Steven Holloway checks into the Spire in Queenstown.
Queenstown's breathtaking views provided the backdrop for a brief, but informative, guided tour from The Spire's personal driver on the 15-minute trip back from the airport. Check in was quick, and easy.
Location: The 10 luxury-boutique suites are nestled down a laneway in the heart of Queenstown's Church lane. It's a $40 taxi ride to the airport and the historic mining village of Arrowtown is a 25-minute drive away.
What's in the neighbourhood: Church Lane is a pedestrianised street and part of a hub of bars and restaurants. It's walking distance to anywhere in the town's centre: the departure jetty for the steamer TSS Earnslaw, and the gondola base station for Bob's Peak are less than 10 minutes away on foot; it's a one-minute walk to the lakefront.
My room: The 60sq m suite comes with a super-king bed, spacious ensuite with separate shower and bath, large balcony and multimedia system complete with iPod dock and in-suite Wi-Fi. Eames, Bang & Olufsen and Philippe Starck furnishings along with a stone-clad fire drives home the "luxury-boutique" label.
The view: The balcony opens above the laneway, and The Remarkables can be seen peaking over the top of neighbouring buildings.
The bathroom: Ensuite bathroom with double vanities, separate shower and bath. The bath has great view of the big-screen TV, great for sport lovers.
Noise: Despite being right in the central hub, I didn't hear a thing.
Food: The Spire's in-house bar and restaurant, No5 Church Lane, produced a stunner of a "big breakfast" with the bacon, grilled tomato and sausage on point. For dinner I crossed to The Grille by Eichardt's, for Queenstown's finest dining experience. With company, I enjoyed the delicious 1400g grass fed Tomahawk steak, with parmesan churros and West Coast whitebait. Pre-dinner I indulged in Julia's Fortitude, a killer cocktail with Jameson whiskey, Manuka Gold honey liqueur, honey, lemon juice and bitters. A five-star experience.
The cook: English chef Will Eaglesfield is responsible for kitchen at Eichardt's Private Hotel & Bar, The Spire Hotel and No5 Church Lane. Ten years in the Central Otago region have turned him into a keen advocate of local produce and his menus are a clear reflection of that passion. A laid-back, deep-thinking chef at the top of his game.
Got money? $10,000 per night will get you the unbelievable penthouse suite at Eichardt's. It comes with a 180-degree view over Lake Wakatipu, exquisite design, VIP service, huge terrace with spa, in-suite sauna, 24/7 butler service, private chef and chauffeur.
Price: From $560 a night including breakfast.
The good: The Spire is true luxury. Perfect for a romantic getaway or to celebrate an occasion. Friendly staff, gorgeous food and beautiful, comfortable rooms.
The bad: Having to leave.