Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world and is famously known as the home of the world’s first-ever bungee jump. Surrounded by the rugged and often snowcapped Southern Alps, glaciers, fjords, rainforest, lakes, and rivers, this thrill-seeking city is the epitome for any adventure seeker on a New Zealand trip.
There’s no doubt that you’re going to want to spend multiple days here with the plethora of adrenaline-pumping things to do in Queenstown. Pick where to stay in Queenstown wisely with this accommodation guide as there are also plenty of more chilled out, relaxing things to take in the picturesque scenery in town, not to mention even more stunning sights accessible on Queenstown day trips.
Best Areas to Stay in Queenstown
While you really can’t go wrong with any area you choose to stay in, Queenstown has numerous options. Depending on what season and what reason you’re travelling to the city, this breakdown can help you determine the best place to stay in Queenstown for you.
- Queenstown CBD: For first-time visitors
- Frankton: For skiers and airport access
- Fernhill: For hiking
- Queenstown Hill: For nature & scenic views
- Kelvin Heights: For green space & luxury
Best Places to Stay in Queenstown
Queenstown is a tourists’ playground and there is accommodation to suit everyone’s style, needs, and budget. Here are a few of the best accommodation picks.
Best area to stay in for first-time visitors
The CBD is hands-down the best area to stay in Queenstown for first-timers. The CBD is the epicenter for all the adventures Queenstown can offer, and then some. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling, outdoor adventure or a night out on the town, the Queenstown CBD is an ideal choice.
Top Picks for Queenstown CBD
This extraordinary hotel offers a world-class experience for anyone staying here. There is a coffee shop and fitness center on-site as well as a bar and restaurant and in-house spa treatments.
Rooms come with a balcony that either feature a dramatic mountain view or a gorgeous lake view. The spacious rooms come with a sitting space adorned with a sofa and a fireplace, a dining area, and a coffee and tea station. Your bathroom is fitted with both a shower and a tub as well as a bathrobe and slippers.
The is one of the best luxury hotels on the entire South Island and prides itself on providing guests a quality experience.
The Rydges Queenstown is a fantastic accommodation with epic views of Wakatipu Lake and stunning views of the Remarkables Mountain Range. There are two restaurants on-site (one of which includes interactive dining), an outdoor heated swimming pool, a sauna, and private parking. During the winter there is a ski pass vendor and ski storage as well for snow bunnies.
You’ll have this cozy 1-bedroom apartment to yourself with gorgeous panoramic views of the lake and mountains. Sleeping up to 4 people, this perfectly placed apartment is close to town and supermarkets and also close to the ski fields, hiking and cycling paths.
You will also have access to a full kitchen, laundry facilities and all your linens and toiletries are provided for you.
Situated in the heart of the city, this is one of the best places to stay in Queenstown CBD. Nomads Backpackers is a 5-star hostel (yes, you read that right) that offers room types and styles to fit anyone’s taste and budget. There are private rooms and bathrooms as well as semi-private rooms with shared bathrooms, plus large and small dorm-style rooms. Dorm rooms all come with lockers to store valuables and most rooms have views of the picturesque Lake Wakatipu or the rugged snowcapped mountain ranges that change colour as the sun sets.
Nomads has a bar that features nightly entertainment and excellent food and drinks. Guests can also enjoy a shared kitchen as well as ski storage in the winter and a sauna to warm up after a day on the mountain. Talk about a fabulous hostel!
Best area to stay in for skiers and airport access
Frankton is an area of Queenstown that is easily accessible and not far from the CBD and is also where the airport is located. It is ideal for skiers and snowboarders too because of its easy access to shuttles and public transportation to and from the nearby mountains.
Top Picks for Frankton
This impressive hotel is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Queenstown. Located on Frankton Road, this Queenstown hotel promises lakefront balconies with jaw-dropping views. Your room comes with toiletries, plush towels, bathrobes, and slippers that all ooze comfort and luxury.
