International chain Langham Hotels and Auckland developer Brent Gibson have sealed an agreement they say will bring one of the "world's greatest high-end tourism experiences" to Waiheke Island.
Langham Hotels International chairman Lo Ka Shui and Mr Gibson yesterday cemented a $50 million deal to develop what they claim will be the country's first five-star, internationally rated, boutique vineyard resort and spa.
Doors are scheduled to open to the 78-room Tuscan-themed resort called Langham Place in mid-2010.
Dr Lo said Waiheke presented the chain with an "unparalleled opportunity" to break into the untapped niche market for wine tourism in New Zealand. The development will feature condominium-style rooms and suites, gym, tennis courts, restaurant and a wine estate.
Mr Gibson said a trading bank was supporting the project.
Auckland practice CDA Architecture has drawn up the plans that incorporate sustainability and eco-tourism. Interiors will showcase local art, Mr Gibson said.
Mr Gibson said the development was " completely different to resort locations like Queenstown, Rotorua or Taupo where you're one of several hotels".
"This is the only resort on an iconic island close to the major city in New Zealand."
The resort will be marketed as a luxury experience for high-end tourists, but pricing of accommodation remains "some way off".
The chain has existing properties in Hong Kong and Thailand with three more scheduled for opening in 2008/09 in China.
- The Dominion Post
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