Roman Lee-Lo is the manager of the Queenstown luxury hotel, The Rees. He talks to YOUR ex about Queenstowns post-pandemic comeback, welcoming Winter Pride guests, and setting the benchmark in NZ hospitality.

How well do you feel Queenstown has bounced back from the impacts of the pandemic?

From a macro perspective, Queenstown is well and truly open, welcoming visitors from all over the world, with the pandemic and lockdowns a distant memory. However, despite such a positive outlook for the district, local businesses, and our community – we still continue to face challenges on staff housing shortages and Airbnb reducing long-term housing stock.


We are fortunate at the hotel that our over 100+ workforce have secured accommodation, which is supported by the hotels remuneration and benefits program, which includes a migrant settlement support service and all staff being paid the living wage – a commitment the hotel has always had from day one.

Roman Lee-Lo

The hotel once again partnered with Winter Pride to welcome guests to the festival. What do festivals like WP mean to The Rees?

The Rees Hotel Queenstown welcomes guests from across the world and NZ. Festivals and events that celebrate our rainbow communities are always an exciting time for not only our diverse team but also our local community. Were very proud of how diverse and inclusive The Rees team is, with over 24 languages spoken at the hotel, ensuring our customers feel at home. The hotel has partnered with Winter Pride over the years to ensure all those visiting, as well as our own team, feel included and safe.

What are some of the unique facilities that you think help The Rees stand apart from Queenstowns many other accommodation options?

Our award-winning food and wine offerings! Our multi-awarded wine cellar houses north of a million dollars worth of wines, including new and old world, and is a hallmark experience for anyone who visits The Rees.

Our in-house sommelier and WSET-trained team can facilitate wine tastings and food-pairing experiences for all guests. The award-winning wines are paired with the cuisine of our talented chefs, making The Rees a destination for not only foodies but also those seeking out a uniquely Aotearoa NZ experience.

In addition, our in-room spa treatments/therapies by local professionally trained and certified therapists come in as a treat for those seeking out private treatments in the comfort of their own room.

Our fleet of hire bikes at the hotel makes for a great way to explore the various Queenstown trails across the district or a visit to the various wineries and lunch stops down the Gibbston Valley. Finally, our private jetty in front of the hotel caters to water taxis and jet boats for those wishing to arrive by jet boat at the hotel or a return water taxi to Queenstown.

Some of our readers like to head down to Queenstown for a romantic occasion or to party and hit the slopes with a bunch of friends. What are the best rooms you have catering to those two different situations?

Our luxurious Executive Lake View hotel rooms with spa baths are romantic for honeymoon couples or those wishing to escape the every day and soak in both the views and spa bath.

For groups, The Rees Lakeside Residences are superbly positioned just a stones throw from the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu and are adjacent to but separate from the main Hotel building, offering seclusion and privacy in a magical setting. The one hundred and sixty-four square metre, two-storey, 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, air-conditioned villas offer immediate lake and mountain views and are ideal for groups looking for private accommodation with space and independence.

Unlike any other hotel in New Zealand, The Rees Residences offers the services of your very own
Luxury Travel Curator. From the moment you check availability to the moment you depart Queenstown, your personal curator will be with you every step of the way, to ensure your New Zealand experience is designed specially to suit your needs and exceed your expectations.

The Rees recently won New Zealands Leading Hoteland the 2023 World Travel Awards. Why do you think The Rees is consistently awarded for setting a benchmark in NZ hospitality?

There are several beautiful hotels in Queenstown. Hotels are just bricks and mortar, but it is the people time and time again that make a difference to our guests and visitors’ experiences. This is underpinned by the strong culture and service ethos that are embedded within the team from day one by our CEO, Mark Rose. In addition, the various owners and trade partners that continue to support our vision of exceptional guest experiences through our offering and ensuring our facilities continue to be of a high standard, complementing our environment and sustainability initiatives.

For more information on The Rees Hotel visit