The Rees Hotel offers round the clock royalty treatment for their guests with on-site amenities that include a wine bar, coffee shop, snack bar, fitness center, massage and spa services, fitness and yoga classes, a shuttle, plus a ski school during the winter months.
These self-contained apartments are ideal for anyone seeking a little bit of privacy but still want to be close to the action. These beautiful apartments feature their own private pebble beach complete with a water taxi. The apartments provide an indescribable view of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. The apartments vary from 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments and each comes with a fully equipped kitchen and laundry area as well as a dining and sitting area. The apartments are serviced daily and are stocked with coffee tea and milk upon arrival.
The apartments are less than 30 minutes from both of the most popular ski areas and super close to the airport and city centre. You’re close to the Frankton walkway and cycle path so you can explore the area at your leisure.
Sleeping up to 5 guests, this Airbnb that has a superhost, has 2 bedrooms and features unforgettable views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. The house is on a private road and you have a private entrance and parking. Storage is available for snowboard and ski or hiking equipment, depending on what season of the year it is.
If you feel like walking into town you can follow the lakeside trail for a leisurely 20-minute walk with scenic views along the way.
Luxurious for its price point, the Holiday Inn Queenstown has an ideal location, sitting in-between Queenstown city centre and just a couple of kilometres from the airport. Like many hotels in Queenstown, you can expect stellar lake and mountain views but with a budget-conscious price point.
Best area to stay in for hiking
If your more of a nature lover and outdoorsy type of traveller, Fernhill is definitely fitting for you. There are hiking and biking trails galore and the ski fields are not far for winter sport lovers.
Top Picks for Fernhill
These irresistible, secluded villas offer indescribable views of Lake Wakatipu and include a spacious living area with a fireplace and a king-sized bed. The bathrooms are quite inviting with a luxurious freestanding spa tub as well as slippers, a bathrobe, fluffy towels, and toiletries. Your villa also comes with a gorgeous outdoor living space complete with a fire pit and BBQ facilities. Breakfast, pre-dinner drinks, and canapes are served to guests in the main lodge.
Azure Lodge features shuttles to and from city centre, to the best local restaurants and bars, and even the airport. There is a hot tub, fitness center and spa as well as massage services available in case you decide to treat yourself to additional luxuries.
This stunning hotel offers some of the most dramatic views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range of all the hotels in Queenstown. Guests have access to an outdoor pool, spa pools, a gym, and a sauna. There are also several bars and restaurants on-site to tantalize guests tastebuds through a variety of decadent dishes. The South Eatery Restaurant features floor to ceiling windows so you can enjoy the views while sipping on local wine. The Rise restaurant serves a yummy English or continental buffet breakfast and the Lounge Bar features a large open fireplace where you can enjoy cocktails and snacks between Queenstown sightseeing.
The Alpine Gold guesthouse is filled with natural light and a cozy comfortable seating area with 2 bedrooms, comfortably sleeping up to 4 people. The back deck features surreal views of the lake and surrounding mountains which you can enjoy as you relax in the jacuzzi with some local wine after a long day of exploration. There is also a BBQ and cozy deck furniture to maximize your time outdoors.
You have use of a washer and dryer as well as a fully loaded kitchen (minus your groceries) and plenty of parking. This house is entirely yours and children’s amenities can be proved for you if you happen to be travelling with your family.
Located in the Queenstown CBD, this Queenstown hostel is added into the mix because there are no options in Fernhill for this price point. The Southern Laughter Backpackers has both private rooms and dorm rooms available depending on the vibe you’re looking for and all beds come with linens. The hostel offers guests a hot tub set up in a colorful garden, BBQ facilities, a guest lounge complete with a TV and comfy sofas, as well as an indoor kitchen with everything needed to cook an entire meal. There are also laundry facilities if you need to wash and dry clothes.
