A chic, wellness-focused stay.
It’s one of the tallest buildings in the low-rise town centre but the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa isn’t ostentatious. Understated elegance is key at this French-styled space – think heavy drapes across the Juliet balconies, a sleek grand piano in the lobby – to encourage guests to drop into holiday mode. In addition to the much-lauded SoSpa, the hotel provides little touches to help even the worst insomniacs nod off into a deep sleep, including a six-strong pillow menu, chamomile teabags placed at the end of the bed during turndown as a gentle suggestion and a lavender linen spray propped next to your pillows.
A one-minute (if that) walk to the town centre; one street back from Shotover Street. It’s a 20-minute drive from the airport.
The 82 rooms cover five different styles, ranging from the 41-metre-square Superior Room to Penthouse No. 10 on the top floor that sleeps up to six guests – the same number that fits in the balcony-based Jacuzzi, too. Luxury Rooms have the same features as the Superior but include access to the Club Lounge, where canapes and drinks are served each evening. These rooms are spacious, with a wide and plush king-sized bed, a low armchair dressed with a possum throw and a bathroom with rainshower and deep double bath.
Food and drink
All three main meals are served in the Left Bank Café opposite the lobby. Breakfast is available between 6.30am and 10.30am and includes either a la carte options or a buffet with the usual suspects (cream-based scrambled eggs, mini sausages) supplemented with French pastries and heathier options such as pre-made berry smoothie shots and pots of chai pudding. Tapas and cocktails are served in the 1789 bar, opposite, where there’s live jazz on Friday and Saturday nights. For a heartier dinner, the Jervois Steakhouse on the second floor serves tender cuts of lamb and beef.
For business travellers
Though there’s no specialised business centre, there are two boardrooms that can seat either 24 or 60 people classroom-style and more when easily joined for different types of conferences or larger groups. Reception will happily print any documents.
For wellness travellers
You’re prompted to drop your voice to a whisper the moment you enter the SoSpa thanks to the trickle of water fountains and soothing music. It’s one of Queenstown’s most luxurious spa destinations (and was recognised as such in the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards) and features a long list of treatments, including a 60- or 90-minute massage performed with heated pounamu (greenstones), done in five treatment rooms. The 24-hour gym area is small but well-equipped, with pairs of cardio equipment, several free weights and four suggested workouts on the wall, including one meant to bust jetlag.
The fab factor
Bliss out in the bath by switching on the mini TV embedded in the tiles above it, which shows local free-to-air channels.
Number of rooms: 82
Rates from: NZ$400/night
Wi-fi: Fast; 4GB free for the duration of your stay.
Parking: Valet parking available for a fee.
Address: 8 Duke Street, Queenstown
Telephone: (+64)3 450 0045