The Queenstown Wanaka region contains some of the most luxurious accommodation available anywhere in the world.
Queenstown is the ultimate playground for the world’s super-wealthy. At any given time, Queenstown has more billionaires in residence than any other city in the Southern hemisphere.* Why do the world’s 1% flock to Queenstown to spend their time (and money)? It’s a combination of beautiful scenery and a high density of rich people friendly activities.
The region boasts some of the world’s best fly fishing, golf courses, wineries, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, horse riding, and luxury day spas. Best of all, it’s super private – most of these lodges are remote. Some of them are helicopter access only.
So if you’re a visiting European Royal, a Columbian drug lord, a tech billionaire, a grammy-winning country singer, an Indian steel magnate, an Australian mining magnate, a Russian oligarch** or just very wealthy, then Queenstown is the place to land your private jet. And these are the lodges your helicopter will whisk you away to.
*This fact may not be at all factual. But the point is there’s a lot of very wealthy people in and around Queenstown.
**Russian oligarchs also stay here
- Stoneridge EstateStoneridge Estate is a winery, 5 star luxury lodge and stunning wedding venue with it’s own chapel. A short 15 minute drive from Queenstown in the Lake Hayes area, it’s got stunning lake views and a very instagramable infinity pool. Most hotels take incredible photos but don’t look quite so good in reality. Stoneridge is the opposite, the lodge really looks better in person than in their promotional photos.
- Mahu WhenuaMahu Whenua used to be Shania Twain’s house, but it’s now a super luxury lodge ready for you to enjoy. Located in the high country 20 minutes drive from Wanaka. The location is secluded and private with stunning scenery. This homestead/lodge is everything you could hope for and more. With a luxurious but homely feel this has to be the most welcoming down to earth lodge that’s somehow still fit for a billionaire.
- Minaret Station Alpine LodgeMinaret Station is where you want to be when the apocalypse happens. It’s a super luxury lodge that’s only accessible by helicopter. This really helps keep out the riff raff as it literally costs thousands of dollars just to get there. If you blink at the cost of the helicopter you can’t afford the lodge. Presuming you can afford it this place is another world, frankly a better world. This truly is one of the most secluded luxury lodges anywhere in the world.
- Azur LodgeAzur Lodge consists of 9 beautiful individual 1 bedroom villas. Offering privacy and seclusion with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. This is a perfect romantic spot for couples, so leave the kids at home. The king size beds enjoy magnificent views, so do the bath tubs. You will not want to leave.
- Blanket BayBlanket Bay is one of the finest small luxury hotels anywhere in the world. You come here to relax and get away from it all, so it’s located well away from from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown at the Glenorchy end of Lake Wakatipu. The views are spectacular and nothing you want is a problem. The service here has to be experienced to be appreciated. Blanket Bay is fit for Royalty.
- The LindisThe Lindis is a super luxury lodge like no other. It is rated in the top 5 lodges in the world. TA stay at The Lindis is an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. Come here to relax, fly fish, horse trek, hike, and experience the southern skies without any light pollution. Or just to revel in a level of luxury that has to be seen to be believed. Getting here is an adventure in itself; it’s an incredible 2.5-hour scenic drive from Queenstown. (Or you can take a helicopter). Everything here is world-class, from the food and wine to the architecture and furnishings. The scenery is fucking incredible. You have to see it to believe it.
- Gibbston Valley Lodge and SpaGibbston Valley Lodge and Spa is a luxurious 5 star lodge with a spa and a vineyard. It’s perfect for a romantic couples getaway. The wine is as spectacular as the scenery. The rooms are spacious and luxurious and the food is excellent. Stay here because you love wine, good food and a want to escape from the world for a couple of days.
- Matakauri LodgeMatakauri Lodge is located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, and the views from every room are stunning. There’s no garden view rooms here, everything faces the lake and mountains. Each suite has a private terrace, a stunning bathroom and pretty much every comfort imaginable. Oh and they have a heated infinity pool and hot tub and offer all the spa treatments you’ve come to expect.
