Project of the Week: Radisson Blu Resort Lake Tekapo

Artist’s impression of Radisson Blu Resort Lake Tekapo’s lobby.
The first international upper-upscale brand site at Lake Tekapo, on New Zealand’s South Island, is finally poised to take shape after a pandemic pause.

Radisson Blu Resort Lake Tekapo was originally signed back in 2019 as part of a deal involving a quartet of Radisson Hotel Group properties for the Pacific nation.

Initial plans

The accord was the group’s biggest Australasian management agreement of the year, and encompassed  four newbuild properties comprising 777 keys and covering the Radisson Blu, Radisson Red and Park Inn by Radisson brands.

The signings were with subsidiaries of NZ Horizons Limited and Remarkables Hotel Limited, privately-owned companies specialising in hotel development in New Zealand’s South Island, for the launch of Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels at Lake Tekapo, as well as Radisson Blu and Radisson Red hotels in Queenstown.

Low rise complex

The Lake Tekapo properties were initiated by Tekapo Lake Resort Ltd and Tekapo Sky Hotel Ltd, subsidiaries of NZ Horizons Limited.

Set within a scenic area located in the Mackenzie Region, midway between Queenstown and Christchurch, the low-rise hotel complex will host the 223-room Radisson Blu Resort Lake Tekapo alongside the 112-room Park Inn by Radisson Lake Tekapo.

Full facilities

The Radisson Blu five star resort will feature a full range of facilities, comprising an executive lounge, multiple restaurants and bars including a Sky Terrace and bar, a fitness centre, a spa including a sauna and steam room, a heated indoor swimming pool, a chapel and conference and banqueting space. The hotel rooms will be modular.

Local firm, Thom Craig Architect, created the design, while Australian hotel advisory and development group, Cre8tive Property, assisted with the  hotel operator and brand selection process including negotiation of hotel management agreements and design and technical services agreements on behalf of the owner.

Ready for the restart

Initially the hotel was due for delivery by the end of 2022 but because of the pandemic, the resort’s completion was then delayed until the end of 2023.

Construction did begin in 2021 but was subsequently put on hold in the first half of 2022. Also in 2021, NZ Horizons Limited’s CEO Anthony Tosswill told local news outlet The Timaru Herald that as he wasn’t able to obtain government grants or bank loans to fund the complex, he intended completing the project in stages. He relayed that he would finance construction of the Radisson Blu through selling 60 serviced apartments within eight two-storey blocks which are planned to be built on the hill behind the hotel.

Bringing the development up to date, at the end of January this year, THP researchers were informed that the project is now ready to recommence construction, though a revised completion date hasn’t yet been confirmed.