Raffles-inspired charm meets home comforts at new Christchurch retirement complex

Burlington Village’s much-anticipated Pavilion combines a glamorous aesthetic with the hallmarks of every Qestral retirement facility.

It’s not every day that one can be dazzled by the exotic trimmings of Singapore’s Raffles Hotel or stroll from apartment to cinema in two minutes flat. But, in many ways, one can do just that in the leafy Christchurch suburb of Redwood.

Located at the heart of Burlington Village, the new luxury complex, called the “Pavilion”, was designed with the vibrance and buzz of a hotel as well as the creature comforts of home and a closeknit community. Like Mary Poppins’ bag, which held no end of fabulous treats, there’s no shortage of surprises within the $25 million building.

It’s as if an omniscient someone has handpicked everything a community needs, including a movie theatre, bar, a bakery and café, a gym and wellness centre, an indoor pool and spa, a library and a beauty room to boot. Mary Poppins herself would be mighty pleased.

The Pavilion Atrium looking as grand as ever.

The Pavilion’s Raffles-like feel is no accident. Inspired by the iconic Far East hotel and Fiji’s waterfront Grand Pacific Hotel, the two-storey building is the brainchild of renowned Christchurch architects Kerry Mason and Huia Reriti and Qestral Corporation.

“Each Qestral village has its own personality. The Pavilion boasts a completely different look to our other similar facilities at other villages. The idea is that the design reflects an upmarket hotel but includes features and spaces to ensure the building
has a relaxed atmosphere,” says Qestral Managing Director Simon O’Dowd.

Simon knows a secret or two about luxury living; this is a man who has dedicated much of his career to strengthening the retirement industry. The national president of the NZ Aged Care Association for 20 years, he has actively represented the sector and its residents. Between Simon, director Jeremy O’Dowd (his brother) and Qestral executive chair John Ryder, the trio has more than a century of experience that helps them serve New Zealand retirees better than ever.

Experience, however, does not mean sticking with the status quo. “We are constantly learning — we openly invite and encourage feedback so we can adapt as necessary with changing demand and expectations,” Simon explains.

Fountains play along the man-made lakes that stretch throughout the 15 hectares of design-led spaces at Burlington Village. This is the magic Qestral aims to create at each facility, but there is more that meets the eye than beautiful scenery. Quality healthcare, innovative technology and highly trained staff are not only the hallmarks of the Christchurch-based company — they are embedded in Qestral’s DNA.

In 2016, in teaming up with tech entrepreneur Christopher Dawson, Qestral was at the helm of a cutting-edge tablet suite called Spritely. The easy-to-use software, and winner of the 2020 New Zealand Digital Innovation Award, allows residents in all Qestral villages an effective way to monitor health vitals, contact fellow residents, book village activities, read the village noticeboard and more.

The bedroom of a serviced apartment.

“No corner is cut when designing a village. We prioritise space between houses, outdoor living areas, a range of house sizes and designs and premium facilities,” says Simon. This vision to create new-generation villages is alive and well across Qestral’s portfolio of retirement communities throughout New Zealand, including Alpine View and Banbury Park in Christchurch and Nelson’s Coastal View.

“We are proud of our villages, in being innovative and dynamic in everything we do — and so are our residents. We don’t just stick to the same thing because it’s working. We are constantly looking to adapt and improve — new house designs, bigger activities and events, technology and more,” says Simon.

The living area of a serviced apartment.

The Burlington Pavilion opened in September this year, with 42 serviced apartments in a range of sizes (up to 100m2 with 30m2 of outdoor living area), each comfortably fitted with a kitchen, private deck or balcony and an en suite. The village also has rest home and hospital-level care on-site, as well as a boutique dementia facility.

“For us, it’s important to offer a full continuum of care — this gives our residents peace of mind to know that support is on hand, on-site, should they or their partner end up needing it,” says Simon.


The cabaret opening of Burlington Pavilion featured award-winning performer Ali Harper.

Tight-knit communities, each designed with its own style and personality, are what New Zealand retirees want and need for a healthy, happy lifestyle. This is the ethos Qestral, Burlington Village’s parent company, keeps in mind when it designs a village for future retirees.

A new-generation village not only needs beauty — in terms of landscaping and architecture — but also top-trained staff, quality medical facilities and the eagerness to adopt new technology. Spritely and Kindly are technologies employed in all Qestral villages, which streamline healthcare, documentation and resident communication. At Burlington’s all-new Pavilion complex, this new way of living also means fun.

From “aquacise” (aquatic exercise) in the indoor pool to cabaret shows, dancing and live music, it’s no wonder the Pavilion is the beating heart of the village.

For more information call Louise on 027 614 4170
171 Prestons Road, Redwood, Christchurch

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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