A skiing stay.
Nestled beneath a sparse hill and beside the new-and-improved Kawarau Falls bridge lies the Hilton Queenstown Resort and Spa. With earthy reds and browns on walls and more exposed timber and stone than would line a Swiss ski chalet this sprawling, low-rise property is a perfect base for avid skiers. As well as organising transport to the nearby Remarkables Ski Fields and those further afield, the hotel has a ski storage area, an on-site ski rental shop and a daily ski report updated by the concierge. Plus, there’s two on-site bars for apres-ski drinks and a steamy, timber-lined sauna for soothing sore muscles.
Image: Guest Room
Just five minutes’ drive from the airport; a 15-minute drive into town (book a seat on the complimentary shuttle) or a 10-minute water taxi ride (NZ$10).
There are 11 different room styles available, from the standard yet spacious King Hilton Guestroom to two-bedroom residences and a 54-square-metre King Lake Wakatipu Suite. All rooms have a gas fireplace to keep warm but let’s face it – with a lakeside property, you want a lake view. From the King Hilton Deluxe Lakeview Room you’re able to see the spinning jetboats whiz past several times a day. It can be configured with a king or single beds against a chocolate-brown leather headboard and has a workspace, large seating area and huge bathroom with a deep tub and double sinks.
Food and drink
Drinks post-skiing are done at Stacks Pub or at the Art Deco-styled Cru Wine Bar & Lounge just near reception, which also offers a high tea with vintage serving wear on Sundays. Me Mee proffers Asian cuisine but the main attraction is the Wakatipu Grill, which looks out over the lake. It provides the international breakfast buffet between six and 10am (to 11am on weekends) and at night turns into a stylish bistro (look up for the antler-like black chandeliers) plating up local cuisine, including an incredible dish of beef done three ways, which was in the running for a key restaurant award at the time of writing.
Image: The pinot pit
For business travellers
The Hilton is a go-to for large conferences, with seven meeting and events rooms available every day. The largest rooms, the pillar-less Remarkables Rooms on level one, can hold up to 200 guests in a theatre-style set-up. There’s a small business centre next to reception with a desktop computer, photocopier and printer.
For wellness travellers
The gym, on level one, is open 24 hours and features free weights and cardio equipment mounted with TVs – though the waterfront Queenstown Trail snakes past the hotel and is ideal for runners and walkers. There’s a 25-metre indoor heated lap pool as well as a steam room and sauna. The Eforea Spa has 10 treatment rooms, including a Presidential room with a private hot tub and balcony.
The fab factor
The hallways are lined with art by local and international artists supplied by Queenstown’s Art Bar gallery.
Number of rooms: 178
Rates from: NZ$350/ night
Wi-fi: Free for Hilton Honors members, NZ$9.95 a day for standard access or NZ$14.95 for premium access (for streaming video etc.)
Parking: Limited free self-parking spaces; NZ$20 for valet.
Address: Kawarau Village, 79 Peninsula Road, Queenstown.
Telephone: +64 3 4509 400