New Zealand’s first fully “smart” hotel has opened its doors in the heart of Queenstown.
The six-storey, mid-price hotel in Henry Street features the latest in-room technology, multiple social spaces and an impressive rooftop terrace with superb views of The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu.
“mi-pad is a next generation, energy-conscious hotel experience for the smart traveller – the ultimate marriage of technology, sustainability, comfort and convenience aimed at the tech savvy, young and young at heart,” says hotel manager Elizabeth Torres-Green.
The hotel has 57 rooms including four wheelchair-accessible style bunk rooms and twin room options.
“We offer affordable luxury – an innovative hotel experience for travellers who’d prefer to spend on experiences rather than pay over the odds for accommodation,” says Elizabeth. “Our rooms include everything you need and nothing you don’t.”
She says the hotel has made a commitment to sustainability which is evident in the eco-sort recycling bins and motion-controlled LED lighting and air conditioning that help minimise energy use.
“Rather than use space and energy on mini-bars, kettles and individually wrapped sachets in every room, we provide free tea and coffee machines and vending machines in our ‘smart bars’ on each floor. We estimate this helps us reduce room waste by 75% in comparison to a standard hotel stay.”
The same philosophy is embedded in the hotel’s design which includes a self-watering living wall, with over 500 individual plants, which Elizabeth says adds refreshing greenery to the ground-floor courtyard space.
The interior design is inspired by Queenstown’s natural surroundings, including pebbled walls to symbolise local rivers and luxurious merino wool soft furnishings.
“I genuinely believe the way mi-pad Queenstown mixes technology and sustainability can challenge conventional thinking and drive change in New Zealand’s hotel industry,” says Elizabeth.
mi-pad Queenstown offers a simple, no hassle formula for guests checking in. Elizabeth says, on or before arrival, guests can download the hotel’s app “mia” on a smartphone to book their room and then use as the room key. She says this doesn’t mean that hotel staff aren’t on site.
“We’re here around the clock and always keen to show our guests how to make the most of their stay,” she says. mia gives guests the ability to adjust the temperature and mood lighting of their room even when out and about, request room service or let us know if they don’t want to be disturbed.”
“mia is also a personal digital concierge with the latest information on local events and special offers, encouraging visitors to experience the best of this stunning destination.”
Elizabeth says there is no restaurant at the hotel, but they do have dedicated social areas where guests can bring their own food and drinks.
“Rather than compete with Queenstown’s world class selection of eateries and bars we chose not to have our own restaurant. Not only does this keep the room cost lower it also enables us to engage with our guests and recommend places we think they’ll love based on what they’re into.”