Shandelle Battersby checks into the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown.


This 4-star hotel is in central Queenstown across the road from Steamer Wharf and Lake Wakatipu, and within walking distance of the town's many bars, restaurants and shops.

Check-in experience: Friendly and efficient, and 20 minutes after settling into the room, followed up with a phone call to check everything was okay. Nice touch.

Room: A comfy and spacious room on the sixth floor of seven, with a balcony offering views of the central third floor courtyard, lakefront and Remarkables mountain range still sporting a dusting of snow. There's complimentary water and chocolates, and if you don't want to leave, the concierge can organise you an in-room massage or spa treatment.


What's so good about this place: As well as its tip-top CBD location, it's a great base from which to explore Central Otago and its surrounds - we were in town before and after walking the Hollyford Track in Fiordland - and it's a nice hotel to hang out in and make the most of the views, especially since in December it doesn't get dark until nearly 10pm.

What's in the neighbourhood: There's plenty to choose from and we dined at Josh Emett's excellent Madam Woo one night, and The Stables in nearby Arrowtown another. I can also recommend Vudu Larder and Cafe, only five minutes' walk away.

Bathroom: Pretty standard, with a shower over the tub, and, unusually, bathroom scales. There are cosy robes in the wardrobe.

Toiletries: The Crowne Plaza's own range, with a good selection of amenities, and more available if you forget something.

Free wi-fi: Yes, 45 minutes every 24 hours, and unlimited for IHG Rewards members.

Food and drink: The hotel has its own cocktail bar, Martini, which has a large daybed area, glass fireplaces and mood lighting, and its threesixty restaurant dishes up contemporary cuisine using fresh, seasonal, local produce. A unique feature is the Body and Soul in-room menu, which caters for a range of dietary requirements and offers nutritious, portion-controlled meals, as well as the classics and a kids' menu. A continental and cooked breakfast is served at threesixty, with a machine on hand to make fresh juices, barista coffee made to order, and an egg station.

The bed: A firm king, with a choice of three pillows, and natural lavender scented oil burners available from reception for "added comfort and relaxation".

Exercise facilities: A small, well-equipped gym.

Perfect for: Enjoying the national treasure that is Queenstown. Gosh it's a great town.

Would I return: Yep, super impressed.