Sam Neill at Sofitel Queenstown

Film star, wine-maker and proud South Island resident Sam Neill made a guest appearance at the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa on Monday night (May 23) as part of the launch of New Zealand’s newest and most exclusive Tourism Alliance, Queenstown Prestige.

The boutique Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa has signed on to become one of just ten foundation members comprising Queenstown Prestige.

Members formally launched the new initiative to leading luxury agents and travel media at a progressive dinner around Queenstown on Monday evening to coincide with the TRENZ tourism expo taking place this week.

Neill introduced his local Two Paddocks wines to guests during dinner at Sofitel’s plush penthouse suite ‘Number 10’ and also regaled them with anecdotes. 

“It was an excellent evening, with Queenstown at its best,” Neill says.

Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa’s Director of Sales and Marketing Tanya Dennis said the hotel was delighted to welcome Sam Neill to the dinner event.

“Sam Neill certainly added a stellar touch to the launch. His career and charisma reflect the very things Queenstown Prestige is about – authenticity and style, creativity and passion for what we do.

“Queenstown Prestige is an exceptional group of operators. Our aim as a collective is to also better define the true meaning of luxury for travellers to Queenstown.”

In addition to Sofitel, foundation members comprise other multi-award-winning providers including Eichardt’s, Touch of Spice, Blanket Bay, Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown Opal Centre jewellers, Over The Top Helicopters, Mount Edward Winery, Cruikshank Furniture and high-quality transport company BLACK.

In April, the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa was the first hotel to be admitted into the Exclusive accommodation category of Qualmark, New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance system.

Launched in 2005 as Queenstown’s original five-star hotel, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa was relaunched in late 2010 following an impressive NZD$2 million upgrade and extension. The hotel now offers a transformed grand ground floor, revolutionised lobby, lounge and reception, plus a new eatery – Left Bank Cafe.