Media Releases

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Media Releases

Eichardt’s Private Hotel crowned once again at World Ski Awards

For the fourth consecutive year, Eichardt’s Private Hotel has been named New Zealand’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel at the annual World Ski Awards.

The distinguished title, recognising excellence in the global ski tourism industry, was awarded to the luxury Queenstown hotel at a red carpet gala ceremony held last night (November 19) in Austrian ski resort town Kitzbühel.

The event was attended by ski tourism leaders from around the globe and took into account a record number of votes from thousands of ski tourism professionals and consumers.

Eichardt’s Private Hotel owner Andrew Cox is thrilled that the property has been recognised on the world stage and attributes the award win to his team’s unwavering dedication to providing an outstanding level of service to each and every guest.

“We’re very honoured to have been named New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort for each year the awards have been running. Our team strives to go above and beyond to meet our guest’ needs, arranging anything from a private heli-skiing experience on untouched powder to in-suite boot and board/ski fittings for the uninitiated.

“Queenstown has done well to propel itself as a world-class alpine option for travellers, and we are very proud to be leading the luxury charge with this acknowledgement.”

World Ski Awards Managing Director Sion Rapson launched the World Ski Awards in 2013 with the aim to drive up standards within the ski industry and reward the organisations that are leaders in their field.

“Ski tourism’s highest accolade is truly deserved and rewards each winner’s commitment to excellence,” Rapson said.

The hotel is part of the Imperium Collection, a collective of accommodation and dining offers including the newly opened Grille restaurant, the soon to be opened $10,000 per night Penthouse, The Spire Hotel, Eichardt’s Private Hotel, Eichardt’s Bar, Eichardt’s Lakefront Apartments, Eichardt’s Residence and No5 Church Lane Restaurant and Bar.

Eichardt’s Private Hotel and The Spire Hotel were named New Zealand’s Best Luxury Suite Hotel and New Zealand’s Best Luxury Romantic Hotel respectively at the World Luxury Hotel Awards, the sister ceremony to the World Ski Awards, held in Qatar last month.

Rates at Eichardt’s Private Hotel start from NZ$1,250 per night for one-bedroom Apartments and NZ$1,700 for Suites. The hotel will officially open its doors to an ultra-luxury rooftop abode – aptly named The Penthouse – in December 2016.

Commanding NZD$10,000 per night for its sweeping 180° view over Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu, exquisite design and VIP service, The Penthouse is the prize jewel in the Eichardt’s $6 million development, which also includes a brand new restaurant, The Grille by Eichardt’s, and two lavish Hotel Lake View Suites.

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Gastronomical talent, distinctly local flavour, unrivalled luxury

Introducing The Grille by Eichardt’s

With its spectacular landscape trumped only by its adventurous food and wine scene, Queenstown has further cemented its reputation as an educated diner’s dream with the grand opening of Eichardt’s Private Hotel’s new premium restaurant – The Grille by Eichardt’s.

The Grille, boasting an all-day bistro, lunch bar and cocktail lounge, officially opens its doors late-October in prime position on Queenstown’s waterfront, with unobstructed views across the Wakatipu and snow-capped peaks beyond.

The restaurant’s preview of tempting dishes and sophisticated cocktails is no surprise given Executive Chef Will Eaglesfield’s reputation as mastermind behind some of the tastiest menus in New Zealand and abroad.

“We’ll be continuing the same ethos we use in our tapas; everything homemade as much as possible, the best meat from pampered animals, our home-grown produce, every dish a labour of love. But with the brand new kitchen tricked out for curing, smoking and grilling we’ll be taking it up a notch.”

While British-born Eaglesfield’s international experience (including stints in London, the French Alps and the Mediterranean) inspires the colours and flavours of his dishes, The Grille’s menu is a clear reflection of his passion for authentic local produce.

“The crayfish meatballs, for example, are chargrilled for a little extra smoky flavour and served with handmade tagliatelle and a rich tomato broth infused with Otago-grown saffron. This menu really is unique in the sense it offers locally foraged produce and distinctly Queenstown flavours, with a splash of worldly indulgence,” Eaglesfield explains.

In true Eichardt’s style, the design of the new restaurant is as impressive as the menu – award winning architect Michael Wyatt combining the elegance of Oamaru natural stone with weathered and exposed steel to create a façade like no other.

Inside, the slate tile floor has been carefully chosen to match Eichardt’s Private Bar’s atrium while rich, dark stained timber panels adorn the walls and ceiling. Bevelled mirrors, floating shelves and antique wall lights – along with sumptuous leather banquettes – complete the perfect setting for guests to enjoy one of The Grille’s signature cocktails as the sun goes down.

Tom Macaulay, General Manager Food & Beverage, said the laneway end of The Grille will also feature a large communal table and lunch bar with stool seating – perfect for the quick corporate lunch.

“We envisage the six seater communal table to be very popular with its generous ice well – think oysters, bubbles and beer on ice. For those with limited time, there will also be a selection of fresh open sandwiches for dine in or takeaway, from venison prosciutto, tomato, hummus & dukkah to brisket, mustard & caramelised onion.”

The perfect balance of old-world opulence and modern design, The Grille will effectively link Eichardt’s Private Hotel with the new development, which will also soon be home to Eichardt’s uber-luxury ‘Penthouse’ suites and international retail giants Louis Vuitton and World Boutique.

The Grille, part of the Imperium Collection, joins an impressive list of names under the Eichardt’s family banner including Eichardt’s Private Hotel & Bar, The Spire Hotel and No5 Church Lane. Macaulay said the long-anticipated opening of the new restaurant represents a major achievement for the Imperium Collection as well as the region itself.