- Eichardt’s Private HotelEichardt’s Private Hotel is the most luxurious hotel in Queenstown. Hell it’s one of the most luxurious hotels anywhere in the world. Rooms here typically start from around $1500 per night while the Penthouse is closer to $10,000 a night. It does sleep 4 though. This is the best located hotel in Queenstown. It’s on the lake in the centre of town. The views are absolutely stunning, the rooms are as luxurious as it gets and yet most guests think the best thing is the service you get while you are there.
- Hulbert House Luxury Boutique LodgeOriginally built in 1888 this lovingly restored villa has 6 beautifully decorated rooms. Each with its own distinctive decor. The Victorian era style is very romantic, if you’re the Jane Austen type. Conveniently located a 7 minute walk from the centre of Queenstown, and offering lake views, this is a slice of heaven.
The best Luxury Lodges in Queenstown
- Matakauri Lodge
- Eichardt’s Private Hotel
- Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa
- Stoneridge Estate
The best Luxury Lodges in Wanaka
- Minaret Station
- Mahu Whenua
The best Luxury Lodge in Glenorchy (and possibly the entire world)
- Blanket Bay
Luxury Lodge FAQs
A great luxury Lodge offers the highest standards of accommodation, even better than a 5 star hotel. These lodges are typically remote and offer a level of privacy and seclusion that appeals to celebrities and the uber rich. Most of them are available for exclusive hire of the entire lodge. Many of them are all inclusive with all meals and snacks as well as most drinks included. (They’ll all have a fabulous wine list that will be an additional charge to explore). The service will be personal and impeccable with the staff taking time to learn your name (if you’re not so famous they know you already). And the food at these lodges is stunning. Most of them will serve you in the restaurant, in your room, in the hot tub or set up a picnic on the lawn. Nothing is to much trouble in a top luxury lodge.
Pretty much whatever the hell you want. These lodges are well used to catering to the eccentric wishes of rock stars, actors, tech billionaires flying in from San Francisco or Austin, and minor royals from European countries you didn’t know existed. Because these Lodges are so used to catering to the whims of these folks they can organise almost anything.
The most popular winter activity is heli skiing. There’s nothing like being flown high into the mountains and making fresh tracks with no crowds, and no lift line.
In the spring summer and autumn fly fishing is very popular. With guided heli fishing trips taking you to the best and most remote spots, to catch huge trout. The lodge will be happy to cook your fish for you when you get back too.
Also popular is hunting, this will also typically involve a guide and a helicopter as well. Both deer and chamois are targeted.
If your not the type that needs to kill something to have fun then these lodges also offer heli mountain biking trips, just like heli skiing you fly up and ride down. It’s the ultimate rich person’s sport.
Horse riding is also hugely popular with full or half day horse treks allowing you to see the spectacular stations that these lodges are located on, while still coming back to your luxury accommodation each night. The chefs will even make you a gourmet picnic to take with you. Hiking is also a hugely popular activity, with some absolutely stunning scenery.
Queenstown is home to some of the worlds finest golf courses too. Jacks Point, The Hills, Queenstown Golf Club, and Millbrook are all among New Zealand’s best. Scenic helicopter flights are also super popular, with trips to Milford Sound, and the glaciers both being popular.
Most of the Lodges have a spa offering a range of therapeutic and beauty treatments, as well as massage that will leave you feeling pampered and relaxed.
Prices vary depending on the season and the level of Luxury but typically you should expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000 per night. The top Lodges are all between $3000-4000 per night. The second tier lodges are typically $1,000-2,000 per night.
It’s impossible to choose between Blanket Bay, Minaret Station and Matakauri Lodge. All three are superb. If you like hunting and fishing the Minaret is the ultimate. If you want to relax in Lakeside Luxury then Blanket Bay and Matakauri Lodge are equally perfect. Mahu Whenua is also stunning and for anyone who loves horse riding that’s the place to go. The Lindis is exceptional too. but a little further from Queenstown than the others.
These Super Luxury Lodges in Queenstown, Wanaka and Glenorchy give you a small glimpse into the lifestyle of the worlds elite. Remember when you book for the luxury weekend of a lifetime that this is how some people live everyday. If only…
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