For over 150 years, Eichardt’s Private Hotel has been an attractive monument on Queenstown’s Marine Parade – about as close to Lake Wakatipu as you can get without taking a dip.
While the hotel has obviously undergone significant evolutions since its beginnings as a woolshed in the early 1860s, its latest renovation proves the power of subtle, well-chosen updates.
It recently undertook a makeover of its seven 70-square-metre suites – which sit in the hotel itself – and its self-contained luxury apartments (three one-bedroom and one two-bedroom) 75 metres away. All of this was done while the doors were still open.
“The soft refurbishment at Eichardt’s was a carefully considered project staged over the space of the last 12 months,” general manager Kylie Hogan told Broadsheet. “The aim was to refurbish existing soft furnishings found in all guest suites and guest-facing areas, right through to the fixed floorings throughout the private hotel.”
The private apartments have all been repainted and kitted out with New Zealand wool carpets, chosen for their alignment with the hotel’s sustainability goals. Hogan cites Bremworth Wool Carpets’ commitment to “only producing 100 per cent natural, biodegradable and renewable wool carpets” as one convincing factor, along with their luxe feel.
There’s also sumptuous new bedding, and the lounge areas have been updated with soft cream and neutral-toned upholstery on the sofas, contrasting with dark accents added by wooden tables and chairs, and a stone fireplace. The impressive marble bathrooms remain, as do the views.
For those of you with $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you’ll be pleased to learn the penthouse was also included in the upgrades, with its huge front deck receiving newly stained furniture to lounge on beside the barbeque (for when you’re not soaking in the private barrel hot tub).
As part of the overhaul, the hotel has launched new guest activities including bespoke itineraries in partnership with helicopter tour company Over the Top. Its 24-metre yacht, Pacific Jemm, has also had a light refit and is re-entering service for private events, as well as half-day and full-day trips around the lake.
Nearby, you’ll find the hotel’s sibling brand – The Spire Hotel – along with restaurant and bar No5 Church Lane. The 30-seat diner reopened in June after closing its doors in 2021; executive chef Trent Watson returned to helm the restaurant, which serves a sophisticated share-plates celebrating quintessential New Zealand produce and ingredients – many of them indigenous and prepared with Māori techniques.
You might order a Fiordland crayfish toasted sandwich, harakeke and local oyster mushroom tortellini, Royalburn lamb and kawakawa Wellington, or a purple kūmara panna cotta.
When Eichardt’s reopened as Eichardt’s Private Hotel in 2001, following the November 1999 Queenstown floods, it changed the local accommodation game – and its latest update stays true to its heritage feel while propelling it even further into the 21st century.