A billionaire said to have amassed the largest steel and iron empire in Russia has financed the building of a superb luxury lodge in New Zealand which opens for business in November next year.
Helena Bay lies about 45 minutes by helicopter north of Auckland on three kilometres of pristine coastline with four private beaches, in an area between Kerikeri and Whangarei renowned for diving and fishing.
National Geographic Traveler magazine ranked the location second equal in its compilation of ‘The World’s Top Rated Islands, Coastlines and Beaches’.
Helena Bay representative Philip Jenkins outlined the location and facilities of the lodge yesterday at Luxperience 2015 in Sydney. Jenkins said Helena Bay’s owner, Russian billionaire Alexander Abramov, would occupy the lodge occasionally, when he turned up from time to time in his lavish private superyacht with its crew of 40.
When Abramov is not there, which will be most of the time, up to 10 discerning guests can have the run of the place. Helena Bay is destined to be one of New Zealand’s very top lodges, along the lines of Northland’s Kauri Cliffs, the Wairarapa’s Wharekauhau and Glenorchy’s Blanket Bay.
New Zealand continues to aim for the world’s big spenders. Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) director of trade, public relations and major events, René de Monchy, said TNZ was concentrating on high net worth visitors around the world “and their advisors”. He said premium travellers spent about as much per day (NZD 2500) as average visitors spent on their entire stay.
De Monchy said TNZ had taken 44 of the country’s premium operators to Luxperience this year, a big increase on the 36 who attended last year.
Written by Peter Needham