The Best Hotels in Queenstown for Every Traveller

The St Moritz is one of several plush hotel options for visitors to New Zealand, whether you're a thrill seeker or have come here to relax
The St Moritz is one of several plush hotel options for visitors to New Zealand, whether you're a thrill seeker or have come here to relax | Courtesy of Hotel St Moritz Queenstown / Expedia
Photo of Alex Allen
11 December 2020

On the shores of brilliant-blue Lake Wakatipu, on New Zealand‘s South Island, Queenstown is a special place indeed. With that framing horizon of the jagged Southern Alps, it is a city for outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of adventure sports. Bungee jumpers flock here for the thrill of their life. But it’s not all about adrenaline – some of the loveliest places to stay are the most relaxing spots in town. Whether you’d like a lodge or a spa retreat, a standalone property or a boutique beauty, read on and book yourself one of Queenstown’s finest.

Queenstown Country Lodge

Hotel
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Queenstown Country Lodge
Courtesy of Queenstown Country Lodge / Expedia
This farmhouse-style lodge, 10 minutes’ drive from Queenstown, is like your own modern-day little house on the prairie: surrounded by log-fenced fields and fruit trees, and backed by rugged hills. The five rooms vary in style: some (the Remarkables Room and the Shotover Room) own a darker, moodier look with chocolate tones; while the others are lighter and brighter – but they all come with fantastic views either towards the Remarkables mountain range, or across the property’s landscaped gardens. Live-in hosts Jennifer and Mark know the area like the back of their hands, so tap them up for day-trip ideas.
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Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa

Hotel
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Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa/ Expedia | Courtesy of Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa/ Expedia
Picture a Parisian grande-dame transported to the centre of Queenstown: that’s boutique French chain Sofitel, and its designer hallmarks are all over this place. A crème brûlée colour scheme – all vanilla, coffee and burnt caramel – combines with heavy drape curtains, elegant, contemporary chandeliers and walnut wood panelling to envelop you in luxury. Of the three on-site restaurants, the Jervois Steakhouse is the one to book if you’re pushing the boat out – with oysters, king crab and top-line lamb and beef to salivate over on the menu.
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Azur Luxury Lodge

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hotel, Lodge, Luxury
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Courtesy of Azur Lodge / Expedia
The name of this property is misleading – not that it isn’t luxurious (it has few peers in the area), but it’s not really a lodge. It’s a collection of nine private one-bedroom villas scattered along the banks of Lake Wakatipu, 10 minutes from Queenstown. The villas themselves will have your heart racing, with their timber-clad walls and ceilings, vast private decks and fabulous open-plan living areas. But it’s the views – over those luminous-blue lake waters and miles and miles of snow-dusted mountain peaks – that are the star of the show here.
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QT Queenstown

Hotel
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QT Queenstown
Courtesy of QT Queenstown / Expedia
Ridiculously good looking enough to get away with its delirious website blurb (“surprise yourself with the impossible, and risk it all for the beautiful moment”), this ultra-glam hotel, just outside the city centre, is cooler than the glacial lake it overlooks. Artsy decor makes you feel like you’re in an architect’s penthouse apartment rather than a hotel: check the hanging fireplace in the lobby and those leather-draped, wire-frame chairs and wood-block side tables in the rooms. Views are either out over the lake or up to the mountains – either way, you’re in for a treat.
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Lakeside Luxury on Suburb Street

Hotel
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Lakeside Luxury on Suburb Street
Courtesy of Lakeside Luxury on Suburb Street / Expedia
Travelling through New Zealand as a group? Make yourselves at home in this standalone holiday lodge right on the lakefront. Sleeping up to nine guests across four bedrooms, it’s coffee-table-book-stylish. Clock the clever indoor-outdoor patio dining area that comes with heaters, a stone fireplace and a retractable roof for those balmy nights when you want to eat under the stars. Rooms are Scandi-chic, with elegant contemporary furniture. Some have double aspect French doors boasting sweeping landscape views that’ll blow you away.

