The ‘Qualmark 5 Star Hotel rating and Gold Tourism Business Sustainability Award’, two of the New Zealand tourism sector’s highest official marks of quality, have been achieved for the fourth year running by The Rees Hotel Queenstown. Qualmark was first established in 1997 and is wholly owned by Tourism New Zealand. It is the tourism industry’s official quality assurance organisation for accommodation providers, and an endorsement programme for attractions and leisure activities. The 5 Star rating denotes an accommodation provider with Facilities and services amongst the best on offer in New Zealand. The Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award recognises those businesses which deliver exceptional customer experiences as an integral part of everything they do, leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

After a year’s hiatus during the COVID pandemic in 2020 during the which The Rees worked hard to maintain its valued staff and extremely high guest standards under the hardest of conditions, the independently owned luxury operator was assessed across all three of its different accommodation offerings for the combined period of 2020 and 2021 to date. Situated overlooking Lake Wakatipu, the property has 60 hotel rooms, 90 apartments and 5 brand new private lakeside residences that opened in December 2017.

“Every day we have continued to put a huge amount of effort in to keep The Rees in the best possible condition with the most creative and up-to-date offerings and services,” says CEO Mark Rose. Innovation is, “…doubly important now, given the past year’s struggle to survive during the COVID lockdown with no international travel. Keeping our core team throughout this period and their unwavering commitment to the hotel has been crucial to this awesome achievement.”

The Gold Qualmark Sustainability Award is particularly satisfying for Mr Rose. “Being audited by an independent assessor who is able to compare us with the best hotels across New Zealand is so important. Rose believes it is a “vital tool from a very relevant organisation that ensures our New Zealand offerings are world class, safe and sustainable”. The Rees team, he says, have consciously focused on being responsible operators through leaving a “light footprint” via many staff-initiated actions that both reduce the impact on the natural environment and preserve it. “This Gold status again underlines our total commitment to our environment, for both our visitors and the generations to follow us – we all need to do whatever we can to protect our pristine country”.