Designing Hidden Lake Hotel
We wanted a hotel that was modern in all the ways it could be
Turning that into a reality has been one of the most exciting things we have ever done.
Glenda comes from a pedigreed hospitality background, where she learnt the ropes and fell in love with the industry. Chris practically lived in hotels for his work. One knew what mattered in a good hotel and the other knew how to provide it.
All that was left to do was make it happen, right?
Wanting something so ambitious and turning it into a reality is a roller coaster ride. We searched high and low for the ideal location, then Lakewood kind of materialised right under our nose. This amazing new hub in Cambridge with its barn-like structures was central in the ‘town of trees’. We knew it was where we wanted our earth conscious hotel to be. Honouring the land it is situated on at the shores of Lake Te Koutu had its own pressure. Lake Te Koutu is very special to the people of Cambridge and we wanted to do that justice. That’s initially what drove our ‘whole of hotel’ commitment to the environment.
Be bold and think sustainably
That’s what we told our exceptional design team and we couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s been a long and exhaustive process to get to this stage of pre-opening. Without a doubt though, it’s an exciting part of the project, where everything is coming together in all the ways that matter most.
Security, a comfortable bed and fresh local food
By elevating the accommodation and installing a lift we made the rooms and apartments 100% accessible and secure while improving the surrounding views. The top level was turned into the heartbeat of the hotel, with a scenic lounge, restaurant and bar with menus inspired by the hotel’s garden. Social areas like the fireside in the club lounge invite conversation but there are also quiet nooks where guests can enjoy an espresso in the afternoon.
Small enough to be dynamic
We knew we were pushing the boundaries of hotel design but we also wanted somewhere travellers could feel welcome, families at home and groups well catered for. Designing a range of room types and activities aligned with modern expectations has been an important part of the process. Recognising that a great spa is a wholesome retreat helped us create a space that can be enjoyed for the view alone, with or without spa treatments.
New enough to make a difference
Ensuring the hotel was sustainable and environmentally authentic gave us the opportunity for initiatives like ‘no plastic, no paper’, bike storage, electric car charging, organic gardening, composting, recycling, and electronic everything. Supporting other sustainable businesses in the local region has added to the Hidden Lake Hotel and Waikato story in ways we could never have imagined.
What are we most proud of?
Probably where the dream crossed the line into reality at a site near Cambridge CBD on the shores of Lake Te Koutu. D’Arcy’s Garden Restaurant, Club Lounge and Bar, influenced by the organic pioneering principles of Glenda’s Uncle D’Arcy, is also up there. Balancing design, modern comforts and environmental practices with seamless functionality has been perhaps our greatest challenge, and achievement.
We’re already receiving a lot of enquiries and can’t wait to welcome the first guests through the door.
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