“We’re thrilled to be able to share this destination restaurant with locals and tourists alike. Queenstown is evolving at such a rapid pace and we’re proud to offer guests an unrivalled hospitality experience, whether it be settling in for a private Parlour dining experience, holing up with a pinot at the Eichardt’s Bar, or indulging in some of the regions finest delicacies at The Grille,” says Macaulay.

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New Zealand’s premier Penthouse to entice a new class of experience seeker

New Zealand’s most exclusive hotel offering, Eichardt’s Private Hotel’s ultra-luxury rooftop abode – aptly named “The Penthouse” – will officially open its doors on 1 December 2016.

Commanding NZD$10,000 per night for its sweeping 180 view over Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu, exquisite design and VIP service, The Penthouse is the prize jewel in the Marine Parade $6 million development, which also includes a brand new bistro, ‘The Grille by Eichardt’s’ and two lavish Hotel Lake View Suites to complement the Louis Vuitton and World boutiques.

In true Eichardt’s style, The Penthouse (accessed by private elevator) oozes elegance with its terrace spa, in-suite sauna, 24/7 butler service, pre-dinner cocktail amenity complete with whiskey bar and afterhours private Louis Vuitton shopping experience. Guests will also enjoy Krug Champagne refreshed daily, deluxe toiletries, commercial grade kitchen, private chef and Land Rover with driver at their disposal.

With significant interest and a number of pre-bookings from discerning international guests ahead of its christening, The Penthouse (part of the Imperium Collection of luxury boutique hotels owned by Christchurch NZ-born, Melbourne, Australia-based businessman Andrew Cox) presents a unique accommodation experience for Queenstown.

“We’re preparing for a new class of traveller,” Cox explains.

“With a small yet powerful group of discerning guests heading to Queenstown on a regular basis, often by private plane, The Penthouse is a natural extension of Eichardt’s luxury offering and is sure to make an entrance to the market like no other.”

The completion of the development, including 700sqm dedicated to high end retail, is eagerly anticipated by business and tourism leaders, as well as the Queenstown community.

Before construction, the entire development underwent archaeological excavation in order to discover and preserve the unique heritage of the area and of the Wakatipu Basin.

“The Penthouse is a calculated reflection of Eichardt’s history as well as the natural beauty and distinctive energy of the region,” says Cox.

“It is testament to Queenstown’s reputation as one of the world’s finest destinations. Our first-class events, warm culture and unparalleled natural surroundings have helped to put New Zealand on the global map, and with Eichardt’s ever-expanding luxury hospitality offering, we’re certainly keeping pace with the likes of London, New York and Paris,” he concludes.

The hotel’s General Manager James Cavanagh is excited to add the ultra-luxury offer to the alpine town.

“Queenstown is an obvious choice for a growing number of influential guests from Australia, the Americas and Europe looking to enjoy stunning scenery, authentic cuisine, fine wine, unique activities and experiences from this corner.

“We offer a sense of privacy that no other destination in the world can compete with,” says James.

Rates for the 240sqm (plus 100sqm balcony) penthouse suites are from NZD$10,000 per night including taxes, with the two additional Lakefront Suites available for NZD$1950 per night. Reservations are officially open from 1 December 2016.

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Imperium Collection - Media Releases

Queenstown’s preeminent Eichardt’s unlocks sweeping Lake Wakatipu penthouse

Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the incomparable Eichardt’s Private Hotel will in late 2016 open its floor to ceiling curtains to a 180 view of Lake Wakatipu thanks to a stunning penthouse extension.

The penthouse, with rates of up to $10,000 NZD per night, will join an award-winning assortment of offers from the hotelier including Eichardt’s Lakefront Apartments, Eichardt’s Private Hotel, the Eichardt’s Residence, Eichardt’s Bar and The Parlour that each exemplify the beauty of the area combined with an unrivalled hotel experience.

Guests of the penthouse, occupying one of the most highly valued pieces of real estate on Queenstown’s waterfront, can enjoy an immersive luxury offer that includes Krug Champagne refreshed daily, a Land Rover and driver on call throughout the visit, pre-dinner cocktail amenity complete with whiskey bar, private dining options and a hosted afterhours one on one Louis Vuitton shopping experience in the label’s store just downstairs.

The expansion takes the luxury hotel’s capacity to 7 suites, in addition to the 240sqm penthouse suite (plus 100sqm rooftop terrace) featuring a commercial grade kitchen primed for private chef usage, a sauna, spa and even a powder room with uninhibited views across the picture-perfect lake.

The new accommodation interiors perfectly meld the old world the site is known for with the modern edge of the expansion featuring an exterior of local Oamaru stone and exposed steel.

Linking internally with the original Eichardt’s, guests will be able to discreetly enter the famous Bar and private Parlour area that each serve as a lush window to while away an afternoon après ski or post hike.

At the Bar, guests are invited to sip the area’s finest pinot noir or expand their cocktail horizons courtesy of the extensive wait staff, all the while drinking in the snowy peaks and nature beyond. Enjoying the locally foraged and sourced tastes of New Zealand on the tapas menu of executive chef Will Eaglesfield is likewise a rite of passage. Visitors are well versed to try the chowder we hear.

Eichardt’s Private Hotel accommodation rates start from $1,250 per night. Eichardt’s Penthouse rates are POA.
http://www.eichardts.com/

About Eichardt’s
Eichardt’s is the most awarded private hotel in New Zealand.

Having received many global awards for excellence in the luxury travel and hospitality industry, the hotel has been named one of the top eight ‘forever fabulous hotels in the world’ by Tatler Magazine and the Bar one of the ‘Top 10 bars with a view’ by the Times of London.

Recent accolades for the offer include the title of New Zealand’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel for the third year running at the World Ski Awards held in Kitzbuhel, Austria (sister organisation of the World Travel Awards).

