Helen Van Berkel checks into the Hilton Hotel and Resort, Queenstown.

Getting there:

It's about an hour and 40 minute flight from Auckland and a five-minute drive from Queenstown airport to Kelvin Heights and the hotel. You might go around the block more than once to find the entrance — it's on the left, halfway down the hill.

The check-in experience: Pulling up in a little Jucy Hyundai and wearing black jeans may not be the usual mode for Hilton guests — the valets certainly checked several times: "Are you sure you're staying here?" Were I an easily offended person I may have been offended.
Price: About $400 a night.


The accommodation: It involved a trip around the mulberry bush to find my room: a lift to level one, a walk along the corridor and another lift to the third floor. And there it was.

The facilities: My room had its own living area, a separate bedroom and a bathroom with a nice big bath. Outside the window were views of Wakatipu and a tribe of attention-seeking ducks that marauded on the lakeshore. A water taxi into town pulled up at the wharf directly outside.

Food and drink: The buffet had the usual offerings — plus the cool option to make your own vegetable juice from a selection of pre-sliced options. Good idea, Hilton. Guylian chocolates were placed on my pillow every night and a selection of macarons were an unresisted temptation.

Toiletries: Soap, body lotion and shampoo. I used the shampoo and the body lotion to give myself a luxurious bubble bath.

In the neighbourhood: The Hilton is some distance from Queenstown but a shuttle goes into town, there's a bus stop at the top of the hill and the water taxi is a 20-minute ride into town. Directly in front of you is the lovely Lake Wakatipu; all around you is the gorgeousness that is Queenstown.

Contact: hilton.com
Would I stay again: Yes — one can never have enough five-star luxury.