The chic, energizing and trendy vibe of Queenstown, on New Zealand’s South Island, is the perfect spot for the boutique, French-inspired Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa. The five-star, 82-room hotel is just a short walk from main street’s restaurants, shops and art galleries.
“We offer our groups ‘handcrafted experiences,’ and with over 400 activities in the area to choose from, we know we can deliver tailor-made and authentic experiences,” says Tanya Dennis, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “Groups of 60 work perfectly at our hotel.”
An intimate and cozy lounge rests just off the lobby where groups can experience handpicked wines by local wineries. Our preference was Grant Taylor’s Valli wines, born from a “quality first” philosophy.
“When you drink a Valli Wine, you are enjoying more than just a wine, you are experiencing a place,” says Grant. The central Otago region, where Queenstown is situated, is known for its pinot noirs.
The Sofitel Queenstown spa is sublime. A private elevator leading directly to the spa allows groups to head for the spa in their robes and slippers. Guest rooms are spacious with five-star amenities. Breakfast in the property’s French-style cafe included a “flight of smoothies” —the variety of fruit was astonishing.
Jervois Steakhouse, adjacent to the hotel, is described as “The steakhouse to end all arguments,” and that’s an apt description. The salt-and-pepper steak tartar was outstanding and the Blackmore Wagyu steak was stellar, especially when paired with Mondillo Pinot Noir 2011.