QT design each of their hotels bespoke for the landscape in which it is sited and in such a magnificent locale, their Queenstown offering lets the views do most of the talking, with the Nic Graham-designed interior balancing nature with modern flair.
The lobby features a striking suspended matte-black fireplace with open flame and a rather captivating glass mural by Australia’s Studio Ongarato that depicts a collage of the region’s peaks and the skiers who dare to schuss down them in bright shades of pink and blue. Funky fuchsia and lime seating offsets the black and wood hard surfaces to give the lobby an entertaining and edgy appearance. Reception is manned 24 hours a day and the service is good.
Room with a view
While the hotel reception area is a scene-stealer, the 69 rooms are a masterclass in understated whimsy. BusinessDesk stayed in a Remarkable King room, with views across the arms of Lake Wakatipu and the jagged Southern Alps, described by QT marketing as “the ultimate outdoor eye candy”. There is a Juliette balcony which provides a good spot for people- or boat-watching.
Décor is done in soft tones of grey and white, creating a restful atmosphere, with pastel pops of teal, lavender and tan leather dotted about the room. The lighting, too, is soft and muted. Still, the room has touches of eccentricity – a playful use of mirrors and jigsaw-shaped wardrobe doors. The most impressive feature, and surely something we’d all like in our lives, is a button on the bedside phone which reads “FEED ME”. One press will have a complimentary charcuterie platter delivered in moments.
True to the QT brand, the room comes with a menu not just for mini-bar nibbles (maxi-bar would be a more apt name for the generous array of offerings), but for any item in the room, should you wish to take the furniture home with you. That might not be such an outlandish idea, as the room features a vast and very comfortable bed. There is some good kit on hand: a Nespresso machine and a cocktail set, and locally made crockery, merino socks, and goodies from the renowned Remarkable Sweet Shop.
The bathroom is sleek and monochromatic, with white marble and subway tiles contrasting with the black vanity and fixtures. There’s a rain shower, double basins, and a deep stand-alone bath that beckons guests to enjoy the perfect end to a long day on the ski slopes. Ours had the most Kiwi rubber duck imaginable – a black-and-white sheep.
For the mindful and the weary, QT offers complimentary in-room yoga and meditation. The hotel group has partnered with Auckland’s Studio Red Wellness for Get Grounded, a series of on-demand video tutorials. Mats are available on request, or you can use your pillows and bed as props.
Dining and drinking
Cocktails, anyone? Be sure to visit Reds Bar on the sixth floor. To get there, however, you must travel in the hotel’s 'disco lifts’, which are dark, mirrored, and offer musical mixes that are the antithesis of elevator music. Boogying between floors feels compulsory.
Reds Bar boasts a crack team of mixologists who are on hand to assist with the extensive catalogue of Scottish whiskies. Relax in front of wall-height windows that deliver impressive views of the lake while you make the difficult decision of which cocktail to try first. BusinessDesk recommends the Glenorchy Tropical Punch – a whisky blend with pineapple, ginger wine, black tea, and edible blue paint on the glass. Heston Blumenthal would be proud. It’s like Christmas cake in a glass, or perhaps, on a glass.
In-house dining is courtesy of Bazaar restaurant, which specialises in fresh Otago produce, charcuterie and seafood, or you could explore the myriad options nearby.
The QT’s lowest level is also the top floor of the Rydges hotel (both owned by Event Hospitality and Entertainment) and guests can use the restaurant and pool facilities of both. Handily for those in heels, a lift takes QT guests all the way down to Queenstown's waterfront pathway.
Take advantage of the late check-out time and explore the historical Steamer Wharf, which is only a short stroll away and an iconic Queenstown experience. Try a jaunt on the Edwardian steamer TSS Earnslaw, or a perhaps a quick snifter at one of the resort town’s ice bars.
30 Brunswick Street, Queenstown