The Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa has been admitted into the aspirational Exclusive accommodation category of Qualmark, New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance system.
Qualmark Exclusive status was developed to help international travellers easily identify New Zealand’s up-market accommodation options, and as the name suggests, Exclusive status is for establishments that are truly at the top of New Zealand’s accommodation market.
“Our hotel certainly meets the definition of a Qualmark Exclusive hotel to the letter – intimate, elegant and sophisticated offering true privacy aimed at the luxury traveller,” said Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa General Manager Wouter De Graaf.
“Since the Sofitel opened in 2005 and our more recent multimillion renovation in 2010, we’ve set out to benchmark a new level of hotel luxury for the Central Otago region to aspire to.
“To date, only eight luxury lodges and villas in the region have been awarded Qualmark recognition, so we are thrilled to be New Zealand’s first Qualmark exclusive hotel which is a true testament to the commitment and passion of our entire team,” he said.
Qualmark Exclusive status is extended to intimate, exclusive and highly individual establishments which offer the finest of locations, facilities, activities and service.
Properties must achieve a five star grade with a 95% score or better in order to be eligible for Qualmark Exclusive status. They then have to meet additional requirements including stability of management, established track record, undertaking international marketing, appropriately qualified staff and reference checks. Once these criteria are met, the receipt of an Exclusive status is based around the experience
In addition to its new Qualmark Exclusive status in the accommodation category, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa has also earned Enviro-Gold status in the Qualmark category for Green operators.
Introduced in 2008, Qualmark Green assesses and rates tourism operators on environmental performance. High achieving businesses carrying a Qualmark Enviro logo are assessed on their environmental performance with Enviro Awards (Bronze, Silver or Gold) given to top performers in five key action areas pertaining to waste management, water conservation and community and conservation initiatives.
“It makes me very proud to say that the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa is not only one of New Zealand’s most exclusive hotels, but importantly we are now officially also one of the most environmentally responsible hotels taking care of our destination for future generations of travellers,” de Graaf said.
Sofitel Luxury Hotel’s Asia Pacific Vice President Markland Blaiklock travelled to the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa from Bangkok to accept the Exclusive Qualmark plaque and Enviro-Gold award.