Jason Tikao checks into Millbrook, in Queenstown.
We got a rental car at Queenstown airport so we had some wheels to explore with, but there is a Millbrook shuttle to and from the airport.
Check-in experience: We got married at Millbrook the year before, so we were coming back to celebrate our anniversary. When we arrived, we were greeted by Jake who, despite the amount of guests they must get, still remembered us. After checking in, they drive you and your luggage in a golf cart to your room, and unload everything for you. Because it was our anniversary, they even had some sweet treats, a bottle of Gibbston Valley bubbles, and a handwritten note welcoming us back. A very classy — and very welcome — touch!
Room: We had a deluxe studio room in the Village Inn section of the resort. It is within walking distance of the restaurants and bars. But if you are in a part of the resort that is far away, you just call reception and they come pick you up in a golf cart and take you wherever you want to go on the resort grounds. The room has a walk-in wardobe, a writing desk, some sofa chairs, and yes a mini bar.
Price: We had the Winter Escape package which was $629 for two nights and comes with a $100 resort credit which you can use at any of the facilities, including the restaurants or spa.
What's so good about this place? Millbrook is such an escape. It is visually stunning. You have the mountain ranges as a backdrop. And as exciting as Queenstown can be, Millbrook is a place you don't have to leave for your entire stay. If you love to play golf there's a 27-hole course. We hired bikes and rode the trails around Lake Hayes. And the award-winning day spa onsite is world class. So relaxing I fell asleep — and woke up to my own snoring — during a massage.
And the bad? The only bad thing is that it's 18km from Queenstown. You can get there using the shuttle. But it might be better to have a rental car if you want to go luging at the top of the Gondola or to the Onsen hot pools.
What's in the neighbourhood? The Millbrook itself is it's own neighbourhood because it is that big. It's like a mini suburb. But beautiful Arrowtown is only two minutes down the road. There's also Lake Hayes, and wineries like Amisfield and Akarua too.
Food and drink: On site, there's many options. There's the Hole In One cafe, Millhouse Restaurant, and the Club House for breakfast. And if you love Japanese food, there's also the award winning restaurant, Kobe Cuisine.
The bed: The bed was a very comfy super-king size.
Bathroom: A separate shower and bath, a big mirror, and underfloor heating. Plus some lovely shower gels and body lotion. And the toilet is separate from the bathroom.
Exercise facilities: There is a health and fitness centre on site, with personal trainers, pilates, yoga and swimming one on one sessions. There's a swimming pool, spa pool, hot pool and a sauna. There's a tennis court and a petanque court.
Perfect for: If you need an escape away from the stresses of life, this place is perfect. The second you drive through the gates, and down through the Avenue Of Trees, you feel it all drift away. On a personal note, it's perfect for weddings too!
The bottomline: If you're looking to treat yourself but you don't want to deal with the hassle of overseas travel, Millbrook is perfect. Luxury accommodation, and only a short flight away.