Situated beside beautiful Lake Wakatipu and framed by the jagged skyline of The Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown is billed as the adventure capital of New Zealand. If you want to jump off things, launch yourself off things or ride things that go very, very fast, Queenstown will cater for your every thrill-seeking whim. But away from these hair-raising, white knuckle, adrenaline-fueled antics, Queenstown has a quieter, more elegant and romantic side. Many of the town’s high end accommodation providers cater for visitors seeking to relax and unwind rather than fire themselves up. These lodges and retreats offer unrivalled private accommodation set in the spectacular heart of the Southern Alps. Queenstown has an international reputation for premium bespoke accommodation and its penthouses, 5-star boutique lodges, and luxury hotels rank among the best in the world. Who can resist starting a day of indulgence by waking up to a 360 degree panorama of lakes and mountains? So, if Queenstown sounds like your kind of place, here’s a selection of the town’s finest luxury accommodation.
Sea World Drive, Main Beach, 4217 Gold Coast, Australia
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For a 5-star resort experience stay at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast. The hotel opens out to the Pacific Ocean with direct access from the lagoon area. It is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Sea World, the Southport Yacht Club and Marina Mirage.
The modern guest rooms have an ocean inspired design and views of the Pacific, lagoon or resort. The comfortable Sheraton Sleep Experience® Beds are fitted with premium white linens for a good night’s rest. Each room features a marble bathroom, Le Grand Bain® amenities and large TV. Guests have access to complimentary Wi-Fi and room service.
Terraces Restaurant offers modern Australian cuisine throughout the day. Looking down on the tropical gardens is Oyster Bar and Grill, which serves fresh seafood and local meat. Pearls Bar is where guests can enjoy a cocktail, glass of wine and light fare while overlooking the ocean. Oasis Pool Bar serves guests enjoying the lagoon which The Deck offers tea, coffee, and pre-dinner drinks.
The resort features a well-equipped fitness centre and different pools for visitors to enjoy. Oasis Pool is a heated lagoon style pool with sunbeds which all guests have access to. The Villa Pool is another outdoor heated pool that is exclusively reserved for villa guests.
Located right in the centre, this luxury hotel blends French-style alpine sophistication with stylish local design trends to created an elegant living space amid the action and excitement of Queenstown. Just a muffin-toss away from the Skyline Gondola and the cafes, bars and shopping precincts you can live it up here…or snuggle down.
Every room at the Sofitel is loaded with features to ensure your every whim is satisfied. All rooms feature a custom Sofitel MyBed, with underfloor heating, surround sound, and luxe bathrooms with rain showers and double spa baths. The two grand Penthouses feature outdoor jacuzzis, king-sized beds, and EPIC lake views.
Brimming with local ingredients, the hotel’s 1789 Restaurant brings revolutionary French culinary traditions to the heart of the high country. The Left Bank Bistro continues the motif Francaise with elegant fin de siècle Parisian café decor, updated for the hearty appetites of swooning lovers or ski-slope adventurers.
With a dedicated meeting room, and intimate bar spaces where discrete bartenders will shake or stir your favourite cocktail, there’s no need to even go outside. But if the big world of Queenstown beckons, Lake Wakatipu is moments away, and the Skyline Gondola can whisk you into the sky faster than you can say “Garçon”!
Situated on the crystalline shore of Lake Wakatipu, just a stone’s skim away form the centre of town, the rooms at this luxury hotel look out on the stupendous vista of the lake and its backdrop of awe-inspiring mountains. Its quiet and private location provides a haven of tranquility from Queenstown’s frenetic pace.
The hotel’s accommodation options are an adventure in themselves, stepping upwards from the lakeshore in a series of levels. With bright, airy spaces and clean lines, the villas and apartments are designed to maximise the ample mountain sunlight. Modern condo-style decor and furnishings compliment sleek bathrooms,and every romantic bedroom has a stunning wake-up vista.
Full kitchen facilities are standard in ever room and apartment at Villa del Lago. If you are putting your own architectural meals together, you’ll find everything you need to create memorable feasts to be eaten in style on the balcony or the dining room. Alternatively, the epicurean delights of Queenstown are only moments away.
