Puka Park opens lounge and bar to honour founders
Accor Vacation Club has launched the ‘Hoehn Lounge’ at its flagship New Zealand property, Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort, in recognition of the iconic resort’s founders and developers, Rainer Hoehn and Angie Male.
Puka Park was built in 1987 on Rainer Hoehn’s vision to bring luxury and adventure ecotourism to New Zealand. It is one of New Zealand’s original eco resorts, sustainably and thoughtfully built on 25 acres of virgin land, maintaining strong connection to local environs which included the Chalets flown in by helicopter and implemented individually around trees to preserve surrounding forest.
The name ‘Puka Park’ Reflects the traditional African hunting/adventure lodges which inspired founder Rainer Hoehn, and the property’s unique Coromandel natural wonders. ‘Puka’ originated from the native plants on site originally mistaken for ‘Puka’ trees. Despite this misnomer, the name ‘Puka Park‘ persisted and is now well-known and recognisable across New Zealand and ‘Park’ finds it’s reference to the property being nestled in 25 acres of native, subtropical New Zealand forest encouraging adventurous activities such as bushwalks, cycling tracks and mountain hikes. Fittingly today, each guest attending the launch event was given a Puka Tree as a gift to plant at home.
Puka Park won the first ever New Zealand Tourism Award of Excellence in 1988 (a year after it was established). The region itself, the Coromandel Peninsula is a coastal, nature escape in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. The land is volcanic, mountainous landscape, covered in pristine subtropical forest with enduring regional geothermal activity.
Two-hours drive from Auckland, the peninsula extends 85km north yet only 40km at widest point, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the East; Bay of Plenty and Hauraki Gulf to the West. This land was originally inhabited by native Maori tribes, or ‘Iwi’ and today still largely undeveloped due to its rugged terrain.
Puka Park was acquired by Accor Vacation Club in June 2006 where it was rebranded as Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort, Accor Vacation Club. Accor Vacation Club is a leading holiday lifestyle program providing its Premiere Plus members with access to its 24 core properties in Australia, New Zealand and Bali – plus more travel options to explore via affiliate programs including Accor Hotels Select and Select Elite, Accor Vacation Club Travel and Accor Vacation Club Cruises.