Stephanie Holmes checks into Queenstown's Kamana Lakehouse.

Getting there:

A taxi from the airport took about 15 minutes, after 9pm. You'll probably take a little longer during the day as getting through the town centre can be a bit of a drag.

Location: In Fernhill, up the steep suburban hill on the outskirts of town. You'll need a car if you plan to stay here, as it's not really walking distance to the centre of things — plus there's that steep suburban hill to think about. But, on the plus side, because it's up the hill, there are unobstructed views of the lake, the Remarkables and Cecil and Walter Peaks.


Check-in experience: Swift and friendly. It felt like a warm welcome.

Haven't I seen this place somewhere before? Potentially. It was formerly known as Aspen Lodge, but rebranded as Kamana Lakehouse late last year. The hotel has gone through a stylish renovation and remodelling (with some work still to be completed), bringing a slightly dated property up to a luxurious, contemporary, stylish standard.

Room: A king lakeview room. It's bright and light, with clean design — all white walls, with wood, greys, charcoals and black accents in the furniture and decor. It feels fresh and modern.

Price: Low season starts from $275. High season from $350.

What's in the neighbourhood? You're away from the bustle of central Queenstown which, depending on what you want from your holiday, can be a good or a bad thing. I personally enjoyed being somewhere more peaceful away from the hordes. Plus, I couldn't get enough of that view.

View? It's absolutely breathtaking. As many Queenstown views are.

But here, because of the hillside location, it's not interrupted by other buildings or the main roads. You can see for miles and miles.

The bed: Firm mattress with a super-squishy topper (this can be removed if you prefer not to sink into bed like you're being cuddled by a cloud. You weirdo).


Bathroom: Small but functional, with excellent walk-in, rain-head shower.

Toiletries: The hotel's aim is to get rid of all single-use plastics so they're using Real World, a Hawke's Bay brand that uses all natural NZ ingredients and smells divine.

Food and drink: The on-site Nest Bar & Kitchen is a big step up from the old restaurant that used to be here. Where there used to be a Kiwi-sports bar kind of feel, now it's all plush, colourful chairs, stunning light fixtures, and a modern, innovative Mediterranean-focused menu. Prices are reasonable, and it's the kind of place in which you'll want to linger. Ideal for a relaxed dinner after a long day enjoying Queenstown.

Free Wi-Fi? Super-speedy and unlimited.
Noise: If your balcony door and your neighbour's balcony door are open at the same time, you'll hear each other's conversations. Other than that, peace and quiet.

Room service: Not available as yet, but there are plans to introduce it, or to have a 24-hour food service area in Nest.

Exercise facilities: None, but fitness classes are planned for when the event space is finished.

Perfect for: A peaceful stay for those who want to be busy all day, but who are looking for a place to relax, eat and drink well once they return from a day of adventures.

The bottomline: Did I mention the view?