NZ's top lodges and hotels named

The George hotel in Christchurch has been named one of the top 10 city hotels in the Australasia/ South Pacific region by 'Travel + Leisure' magazine. Photo / Supplied
The George hotel in Christchurch has been named one of the top 10 city hotels in the Australasia/ South Pacific region by 'Travel + Leisure' magazine. Photo / Supplied

After surviving the ravages of two major earthquakes and countless aftershocks, a boutique Christchurch hotel has trumped some of the Pacific's biggest accommodation providers.

The George hotel, which lies in the heart of the quake-ravaged city, has been named one of the top 10 best city hotels across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific by Travel + Leisure magazine.

It was also given the nod for best service in the region in this year's World's Best awards, coming a close second behind The Langham in Melbourne.

The awards, now in their 16th year, are voted on by readers of the magazine across categories including hotels, cities, islands, cruise lines and airlines.

The George, which was ranked 9th on the list, beat out the likes of Melbourne's 262-room, five-star The Westin and was one of only two New Zealand accommodation providers to make the grade.

The other was the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, which was ranked fifth and also took out the top spot on a list ranking the best hotel spas in the world.

"After what has been, to say the least, a challenging year, we are over the moon to have received these accolades," The George's general manager, Bruce Garrett told AAP.

"To maintain a world class facility and meet ever-increasing guest expectations is a big ask in normal circumstances but to have done this through a series of major earthquakes and countless aftershocks is something quite special."

The five-star hotel sits on the edge of Christchurch's "red zone" - the area worst affected by the devastating earthquake on February 22, which killed more than 180 people.

Many of The George's staff were personally affected by the quakes, with some losing homes and others not having basic services such as electricity or sewerage, Garrett said.

"While they could be forgiven for taking their eyes off the ball ... our team have day after day turned up and turned it on for our guests.

"Sometimes this involved walking through cordons where no vehicles could travel and other times staying on to ensure the comfort of all guests after an earthquake before returning home to check on family."

Garrett says although the hotel was unable to trade for a month, business has been better than normal for this time of year.

"What Christchurch people need now after so much suffering is some good news, and all Cantabrians should be proud that they have world-class facilities here in their own city," Garrett said.

There were also significant accolades for New Zealand accommodation providers in other categories, with The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in Northland being named best lodge or resort in the region and 11th-best hotel in the world.

The Matauri Bay property's managing director, Jay Robertson, said the recognition was "a wonderful testament to the continued excellence of our team, without whom these awards would not be possible".

Taupo's Huka Lodge was named third-best lodge or resort in the region and 67th-best hotel in the world.

Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland were named the third, fourth and fifth-best cities respectively in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region, while Air New Zealand was named fourth-best international airline, up three spots from its seventh-place ranking in last year's awards.

TRAVEL + LEISURE'S 'WORLD'S BEST' AWARDS 2011

Top lodges and resorts in Australia, NZ and the South Pacific

1. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland, New Zealand
2. InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
3. Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand
4. Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, New South Wales, Australia
5. Reef House Resort & Spa, Cairns, Australia

Top city hotels in Australia, NZ and the South Pacific

1. The Langham, Melbourne, Australia
2. Park Hyatt, Melbourne, Australia
3. InterContinental, Sydney, Australia
4. Park Hyatt, Sydney, Australia
5. Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, Queenstown, New Zealand
6. Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney, Australia
7. Sydney Harbour Marriott at Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia
8. The Westin, Sydney, Australia
9. The George, Christchurch, New Zealand
10. The Westin, Melbourne, Australia

Top cities in Australia, NZ and the South Pacific

1. Sydney, Australia
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Queenstown, New Zealand
4. Christchurch, New Zealand
5. Auckland, New Zealand

NZ MENTIONS IN THE 'WORLD'S BEST' OVERALL RANKINGS

Top 10 hotel spas

1. Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Top 10 international airlines

4. Air New Zealand

Top 100 hotels

11. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland, New Zealand
67. Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand

- AAP, NZ HERALD STAFF

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

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