Smart, social, sustainable: Queenstown’s first “next generation” hotel

Be it for insta-worthy pictures or communicating on the move; travelling without a smartphone (or even living without one) is unimaginable these days. One hospitality group, decided to make the most of this and built an entire hotel around it and New Zealand’s first fully “smart” hotel recently opened its doors in the heart of Queenstown.

Mipad Holdings opened mi-pad Queenstown, a next generation, energy-conscious hotel experience for the smart traveller and the ultimate marriage of technology, sustainability, comfort and convenience.

A joint venture with hotel investment and development company TJK NZ Ltd – owner of luxury boutique hotels The George in Christchurch and Regent of Rotorua – the mi-pad hotel concept is the brainchild of Queenstown property developer Lewis Gdanitz and is the fruition of three years of hard work.

“Places that did accommodation really well”

Lewis Gdanitz, said: “mi-pad is the result of 15 years of research, travelling the world and finding the places that did accommodation really well.”

This six-storey hotel features 57 rooms with the latest in-room tech, multiple “social spaces” and a rooftop terrace – all accessible without a key, literally, as the key to mi-pad Queenstown is that there is no key.

Guests booking their stay download the hotel’s personal app “mia” and their smartphone itself becomes a room key, because physical check-ins (or check-outs) are a thing of the past.

Mia also has a range of other tricks up her sleeve, with the app enabling guests to set temperatures and mood lighting in their room – remotely if required – as well as request room service, or alert hotel staff that they don’t want to be disturbed. (Yes, you can control all that with your own smartphone).

Access to the hotel is available 24/7 thanks to the technology. Once guests are settled in, mia transforms into a personal digital concierge, delivering the latest information on events, activities or offers and encouraging them to experience the best of Queenstown.

Guests can have as much or as little interaction with mi-pad staff and other guests as they like, including the option to share experiences, photos or messages through mia’s private chat group. A floor-to-ceiling ‘social wall’ in the hotel’s entrance lobby also features mia’s latest updates and guests shared experiences.

Mi-pad’s owners made a conscious decision to keep F&B services to a minimum to encourage guests to savour the town’s renowned eateries. But if they prefer to order-in or BYO, the hotel’s best kept secret is its huge rooftop terrace with an outdoor fireplace, plentiful seating and wraparound 270-degree views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains.

The terrace is exclusively available to guests and is the perfect spot to enjoy an outdoor dining experience or luscious wine with some of the best views in town.

“Guests who want to have fun like a local”

Hotel manager Kylie Hogan added: “We’re offering an innovative, connected hotel experience for smart travellers who’d prefer to spend their hard-earned dollars on experiences rather than pay over the odds for accommodation. Mia’s the key to all of that, the complete package for guests who want to have fun like a local.”

Conserving the environment

Mi-pads focus and emphasis on sustainability and eco conscious spaces is at the heart of this property too. Mi-pad features a bespoke living wall, water filtration system and intuitive movement sensors in all rooms to talk to the building and power down facilities such as your room lighting and heating when you are not in the room.

This is where mi-pad brings the term next generation by showcasing the hotels sustainable efforts through compostable products.

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