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Rosewood now managing hotels at NZ’s Cape Kidnappers, Kauri Cliffs & Matakauri

POSTED ON December 5, 2023 @ 8:26 pm

The award-winning golf courses at Cape Kidnappers GC and Kauri Cliffs GC have built their respective reputations on providing two of the finest stay & play experiences anywhere in world golf. Starting Dec. 1, 2023, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will take responsibility for the “stay” portion of that equation.

Going forward, third-party manager Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will operate all three Robertson Lodge properties in New Zealand: Rosewood Kauri Cliffs in Matauri Bay, Rosewood Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay, and Rosewood Matakauri in Queenstown.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts manages a unique, global collection of luxury properties. While the Robertson family will maintain ownership, all three of its New Zealand holdings have joined this portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels, resorts and residences, each inspired by what Rosewood calls A Sense of Place. Across North American, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, the Rosewood travel experience have proved consistently authentic, original, and deeply personal — outcomes that, since 1999, typify the Robertson’s hospitality philosophy.

All three of the new Rosewood properties were developed and managed by American financier Julian Robertson and his family. The patriarch’s passing in August 2022 occasioned an eventual change of operational responsibilities, following 25 years as a family-run business.

“From December 1, our family will entrust the management of Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri to Rosewood Hotels & Resorts,” Jay Robertson confirmed. “Rosewood’s commitment to championing storied properties in remarkable destinations around the world is proven. With our shared values of exceptional hospitality and staying true to A Sense of Place, we are enthusiastic about this next chapter together.

“Our family’s love of New Zealand runs deep, and we will retain ownership of the three spectacular lodges that our parents created. Rest assured the passion and dedication for these special properties will not change. Under Rosewood’s renowned management, and with the continuity of our family’s ownership, the quintessential spirit of each lodge will be maintained.”

Rosewood Matakauri, located on New Zealand’s the South Island, does not feature a golfing component. On the North Island, Director of Golf Ray Geffre will continue to oversee operations at Cape Kidnappers GC, in the southeastern wine region, and Kauri Cliffs GC in the Northland. These sister properties will launch a dedicated golf website in early 2024, Geffre said.

“Golf travelers everywhere owe a significant debt to the Robertsons, who created the luxury golf lodge model that we’ve seen proliferate, not just here in New Zealand, but around the world,” Geffre explained. “Golf has long enjoyed a storied tradition of world-class accommodations standing beside world-class courses, especially at seaside. But those hotels were traditionally quite large — often corporate and sometimes impersonal. Think of the grand railway hotels in Scotland or Florida. Even the Lodge at Pebble Beach has more than 150 rooms.”

With the opening of Rosewood Kauri Cliffs and its adjoining golf course, in 1999, the Robertsons created something new, something magnificent but intimate, something boutique but specific the local culture and terrain.

It takes two points to make a line: With the christening of Rosewood Cape Kidnappers, in 2004, the Robertsons created a trend for which New Zealand remains internationally renowned.

“Others have since followed and riffed on their example,” Geffre added, “but the Robertsons almost single-handedly created this country’s luxury, destination golf brand. We’re convinced this reputation will only be enhanced the stewardship of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.”

Set high above southern Pacific Ocean, Rosewood Kauri Cliffs lies within a 6,000-acre coastal estate near the Bay of Islands. This region, known as the Northland, is most frequented by travelers eager to explore the coastline and better understand the land’s history. Known as the “birthplace of a nation” for its historical significance — as the heart of Māori culture and signing place of New Zealand’s founding document — the Northland offers visitors the chance to experience the influences that have forged the destination’s culture today. The resort’s stunning grounds provide access to three private beaches, sheep and cattle farms, and an ancient subtropical forest.

It’s also home to world-top-100 golf course designed by Nicklaus protégé David Harmon. Kauri Cliffs GC is also considered among the most beautiful layouts on Earth. It was recently ranked among the top 30 courses in the whole of Asia-Pacific.

Rosewood Cape Kidnappers is located in Hawke’s Bay on the southeast coast of New Zealand’s North Island, a region best known for its wineries, food scene and the Art Deco architecture of the nearby city of Napier. Set high atop the rolling hills and rugged cliffs of its eponymous peninsula, the resort is set against expansive views where the ocean meets the horizon. The property also features 18 holes from architect Tom Doak, his first design in New Zealand, recently ranked #55 among all courses on Earth. This extraordinary property is also home to Cape Sanctuary, the largest privately funded wildlife restoration project in New Zealand.

Rosewood Matakauri is located in Queenstown, heart of the South Island’s alpine region.  Queenstown offers year-round experiences including snow sports in the winter, besides hiking, wine touring and art experiences throughout the spring, summer and fall. Located on shores of Lake Wakatipu, the 13-room resort is surrounded Queenstown’s big three mountains: The Remarkables, Cecil, and Walter Peak.

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