Anthony Robertson, owner and manager of Heritage Lake Resort in Central Otago, first arrived on-site as a builder when the now-famous Perriam Cove subdivision beside Lake Dunstan was still a farm.
Together with a team of constructors and contractors, the marina was dug out and shaped into the Perriam Cove development we know and love today with the initial plan of building 24 over-water villas, restaurants, conference rooms and shops in two and a half years.
However, all development plans came to a halt in 2008 as the financial crisis put the world into economic shock and the construction team shrunk to a small team of three. With only a quarter of the resort completed, the management company pulled out, and Roberston decided to take over the contract and do it himself.
Armed with a phone, reservation pad and pen, Robertson started his journey in the hospitality trade, shouldering many responsibilities. Throughout the years between 2008 and 2011, he was not only a builder but also a cleaner, receptionist, housekeeper and restaurant owner. From this point onwards, he never looked back.
In 2014, the resort joined the Heritage brand and officially became Heritage Lake Resort. Construction of a 150-person conference and wedding venue commenced, and by the start of 2019, all the rest of the villas had been completed. Currently, the resort features 60 rooms, an adventure playground, a nine-hole mini-golf course, award-winning Moorings restaurant and two large event spaces.
Heritage Lake Resort’s point of difference is that its rooms are built over the crystal clear waters of Lake Dunstan, which allows guests to moor their boats directly underneath their villas. Located in Central Otago, it provides easy access to world-class wineries, watersports, snowsports, motorsports and many more, making it the perfect private getaway.
In 2019, Roberston stood on the world stage in Finland with his fiancée, Lara, and received the Best General Manager award for the Australia, New Zealand and Oceania division.
The resort has also won multiple world awards and has been in many television shows such as Married At First Sight, The Webber Circus Reality TV series, and Un-chartered NZ.
The team at Heritage Lake Resorts is always seeking ways to bring the waterside getaway to the next level with innovative and fresh ideas.
“We have recently built a Formula One tunnel boat into a two-seater where guests can jump in and see what it takes to be a Formula One driver on the water,” said Robertson. “This is the first time anyone has tried to do this as a commercial operation which makes the experience unique and one of a kind.”
Roberston’s next plan is to add a day spa with hot tubs and a boutique brewery.
Like many other companies throughout New Zealand, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the resort’s business operations, pivoting it towards technology. Things like keyless entry and pre-arrival check-ins on your smartphone will all be available shortly.
According to Roberston, 2022 is set to be a very challenging year. “From here, we will continue to grow, change, and adapt to the ever-changing world we all now live in. We have an amazing team that is up for any challenge that may lie ahead in the coming months.”