There’s no escaping mountains on a visit to Queenstown, which lies at the bottom of the Southern Alps, and they dramatically dominate the landscape in almost every direction. The mountains are spectacular at any time of year but most of the time you’ll see at least a dusting of snow on their jagged tips. As well as The Remarkables along the southeastern side of Lake Wakatipu, during a visit to the area you can enjoy views of Cecil Peak, Walter Peak, Ben Lomond and many others.
If you're looking for accommodation with mountain views located amongst the hustle and bustle of Queenstown's CBD, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa has a nice perspective over Cecil Peak and The Remarkables. Slightly further afield but still within walking distance of Queenstown's CBD is Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel which overlooks Queenstown Hill and Bobs Peak.
Central Otago is particularly famous for its pinot noir, and the Queenstown and neighboring Gibbston regions have more than 75 wineries. This, of course, means acres and acres of beautiful grapevines, so if vineyards are your vista du jour, head for one of the area’s wine-growing regions to find a place to rest your head, with a number of boutique accommodation options to choose from.
Stoneridge Estate, located an easy 20 minute drive from Queenstown's town centre, offers five star luxury bed and breakfast accommodation and fine dining overlooking Lake Hayes. Peer down a valley of vines with a beautiful lake in the background.
Slightly further afield, in Gibbston is Kinross Cottage which offers boutique cottage accommodation with a bistro and cellar door wine tasting on site.
Newly opened in December 2019, guests can stay at the original Gibbston winery at Gibbston Valley Luxury Lodge and Spa, and experience luxury accommodation in the valley of vines.
The distinctive snake-shaped Lake Wakatipu, the longest lake in New Zealand at 80km, offers plenty of accommodation providers with fresh-water views, and many will have big picture windows facing towards it. Other lakes in the region include Lake Hayes, which lies at the southern end of the Wakatipu Basin. These alpine lakes may be incredibly pretty but swimming in them is not for the faint-hearted: the average temperature is about 12C.
Being the third largest lake in New Zealand, it's no surprise that a fair amount of Queenstown's accommodation offers beautiful Lake views. For luxury stays, Matakauri Lodge, Blanket Bay and Eichardt's Private Hotel boast some pretty incredible lake views. For easy walking distance to Queenstown's CBD, Crowne Plaza, Rydges Lakeland Resort, and Novotel each offer lake views. Slightly further afield but within a quick drive of town, Kamana Lakehouse, Mercure Queenstown, Heritage Queenstown and The Rees also have a great perspective over the lake.
If you like your water views fast flowing and changeable, the tributaries that feed into Lake Wakatipu in particular are destinations in themselves, and where many of the region’s adventure activities take place. The closest rivers to town are the Shotover (home to the world-famous Shotover Jet) and the Kawarau (think bungy jumping), while north is the Dart River, near Glenorchy.
THC Nugget Point Hotel is build on the hillside in Arthurs Point and offers beautiful views over the Shotover River. Another spot known for its view over the Shotover River, is Trelawn Place, a cottage set on two acres overlooking the river. A nice location for a family or group of friends to relax in a tranquil private setting.
If you’re after more of an urban experience, the vibrant city centre has plenty to offer. Everything is within walking distance, so you can take your pick of world class eateries and shopping, or wander down to the lakefront to catch a boat. On Saturdays be sure to stop by the weekly art and craft market at Earnslaw Park. Most of the tourist attractions run transport services from town, so it’s not essential to have a car.
The Spire Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown's CBD on Church Street and offers a contemporary luxury experience. If you're after somewhere with city views on a budget, Absoloot Value Accommodation, Nomads Queenstown Hostel and YHA Queenstown Central Backpackers are also well located in central Queenstown.