You can’t get away from Lake Wakatipu at Azur Lodge. Its nine identical luxury villas zigzag down the lowest part of Ben Lomond mountain, each with uninterrupted views of the turquoise water laid out before them. Easing into the day with a late wake-up call? The lake is visible from your enormous bed. Ordering room service from a restaurant in town and eating dinner on the deck? The lake is your silent partner. Soaking in the tub with the windows thrown open to the breeze? Minimal light pollution means the water glimmers with stars. Only five minutes drive from central Queenstown, the lodge is blissfully quiet, though you’re welcome to make conversation with other guests in the main building during afternoon tea (from 3pm each day), at cocktail hour (drinks and canapés are included) and over breakfast (where there’s no set menu and you can order whatever you desire).
In the Queenstown suburb of Fernhill, about a five-minute drive to town (car transfers are included in the tariff, just ask the front desk when you’d like to go). The lodge itself is completely private, at the end of a cul de sac behind a security gate and barely visible from the road.
The nine suites are more like apartments – and probably larger than most studio apartments you’d find in capital cities. Adorned in soothing shades of dove-grey and periwinkle blue (no guesses what natural feature the designers took their cues from), the suites are open plan, with each space angled to take advantage of the lake views. The kitchen – with fully stocked mini bar of snacks – is tucked into a nook on the back wall, and the bathroom is separated from the rest of the space and features a sizeable shower, two sinks and a deep tub with its own spectacular outlook. Recline in the sunshine on the private deck on clear days, or get cosy on the plush corner lounge, flick on the gas fireplace and log into your own Netflix account for a movie night.
Food and drink
The only limit to what you can have for breakfast is your whims. A selection of cereals and pastries are freshly laid out in the main lodge’s dining room each morning and the on-site chefs will whip up any brunch you fancy – eggs, bacon, waffles, fruit salad – and bring it to your room if you’d rather eat alone. Decadent afternoon teas are served daily in the same space from 3pm (don’t worry if you miss the lemon tart, staff will package something up for you), as are canapes and drinks from 4.30pm. There’s no onsite restaurant for dinner; instead, order delivery from carefully vetoed spots in town via the in-room iPad and staff will set up your feast at your dining table, complete with flatware and sweet tealights.
For wellness travellers
DIY your own wellness retreat by cocooning yourself in the room and letting the stillness of the spot quiet your mind, or ask the staff to arrange a treatment at a spa in town.
The fab factor
Taking a long, luxurious bath is practically a requirement. There’s a table in the bathroom adorned with everything you might need, from salts sprinkled in a pearlescent abalone shell to Linden Leaves body oil and a candle.
Best for: Luxury
Number of suites: 9
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Address: 23 MacKinnon Terrace, Queenstown