Brook Sabin / Stuff
A Swiss-style lobby welcomes guests.
It might be some time before we get to Switzerland, so Brook Sabin is trying the next best thing: a luxury Swiss getaway in Queenstown.
The five-star St Moritz Queenstown MGallery is located a few hundred yards from Lake Wakatipu, with stunning views of The Remarkables.
The hotel has the feel of an opulent ski lodge, which is evident from the moment you walk in, with large exposed beams, retro chandeliers, and a roaring fireplace.
Besides the view and the awe-inspiring surroundings, the hotel’s best asset is its location, a short walk from the heart of the city.
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The hotel has nine room types, ranging from the small, street-facing St Moritz room to the ultra-spacious two-bedroom suite.
If you want to enjoy the scenery in a dressing gown, the lake view rooms are what you want to aim for.
We tried the One Bedroom Alpine Lake View Suite, with a huge living room overlooking Lake Wakatipu and a larger kitchen than I have at home. It was exceptional.
The hotel has a small gym, and at first glance, this is a bit disappointing for a large hotel. But then you realize that the demand is quite low; most people go out to soak up the scenery if they want to go for a walk or jog.
It also has a series of hot tubs tucked away in the garden, which are the perfect way to unwind after a long day of exploring.
The Lombardi Restaurant offers stunning views of the Remarkables, with excellent food – a rare find for a hotel restaurant.
The wood-fired lasagna is a must. It was a traditional Italian recipe given to one of the restaurant’s original chefs by his mother – and has now been on the menu for over 20 years.
Breakfast was also delicious, especially combined with the hotel’s excellent barista coffee and the view.
Worth going out for
The center of Queenstown is less than 10 minutes away on foot, and with parking difficult to find, it is best to tackle the city on foot. The Skyline Gondola is also minutes away.
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, consider a plane-cruise-plane trip to Milford Sound, which includes a round-trip flight from Queenstown and a two-hour cruise around Milford Sound. It is an exceptional day.
In summer, do not miss the mountain karting. Cardrona turns its ski slopes into dirt tracks for specially designed off-road buggies.
An elegant space that shakes up misconceptions about big hotel chains – St Moritz embraces its boutique side.
The bedroom, which was so spacious that it was difficult to leave it. And that’s something when the allure of Queenstown attractions is so strong. If you find yourself in a suite, be sure to allow time to relax in your walk-in closet and take in the ambience.
Very minor, but the bathroom lacked its facilities. With a suite of this size, it should be standard.
A Night at St Moritz Queenstown MGallery starts at around $ 214, with the One-Bedroom Alpine Suite starting at $ 429 a night. See: stmoritz.co.nz
The author was hosted by St Moritz Queenstown MGallery.