With spacious, self-catering villas and suites, the Villa del Lago is a perfect base for your Queenstown escapade. From fun summer getaways, to winter sport action adventures, you can store your stuff in secure lockers, borrow board games, or sneak down to the beach for a midnight dip if you dare.
A Queenstown institution, this stunning hotel, right on Queenstown’s waterfront, has been purveying top quality accommodation for over a century and a half. Established in 1866 to service the Otago Goldfields, the Echardt’s Hotel of today epitomizes the grace and charm of the colonial world blended with the sophistication and style of a modern 5-star hotel.
The spacious Penthouse (240m²), with its uninterrupted views, is accessed via a private elevator and features leather sofas, sumptuous decor, and Queenstown’s largest private terrace. The Lakeview Suites feature all mod cons, walk-in wardrobes and generous bathtubs. The Residence, a few minutes walk away, takes luxury to new levels with three king-sized bedrooms.
From gold miners to high country shepherds, the famous Eichardt’s bar has been refreshing travellers in its elegant, comfy surrounding since its earliest days. The bar’s tapas menu blends fresh local ingredients with handpicked vegetables and herbs sourced from the nearby hills. The Grille continues this fine tradition, while high tea can be had daily in The Parlour.
Blending unique treatments and personalized packages, The Vault Spa. located in Eichardt’s Heritage Wing, is a perfect place to hideaway and relax. Wooden hot tubs are a feature of the Penthouse and Lakeview Apartments. The hotel’s private, 80-foot Falcon-S motor launch is Queenstown’s only private 5-star yacht and is available for lake cruises and charters.
With its absolute lakefront location and quiet, secure, gated facilities, The Rees is a luxurious hotel which offers one of Queenstown’s best views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables. Built in 2007, The Rees takes its name from the explorer William Rees who established a farm at Queenstown in 1859.
The contemporary design of the hotel’s Executive Apartments feature tiled balconies and cosy gas fires in surroundings that echo the stone and gold landscapes of Central Otago. With two stunning penthouses, and a selection of smaller, lakeview rooms, The Rees presents a range of accommodation options to suit every budget.
The True South Dining Room at The Rees brings the freshest local-grown Otago produce to it’s diners plates in the form of imaginative dishes designed around sustainability and innovation. The food is paired with wines from the Rees’ extensive celler served both in the restaurant and in the Bordeau Lounge Bar.
The Body Sanctum Spa at the Rees offers rejuvenation, relaxation and bespoke treatments administered by world-class beauty therapists. The hotel also features a library of rare books, a fully-equipped gymnasium, and a private beach with its own wharf for accessing the local water taxi service. The secure car park has a number of electric car charging stations.
With sweeping view of Lake Wakatipu, Frankton Arm, and the ever-changing panorama of The Remarkables, this luxurious hotel sits nicely amid a landscape of native flora a few minutes walk from downtown Queenstown.
With floor-to-ceiling windows giving expansive views of the Wakatipu Basin’s landscape, and featuring a fully-functioning kitchen, the Alpine Studios are perfect as a ski base or holiday home. With stylish, modern design elements, and bedroom spaces that maximize both comfort and views, the Alpine and Lake View Suites bring romance and seclusion to the fore.
For summer holiday barbeques, or apre-ski snacks, a BBQ area is provided within the confines of a tussocky amphitheatre adjacent to the hotel. And with the exciting nightlife, dining and café options of Queenstown just moments away, you can be downtown and eating quicker than you can say “luxury!”
Designed to ensure that their guests stay connected, the Pounamu Apartments supply a range of computer terminals and free Ultra-fast WiFi Broadband. To maximize space and ensure that a quite, serene atmosphere, the apartments offer off-site membership to several local gyms and spa retreats.
Ultra-modern, and with a atmosphere of relaxed informality, this luxe hotel is small enough to be intimate but goes big on service and facilities. Located on a hillside overlooking downtown Queenstown, and only a five minute walk down into town, The Central combines innovative decor with comfort and warmth.
The Central’s three different room styles each take a different spin on both old world and new world stylings. With wallpapers commissioned especially for the property, and artworks gracing every wall, the rooms feature tranquil vies of green garden spaces combined with the epic landscapes of the Wakatipu Basin.
