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Hotel Opening Brings New Levels Of Luxury And Design To West Coast

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Hotel Opening Brings New Levels Of Luxury And Design To West Coast

A new level of hotel luxury and environmentally sustainable design will be available on the West Coast of the South Island when the Te Waonui Forest Retreat in Franz Josef opens its doors on September 1.

The $26 million 100 room hotel, which will be formally opened next year, is the 18th property in the New Zealand owned and operated Scenic Hotel Group. Brendan Taylor, Managing Director, says it has been a unique project for the company, which had its origins in Franz Josef 28 years ago when founders Earl Hagaman and the late Ralph Brown purchased their very first hotel.

"With our history and three other properties in the region, this part of the country has special meaning for us. Te Waonui Forest Retreat has given us the opportunity to build a property that bows to and complements the stunning environment it occupies while at the same time also delivering extraordinary comfort for our guests."

The hotel was designed by Dalman Architecture of Christchurch and incorporates the highest levels of environmentally sustainable design. It has been constructed largely from stained rough sawn cedar and plywood (all renewable resources and from environmental certified sources) with as much use as possible of local products such as any concrete aggregates and hard fill sourced from the nearby Waiho River. The design also utilises as much natural light, heating and ventilation as possible with computerised control and monitoring of mechanical systems optimising energy management.

During the building process there has been minimal disruption to the surrounding native forest with a large stand of bush preserved in a central courtyard. The four guest wings surround the courtyard treating guests to views of the natural vegetation with trees of up to 20 metres in height and the sounds of local birdlife from every room.

The interior design also takes its inspirations from the local region featuring possum fur cushions, custom made wool carpets, natural fabrics, local art, and intriguing special effects such as the glow worm lighting in the downstairs Frond Bar. Executive chef Keith McPhee (formerly Wildfire, Sydney; Cin Cin on Quay, Orbit Restaurant and the Esplanade Hotel, Auckland and Shed 5, Wellington) is continuing the local experience by incorporating as much local cuisine as possible into the menus at the upstairs Canopy Restaurant.

For guests' convenience there is a 24 hour reception with twin check-in facilities to cater for the differing needs of independent traveller and tour groups and a local activity desk.

To celebrate the opening of Te Waonui Forest Retreat there is a special offer of accommodation for two (share twin) including a full degustation menu dinner for two, full New Zealand breakfast for two and entry for two to the neighbouring Glacier Hot Pools for $675 per night. The same package is available on a single person basis for $575 per night. The offer is available for stays until November 30. For further details see or free phone 0800 723 642.

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