Press Releases

Conde Nast Traveller UK Readers Awards 2009

Oct 30, 2009

Readers of one of the world’s most influential travel magazines have named Glenorchy’s Blanket Bay lodge as the best leisure hotel in Australasia and the South Pacific. The luxury lodge also achieved 10th spot in the list of highest scores, irrespective of category, in the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2009. Among the world’s great hotels, only two scored marginally higher than Blanket Bay, India’s Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and Four Seasons Hotel in Florence, Italy. 

Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said winning an award of this calibre was a coup for Blanket Bay, and for New Zealand. 

“New Zealand offers a great range of holidays for all kinds of budgets, but Blanket Bay sits at the top of what we offer in this country. The Conde Nast award recognises the consistent effort Blanket Bay puts into providing an excellent and friendly experience for visitors.

“Overall, New Zealand came second in the ‘Favourite Country’ category, Air New Zealand came second in the ‘Best Long-haul Leisure Airline’ category and Blanket Bay took top ranking as ‘Best Overseas Leisure Hotel’ in Australasia. That’s a pretty good result for a small country on the opposite side of the world from those voting,” Mr Hickton said. 

The multi-awarded property has previously made the pages of glossy magazines as among the world’s best but Blanket Bay manager Philip Jenkins says to be named the best leisure hotel in the entire region is certainly the highest accolade yet.

“This is quite extraordinary and is a very exciting result for Blanket Bay.  It really is as good as it gets for us.  Conde Nast Traveller is read by the most discerning of UK travellers and the opinions of its readers are very important to us.” 

Mr Jenkins believes the combination of scenery, luxurious surroundings, food and service has created the ideal place to stay for visitors to Australasia.

“New Zealand has been ranked as the second best destination in the world, second only to Italy, by the magazine’s readers. Our location in one of the most spectacular places in New Zealand combined with the unforgettable experience we work to produce for each and every one of our guests has been recognised by Conde Nast readers. We have a superb kitchen run by a talented team of award winning chefs to produce the very best in gourmet dining. We are just delighted to have the work of each and every member of our staff recognised in this way.” 

With the New Zealand awards are: Ed Sims from Air New Zealand, Deputy High Commissioner Belinda Brown and Paul Kerr, CEO Small Luxury Hotels of the World who accepted the award on behalf of Blanket Bay 

For further information please contact: Philip Jenkins 03 441 0115, e-mail or visit the Blanket Bay website For more photos in high resolution: .  For the awards image in high resolution, call Alexa Forbes at Southern PR on 03 441 1117

Editor Notes: Conde Nast Traveller and the Reader Awards

Conde Nast Traveller is a glossy lifestyle publication with an emphasis on luxury travel. It has a circulation of 85,000, with 91 percent of readers holidaying three or more times a year.

The Conde Nast Traveller Reader Awards are the results of an extensive survey of the UK magazine’s readers, who are asked to choose the best the travel world has to offer – everything from hotels and spas to airlines and airports. Readers rated Leisure Hotels on the following criteria: Ambience/décor, Environmental friendliness, Family friendliness, Food/restaurants, Leisure facilities, Location, Service/staff, Shopping facilities, Standard/comfort of accommodation, Value for money.

Blanket Bay had the region’s best score for family friendliness (98.43), above 80 for all criteria

Editor notes: Blanket Bay

Established in 1999, Blanket Bay isphi an expansive lakeside property on a 65,000 high country farm, combining the sophistication of the world's finest alpine lodges and the unique characteristics of New Zealand.  An intimate resort, Blanket Bay consists of 12 rooms including spacious suites, intimate lodge rooms and elegant chalets.  Blanket Bay is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and its accommodations offer travellers vast sitting rooms, king-sized beds, stone fireplaces, secluded balconies and spectacular views.  Blanket Bay is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  Located on the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, the intimate, lakeside rooms have a balcony or terrace, king-sized beds and sitting area.  700-square foot suites offer bedroom and sitting areas along with stone fireplaces, bathrooms with steam shower and separate tub.  Each suite comes with a 400-square foot private terrace.  The chalet bedrooms have spectacular lake views, king-sized beds, stone fireplaces, and bathrooms with steam showers, separate tubs and double vanities.  Each has a private courtyard entrance and separate terrace.