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Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa named ‘World's Best’

13th July 2011 Print
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa named ‘World's Best’

Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa has been named the World’s Best Hotel Spa in this year’s Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

Travel+Leisure is one of North America’s most respected and highest circulating travel magazines with a focus on authentic, innovative, and irresistible experiences across the globe. Survey results are based on readers' ratings, with hotel spas specifically judged on the basis of their ambience, treatments, service and value.

Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa earned the top spot in the overall spa category earning a total score of 98.93 out of 100 eligible points.

General Manager Wouter De Graaf says, “We’re ecstatic. To be recognised as the world’s very best against thousands of other hotel spas’ is a phenomenal achievement. It goes to prove that despite what might be considered a remote location at the bottom of the world in Queenstown our spa service is so exceptional that we still come out sitting at the very top of it.”

Indeed, the boutique Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa beat not only its competitors in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific but all other regions too including Asia, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Hawaii, the USA and Canada.

Launched in 2005 as Queenstown’s original five-star hotel, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa was reborn in 2010 following an impressive $2 million upgrade and extension which transformed the hotel’s vacant ground floor to add a new entry area and foyer, cafe, business centre, sit-down reception and luxury lobby with direct access to its LeSpa day spa. Sofitel launched LeSpa in September 2007.

In spite of its distinct French influence courtesy of the Sofitel brand's Parisian origins, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa’s LeSpa is nothing if not true to its geographical location with restful décor on display as inspired by the destination’s rugged ranges and glacial lakes. The result is an unequivocally ‘New Zealand’ sensorial experience with the trimmings including the use of traditional local treatments alongside the use of indulgent Decleor products and private hammam.

LeSpa’s signature treatments have a powerful undercurrent of Maori lore offering century-old rituals and traditional therapies, many of which are available nowhere else in the country, let alone the world. Treatments use natural, native ingredients such as Manuka honey, beeswax, shimmering paua shells, and volcanic clay from the North Island’s famed Rotorua geothermic region and famously employed by Maori healers.

Among the many decadent spa offerings, Sofitel guests will find traditional Maori rituals including the Ataahua treatment and time honoured ‘Pounamu’ greenstone massage believed to possess intuitive healing powers.

Mr De Graaf says the Travel+Leisure award is true testament to the hard work and dedication of the Sofitel team in Queenstown who have worked hard to fine tune and develop the product since its launch six years ago.

"At Sofitel Luxury Hotels, our focus is on the guest experience and extending memorable and impeccable service to our guests, and that includes our hotel spa services. We are honored that our commitment has been recognised by the discerning readers of Travel+Leisure themselves.”

The Travel+Leisure honour follows Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa’s admission into the aspirational Exclusive Accommodation Category of Qualmark - New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance system – in April 2011. Sofitel is the only internationally branded hotel to have Exclusive Qualmark status in the accommodation category, and also earned Enviro-Gold Status in the Qualmark category for Green operators.

Highlights from the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2011 readers' survey were announced in the USA on Thursday the 7th of July on NBC's Today Show. Winners will be honoured during an awards ceremony to be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 14.

The Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2011 are featured now on and will appear in the August issue of Travel + Leisure magazine (due for release July 22). The complete survey methodology is available on and in the August issue.

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Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa named ‘World's Best’