The earth conscious hotel opening doors to Waikato


By Jo Bretag

At one end of Lakewood Cambridge a contemporary hotel, encased in black steel and natural timbers, signals a bold move in hospitality from the heart of the Waikato.

Hidden Lake Hotel would not be out of place in any CBD. Its intelligent design combines all the comfort and comforting features modern travellers and conference organisers like.

Floor-to-ceiling windows framing Lake Te Utu domain, turning conference rooms into scenic amphitheatres and bedrooms into galleries. At the top of the hotel, where the treed views are even more expansive, a fireside bar and social space complements the organic ambassador that is D’Arcys Garden Restaurant. The hotel has its own organic garden – mostly vintage – and operates a sustainable business partnership model that is backed by evidence of environmental practice.

In a global sense this unassuming hotel unlocks some of the best local and global indicators of future business.

Regional job creation is so important right now. For Waikato’s hospitality students and career workers, Hidden Lake Hotel opens opportunities to gain valuable experience in a cutting edge establishment without necessarily moving far away. Co-owner Glenda Hamilton is well known as a New Zealand hospitality judge and trainer, and is already facilitating talks to establish a training centre at the hotel on behalf of the region.

Sustainability commitments like fewer food miles, renewable energy sources before the grid, paperless check in, less waste less landfill, supporting local sustainable businesses, emissions offset by donations to Lake Te Utu water quality solutions and education sessions for local businesses on the power and the future of sustainability, put Hidden Lake Hotel at the leading edge of contemporary hospitality and modern business practice.

Having exhibited at ExPlore recently, Glenda and co-owner Chris Turner are keen to make more new connections and gain knowledge they can use to enhance their guest experience through tourism and trade shows like TRENZ in Rotorua in May. The hotel plans to open up new tourism markets including those that traditionally haven’t stopped or travelled through Cambridge and Waikato, bringing more visitors to the region.

For Cambridge, D’Arcy’s Garden restaurant is already taking bookings as a wedding and special occasions venue. Interest in the restaurant’s function and organic offering is defining daily menus.

Any concern with the unconventional location of Hidden Lake Hotel is neutralised by the confidence of the offering and the commitment of Glenda and Chris to achieving best practice across all operations of the hotel. It is largely due to their belief and determination to help Waikato achieve while giving back that contributes to the vibrant nature of this Lakewood and Cambridge business.

Waikato has long possessed the entrepreneurial manner and strength of character to become a beacon of modern business practice in New Zealand, and this is exemplified in the newly created Hidden Lake Hotel.

For more information and to read the Hidden Lake Hotel Blog visit hiddenlakehotel.co.nz


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