Dan Ahwa checks into Millbrook Resort, in Arrowtown.
Direct flight from Auckland on Air New Zealand. It's always a treat to fly into a picturesque Q-town on a clear day. I fly in on a crisp morning, with the snow finally set upon the Remarkables. Picked up by a Mercedes SUV transfer and driven to the resort, roughly 15 minutes away.
Check-in experience: You enter the resort gates, down a road framed by towering trees planted in 1867. On an autumnal day, it's nothing short of breath-taking. Golden leaves fall like confetti.
Attentive porters help you with your luggage as you enter reception. It's small, with no fanfare, like walking into a rustic cabin. An adjoining golf shop is stocked with everything you need — not just a luxury escape, the resort is home to a 27-hole golf course across a sprawling and well-manicured estate.
Room: There's a wide range of accommodation options including one or two bedroom suites, cottages and private two storey homes for larger families. My Deluxe studio apartment is a short stroll from reception, but golf carts and porters are on hand should you require. The room is equipped with a separate toilet, bathroom with tub, large walk-in wardrobe, and a small patio, perfect for admiring the area's breathtaking views. In a word: cosy.
The bed: Four pillows, king size bed, not too firm, not too soft, just right.
What's so good about this place?: Whether you're an avid golfer or want to sample the award winning spa or dining offerings (try the Kobe Japanese restaurant) it's the perfect escape for some downtime in a beautiful environment where the views are one of its strongest selling points. There are golf lessons on offer, a tennis court and a beautiful 25m indoor heated swimming pool surrounded by sliding glass doors, saunas and three outdoor pools to relax in. Perfect for romantic weekend getaways.
Food and drink: There's a good mix of onsite offerings. The owner is Japanese, so there's that Japanese restaurant, Kobe Cuisine. The Hole in One Cafe is a great place for apres golf wine by the fireplace and the breakfast buffet at the Clubhouse is another highlight (Make your own juice or feast on freshly baked pastries).
Exercise facilities: World class gym and pool, but I made the most of golf lessons at a nearby driving range and the estate is well-placed for a scenic morning run.
Price: Deluxe room starts from $265 (cheapest option).
And the bad? The fact that you have to leave the bubble.
Noise: Tranquil and calm apart from the low hum of golf carts.
Wi-fi?: Free and fast.
Perfect for: Couples, Golfers, large families with small kids, wedding parties.