Mark Rose, Chief Executive of The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments, Queenstown
Mark Rose brings a wealth of talents and experience to the Rees Hotel after spending many years in the hospitality industry in the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. He is a trained chef and a specialist in food and beverage services who has managed vineyard and winery operations in addition to his hotel management duties. He came to The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments Queenstown directly from his role as General Manager of the prestigious Cameron House on Loch Lomond, one of Scotland’s finest luxury hotels. Mark is a real character and is always positive – how could he not be living in such a beautiful place?
How long have you been in the travel industry?
Hospitality in one form or another for most of my working life – some 40 years. Scary!
When did you get the travel bug?
Most New Zealanders of my age travelled to Australia and/or the UK in our late teens – work visas were easy to get and we all had friends who had “paved the way”. New Zealanders (and Australians) have always been looked at as hard workers with “personality” and the hospitality/travel industry suited us.
What inspired you to go into the hotel business?
Natural progression through Food and Beverage; I started in kitchens, moved into front of house and then on to the upscale part of the hotel industry where food and wine really matter. Loving people and not wanting to sit behind a desk all day made it an easy choice.
The Rees is popular with Australians; what do you think sets it apart from other luxury properties?
We have a great bunch of people on our team who are really motivated to ensure everyone who comes to stay has a great time – we are very relaxed and friendly with a huge focus on service. The views and food and wine offerings don’t hurt either!
What are the top five activities that you recommend people do in Queenstown?
Shotover Jet – exhilaration, NZ terrain at its best, ingenuity (Jetboat was invented in NZ by Bill Hamilton).
A bottle of Veuve Cliqout on The Ledge at Cecil Peak with The Helicopter Line.
A walk to the top of Queenstown Hill – gets the heart pumping and the view at the top takes your breath away.
A round of golf at Jacks Point – the scenery is definitely a distraction (and Jacks is challenging enough as it is!)
Cardrona Ski Field in the winter – long runs, lots of different terrain and friendly people. Followed by a day’s heli skiing.
What are your favourite restaurants in Queenstown?
Fishbone – great fresh seafood, friendly staff and an interesting wine list.
Kappa – small authentic Japanese, fresh food with a changing menu.
Sasso – not sure I can say Sasso as I am part owner but the food is rustic and very Italian (no Spaghetti Carbonara here), great service and wine list – nice terrace for those long summer nights.
True South Dining Room at The Rees – need to add in our hotel dining room as FB is such an integral part of our “brand”. Fresh produce from our district, cooked well with a wine offering that includes the great wines from NZ, France, Australia and Italy.
Best coffee in Queenstown?
Joes Garage! Free trade and always beautifully made.
What are your favourite destinations outside of Queenstown?
Fleurs at Moeraki (a three-hour drive to the coast from Queenstown) – fresh seafood with great charm.
Milan – food is sensational and there is “a way” about the Italians.
NYC – food, culture, people, history.
Shanghai – the NYC of the East. Bustling and captivating.
Is there anywhere in the world you haven’t been, but would love to?
Turkey – east meets west and the food will be amazing!
What do you think is the ‘finest thing’ about The Rees?
The people are what stand us apart from the rest – nothing is too much trouble and everyone on the team has a genuine love of hospitality (and being hospitable). Did I mention the great views and food and wine….