I’m in Queenstown for five days, checking out two hotels here and one in Cromwell.
There are loads of choices from backpackers and caravan parks to five star lodges and even beyond if you’re a celebrity! Here are two :
Located on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, this 5-star hotel is about half way between Queenstown airport in Frankton and the CBD. Drive in and you check in on the 7th floor, which is ground level, with massive floor to ceiling windows at the end of the high ceiling reception overlooking the lake.
A stone fireplace opposite the desk provides a great place for a casual dinner or a drink after a day’s skiing (or shopping, or wine tasting) or just to gather with friends before heading into town for dinner. Dine at the in-house True South Dining Room under the care of award-winning chef Ben Batterbury who serves up local tastes with such precision it’s almost a shame to ruin your plate by eating what’s on it!
The 60 hotel rooms and 90 apartments climb down the hillside to make the most of the killer views with private balconies. In winter this is a painting to wake up to with snow powdering the Remarkables across the Frankton Arm inlet.
A lovely touch on arrival was a packet of candies from the famous Remarkable Sweet Shop which have outlets in both Queenstown and Arrowtown, just 18 minutes up the road too.
A beautiful property all schist stone and cedar, it gives the impression of a posh hunting lodge on arrival. Located through the heart of Queenstown, just a short drive (or stroll) up the hill with some rooms (mine!) having views looking over another part of Lake Wakatipu. Again, the beauty! I sat here watching the sun make the snow turn pink with a glass of wine, then the next morning it was glowing white against the clear blue sky.
This is a really popular hotel for weddings and they had one on both of the two days we were here. They have a pool heated to 22˚ (which would not be hot enough for me with snow on the mountains surrounding us) where families were swimming in it and it was September! The pool is cleverly designed to be partly inside and partly outside and a jacuzzi is also located inside along with a sauna and gym.
There is underground parking under the three wings, but space is limited so if you head out of an evening for dinner in town, you may have to park on the road!
Makenzies Restaurant and Bar (named after one of Queenstown’s pioneering families) is where you go for breakfast (buffet and a la carte menu), lunch or dinner. When we stayed there was an Aussie wedding party in residence who had bagsed the TV for the League, so we headed into town to watch the All Blacks – amid much jibing!