Kia ora, I am Chris. By summer I am a professional fly
fishing guide, and by winter your friendly concierge at The Rees Hotel Queenstown.
I fell in love with Queenstown the first time I visited
15 years ago. The vastly contrasting seasons, vibrant, friendly locals and the
proximity to so many fun activities, dining options, world renowned vineyards
and wild and scenic outdoors opportunities.
But enough about me, lets see what my colleagues at The
Rees have been up to this winter so far.
William and Clare shredding it up at Cardrona
While the boys went to see what was on the other
Lillian conquered Treble Cone
Whilst Sabrina took the easy way out with
And Chris joined Southern Lakes Hunting Guides
for a wander around Mt Cook
So follow us on Facebook, keep current with the Blog and
please do not hesitate to contact us to see how we can put you in the picture.
The Rob Roy Gorge cuts a swath through the mountainside, highlighting the true power of nature over thousands of years.
The walk takes about 2.5 hours each way and is littered with views of mighty waterfalls, soaring cliffs and glacial moraine in a collection unsurpassed in one place anywhere in the world. But it's not just tranquil scenery - our adventure had a slice of drama! Whilst we were walking towards the Glacier we heard a thunderous noise as a huge chunk of ice broke away and crashed to the valley floor in a show of epic proportions. Amazing! We had lunch seated on rocks, with the Glacier and Waterfalls right in front of us. It definitely took my experience of picnicking to new levels! The great thing about the Southern Lakes region is that it is ideal to visit all four seasons of the year- and the Rob Roy Glacier is no exception. While absolutely stunning to visit in winter, with the abundance of snow and ice, I must say the contrast of ice against the vibrant greenery and clear summer skies was utterly breathtaking. The pictures don't do it justice, it's definitely a site you need to see first-hand!
It’s getting cold here, but Winter doesn’t officially start in Queenstown until the fireworks erupt over Lake Wakatipu. Yes, it’s that time of year again and our town is busy preparing for the annual Winter Festival (WinterFest).
WinterFest is a week jam-packed full of fun events, all to celebrate the beginning of the snow season. This year, it starts on the 22nd of June and finishes on the 1st of July. The Rees Hotel is participating as a one of the major accommodation partners.
As there is so much on it can be a little overwhelming to pick which events to attend, so to help your out here are some of my recommendations.
The American Express Opening Party, complete with fireworks display, is something you don’t want to miss! It will be held at the Earnslaw Park from 5.30pm with the fireworks scheduled at 7 pm. Of course there will be music to keep you entertained as well as food stands.
For families with children, Saturday 23rd of June is the perfect day to get the most from the festival. There will be a parade at 11am in the CBD. Auckland Airport Family Fun Day will be held at the Earnslaw Park afterwards. Free to enter or just watch, the More Fm Birdman competition promises to be “wet, wild and totally out of control!” See the madness unfold as fearless thrill-seekers in ridiculous costumes launch themselves off Queenstown Wharf into the freezing cold waters of Lake Wakatipu. This adrenaline-charged event captures the true spirit of the Adventure Capital of the World!
The evening on the 29th will be the first evening of the Coronet Peak Night Ski season. It is a very surreal experience to be on the mountain with music and night sky, even if you are not an avid skier! The night ski continues on the 30th and every Friday and Saturday throughout the season.
The big finale on the 1st of July is the Auckland Airport International Mardi Gras and it’s just as unmissable as the Opening Ceremony. Queenstown’s streets will be filled with people celebrating the beginning of Winter with plenty of music, a parade, food, fun and excitement.
The full programme will available at the Concierge Desk during the Festival for your convenience.
Internationally, a Concierge is the modern term evolved from the traditional ‘Comte des Cierge’, originally a keeper commonplace among Palaces and Châteaus. Holders of the keys were hosts to VIPs. This is where Les Clefs d’Or golden keys come from.
After the golden keys ceremony we had a little celebration at Queenstown hot spot, Below Zero, a bar made almost entirely out of ice! Ice sculptures, including a cute penguin or two, decorate the place and a myriad of cocktails are available out of ‘glasses’ made entirely of ice. Refreshing! It’s a very relaxed atmosphere and exactly what we needed to wind down from all the excitement of the Les Clefs d’Or action.
Since wearing my golden key lapel pins on duty, I have had a lot of interesting reactions and feedback from guests. There have been plenty of questions as to what the golden keys mean and why I am wearing them. International and veteran travellers tend to recognise them straight away, and gravitate towards speaking to me as the keys are a trusted symbol.
There have even been a few special requests to speak to the "Concierge with the golden keys." It is heartening to see what a fantastic reputation Les Clefs d’Or has internationally and the positive experiences that many guests have obviously had with my fellow members.
A part of my new Les Clefs d’Or duties includes involvement in organising the 60th International Congress U.I.C.H Les Clefs d'Or in Queenstown for 2013. Guest numbers have been confirmed for approx. 450 members attending. With most of the hard work still ahead of us, I’m very excited to take on the challenge of welcoming such a huge group to our beautiful region of Queenstown. I am really proud to show the world what a jewel in the crown this place really is!
Filming has started for a brand new video of our Concierge service to show our guests just how much we really can help them plan the perfect holiday!
We have a wealth of hands-on experience and can tailor any request! Just ask the happy guest who I helped plan a very romantic surprise proposal for.
This guide to our Concierge services will be shown in every room so you can plan a few ideas while you are here, but it will also be sent with our prior arrival email to all of our guests well before check-in. We're hoping it'll inspire help you completely book your holiday activities well prior to arriving here!
Only the finest hotel Concierges throughout New Zealand achieve this and I'm proud to announce I was successful with my application to Les Clefs d’Or, New Zealand’s Hotel Concierge Society and am an accredited Les Clefs d’Or member of the Queenstown area.
Associated to the Union International Hotel Concierge ‘Les Clefs d’Or’, my new accreditation is recognised by the Crossed Golden Key lapel pins, which will be presented to me by my President of Les Clef d’Or Franz Staufer at a ceremony in January. I’ll wear these while on duty at the Concierge Desk
I now not only take my place as The Rees Hotel’s Head Concierge, but as an accredited Les Clefs d’Or member of the Queenstown area, joining the much respected Daniel Marsh at Millbrook, Fiona Lawson at Crowne Plaza, Bryan Wilkinson at Sofitel and Nathan Wise at The Hilton.
Mission Bay views - perks of my application!
This wealth of experience just goes to show the immense quality and talent of the Queenstown hospitality industry, which translates into a fantastic holiday experience for Queenstown visitors.
It is this great network of Concierges that will play host to the 60th International CongressU.I.C.HLes Clefsd'Or in Queenstown, New Zealand for 2013.
Queenstown, with it’s population of 15,000, will be a bit of a shock for international delegates, accustomed to conferences held in cities such as London and Toronto. But I am looking forward to introducing them to the endless offerings our small town has to give. For me, Queenstown trumps all the major cities any day.
The journey to becoming a member of Les Clefsd'Or - my knowledge of Queenstown has swiftly gone from great to flawless - hasn't been easy! But all the challenges I have overcome in order to achieve this have been worth it. I now know I am 100% deserving of one of the highest honours a Concierge can achieve!