Hotel St Moritz Queenstown

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Hotel St Moritz Queenstown
Courtesy of Hotel St Moritz Queenstown / Expedia
With that clean wood panelling, the asymmetrical stone fireplace in the lobby and those giant engineered wood beams, the feel here is of a traditional ski lodge, refined to within an inch of its life. All the folksy bits – the stuffed animal heads, the vintage skiing paraphernalia – you might expect to find in its American equivalent have been trimmed away, leaving a flawlessly sleek, pared-back experience. Rooms are intimate and organic-feeling, without being OTT. You might get a framed print of a mountain wildflower, a studded leather headboard or moss-green curtains, but mercifully, no snow shoes nailed to the wall.
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Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown

Hotel
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Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown
Courtesy of Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown / Expedia
This place holds a special place in the city’s heart. Not only was it the first hotel in Queenstown, but, back in 1859, it was also the first building to be erected – a wool shed for sheep shearing. It’s a truly remarkable proposition: spared-no-expense suites, standalone apartments, even a separate residence and penthouse. The unifying look across the range of accommodation options is contemporary country-lodge luxury, with faux fur throws, candles and dark wood aplenty. Prefer something more… exclusive? How about your own chartered yacht, Pacific Jemm, also owned by the hotel?
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Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel

Hotel
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Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel / Expedia
Meeting somewhere in the middle between boutique art gallery and garden conservatory, the clean, white, minimally furnished box-like rooms here are given the kiss of life by the ceiling-height windows overlooking the vibrant green, manicured grounds of a park. Contemporary-vintage furnishings (think velvet arm chairs in neon teal, black crystal chandeliers, studded footstools) clash in an arty way, while the à la carte breakfast, served in the airy, atrium-like dining room, is likely to be one of the the best you’ll have all trip. You’ll wish you could spend a year here.
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  • The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments

    Hotel
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    The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments
    Courtesy of The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments / Expedia
    We want to know where they sourced the bedroom sideboards in this grand, swaggering, swanky lakefront pile. Like the rest of the furniture here, they’re understatedly elegant, with cross-strut legs, made from a rich, warm wood. The other room detail we’re in love with is the picture windows that look out from the bath back into the bedroom – and through to the lake views from the terrace at the far end. Prefer some privacy? Just draw the blinds.
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    Villa del Lago

    Suite Hotel
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    Villa del Lago
    Courtesy of Villa del Lago / Expedia
    Away from the main road, almost at eye-level with the shimmering waters of Lake Wakatipu, this collection of suites and serviced apartments has a quiet, grown-up sophistication that other, blingier properties in the area fail to muster. The living areas – with squishy leather sofas, gas fireplaces and plenty of wool throws – feel comfortable and familiar, rather than somewhere you’d worry about leaving a hot drink without a coaster. The kitchenettes are generous enough to actually cook dinner at, and the views – well, the views are worth the price alone.
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    Browns Boutique Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
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    Browns Boutique Hotel
    Courtesy of Browns Boutique Hotel / Expedia
    The long, gently sloping roof, wrought iron-balustraded Juliet balconies and sun-bleached plaster exterior make this 10-room boutique look more like something you might find in an Italian alpine village than three minutes’ drive from the centre of Queenstown. Inside, the Italianate effect continues, with terracotta-coloured floor tiles, elegant white marble lampshades and reclaimed stone urns and vases dotted about the place. Rooms are painted burnished copper green, with lots of solid pine furniture and double doors opening onto lake-view balconies. This place is elegant – and, design-wise, so intelligent.
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    Queenstown House Boutique Bed and Breakfast & Villa Apartments

    Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Queenstown House Boutique Bed and Breakfast & Villa Apartments
    Courtesy of Queenstown House Boutique Bed and Breakfast & Villa Apartments / Expedia | Courtesy of Queenstown House Boutique Bed and Breakfast & Villa Apartments / Expedia
    Fancy breakfast in bed while looking over the roofs of Queenstown, snow-draped mountains and a lake of rolled fondant icing? Oh yes we do! Set back on a hillside overlooking the town, this large, homely B&B does all the little details so well. Each room is uniquely decorated with an eclectic mix of vintage and new furnishings, all guests get a complimentary laundry service and, if you’re staying more than two nights, you’ll get a daily pre-dinner drink and cheeseboard served to your room each evening. So, our advice – definitely stay more than two nights.
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    These recommendations were updated on December 11, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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