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Imperium Collection - Media Releases

The Spire Named Top in Class at World Luxury Hotel Awards

The Spire Hotel has once again proved itself to be top of the list from the bottom of the world by winning Australia and Oceania’s Best Luxury Suite Hotel at a gala dinner held on the 24th of October for the 2015 World Luxury Hotel Awards.

Each year the awards are voted on by hotel guests from around the world, meeting strict criteria on all levels of service, location and amenity against hotels both multi-national and boutique.

Hotel owner Andrew Cox is thrilled that the team can celebrate the service improvements they have employed since his Imperium Group took over ownership in 2014.

“The staff have worked to appeal to discerning travellers looking for expert advice, as well as hosting the best in couples retreats, group stays and conferences,” Cox says.

“Of late, our offer has been geared to appeal to the next generation of travellers who flock to Queenstown for both the thrill in the surrounding snowy peaks and the area’s renowned ‘Southern’ hospitality scene.  These people are increasing in numbers every year and the fact that The Spire and our onsite bar and food offer No5 Church Lane stand out in this crowded industry is a testament to their hard work and perseverance.”

The hotel is part of the Imperium Collection, a collective of accommodation and dining offers including Eichardt’s Private Hotel, Eichardt’s Bar, Eichardt’s Lakefront Apartments, Eichardt’s Residence and No5 Church Lane Restaurant and Bar.

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.

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Imperium Collection - Media Releases

Imperium collection appoints royal tour guide

The Imperium Collection has appointed Tom Macaulay as its General Manager of food and beverage as it undertakes further expansion plans that cater to the increased high net worth demand in New Zealand’s premier alpine town.

Tom has most recently spent eight years as the operations and bistro manager of award-winning Amisfield Winery Bistro in Queenstown, where he notably escorted the visiting Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Prince William and his wife Catherine – on their 2014 tour downunder.

The collective of luxury Queenstown accommodation and dining offers, that includes Eichardt’s Private Hotel, Eichardt’s Bar, Eichardt’s Lakefront Apartments, Eichardt’s Residence and No5 Church Lane Restaurant and Bar, has most recently announced a $10,000 per night Eichardt’s Penthouse with sweeping lake views currently under construction in the $6 million development next to the property.

The Eichardt’s Penthouse will also have a balcony space available for private functions that utilise its commercial kitchen and unrivalled vista across Lake Wakatipu to the snow-capped Remarkables beyond.

No stranger to the pursuit of excellence, during Tom’s time at Amisfield Bistro the restaurant won Cuisine Magazine’s Winery Restaurant of the Year three times and was awarded two chef’s hats.  He will be using his many years of experience to oversee the function opportunities for the current and new offers, streamline the group’s food and beverage operations as well as develop a new hospitality venture to be announced later this year.

Imperium Collection owner Andrew Cox is impressed with Tom’s credentials, noting he believes Tom brings a wealth of best business practice and top-end service nous to the table.

“When planning our expansion of the Eichardt’s Hotel footprint and the upcoming hospitality addition, we identified that Tom had the local know-how and the international attention to detail that our guests expect, so we are thrilled that he has joined the fold.”

Tom is likewise well-prepped for the discerning clientele, noting “the sector of travellers and diners that the Imperium Collection cater to know what they want. These people choose Queenstown because it offers a unique experience to share with their networks.

“I’m looking forward to enhancing an offer that melds understated luxury, safety, food, wine and activities which no other destination in the world can compete with.”

Source: National Business Review

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Acquisition - Imperium Sports - Media Releases

Imperium’s newly acquired ‘Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Team’ is the Sporting States only ‘truly International’ Sporting team

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) have today confirmed the sale of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Limited (MRRU) to Imperium Sports Management Pty Ltd (ISM).

ISM will acquire all shares in the MRRU, the company that controls the Melbourne Rebels, from 1 July, 2015.

As part of the Imperium Group, ISM is led by local Melbourne businessman Andrew Cox and former Melbourne Heart Chairman Peter Sidwell. Both Cox and Sidwell bring a unique combination of business and sports administration experience, and have a proven track record of successful transformation of under-performing businesses and brand management.

Speaking on behalf of ISM, Andrew Cox said, “We know Melbourne is the perfect city to have its very own Rugby team. There are over 125 years of Rugby history in this state and the support for the Rebels in just five seasons is extremely encouraging.

“We’re excited about the opportunity we have to re-engage with the Victorian Rugby community and form a deeper connection with our fans by delivering better Rugby experiences at AAMI Park.

“With the expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016, we are looking forward to showcasing Melbourne across the world through new markets including Asia and South America.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said, “Throughout the negotiations with the Imperium Group, we have been most impressed with both Andrew Cox and Peter Sidwell and their vision for the growth of Rugby in Victoria.
“We, along with the VRU, are pleased that the Rebels’ new owners share the values of the ARU and the Foundation Rebels Shareholders, and will look to continue to strengthen the development of Rugby in Victoria in partnership with the VRU.”

President of the VRU Tim North said, “As a Rugby community we are very fortunate that the new owners of the Rebels are passionate about the VRU’s growth strategies and local pathways.
“Under the sale agreement, the Melbourne Rebels and VRU will continue to operate as separate businesses, although remaining strongly linked to continue to drive the local game for men and women in Club Rugby, Victorian Schools Rugby Union (VSRU) and Rugby Sevens.”

As a result of the transaction, Melbourne Rebels CEO Peter Leahy has stepped aside with Andrew Cox assuming the Managing Director position effective immediately.
MRRU Chairman Jonathan Ling will continue to chair the Melbourne Rebels Advisory Board, along with a number of current MRRU directors.

