Nue Lounge and champagne bar will be a cosy haven for guests, locals and visitors. 
 
Lighting from French design legend Philippe Starck and Italian lighting company Giorgetti will invite people to curl up in front of an open fire in big curvy velvet-covered armchairs, or relax in comfortable Danske Mobler sofas. A huge leather ottoman and distinctive flooring with limestone slabs and recessed carpets complete the intimate picture.
 
The Sofitel Queenstown features a fully equipped fitness centre, and an international day spa will open later this year.
 
Throughout the course of the last few years, Sofitel has become a major player in the international upper upscale hotel market, with more than 190 properties that bring a unique French “art de vivre” to prime locations around the world.
 
Sofitel is now present in all of the major business cities (Paris, New York, London, Washington, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, Bangkok,…), all the leading holiday resorts (Mauritius, Morocco, French West Indies, Indonesia, Brazil,… ) and in key international airports. 
 
In 2005, Sofitel will continue its growth with some openings in China,Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Vietnam, Brazil and Egypt. 
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Contact:

Mandy Pahl
Director of Sales and Marketing
Sofitel Queenstown
64 3 450 0051
www.sofitelqueenstown.com

Tom Racette
Manager PR and Communications – Asia
Tel: (662) 659 4535
Tom.Racette@accor.com

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Also See:  Accor Matching New Zealand's Growth in Visitors with Plans for Management of More than 12 New Hotels / May 2004


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