The Best Boutique Hotels in Queenstown, New Zealand

Matakauri Lodge’s setting is magical, with views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables
Matakauri Lodge’s setting is magical, with views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables | Courtesy of Matakauri Lodge / Expedia
Photo of Laura Hampson
23 February 2021

Although dubbed the “adventure capital of the world”, there is a more refined, luxurious side to Queenstown. Summer sees adrenaline-junkies flock here to waterski on Lake Wakatipu and ski the Remarkables mountain range in winter. However, Queenstown’s best-kept secret is its laid-back approach to luxury, best experienced by staying in one of these exquisite boutique hotels.

QT Queenstown

Hotel
Map View
QT Queenstown
Courtesy of QT Queenstown / Expedia

Creative types will love QT Queenstown’s arty aesthetic, from its suspended matte black fireplace in the foyer to its Scandi-style furnishings. Expect sheepskin throws, hanging lamps and art-clad walls in the rooms. The real star, however, is the view of Lake Wakatipu and snow-capped Remarkables through its large windows. Hotel pools are hard to come by in Queenstown, so the outdoor heated option here should be savoured.

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Matakauri Lodge

Eco-Lodge
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Matakauri Lodge
Courtesy of Matakauri Lodge / Expedia

With panoramas of the “big three” – the Remarkables, Cecil Peak and Walter Peak – Matakauri Lodge will place you in the very heart of this mountainous region. The rooms make the most of the views, while the light, airy design is courtesy of interior designer Virginia Fisher. After you arrive, make a beeline to the spa to book a Te Mana Greenstone facial to unwind.

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Kamana Lakehouse

Boutique Hotel
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Kamana Lakehouse
Courtesy of Kamana Lakehouse / Expedia

It’s hard to find a better place to enjoy Queenstown’s views than from one of Kamana Lakehouse’s hot tubs, overlooking the lake and towering mountains. If you’d rather soak in private, opt for the Lakeview Luxe room, with its outdoor bathtub for two under the stars. Downstairs, Nest Kitchen & Bar serves Mediterranean sharing-style dishes paired with the best Central Otago wines.

Hulbert House

Boutique Hotel, Lodge
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Courtesy of Hulbert House / Expedia

Sitting pretty in a Victorian villa, Hulbert House dates back to 1888 and is just a short stroll from Queentown’s city centre. There’s an intimate feel here, with only six rooms across two floors and each individually decorated – think cast-iron radiators, canopied beds and bold patterned wallpaper. The leafy salon bar, with its turquoise wallpaper, is the ideal spot to relax and read a book or take endless pictures for your Instagram feed.

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Sherwood

Eco Hotel
Map View
Sherwood Queenstown
Courtesy of Sherwood / Expedia

The Sherwood has earned its stripes as one of the world’s most sustainable hotels. Its bar operates under a zero-waste policy, while it’s one of the only southern hemisphere hotels running solely on solar power. Also, most of the restaurant’s food comes from the kitchen garden or local area. It helps that the rooms here are stylish, too, taking inspiration from mid-’80s motor inns and decorated with recycled materials.

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Heritage Queenstown

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Heritage Queenstown
Courtesy of Heritage Queenstown / Expedia

Think European-style alpine-lodge. Heritage Queenstown sits on the edge of a pine forest, just a short walk from the city centre. Most rooms have views of Lake Wakatipu or the surrounding Remarkables. A booking at Mackenzies Restaurant, with its cosy log fire and menu dotted with local lamb and beef, is a must.

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The Spire Hotel

Boutique Hotel
Map View
The Spire Hotel
Courtesy of The Spire Hotel / Expedia

For those looking to be in the thick of it, book a room at the Spire Hotel on the pedestrianised Church Lane. There are endless bars and eateries outside the hotel’s door. Most rooms offer views over the lake or neighbouring church spire (hence the name) and feature vibrant hues and rich textures. Stone fireplaces, Kiwi art and expansive balconies are some of the amenities you can expect.

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Hotel St Moritz

Hotel
Map View
Hotel St Moritz
Courtesy of Hotel St Moritz / Expedia

The first thing you’ll notice about Hotel St Moritz is its minimalist design of high ceilings adorned with chalet-style wooden beams, staircases made from stone and a few artworks referencing autumn in the region. Rooms feature feather mattress overlays and walk-in showers. Rub shoulders with Queenstown residents in Lombardi, the hotel restaurant that serves up delicious wood-fired pizzas.

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  • Azur Lodge

    Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hotel, Lodge, Luxury
    Map View
    Courtesy of Azur Lodge / Expedia
    You can’t get more scenic than the luxurious Azur Lodge. Propped up on a serene hilltop location, this contemporary boutique hotel offers spectacular views alongside its fabulous room service. Stay in one of nine private villas, each of which includes a king-size or twin beds with the finest linen, along with a lounge, dining area and private sun deck. Those who need a special pick-me-up during their stay can enjoy an in-villa massage, too.
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    The Rees Hotel

    Hotel
    Map View
    The Rees Hotel
    Courtesy of The Rees Hotel / Expedia
    This five-star hotel sits next to Lake Wakatipu, making it an ideal place to soak up Queenstown’s alluring alpine vistas. Along with a collection of 60 rooms, 90 luxury apartments and five residences, the Rees Hotel also has a fine-dining restaurant, lounge bar, wine cellar and private library. A special shuttle service will even take you downtown and back if you don’t feel like walking.
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    The Dairy Private Hotel

    Hotel
    Map View
    The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel
    Courtesy of The Dairy Private Hotel / Expedia
    The Dairy Private Hotel is best described as a luxurious bed and breakfast. Its prime location, right in the centre of Queenstown, is one of the reasons why it’s a hit among passing tourists. Other standout features include 13 private suites, an outdoor jacuzzi and a cosy library to curl up with a book. Don’t miss the complimentary drinks served each evening from 5pm to 6pm.
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    Eichardt’s Private Hotel

    Hotel
    Map View
    Eichardt's Private Hotel
    Courtesy of Eichardt’s Private Hotel / Expedia
    This historic hotel epitomises all things luxury. Indeed, the penthouse at Eichardt’s Private Hotel might be the priciest in the whole of New Zealand. However, don’t let that scare you away, as there are plenty of other, more accessible options, including cosy suites with lake or mountain views. Downstairs, the Grille combines New York glamour with a French brasserie, serving locally sourced sirloin steaks alongside its legendary seafood chowder.
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    Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel

    Hotel
    Map View
    Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
    Courtesy of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel / Expedia
    The Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel occupies a peaceful location within a private parkland setting, just a five-minute walk from the town centre. Check into your luxury guest room – we recommend the Remarkables Junior Suite with its roaring fireplace and mountain vistas. Before heading out for dinner, enjoy complimentary drinks and canapés. Breakfast is a real highlight. Choose from a small menu including eggs benedict topped with streaky bacon, or cinnamon porridge drizzled with local honey.
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    Thalita Alves contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on February 23, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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