The views are spectacular from the public spaces.
The magnificent view across Lake Wakatipu is just one of the highlights at this boutique hotel on the hillside in Queenstown.
There’s a real Scandinavian feel to this 4.5-star boutique hotel: lots of blonde wood, stone, airy space, and big windows with glorious views over Lake Wakatipu to the Remarkables and Cecil Peak.
The hotel is made up of several buildings arranged down the hillside, so not all rooms have views of the lake. Top of the range are Lakeview Luxe and the Residence.
Central to hotel life is The Space adjoining the lobby, a welcoming combination of bar, lounge and restaurant with comfortable seats around four stylishly suspended fireplaces. Real birch trees in the lobby add to the Scandi vibe; and even the ski storage room is artfully designed.
Located in the suburb of Fernhill on the Queenstown-Glenorchy road, it’s just a five-minute drive from the town centre, or a pleasant 20-minute walk through the woods.
Its position, higher up on the hillside than any other accommodation in Queenstown, means that the outlook from the public spaces and some rooms is spectacular from sunrise to sunset.
It’s in a quiet suburb and the only possible disturbance might be from a wedding party making the most of the birchwood arbour on the spacious deck.
Our Lakeview room was on the first floor with magnificent 180-degree views that made opening the curtains in the morning positively theatrical. It was quiet, stylish, comfortable and impressively technological.
The Smart Room system uses Alexa to control lights, television, music, alarms and more, which is fun – although old-fashioned methods work too. The bed was deliciously comfortable, which compensated for having to use it as seating, since there is only one armchair supplied.
There’s a balcony with table and chairs. The bathroom is sleek, with a monsoon shower head and eco-friendly toiletries.
The local Orbus will take you into town if you don’t want to drive and gamble on scoring one of Queenstown’s hen’s-teeth parking spots.
The downhill walk there is very pleasant, and intersects with the Ben Lomond Track. This gives you the choice of turning left for a demanding, but rewarding, day’s hike up to the summit for a commanding view; or, turning right, heading into the CBD for cafés, restaurants and shops.
The lakeside buzz is always a delight, and so is a gelato from Patagonia Chocolates.
The Nest restaurant currently offers a dinnertime three-course tasting menu, or a five-course degustation of a small but delicious and beautifully-presented selection of foods with Mediterranean flavour. The slow-cooked lamb is meltingly tender and flavourful, and a dulce de leche to follow is a real treat.
The wine list offers some excellent Central Otago wines, and specialises in a wide selection of New Zealand-made gin and tonics. The breakfast buffet offers an excellent range of temptations.
The three private, stainless steel hot tubs above the lawn, open to the air and facing that magnificent view, are an essential indulgence: wallowing in steamy 38-degree water while sipping a cool drink is a fabulous way to wind down after a busy day of outdoor activities – or even none at all.
Don’t be so mesmerised by the beautifully curved and bonded strips of wood on the stairs that you miss the edges of the steps.
Standard room rates begin at $199. The Tahuna Lakeview room package is $408 per night, including minibar, drop-off in town, half-price breakfast for two, and one half-price hot tub session. The one-hour hot tub soak usually costs $100 for two adults. Check the website for a range of different packages. kamana.co.nz
The writer was hosted by Kamana Lakehouse.