The Central Bar is a chic, artistically- decorated space inspired by art nouveau, with plush furnishings, a muted colour palette and mood lighting. The nightly Happy Hour is a perfect way to get lubricated before you venture out to sample the gastronomic wonders of Queenstown which are just a short stagger away.
Featuring some of the largest bedroom spaces in Queenstown, every room at the Central is decked out with smart TVs, premium bathrooms and complimentary Netflix access.
Situated at Closeburn, only a few minutes from Queenstown (but a world away), Matakauri Lodge is a beautiful hotel with views that are unique. Constructed from natural materials to blend in with the landscape, the lodge overlooks tiny Closeburn Bay and the sublime panorama of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.
Four grades of accommodation are on offer at the lodge, all of them constructed to re-imagine colonial architecture, decorated in muted, relaxing colours and furnished with natural materials. The Owner’s Cottage is a luxurious four-bedroom villa, while the deluxe suites and lodge rooms each feature exquisite furnishings and decor.
The lodge’s kitchen creates an ever-changing palette of dishes crafted to celebrate the seasonal produce of the Central Otago region. The stunning Dining Room, with it’s floor-to-ceiling windows, and the Remarkables Patio, feature epic views of the surrounding landscape. The lodge’s Library, Courtyard and Lounge provide a selection of more intimate venues.
With a swimming pool surrounded by native tussocks and shrubs, and several secluded deck spaces, the hotel allows guest to unwind in an atmosphere of solitude and quiet. The Matakauri Spa, situated on the edge of a fragrant pine forest, features a private deck enclosed by native plants, and uninterrupted views of the lake and rugged Cecil Peak.
Set in a truly idyllic and breathtaking setting, the Hotel St Moritz awaits guests all year round who want to spend their leisure time between luxurious conditions. Overlooking the greenery of Queenstown Gardens, the surrounding snow-capped mountains and the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, this luxury hotel is sure to leave nothing to be desired.
The choice of rooms and suites at the 5-star hotel is very diverse, from very simple rooms to large two-bathroom suites to satisfy all needs. Their common features are the exceptionally comfortable bed, the furnishing, which perfectly combines classic and modern style features, and the spacious, luxurious bathroom, which is of course equipped with upscale bathroom toiletries.
The hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Lombardi, offers exceptional views of the mountains and Lake Wakatipu. The modern and cozy furnishings are both inviting at first sight, and the delicacies coming out of the wood-heated pizza oven are guaranteed to be enticing. In the Lombardi Bar, in addition to local high-quality wines, you can taste cocktails and exceptional coffees in the company of mouth-watering tapas.
The luxurious hotel also provides guests with several elegantly furnished rooms for private events. Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, the lake and surrounding mountains provide the perfect backdrop for any event, and the spacious rooms with the truly sophisticated furnishings are guaranteed to further enhance the light of the event.
QT Queenstown is located in beautiful surroundings on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Just a few minutes drive from Queenstown Gardens, where the guests can indulge in a passion for golf and tennis. True lovers of nature can take a short walk from the luxury hotel to the Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve, which offers an incredible view of the city from its high vantage point.
The elegantly furnished rooms and suites are all equipped with the highest quality amenities, and the king-size beds guarantee comfort. Spacious bathrooms and luxurious bath accessories help in complete relaxation. The rooms and suites have a private balcony with glass walls, so you can fully enjoy the lake view from the bed.
When it comes to dining options, the 5-star hotel does not disappoint guests. The Bazaar Restaurant offers stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains, and serves a truly elegant and sophisticated gourmet dinner, while Reds Bar is the perfect place to taste the finest quality spirits while admiring the unique Queenstown sunset.
When it comes to business meetings, weddings or even Christmas events, QT Queenstown is guaranteed to be the perfect venue. Clancy’s Room or Queenstown Room awaits guests with impeccable elegance, top quality furnishings, an undeniable sense of style and a high standard of service.
The charming and modern building of the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa is located at the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Just a few miles from Queenstown Airport and the noise of the city, this luxury hotel is ideal for those looking to relax in a peaceful environment. In addition, the hotel has so much to offer that there is no need to move out.
