Finally, the second and improved Hermitage (pictured above) opened its doors in 1914. The hotel was controlled and promoted by what was known as the Department of Tourist and Health Resorts. The Mount Cook Motor Company was keen to assist in expanding the region as a destination, primarily to increase the visitor numbers to the Hermitage throughout the winter season. Due to growing demand for their services, eventually the company applied to lease the property, taking it over in 1921. The Hermitage was extended, camping facilities developed and package tours offered - for perhaps the first time in New Zealand. Further extensions to the hotel came in 1924.
In the 1930s the company was renamed as the Mount Cook and Southern Lakes Tourism Company, and once the lease expired in 1944, they returned the Hermitage to the New Zealand government. The government also purchased several other hotels and tourism attractions during this time to promote New Zealand tourism. In 1955 the Tourism Hotel Corporation was established, to manage and run these hotels.
Sadly, disaster struck in September 1957 when the second Hermitage was razed to the ground in a spectacular fire. The Government moved quickly to design and build a new hotel on the present site, and it was operational by May 1958.
In 1990, the government sold the Tourism Hotel Corporation to US-based South Pacific Hotels Corporation. Not long after, Trojan Holdings, a New Zealand tourism company founded and owned by a local family, purchased the Hermitage Hotel from them.
The Hermitage, Aoraki / Mount Cook is still under Trojan ownership and the portfolio has grown over the years, now featuring a collection of accommodation outlets, dining establishments and activities. These include the Mount Cook Lodge & Motels, the Alpine Restaurant, Panorama Room, Snowline Bar, Sir Edmund Hillary Café, Glacier Explorers, Big Sky Stargazing, Tasman Valley Tours, Aoraki/Mount Cook Guided Hikes, and the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre which includes the museum & theatre. This collection, plus a few other operators in the National Park, make up the renowned Mount Cook Village.