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eveloped by an entrepreneur ial couple with a passion for
sustainability and a strong social conscience, the two 28
square metre Ecoscapes cottages have already been attracting
a strong following, especially from Australian visitors.
Kiwi Toni Glover and her British husband, John, have poured their
hearts and souls, as well as their savings, into the project, as well as
restor ing and renovating the adjacent histor ic Kinloch Lodge – once
a thriving hub for hospitality.
The couple, who have three children, took over the rundown
19-room 1868-lodge 17 years ago. In its heyday it was a taver n and
lodge for nearby sawmill workers, built by Richard Bryant – one of
Queenstown’s or iginal bow-masters.
The head of Lake Wakatipu, beyond Glenorchy was a thriving
tour ist area dur ing Victor ian times with wealthy New Zealanders and
overseas visitors jour neying there to botanise, shoot birds and take
photographs. They’d travel by horse and buggy for six weeks from
main centres to get there.
The Glovers have built up quite a following, with many a
Queenstown couple escaping to Kinloch for a night, dining out in
the restaurant, or on the lodge’s expansive verandah deck, with its
epic lake and mountain views. The lodge is also rapidly becoming a
popular spot for lunch-time destination dining and it’s this kind of
market that has been lured across the hillside, wowed by the Glover’s
latest foray into sustainability.
At almost half a million investment to develop the two Ecoscapes studio
suites, complete with triple glazing and solar-powered blinds that double as
projector screens, the Glovers are pleasantly surprised by the response.
“Everybody’s been blown away by them, says Toni. “We’ve had
guests having lunch at the lodge from Melbour ne and Sydney dur ing
the ski season who’ve seen the Ecoscapes cottages and have booked
to come back again and stay in those dur ing summer,” she says. “We
could easily build more.”
“We’re really happy with the bookings heading into this first
summer. There’s been a really positive response,” she says.
Taking the shape of tiny houses, the cottages are heavily insulated,
using SIP panels – insulating foam core sandwiched between two
structural strand board facings. “Insulation is the key,” says Toni.There
are tiny 1 kilowatt heaters in each suite but they are seldom needed,
helping minimise energy use. That’s something to boast about in the
Wakatipu where temperatures can drop as low as minus 5 at night
dur ing winter. “If guests want heat they could just tur n on the towel
rail and that’s enough to heat the cottage.”
Not only are these suites luxur iously appointed, well ventilated
and war m – the views out across the lake and mountains from
Kinloch are unprecedented – mind-blowing for many overseas
visitors. “The views are a huge part of the appeal, but they’re just
amazing spaces,” says Toni. “They just feel open, airy and really
well ventilated – not too big and ostentatious. They’re the perfect
The Glovers believe they’re among the first to have installed solar-
power blinds that double as screens on which guests can view Neflix, or
use their own phones for entertainment on Chromecast or Apple TV.
Wooden floor ing, ceilings and panelling has all been treated with
environmentally-friendly Osmo oil – no chemicals here.
“We’ve tr ied to be really conscious of every product we use,
focusing on local companies as much as we can,” says Toni. “We’ve
also built some really good social partnerships.”
The Glovers work with Queenstown-based national aid
organisation Orphans Aid, which supplies quality, fair-trade products,
produced with a social conscience. “We use Imuka Fair Trade Coffee
Tucked beneath the bush-clad hillside on the shores
of a remote corner at the head of Lake Wakatipu are a
couple of hospitality treasures of the eco-friendly kind.
In The Snow.
Fantastic views grace the Glover’s Eco-scape studio
cottages, providing a welcome and sustainable
escape into Lake Wakatipu’s wonderland.
14 | October 2017 | Hospitality BUSINESS
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