All richly appointed rooms and suites offer a private outside terrace overlooking the lake and the pleasant lakeside promenade. Each room and suite has a gas fireplace to make your stay truly intimate. The modern furnishings are really soothing thanks to the colors used, which were inspired by earth tones and nature.
In addition to the basic in-room dining options at the 5-star hotel, guests can enjoy the excellent Wakatipu Grill restaurant. Located right on the riverfront, the restaurant offers seasonal specialties made from local ingredients with a selection of high-quality wines. Gourmet food can be tasted at Stacks Pub, while the most important sport events can be enjoyed on the large screens.
The modern and discreet Eforea Spa offers a wide range of facial and body treatments for tired guests, using exclusive organic beauty products to maximize the result. In addition, the steam room, sauna, hot tub and indoor pool can be used in a truly and intimate environment, and the Presidential Spa Suite is available on request.
While Queenstown’s bustling centre is a frenetic place of restaurants, bars, high-end retailers and raucous backpacker hangouts, just a short walk in any direction will take you out into the wilderness. You can finish your latte at one of the town’s superb lakeside cafés and be alone in the spectacular landscape of the Wakatipu within a few minutes. Hidden away in the mountains, beside crystal streams of the world’s purest water, there are hunting and fishing lodges, wellness retreats and secluded sanctuaries where you can escape from the rush and scramble of the outside world. And if, by chance, your luxury accommodation is located out of town, you always have the option of arriving by jet boat, helicopter or private plane. After all, why should the thrill-seekers have all the fun?
Once you’ve settled into your luxury hotel, it’s time to get your adrenaline fix. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand, and arguably, the world. This incredible town will have you facing your fears and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Plus, with its stunning mountain backdrop, this small slice of heaven will leave you in awe. Here’s how to make the most of your Queenstown trip.
This small Kiwi town is where the first-ever commercial Bungy jump company started (and still operates today). AJ Hackett now offers a range of exhilarating activities. I recommend challenging yourself to the original and highest Bungy in New Zealand, where you free fall 134m into the canyon.
For a (slightly) less scary adventure, have a go on the world-famous Shotover canyon swing. From a 109m high platform, you’ll free fall for 60 meters right into the canyon, where you’ll swing back and forth as you take in mind-blowing views. Oh, and if you’re an extreme adrenaline seeker like me, you can combine the canyon swing with the bungee jump for double the buzz!
There are so many thrilling activities on offer in Queenstown that it would be impossible to do them all. However, one that I highly recommend is jet boating. During this popular water activity, you will whizz down rivers taking sharp corners and do 360-degree spins in the lake. Many operators run these tours, and each ride lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. You’ll be laughing the entire time as you cling onto the handlebars for dear life!
Don’t leave Queenstown without visiting New Zealand’s most famous and beautiful tourist destination, Milford Sound. This mesmerizing sound is in the Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site, full of untouched nature and wildlife. Milford Sound is about a 3.5-hour drive from Queenstown one way, meaning if you take a day trip there, you’ll spend most of the time on the coach. However, there is a much better way to reach Milford Sound, which is by air. You can book a scenic flight from Queenstown that not only cuts the journey down to 30 minutes but offers you a unique perspective of the mountains and national parks. You will then take a 2-hour boat cruise around Milford Sound before a short flight back to Queenstown.
If you’re in Queenstown during ski season, you’ll surely want to check out some of the town’s ski fields. Coronet Peak is the closest resort to town. They offer skiing and sledding for all abilities. Even if you have never skied before, the passionate instructors are experts at putting your mind at ease and helping you learn the ropes.
When you’ve had your fill of adventure and need something more calming, head to the Onsen Hot Pools. This upscale spa offers guests private, cedar-lined hot tubs with the most incredible view of the Shotover River canyon below. The hot pools are the perfect way to unwind after an adventure-filled vacation and are particularly blissful during the winter.
Queenstown has an array of beautiful wineries, and the region is renowned for its Pinot Noir. However, Gibbston Valley is undoubtedly the best place for wine tasting and is just a 30-minute drive from town. Here you will find New Zealand’s largest wine cave, where you can savour some fine wine and cheese pairings. You can also take a tour around the vineyard, indulge in a 3-course lunch, or take a scenic helicopter ride around the Central Otago wine region.