A well-known New Zealand woman described as "vivacious" by her friends and family has died in Hong Kong.

Gloria Poupard-Walbridge, the former owner of Cotter House Luxury retreat, died on January 20 after falling ill, shortly after getting off a plane from Paris where she had been visiting family.

Her daughter Sylvie Poupard-Gould confirmed to the Herald her mother had died in Hong Kong, aged 73.

Poupard-Gould - who has just flown in to Hong Kong - said the cause of death was still to be determined.

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She said there was no evidence that her mother had died after contracting coronavirus, as had been suggested in a post on social media.

The New Zealand Consulate was helping the family repatriate her mother to New Zealand.

Since Poupard-Walbridge retired in 2016 she had moved down to Wellington and become an intrepid traveller, her daughter said.

"She was also an accomplished artist, hostess, incredibly erudite and one of the kindest most generous people you will ever meet. Certainly vivacious."

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman confirmed to the Herald the New Zealand Consulate-General in Hong Kong was providing consular assistance to the family of a New Zealander who had passed away there.

Another relative took to social media to announce her death, to the shock of friends of the well-known woman who remembered her as a "powerhouse", a "livewire", who loved life.

Poupard-Walbridge famously housed Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards at Cotter House Luxury retreat, after he fell out of a palm tree at an exclusive Fiji resort in 2006.

Built between 1847 and 1860 and bought by Poupard-Walbridge's French diplomat husband, the Remuera retreat sheltered Richards for nearly a month as he recovered from his head injury.

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Gloria Poupard-Walbridge photographed in 2006 at Cotter House, where Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards stayed while recovering from a head injury. Photo / File
Gloria Poupard-Walbridge photographed in 2006 at Cotter House, where Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards stayed while recovering from a head injury. Photo / File

"He's an Englishman. He likes his sausage and mash, but that is all I can tell you."

While she was tight-lipped on Richards' stay, she did let slip that he and his family sampled a fair few New Zealand wines.

It sounds like Richards and co had the run of the place during their stay.

"My cellar has been very seriously depleted, I can tell you that," she told the Herald.

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She discussed what had been one of her top priorities in Cotter House since she moved in 1995: getting rid of unwanted "presences" haunting the building.

Poupard-Walbridge later carried out three exorcisms at the Regency-style, two-storey, 600sq m mansion.

Cotter House was up for grabs six years ago, albeit with a steep $5.2 million price tag.

At the time, she told the Herald one of the conditions of the sale was that she would continue to operate the hotel for two or three years after the sale, until she retired.

While the retreat had always been her "baby", Poupard-Walbridge wanted to go on holiday, she said.

"It's extremely time consuming. It will eat you up if you let it.

"But I love what I'm doing, so it's very much a shame to think that if I put it on the open market it might go as a private residence."

More recently, Poupard-Walbridge worked in tourism.