Breathing new life into Cromwell’s largest hotel, The Gate, has been an ongoing project for general manager Glen Christiansen and his team over the past five years and the high standard development continues with the recent refurbishment of the accommodation wing.
“We have completed a contemporary upgrade of 30 rooms which was timely just prior to the busy summer season and in readiness for the winter ski season ahead,” says Glen. “The improvement allows us to add more to the customer experience and guest feedback has been very positive. The rooms overlook either the Cromwell golf course, the adjacent Wooing Tree vineyard or our courtyard, all offering spectacular views.”
He says new furnishings and fittings combined with warm, earthy tones have created a modern ambience to the rooms which have been double glazed to increase quietness and warmth. Air conditioning has been installed and the ensuite bathrooms renovated.
The modernisation of The Gate was initiated by its group of private owners in 2015 and Glen has overseen all aspects of the development.
“We will continue the upgrade this year with a brand-new reception area and information centre at the front of the hotel as well as a buffet style restaurant serving up to 150 guests which will be ideal for functions and events. This completes the overall vision for the hotel to perfectly complement our existing hospitality areas, the Five Stags restaurant and Forage Café. It’s a big investment in the town and an important one as tourism continues to increase.”
The Gate had a high profile this year as a supporter of the inaugural Ben Nevis Station Golden 1200 Hillclimb, the brainchild of Kiwi rally icon Hayden Paddon.
The March event was held on a six-kilometre remote high-country gravel route along the Nevis Road accessed from Bannockburn.
“We are very supportive of community events such as this new initiative by Hayden which is a precursor to a planned return of Race to the Sky in 2021. It’s exciting for the region as a whole and brings more motorsport enthusiasts into Cromwell,” says general manager Glen Christiansen.
Park and Ride
The Gate has collaborated with Clyde cycle company Bike It Now, which recently opened a second store in Cromwell, to install a fleet of new e-bikes at the hotel for guests, locals and visitors to hire.
General manager Glen Christiansen says Cromwell’s expanding network of bike trails are an important attraction for day visitors to the region.
“We get a lot of people stopping here for morning tea or lunch at Forage Cafe, hiring one of the e-bikes and heading out to visit the local wineries or taking a ride around Lake Dunstan or hitting the other bike trails. The Gate has ample parking so it’s very easy for people to come here to park and ride and an excellent way for them to see the region.”
“We can organise late returns of the bikes as required and dinner at the Five Stags restaurant is always a great way to finish off an afternoon’s cycle.”
Hearty and Homegrown
Five Stags Restaurant at The Gate has carved out a reputation for its welcoming atmosphere and hearty style food.
Serving snacks until late and a daily lunch menu from 12.00pm until 2.30pm with dinner from 5.00pm, it’s a popular local hangout.
“The restaurant continues to be a real drawcard for the hotel offering genuine Kiwi hospitality and a relaxed mood,” says general manager Glen Christiansen. “It’s a great place for socialising and dining, and we have integrated live music on Friday nights that adds to the appeal. Our chefs use the best and freshest local produce for classic and hearty meals that never disappoint. The Black Panther Pizzas have a huge following and are a great take out option.”