Getting there:

Our taxi ride from the airport was short but pricey, taking us swiftly to where we were staying on Ballarat St.

Location: Up a very steep road in the centre of Queenstown overlooking the picturesque Lake Wakatipu — the view was mesmerising. We enjoyed watching the tourists paragliding down the hill and the TSS Earnslaw chugging in and out, full to the brim with tourists.

Check-in experience: After our taxi pulled up to the gate, we were buzzed in and welcomed by Kim, one of the two managers, Andrew being the other. She showed us to our room and offered us a beverage, which we enjoyed while looking out at the gorgeous view.

The grand entrance at the boutique hotel, Hulbert House. Photo / Tennessy Weir
The grand entrance at the boutique hotel, Hulbert House. Photo / Tennessy Weir


Hulbert House was established in 1888 and its first owner was gold trader Horatio Nelson Firth. He was later imprisoned and his wife turned the house into a B&B. More recently, it has been superbly restored by designer Neil McLachlan into the sophisticated boutique hotel it is today.

The room: Each of the six suites have been named after someone of significance to the boutique hotel. Our room was the lavish Firth Suite. All suites have unique Victorian themes and ornate chandeliers. All the furniture and decor has been imported from France.

Room service: Finishes at 11pm and then one of the managers remains on call. We had a mini fridge stocked with Antipodes sparkling and still water. The room was also set up with coffee and tea facilities and fine bone china cups.


Beautifully tiled, big and glam. It was filled with natural light, and no-one could see in as the window was covered with a patterned film. The large, vintage cupboard in our room housed crisp, monogrammed dressing gowns (and a safe). The WC also had its own radiator.


Beautiful products by Nellie Tier.

What's so good about this place: The section is in prime location and the view to die for. The staff were attentive to our needs and the hotel blew us away with its glamour and comfort.

And the bad? Leaving. We enjoyed our stay so much we were a bit sad to go.

Food: We savoured mouth-watering canapes made by in-house chef Oli (who also made a spectacular banquet for breakfast in the morning). We were served delicious morsels and a drink before heading out for dinner at Josh Emmet's Rata.

The following morning's breakfast included fruit, cured meats, artisan honey by J. Friend and Co, pastries, home-made preserves and nut butters, as well as bread (also made by the chef who has his own natural starter) served on beautiful china (the eco-friendly kitchen has a worm farm and grows its own food).


White, fresh, and snug. The duvet was Hungarian Goose Down, what more can I say? The bed was laden with plush pillows that were removed at turn down.

Wi-Fi: Free. Also, none of the rooms had a television, which was heaven.

What's in the neighbourhood: We enjoyed walking into town and heading over to the Queenstown Gardens, Rata, and the shops. We could see the Skyline Hill from where we were staying.

Exercise facilities: None, but the walk to and from town does a bit of good; Ballarat St is a good climb.

Perfect for: Me ... oh, and those in search of a luxurious escape.

Would I return? I did not want to leave.

Hulbert House is at 68 Ballarat Street, Queenstown. Phone: (03) 371 0251.