Today’s announcement comes after a historic year for the Rebels, having recorded more wins in a single season (seven) than ever before.
A number of ‘firsts’ for the Rebels has been achieved along the way, including a first ever overseas victory against the seven-time Super Rugby champion Crusaders in Round One, and five Rebels players have been selected in the Preliminary Qantas Wallabies Squad for The Rugby Championship in July.

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Acquisition - Imperium Sports - Media Releases

ARU CONFIRM SALE OF MELBOURNE REBELS TO IMPERIUM SPORTS MANAGEMENT

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) have today confirmed the sale of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Limited (MRRU) to Imperium Sports Management Pty Ltd (ISM).

ISM will acquire all shares in the MRRU, the company that controls the Melbourne Rebels, from 1 July, 2015.

As part of the Imperium Group, ISM is led by local Melbourne businessman Andrew Cox and former Melbourne Heart Chairman Peter Sidwell. Both Cox and Sidwell bring a unique combination of business and sports administration experience, and have a proven track record of successful transformation of under-performing businesses and brand management.

Speaking on behalf of ISM, Andrew Cox said, “We know Melbourne is the perfect city to have its very own Rugby team. There are over 125 years of Rugby history in this state and the support for the Rebels in just five seasons is extremely encouraging.

“We’re excited about the opportunity we have to re-engage with the Victorian Rugby community and form a deeper connection with our fans by delivering better Rugby experiences at AAMI Park.

“With the expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016, we are looking forward to showcasing Melbourne across the world through new markets including Asia and South America.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said, “Throughout the negotiations with the Imperium Group, we have been most impressed with both Andrew Cox and Peter Sidwell and their vision for the growth of Rugby in Victoria.

“We, along with the VRU, are pleased that the Rebels’ new owners share the values of the ARU and the Foundation Rebels Shareholders, and will look to continue to strengthen the development of Rugby in Victoria in partnership with the VRU.”

President of the VRU Tim North said, “As a Rugby community we are very fortunate that the new owners of the Rebels are passionate about the VRU’s growth strategies and local pathways.

“Under the sale, the Melbourne Rebels and VRU will continue to operate as separate businesses, although remaining strongly linked to continue to drive the local game for men and women in Club Rugby, Victorian Schools Rugby Union (VSRU) and Rugby Sevens.”

As a result of the transaction, Melbourne Rebels CEO Peter Leahy has stepped aside with Andrew Cox assuming the Managing Director position effective immediately.

MRRU Chairman Jonathan Ling will continue to chair the Melbourne Rebels Advisory Board, along with a number of current MRRU directors.

Today’s announcement comes after a historic year for the Rebels, having recorded more wins in a single season (seven) than ever before.

A number of ‘firsts’ for the Rebels has been achieved along the way, including a first ever overseas victory against the seven-time Super Rugby champion Crusaders in Round One, and five Rebels players being selected in the Preliminary Qantas Wallabies Squad for The Rugby Championship in July.

Imperium Sports Management Ltd owners Andrew Cox and Peter Sidwell will be available for media tomorrow, Friday 19 June from 2:30pm at AAMI Park.

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Imperium Collection - Media Releases

Luxury Queenstown development boasts country’s most expensive room

One of the most highly valued pieces of real estate on Queenstown’s waterfront will be home to the country’s most expensive hotel suite, commanding up to $10,000 per night for sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounding peaks.

Skyline Enterprises has begun work on the $6 million, 781m2 high-end premium site in the heart of the resort town’s CBD, with neighbouring Eichardt’s Private Hotel announced as tenants for a penthouse apartment and two further Lakefront suites to meet ultra-high net worth visitor demand.

The expansion takes the luxury hotel’s capacity to 7 suites, with the 240sqm penthouse suite (plus 100sqm balcony) featuring a commercial grade kitchen primed for private chef usage, two suites each with ensuites, a sauna, spa and even a powder room with uninhibited views across the picture-perfect lake.

Eichardt’s Private Hotel is part of the Imperium Collection of luxury boutique hotels, owned by Christchurch-born, Melbourne-based businessman Andrew Cox.

Cox was quick to recognise that Queenstown is seen as a key New Zealand gateway to premium visitors, and most recently purchased nearby New York style boutique property The Spire Hotel to add to his mix of exclusive, small and luxurious hotels, apartments, a private residence and restaurants within the group.

“Obviously we are talking to a very small yet powerful group of guests. These people value privacy however they want to be in the thick of the action and with all the amenity of home.

“They choose Queenstown because it offers them what money can’t buy – a unique experience to share with their networks that melds understated luxury, safety, food, wine and activities that no other destination in the world can compete with,” says Cox.

The hotel has seen its capacity consistently stretched as the ultra-rich – and their gatekeepers – have made Queenstown a must-visit destination on their travels, where families often travel for months at a time by private plane or super-yacht.

Last May a private jet terminal was opened in Queenstown to cope with the large volume of private planes frequenting the alpine town, primarily transporting occupants from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

“Our guests want to fly in and out with relative anonymity. It’s important that our packages can be tailored to meet the whole group’s varying needs whether that be heli-skiing on untouched powder to the latest beauty treatment taken in their private quarters.

“When they go home, word spreads fast of the level of comfort in these circles, and it made sense to add a new dimension to Eichardt’s to meet demand,” Cox adds.

Skyline Enterprises CEO Jeff Staniland says the location and opportunity of the development is unmatched providing a ringside seat at the best view in town.

“Queenstown is known for its forward-thinking and considered hospitality, and we have been careful to reflect the history of Eichardt’s in our modern design. It is exciting that this world-class hotel is a key part of our development, and we look forward to announcing our retail partners in due course.”

The new accommodation interiors will likewise mirror the expert eye of Virginia Fisher seen at the current hotel however will integrate well with the modern edge of the expansion. This is in keeping with the Michael Wyatt-designed exterior of the new build which shows a façade clad primarily in Oamaru stone, while further along Church Street it will feature weathered and exposed steel.

