Queenstown is an ideal escape at any time of the year. Visit in winter to see the snow-covered Remarkable Mountains and ski-slopes, or summer to adventure around Lake Wakatipu. These hotels offer the best views of Queenstown’s incredible scenery.
Queenstown hotels with Lake Wakatipu views
A quirky Queenstown hotel on the edge of Lake Wakatipu
QT Queenstown is exactly what you’d expect from the hotel chain known for its lavish and quirky take on accommodation. Those familiar with the QT brand will know that each of its hotels are unique, taking on their own theme. It seems apt then that the Queenstown (known as an adventure seeker hotspot) incarnation follows the brief of ‘plush, playtime luxe’.
The hotel sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, looking over the water, up to the snow-capped Remarkable Mountains, making the resort an ideal base for adventure seekers in the Southern Alps.
If you’re going all out, the most luxe room is the Remarkable King, situated on the top floor, enjoying the best views of the lake and Southern Alps. Each of these suites provide plenty of room to spread out and balconies from which to enjoy the views. Added extras include a G & T and charcuterie board on arrival. All rooms are fitted out with QT gel beds (which are constantly likened to ‘sleeping on clouds’), Nespresso machines, MALIN+GOETZ bathroom amenities, as well as complimentary in-room movies.
QT Queenstown’s in-house buffet restaurant, Bazaar might just take the cake for ‘restaurant with the best view of the Remarkable mountain ranges’ in New Zealand. If you’re put off by the thought of a hotel buffet, don’t be, because QT have nailed the formula. The culinary focus here is on fresh, local produce, prepared in open-plan kitchens. Guests are encouraged to select the produce that will end up in the meal of their choosing. Food-wise, the range is diverse – a wood-fired pizza oven sits next to a wok station, while a little further away lies a seafood cabinet.
Finish your meal off with a drink at Reds Bar, known for its eclectic cocktail offerings. Here you can enjoy the widest range of spirits in Queenstown and of course, New Zealand wines. Sweet tooths would be wise to opt for the Spiced Cloud Marshmallow – infused spiced rum, honey water shrub, lemon, sugar, egg white and pineapple, while those up for something a little more left-of-field should try the Ghost of Mary – jalapeno and pancetta infused vodka, tomato consommé, celery bitters, dehydrated pancetta and pancetta salt.
Mixing history with hospitality
Tying together history and hospitality, The Rees Hotel pays tribute to William and Frances Rees, who are regarded as the founders of Queenstown. The duo made their living farming the area, and then accommodating gold miners during the 1860s.
Sitting right on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, The Rees is home to an impressive number of lodgings, ranging from one bedroom suites, to penthouse apartments. All have been decorated with contemporary furnishings, in a neutral palette, framing the hotel’s main attraction – the views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables. For the best vantage point, book a room with a balcony to fully appreciate the views.
The hotel is home to a few features that you may not expect – a library of rare books and art is accessible to guests, and wine lovers should most definitely pay a visit to the hotel’s extensive cellar. This cellar is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Bordeaux wines in the Southern hemisphere. There is also, of course a large range of New Zealand, Australian and Italian wines.
In-house restaurant, True South Dining Room, pays homage to local New Zealand produce. Each month, a new menu is put together by Head Chef, Ben Batterbury, utilising seasonal produce from local farmers, reducing the restaurant’s food mile contribution.
Although the hotel is a short drive out of the Queenstown centre, a complimentary shuttle operates every few hours between the city centre and The Rees. This makes accessing the ski-slopes and transporting ski gear to the nearby Southern Alps an ease. If you are going to hit the ski-slopes, request a packed lunch the evening before from the restaurant. Ski equipment hire and storage is also available on-site.
An old-fashion boutique hotel in Queenstown
Where The Rees and QT Queenstown offer a contemporary style of accommodation, Hidden Lodge scales things back and focuses on offering old fashioned service in a boutique setting. The lodge wouldn’t look out of place in the European Alps, with its chalet style architecture and expansive gardens.
On arrival, take advantage of the complimentary drinks and canapes, which can be enjoyed in the lodge lounge by the fireplace, or the privacy of your room. All non-alcoholic drinks in the suite mini-bars are complimentary (perks like this should become commonplace among hotels of this calibre), adding a nice homely touch.
With only four suites, hotel staff have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with guests, going above and beyond to make sure everyone gets the most out of their stay. All suites are slightly different, sleeping up to two guests, with first class views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.
Highlights include the home cooked breakfast, much of which is sourced from the property gardens. This includes eggs, which are laid by Hidden Lodge’s rescue hens and free-range pork, which is raised on the owner’s farm.