In the centre of Queenstown, you’ll find a mini maze of Melbourne-style laneways lined with restaurants and drinking dens so hip just wandering past will make you feel cool. The lobby of The Spire, a boutique hotel secreted away down charming Church Street, manages to maintain that feeling. All dark wood, wide lounges and fireplaces in both the ground-floor common area and each of the suites, this is luxury in the extreme without ever feeling stuffy – see the enormous feathery artwork on the way to your room. The associated restaurant and bar No 5 Church Lane serves up innovative takes on local produce and has an impressive cocktail (and absinthe) menu.
On a pedestrian-only street in central Queenstown, two minutes’ walk from the waterfront and the town’s main cluster of restaurants and bars. It’s about a 10-minute drive from the airport.
The Spire’s 10 identical suites are undeniably sexy. Splashed with a bold red-white-black colour palette, the furnishings are decadent without being ostentatious: a super king bed, leather recliner and cream chaise ready with a snug blanket and bowl of fresh fruit. The cable-television equipped flat screen is mounted above the gas fireplace (which turns on with a simple flick of a button) in a stone wall, while a discreet kitchen alcove includes a complimentary mini bar of soft drinks, snacks and beautifully scented teas, and has a separate sink and all the flatware you might require. Layout-wise, the suites are more like a studio apartment than a hotel room – and at 60 square meters, including a spacious balcony, they’re bigger than one-bedroom apartments in most capital cities. There are five rooms per floor; those facing Queenstown Hill are quieter at night.
Food and drink
No 5 Church Lane, an intimate space made all the more cosy by a fireplace in the corner (try to nab the table in front on cold nights), adjoins the hotel but is open to all revellers. An a la carte breakfast is served from 7:30, covering big brekkies with bacon, eggs and hot-smoked local fish, as well as healthier options (the porridge, topped with crumbled Anzac biscuits). There’s a raft of dishes designed for sharing in the latter half of the day, which can be sampled as part of a four-course sharing menu for $60 per person. As well as his perfectly seasoned and hard to resist lamb, head chef Trent Watson manages to make vegie-based dishes shine. A bright beetroot felafel served with crisps of quinoa strikes a balance between light and satisfying, while the gazpacho is extra-fresh thanks to a dollop of goat’s cheese ice cream. Desserts and cocktails are necessary additions (the trio of ice-cream cones is a wonderfully simple and tasty way to finish); shaken and stirred drinks span the super sweet to savoury.
For business travellers
As well as free wifi throughout the hotel, The Spire has a 20-seat boardroom kitted out with the latest tech for meetings and private dinners. The team can help you arrange transport around Queenstown as well as off-site rapport-building activities (such as a jet boat ride across the lake to round out the day), while the kitchen at No 5 can plan bespoke menus.
For wellness travellers
There’s no spa on-site but staff will happily help you arrange a treatment at one of several nearby salons. If you feel like working off some of that Central Otago pinot, the hotel is just steps away from Queenstown Botanic Gardens and the start of the Queenstown Trail, ideal for walking and running.
The fab factor
You’ll want to spend as much time as possible luxuriating in the bathroom: the shower is enormous, Molten Brown toiletries are lush and the tub is positioned next to shutters that open on to the main room should you wish to watch a movie while you soak (there’s an extensive DVD collection for guests to borrow).
Best for: Couples looking for a plush retreat in town
Number of suites: 10
From: NZ$750 per night
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: The check-in staff will park your car for you, and retrieve it as needed throughout your stay.
Address: 3-5 Church Lane, Queenstown
Telephone: +64 3 441 0004