The building design includes decks and terraces at the upper levels, with the deck at the upper floor level enabling that part of the building to be set back from Marine Parade so it does not dominate the street.

The foyer entrance melds the old with the new and will be modified to provide a central and private gateway between the new build and the hotel’s well-known Bar and private guest Parlour.

“It’s about offering the next level of comfort seen at Eichardt’s currently with even more options to customise the experience. Privacy is key to the design and will offer a safe and very secure accommodation offer with unsurpassable views, the best of Queenstown literally below the doorstep and memories ready to be forged,” says Cox.

Tourism NZ focusses mirror the developer and hotelier’s vision, with $20 million of its budget tagged for the premium sector over the next four years.

Completion is expected in early 2016, with the hotel already having a booking for the New Year’s period that December through its luxury affiliate network. Rates for the penthouse suites are $10,000 per night, with the two additional Lakefront Suites available for $1950 per night.

The ground floor retail space of approximately 700sqm has been set aside for a cluster of high-end retail stores, the first floor for either premium office space or more retail.

In addition to the new accommodation options, Eichardt’s will also open a bistro restaurant at ground level of the new development to complement its world-famous Bar and cocktail list.

For further information visit http://www.eichardts.com/ or http://www.skyline.co.nz/

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Imperium Hospitality - Media Releases

DONCASTER RETURNS!

 

After 2 years, the much anticipated reopening of TGI Fridays Doncaster will be on October 7th. The restaurant and bar is located in the new premises on level 3 at Westfield Doncaster Shopping Centre. Doncaster’s reopening will be the 10th TGI Fridays in Australia.

TGI Fridays Doncaster is the fifth new TGI Fridays restaurant to open in 24 months (Westfield Fountain Gate September 2012, Melbourne Central June 2013, Southbank September 2013 and Macquarie October 2013).

Andrew Cox the group’s owner and Managing Director says “TGI Fridays is entering a very exciting growth phase in Australia and New Zealand. We have a strong development pipeline and plans to open a number of new restaurants over the next five years primarily in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand. Imperium Capital Group was awarded the title of International Developer of the Year, by TGI Fridays Inc in 2013. As a result of new restaurant openings, TGI Fridays has created approximately 418 jobs in the last 24 months”.

TGI Fridays prides itself on providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and original recipes. TGI Fridays is renowned for their World Famous Burgers, Buffalo wings, Jack Daniel’s Grill, Loaded Potato Skins and their legendary Happy Hour. All menu items are prepared fresh daily and cooked to order.

 

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Imperium Collection - Media Releases

Eichardt’s Private Hotel crowned New Zealand’s best

Queenstown’s iconic luxury boutique hotel – Eichardt’s Private Hotel – has been crowned New Zealand’s best hotel at the HM Awards, the annual industry awards recognising excellence in hospitality and hotel management across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Presented in front of 400 senior industry professionals at Friday’s gala dinner in Sydney, the award joins other accolades for the hotel including Tatler’s Magazine’s ‘forever fabulous hotels in the world’ which named Eichardt’s Private Hotel as one of the top 8 in the world and ‘Best Luxury Ski Resort Hotel for 2013’ at the World Luxury Hotel Awards among others.

With strong competition against New Zealand’s best hotels, owner Andrew Cox believes that it is the property’s focus on individuality and bespoke service that set it apart.

“Our custom offer and passion for excellence to deliver a truly unique experience to every guest has enabled the whole Eichardt’s team to achieve industry recognition for the amazing job they do. We strive to be one of the great hotels in the world and it’s a proud moment to have the team recognised for their commitment to excellence across all aspects of our offer,” says Cox.

Suites at Eichardt’s Private Hotel start from $1,250. The property sits within owner Andrew Cox’ Imperium Collection, a collective of premier accommodation and hospitality offerings.

Other finalists in the ‘Best New Zealand Hotel’ category were:
Crowne Plaza Auckland
Crowne Plaza Queenstown
Hilton Auckland
Hilton Queenstown
Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown
Novotel Auckland Airport
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa
The George, Christchurch
The Langham, Auckland
The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments, Queenstown

For further information visit http://www.eichardts.com/

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Acquisition - Imperium Collection - Media Releases

The Imperium Group acquires The Spire Hotel

Imperium Group, owned by Melbourne-based New Zealander Andrew Cox, has acquired the leasehold rights to boutique property The Spire Hotel in Queenstown to expand its hotel interests and take advantage of the global travel market’s growing appetite for luxury boutique accommodation.

The Spire Hotel is located in central Queenstown’s Church Lane and boasts 10 luxury rooms overlooking St Patricks Church with views to Lake Wakatipu. It has an in-house bar and restaurant known as No.5 Church Lane, and Boardroom conferencing facilities.

Imperium owner Andrew Cox says, “The Spire Hotel acquisition is a strategic opportunity to expand the product range of the Imperium Collection in Queenstown.

“The Imperium Collection offers travellers to Queenstown the choice of boutique city style accommodation at The Spire, a traditional luxury experience at Eichardt’s Private Hotel or the exclusivity of the separate Private Residence and Lake Front Apartments all tailored to the high-end luxury traveller. The Imperium Collection now encompasses twenty luxury suites catering to a broad range of tourism and business traveller needs.”

Cox is the owner and operator of the nearby Eichardt’s Private Hotel on the Wakatipu shoreline, and operates a diversified investment group of businesses across Australasia including the Australia and New Zealand TGI Friday’s master franchise, GarageSmart and Wardrobe World home storage solutions, and Australian Graphic Supplies (one of Australia’s largest import distributor of visual and signage graphics consumables and equipment).

