A man found in the swimming pool of a five-star Rotorua resort has died, despite emergency personnel trying for more than an hour to revive him.

The New Zealand resident aged in his 40s was staying at Regal Palms on Fenton St.

He was found unresponsive in the resort's swimming pool this morning.

St John Ambulance was called to the incident about 9.30am. A fire crew and police also attended.

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The resort's guests stayed indoors while firefighters and paramedics tried to revive the man. They performed CPR on him for more than an hour before pronouncing him dead at the scene.

It is unclear how long he was in the water or who made the 111 call.

Police talked to witnesses at the scene and went about contacting the man's next of kin.

It is yet to be determined how the man died, but initial reports suggest he drowned.

The death has been referred to the coroner.

"The police extend their sympathies to the man's family at this tragic time," police said in a written statement.

A woman at the resort's reception told the Rotorua Daily Post she did not know how the incident happened.

She said staff were "completely traumatised" by the death.

Bay of Plenty Police District Command Centre Senior Sergeant Mike Membrey said police conducted a scene examination - a standard procedure in such situations.

He said there were no issues found with the safety of the pool.

"The man was a guest staying at the resort and had every right to be in the pool."

He said the man was from New Zealand but was not a Rotorua resident.