Duke St, just a short stroll away from the main streets of Queenstown.

Getting there: We were met at the airport by Mike, from Black ZQN, a luxury tour and private transfer service. His sleek black Mercedes GL was a comfortable and stylish way to get to the hotel, just a 10-minute drive from the terminal.

Check in experience: Daniela greeted us at the front desk with a cheery "bonjour". We were 90 minutes earlier than standard check-in time, but Penthouse No 10 was ready for us anyway. Daniela took care of the check-in formalities there, showing us the main features of the penthouse and how to work the different gadgets. She was professional and welcoming, seeming genuinely glad we were there.


Price: It's not cheap, with rates starting from $5000 per night. But keep reading to find out why.

Room: Which one? The newly-renovated Penthouse 10 is 225 square metres, a veritable palace. Walking through the double doors into the hallway and then through into the spacious lounge/dining/bar area, the first thing I noticed was the tasteful colour scheme - all black, white, chrome and silver with accents of gold; textured wallpaper and dark wood floors. The dining table seats eight if you're in the mood for entertaining, and there's a large gas fireplace keeping things cosy. Off the main lounge is a smaller entertainment room, with another gas fireplace, a large turquoise couch, Bose sound system, huge wall-mounted TV screen that is hooked up to Netflix and Apple TV, plus an Xbox and dual controllers. Then there's a walk-in closet (that's about the size of my bedroom at home), a large bedroom with king-size bed, another wall-mounted TV, and a large ensuite bathroom. The piece de resistance is the huge private terrace, with a six-person Jacuzzi.

Decor: As well as the aforementioned stylish colour scheme, the penthouse has plenty of other beautiful touches — contemporary artworks and sculptures, a variety of seating options including deep squishy couches and armchairs, plus large glass coffee tables making for a comfortable living area. The colour scheme even extends to the coffee table books - in the main lounge the books are all black and white; in the entertainment room they're more colourful, picking up on the accents of the furniture.

They're great reads too — Dogs by Tim Flach, Living in Style Paris, La Dolce Vita (attractive people doing attractive things in attractive locations in Italy) and retrospectives on Tom Ford, Prada, Chanel and Alexander McQueen.

Complimentary Wi-Fi: Yes, and it's fast and reliable.

Bed: A signature Sofitel MyBed, that was like a marshmallow — soft yet supportive, with lovely high thread-count linen and feather pillows. There's a pillow menu if you want to choose something different.

View: Exceptional. Penthouse 10 faces south-east, and looks out to Queenstown Hill, the Remarkables, the lake, Walter and Cecil Peaks, and Mt Creighton. From the terrace you can see down to Fergburger so you can check if there's a queue before you head down.

Burger proximity aside, it's the kind of view you dream about long after you've checked out and headed home.

Bathroom: Dreamy. It's marble-tiled, with an extra-deep freestanding bath tub (with bath salts provided at turn-down service), under floor heating, twin sinks, and a large shower cubicle that features side-by-side double rainhead showers and two normal showers, perfect for couples on a romantic weekend. I was confused to start with because it appeared we only had hand towels to dry ourselves with, until I discovered the hidden drawers underneath the vanity units, stocked with big white fluffy towels, and amenities. There's also a toilet off the entrance hall.

Toiletries: Hermes Paris, if you please.

Food & Beverage: A bottle of Perrier Jouet and patisserie plate with macarons and chocolates was in the lounge on arrival. A Nespresso machine with milk steamer and tea-making facilities. Those who like a tipple, pay attention: there's also a well-stocked wine-fridge, a beer fridge and a private bar with a selection of spirits (Bombay Sapphire, Johnny Walker Black, Chivas Regal, Havana Club Especial). We gave it a good nudge. The Penthouse comes with a dedicated butler, who will look after you very well. Ogie brought us canapes in the evening, breakfast in the morning, and will help with your shopping bags if you get overloaded in town.

Penthouse guests also have access to the Club Lounge, which serves breakfast in the morning and canapes and drinks from 5-7pm. In-house, you can choose from the Left Bank Cafe, a French brasserie-style restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner; the 1789 Lounge, a prohibition-style bar with live entertainment; and the Jervois Steak House.

Entertainment: The view; the books; the jacuzzi; the bar; the entertainment room; an incredible sound system which you can plug your own device into. Plus you're only a short walk from Queenstown's restaurants, bars and clubs.

Facilities: The So Fit gym is on the ground floor, but we were busy lifting heavy wine glasses upstairs so didn't need to visit. Before check-out on Sunday morning we were treated to incredible "Waves of Relaxation" massages in the heavenly So Spa.

Perfect for: A honeymoon. A special occasion. High rollers.

In a nutshell: Do I have to go back to reality?


The Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa is at 8 Duke Street, Queenstown. Phone: (03) 450 0045.