The company revealed earlier this year that it is also assessing sites to expand its TGI Friday’s restaurant business into New Zealand, of which there are currently ten in Australia with one under construction.

The acquisition comes at a time of major expansion for the Imperium Group, which has plans to open a luxury boutique hotel similar to the Eichardt’s experience in the tightly held Auckland waterfront area.

“In the North Island we are in discussions with Auckland developers to establish an equally premium and exclusive hotel property on the Auckland Waterfront – a location that is certainly calling out for high end, design-focussed lodging with an emphasis on personalised service,” says Cox.

The recent announcement by Skyline Enterprises of an intended $6 million retail and mixed use development at the existing Eichardt’s Private Hotel signals potential further opportunity for the Imperium Group to expand its hotel operations with the tourism leader. It has been revealed a luxury penthouse apartment with extensive balconies is planned for the top floor of the development.

“It is exciting to see this level of invigoration and activity in New Zealand once again. We are very confident in the New Zealand tourism market and our hotel interests both in Queenstown and Auckland are geared for a long term focus of attracting discerning visitors who demand a premium product,” says Cox.

Suites at The Spire Hotel start from $550 per night, with rates at Eichardt’s Private Hotel starting from $1,250.

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Imperium Collection - Media Releases

Dishing up great views

The stunning landscapes and impressive accommodation of Queenstown are matched by its superb cuisine, writes Andrew Taylor.

In the adventure capital of New Zealand, it’s no surprise to discover the food dished up in Queenstown’s finest eateries has had its own wild ride to your plate.

Take the venison that Jonathan Rogers, the head chef at Matakauri Lodge, serves in front of a roaring fire in the lodge perched on the edge of Lake Wakatipu

A jigsaw of clouds floats in the sky while across the water lay the stunning Remarkables and the Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges, but the stories inside Rogers’ kitchen are just as dramatic.

Roaming the rugged terrain of New Zealand’s Fiordland, the wild venison is hunted from helicopters and brought fresh to Rogers’ kitchen.

“Yeah, it’s all pretty extreme around here,” says Rogers.

He’s not exaggerating. A five-star boutique hotel seven minutes’ drive from Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge’s inventive cuisine is matched by lovely accommodation, with eight cottages, three suites and the newly opened Owner’s Cottage offering an impressive, unfussy level of luxury.

The heated marble floor in the spacious bathroom wins my vote for comfort, while the deep bath with panoramic views of the lake and snow-capped mountains is also a highlight.

There’s also a spa, fitness centre, outdoor infinity swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and walking trails should the view and all those creature comforts ever get tiresome.

Matakauri achieves a good balance between privacy and conviviality. The communal areas inside the lodge invite conversation, especially with the young, friendly staff, but guests dine separately and it’s easy to hide away if solitude is preferred.

But admiring Rogers’ culinary chops turns into the perfect icebreaker when it comes to meeting other guests.

A champion of local and seasonal ingredients, Rogers changes the menu every day according to what he can hunt and gather from his army of suppliers.

An organic farm near Cromwell provides him with figs and berries, a wide variety of tomatoes, “beautiful” artichokes and “the best asparagus I’ve ever seen”.

He also singles out a merino producer in Cardrona Valley for supplying some of the best lamb he has cooked with.

Central Otago is renowned for its game, and Rogers’ menus also feature hare, rabbit, tahr, quails and pheasants.

“The diet’s different; the lambs are eating more tussocks and grasses and getting more exercise,” Rogers says. ‘The muscles are more developed, so the texture is different and the flavour better.

“I think as you mature as a chef you get more comfortable and you don’t need to show off with pointless garnishes,” he says.

Rogers’ canapes are true to his word, with watermelon tartare, kingfish with rice wafers and avocado puree and fried chicken an ideal way to begin dinner.

The mountains surrounding Queenstown are a magnet for thrillseekers, sightseers and filmmakers, but the stunning landscape also provides a rich bounty for the country’s top chefs, including two judges on MasterChef New Zealand.

A similar philosophy of using local and seasonal produce guides the menu at Rata (43 Ballarat Street; ratadining.co.nz), a stylish diner nestled next to the historic 1878 courthouse that is widely regarded as one of Queenstown’s best restaurants.

A forest photographed by owner Fleur Caulton’s husband spans one wall of the restaurant, which is decked out in polished stone and wood to reflect the surrounding Otago scenery.

The open kitchen provides glimpses of Josh Emett, the only Michelin-starred chef in New Zealand, who is a picture of concentration as a steady stream of delicacies are dished up to diners fresh off the ski slopes and the end of bungy ropes.

Rata’s menu changes daily according to what is in season, and even utilises what Caulton’s friends grow in their gardens.

“We get boxes of produce brought in daily by them. I’ve got three friends who grow Jerusalem artichokes, and they’ve got so many of them they could never eat them in a million years.”

Caulton and her staff are avid foragers, and the fruits of their labours can be seen in the jars of preserves lining shelves, the herbs that flavour dishes and the rocks that hold salt on each table.

Caulton and Emmett’s passion for food is matched by their love of the region, which is also shown by their support for Project Crimson, a charity that seeks to protect the endangered rata tree.

We graze happily on Stewart Island hapuka and Cloudy Bay clams, Otago wild rabbit terrine, merino lamb rump and smoked eel washed down with local wines.

Fortune favours the brave, and going off-piste with crispy duck tongues served with nectarine, edamame and radish also proves a tasty success.

“A few challenges are thrown out there,” Caulton says. “But we’re not trying to be cute or clever. We’re just saying these things can be eaten and are quite delicious.”

The mountain of black angus sirloin that confronts us the next evening at Jervois Steak House (Brecon Street, Lower Steps; jervoissteakhouse.co.nz) sets a culinary challenge of a different kind.

