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Eichardt’s Living Legacy

Eichardt’s private hotel has remained committed to its origins since opening in 1866 as a popular accommodation and meeting place for miners seeking their fortunes on the local gold fields.

Today, renowned for its luxurious accommodation, elevated hospitality and outstanding location on Queenstown’s waterfront Eichardt’s is owned by The Imperium Luxury Collection which continues to foster the five-star establishment’s heritage importance.

“As owners of this beautiful historic building we are justly proud of the its significance to Queenstown’s history as the first hotel built here,” says general manager Kylie Hogan. “This legacy informs everything we do at the hotel where a mix of elegant tradition and stylish modernity links guests with our distinguished past.”

She says for more than 150 years Eichardt’s has enjoyed an excellent reputation for delivering warm and welcoming hospitality.

“There is so much local history that has taken place with wonderful stories of the Queenstown community taking part in many celebrations and day to day life at the hotel,” says Kylie. “We continue to honour this connection for guests to experience the hotel at its best.”

Eichardt’s Private Hotel in Queenstown, NZ

Entrepreneurial Spirit

In 1859 William Gilbert Rees arrived in Queenstown and his journey and discovery of gold was instrumental in the establishment of Eichardt’s Private Hotel. The Welshman, who is regarded as the founder of Queenstown, erected the first building in the town, a humble woolshed, on what was to become the prominent hotel site.

In 1862 with the discovery of gold prospectors descended on Queenstown. Rees’ homestead farming run was declared an official goldfield and he turned to hotel-keeping converting the woolshed into the Queen’s Arms Hotel.

In 1866 he entered a partnership with Albert Eichardt who became the hotel proprietor eventually buying it outright in 1868. Albert married Julia Shanahan, the former hotel proprietress and Eichardt’s Queen’s Arms Hotel was established – to become known simply as Eichardt’s Private Hotel.

As the gold rush diminished Queenstown grew from a mining settlement into a more permanent town and Eichardt’s began to cater to a growing visitor market while continuing to retain its strong local identity.

The historic Eichardt’s Queen’s Arms Hotel

A woman of Substance

Julia Eichardt was integral to the establishment of Eichardt’s and a much-admired Queenstown personality and successful businesswoman. After her husband Albert died suddenly in 1882, she took over hotel operations remaining at the helm until her death, aged just 54, in 1892.

Julia was recognised for her kindly, generous manner assisting the district’s less fortunate and playing an important role in Queenstown’s development. One of her many achievements was to install electricity at Eichardt’s, the first building to have power in Queenstown.

Julia Eichardt’s invaluable contribution paved the way for women and the Imperium Luxury Collection’s general manager Kylie Hogan says today the female led management team continues to embody embodies the spirit of Julia with its commitment to service and upholding the hotel’s reputation as a first-class Queenstown establishment.