The saloon-style restaurant also boasts a judge of MasterChef New Zealand, Simon Gault, at its helm – a sign of Queenstown’s strength as a food destination – and bills itself as “the steak house to end all arguments”.

Conversation at our table certainly stops as we attack the very generous serves of tender beef. Farmed from around New Zealand, the menu features a range of cuts, from South Island rumps and eye fillets to T-bones from Turihaua Angus, near Gisborne. To accompany, there is an eye-watering range of sauce suggestions – gorgonzola mascarpone, brandy and green peppercorn, syrah and truffle jus, to name a few.

Many of Queenstown’s best eateries are also blessed with its finest views.

Perched on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, Eichardt’s Private Hotel (2 Marine Parade; Eichardts.com) is worth a visit for the views over Queenstown Bay and the Remarkables mountain range, and the historic building, let alone its culinary offerings.

Eichardt’s tapas menu by chef Will Eaglesfield again favours local produce – a highlight is the charcuterie board with wild boar ham and tahr salami, Fiordland wild hare and harissa-marinated Cardrona merino lamb ribs.

Offering boutique accommodation, the hotel also holds regular winemaker dinners, with its next five-course degustation dinner on March 21 hosted by Brian Dennis and Amisfield Estate Winery. A classy wine menu spruiks tipples from New Zealand’s wine-growing regions, plus a couple of Dom Perignon bubblies – $1195 for the 1988 vintage and $2750 for the 1976 bottle if you really want to celebrate.

Or test the barman’s mixing skills with one of the locally named concoctions from the cocktail menu. Eichardt’s mule and bloody mary are a local twist on familiar brews, while the Pimms lassi – Pimms, yoghurt, marmalade, pineapple juice and Tuaca vanilla liqueur – is a sweet surprise.

The writer was a guest of Matakauri Lodge.

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Imperium Hospitality - Media Releases

Kiwi to bring US chain to Auckland

A new waterfront boutique hotel and two American-style restaurants employing up to 150 people are planned for Auckland.

New Zealand-born multimillionaire Andrew Cox, 46, owns Queenstown’s award-winning Eichardt’s Private Hotel and has the Australasian franchise for restaurant chain TGI Friday’s.

He visited from Melbourne to look at leasing properties for the three new Auckland operations, saying the city presented him with big opportunities.

“New Zealand has absolutely turned a corner economically. It’s always been a destination but there’s a real vibe here now,” he said.

He is eyeing up three CBD waterfront sites for his new 15- to 20-room hotel which will be owned and operated by his Imperium Capital Group. That hotel will be of similar quality to Eichardt’s, he said.

“I’m looking at a CBD location and a suburban location for TGI Friday’s, so traditionally I locate them in shopping malls by cinemas or in free-standing CBD-type locations,” he said.

TGI Friday’s restaurants employ on average 80 people each and have annual revenue of about $6 million. Cox operates nine outlets in Australia but is expanding there too.

“We’re building one to two a year. The most recent is in the Macquarie Centre in North Ryde in Sydney.”

Cox is considering buying another hotel in Queenstown, saying the location had been extremely successful for Eichardt’s.

In Australia, he employs more than 700 people and Imperium – owned by founder Cox and his wife, Sarah – has annual revenue of more than A$100 million ($108.4 million).

Extra: Words by Anne Gibson

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Imperium Hospitality - Media Releases

FRIDAY’S COMES TO SYDNEY!

TGI Fridays Asia Pacific will officially open its first bar and restaurant in Sydney, at Macquarie Shopping Centre, North Ryde 15 minutes from downtown Sydney, on the 22nd October. The new restaurant and bar will be the 9th TGI Fridays in Australia.

TGI Fridays Macquarie is the fourth new TGI Fridays restaurant to open in 12 months (Westfield Fountain Gate September 2012, Melbourne Central June 2013 and Freshwater Place September 2013).

Andrew Cox the group’s owner and Managing Director says “TGI Fridays is entering a very exciting growth phase in Australia and New Zealand. We have a strong development pipeline and plans to open a minimum of two restaurants per year over the next five years primarily in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand. Imperium Capital Group was awarded the title of International Franchisee of the Year, by TGI Fridays Inc in 2012. I am very proud of the fact that the new Macquarie restaurant has created approximately 80 full and part-time positions and I anticipate each new restaurant opening to create a similar number of employment opportunities going forward”.

TGI Fridays prides itself on providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and original recipes. TGI Fridays is renowned for their World Famous Burgers, Buffalo wings, Jack Daniel’s Grill, Loaded Potato Skins and their legendary Happy Hour. All menu items are prepared fresh daily and cooked to order.

TGI Fridays Asia Pacific other Melbourne restaurants are located at the Jam Factory South Yarra, Forest Hill Chase, Epping Plaza, Westfield Fountain Gate, Westfield Southland, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre and Freshwater Place, Southbank. Westfield Marion is the first South Australian location.

TGI Friday’s Australia is part of the Imperium Capital Group of businesses (www.imperium.com.au).

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Imperium Hospitality - Media Releases

TGI FRIDAY’S OPENS IN SOUTHBANK

TGI Fridays Asia Pacific will officially open its second CBD restaurant and bar at Freshwater Place, Southbank on the 24th September. The new restaurant and bar will be the 8th TGI Fridays in Australia.

TGI Fridays Freshwater Place is the third new TGI Fridays restaurant to open in 12 months (Westfield Fountain Gate September 2012 and Melbourne Central June 2013). The owner of TGI Friday’s, Imperium Capital Group intends to open two additional restaurants in 2013 included the first Sydney TGI Fridays at Macquarie Centre, North Ryde and at Westfield Doncaster.

Andrew Cox the group’s owner and Managing Director says “TGI Fridays is entering a very exciting growth phase in Australia and New Zealand. We have a strong development pipeline and plans to open a minimum of two restaurants per year over the next five years primarily in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand. Imperium Capital Group was awarded the title of International Franchisee of the Year, by TGI Fridays Inc in 2012. I am very proud of the fact that the new Freshwater Place restaurant has created approximately 80 full and part-time positions and I anticipate each new restaurant opening to create a similar number of employment opportunities going forward”.

TGI Fridays prides itself on providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and original recipes. TGI Fridays is renowned for their World Famous Burgers, Buffalo wings, Jack Daniel’s Grill, Loaded Potato Skins and their legendary Happy Hour. All menu items are prepared fresh daily and cooked to order.

TGI Fridays Asia Pacific other Melbourne restaurants are located at the Jam Factory South Yarra, Forest Hill Chase, Epping Plaza, Westfield Fountain Gate, Westfield Southland and Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. Westfield Marion is the first South Australian location.

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FRIDAY’S HITS MELBOURNE CENTRAL

T.G.I. Friday’s Asia Pacific officially opened its first CBD restaurant and bar tomorrow at Melbourne Central. The new restaurant and bar will be the Seventh T.G.I. Friday’s to open in Australia and brings another truly international brand to GPT owned Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. The restaurant and bar is located on level three in the Melbourne Central Entertainment and Leisure Precinct.

T.G.I Friday’s Melbourne Central is the second new T.G.I Friday’s restaurant to open in 12 months (Westfield Fountain Gate September 2012). The owner of T.G.I. Friday’s Imperium Capital Group intends to open three additional restaurants in 2013 included the first Sydney T.G.I. Friday’s at Macquarie Centre, North Ryde.

Andrew Cox the group’s owner and Managing Director says “TGI Friday’s is entering a very exciting growth phase in Australia and New Zealand. We have a strong development pipeline and plans to open a minimum of two restaurants per year over the next three years primarily in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand. Imperium Capital Group was awarded the title of International Franchisee of the Year, by T.G.I Friday’s Inc in 2012. I am very proud of the fact that the new Melbourne Central restaurant has created approximately 80 full and part-time positions and I anticipate each new restaurant opening to create a similar number of employment opportunities going forward”.

Justin Shannon, General Manager, Melbourne Central confirmed the Centre is delighted to be the first CBD location for the iconic restaurant and bar.

“Melbourne Central’s Entertainment and Leisure Precinct is a growing lifestyle hub in the heart of the CBD, providing city residents, tourists and students with a strong line-up of iconic brands to enjoy. We are thrilled to be the first inner city location for the brand and are confident that by welcoming T.G.I Friday’s to the mix will further compliments the current offering and enhance the shoppers experience whilst in the Centre,” Shannon said.

T.G.I. Friday’s prides itself on providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and original recipes. T.G.I. Friday’s is renowned for their World Famous Burgers, Buffalo Wings, Jack Daniel’s Grill, Loaded Potato Skins, and their legendary Happy Hour. All menu items are prepared fresh daily and cooked to order.

T.G.I. Friday’s Asia Pacific other restaurants are located at the Jam Factory South Yarra, Forest Hill Chase, Epping Plaza, Westfield Fountain Gate and Westfield Southland and Westfield Marion in South Australia.

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Imperium Home Solutions - Media Releases

GarageSmart tackles the last frontier in home improvement

Australian-owned GarageSmart Asia Pacific Pty Ltd (“GarageSmart”) is helping families de-clutter their homes by offering a storage solution to better utilize previously wasted space.  “The GarageSmart storage solution is the nation’s leader in complete garage fit-outs and we are giving Australians back their garages,” said GarageSmart Group General Manager, Mr. Hague Shier.

GarageSmart’s customized garage fit-outs are a highly effective solution to the familiar chaos of household garages, and add value, style and organisation to the entire home.  The GarageSmart products are tough, stain resistant and virtually maintenance free and will be the envy of any neighbourhood.

“The average garage is approximately 15-20 per cent of a home’s floor space and is often so poorly used that the family car (s) is parked on the street or in the driveway.  The GarageSmart solution will enable you to hang, shelve and store-away items usually cluttering up the floor of your garage (or shed) such as bikes, golf clubs, surfboards, garden tools, ladders, picnic chairs, hoses/chords, hardware items, paint tins, home office, and other items – storing them safely and making them easily accessible,” said Mr. Shier.

The GarageSmart solution utilizes innovative wall panels that are securely fitted to open-studs, and brick or plastered walls.  Completely movable shelves, hooks and baskets are easily attached in a flexible configuration, and a range of cabinets and other accessories provide a complete garage storage solution that will meet homeowners changing storage needs.

GarageSmart believes the Australian home renovation and improvement market will achieve very strong growth similar to that experienced in the United States (“USA”).  “Demand for storage solutions in the USA is attributable to residential downsizing by the aging population; increasing inner city housing density; and vibrant home renovation activity.  These are relevant social and economic factors that will drive Australian household demand for our garage storage solutions.  The Australian home has historically been a very good investment and our solution adds to the value of the home,” said Mr. Shier.

GarageSmart has made the customer purchase process simple and friendly.  GarageSmart planners visit a customer to provide an obligation-free quote for the best solution to meet their garage storage needs.  GarageSmart solutions start from $500 and the average complete solution of a standard garage is approximately $2,500.  The typical installation process takes between half a day and two days.

New home builders are also able to purchase and self-install the wall panel as an alternative to lining garages with plasterboard.  The adaptability of the GarageSmart solution means that it is well suited to all storage spaces within the home including attics, cellars, stairwells, and laundries.

Purchase enquiries can be made toll-free through 1300 723 917, or through www.garagesmart.com.au.

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