Best area to stay in for nature and scenic views
Queenstown Hill is far enough removed from town where you can just about forget the bright lights and late nights of a lively city, but close enough to run to the store or spend time in Queenstown as you wish. Queenstown Hill is tucked into an enchanted thick green forest and is home to a 3-hour hike known as the Time Walk that is known for its indescribable views of the entire area.
Top Picks for Queenstown Hill
This extraordinary villa was built with floor to ceiling windows and an open floor plan so you can always enjoy the view, day and night. The villa has 4 bedrooms and several bathrooms. The kitchen has everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal dishware wise and a large dining area as well as a cozy sitting area complete with a fireplace.
The outdoor area is just as nice with a BBQ, dining area and furniture to spend time outdoors as much as possible.
The Blue Peaks Lodge is less than a 10 minutes walk to Lake Wakatipu and offers guests a few different room styles. Each room comes with a TV, towels and toiletries, as well as a refrigerator, coffee and tea station, and a microwave.
The lodge is quite close to the popular Onsen Hot Pools, as well as the Coronet Peak Ski area.
This sun-streaked apartment sleeps up to 2 people and you’ll have the entire space to yourself. This apartment comes with exclusive access to the apartment’s gardens & vineyard as well as the tennis and basketball courts. There is a hot tub on the deck, a sauna, an outdoor picnic/BBQ area, and a quaint little swing set. During the warmer summer months, the swimming pool is also open and accessible.
You have use of a washer and dryer as well as a full kitchen.
This elegant and classy backpackers lodge gives guests the option of a private room, a mixed dorm, or a female-only dorm. All bathrooms are shared, however, the private rooms come with a TV and a tea/coffee station. The dorm rooms come with pod-style bunk beds, meaning that they come with a privacy curtain, outlet, and a reading light.
There is a shared kitchen on-site as well as computers, TV, bean bag chairs, books and games, and plenty of room to socialize. There is a lot of deck and patio space with picnic tables and furniture as well as a hot tub so you can enjoy all the spectacular views with the other guests. They also offer guests free bike rentals so you can easily travel and explore the area. You can also take advantage of its close location to the skyline gondola.
Best area to stay in for green space and luxury
Kelvin Heights is a spacious and luxurious section of Queenstown that is a go-to for privacy and leisure. There is a world-class golf course and beautiful hiking, biking, and walking trails that deliver captivating views of the mountains and lakes nearby.
Top Picks for Kelvin Heights
Located on the lovely shores of Lake Wakatipu, Hilton Queenstown offers guests a fitness center, an indoor pool, as well as a day spa. There is private parking on-site as well as a bar and restaurant serving the very best of local wines (which are a must-try).
The rooms at the Hilton are all designed with comfort and style in mind. Elegant is one way to describe the guest rooms equipped with a gas fireplace, king-sized bed, and windows with vies that steal the show. Most rooms feature spacious bathrooms with a separate shower and bathtub for a generous and cozy soak.
DoubleTree by Hilton offers several room styles, all equipped with a flat-screen TV, a kitchenette, and a spacious bathroom complete with soft slippers and a bathrobe, plush towels, and soft bed linens for a very comfortable stay.
There is a convenience store on-site as well as other shops and a hair salon, a spa, and a fitness center so you need little reason to leave.
This sunny, spacious apartment sleeps up to 5 guests easily. There are 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen including a dishwasher and a bonus is that breakfast is provided for you with the option to dine on the patio and take in the beautiful views.
There’s a trail that leads around the lake that is close-by as well as a fun ferry ride if you don’t feel like driving to town. You can park in the driveway or there are loads of spots to park in the streets as well.
This cozy and quaint little studio sleeps up to 2 people and has its own private entrance and private bathroom. The studio also has a microwave, mini-fridge, microwave, toaster, and a kettle for coffee and tea. Breakfast, coffee, and tea are provided for you as well as bed linens, towels, and basic toiletries.
No matter what season you’re visiting in, this studio is in a top location, especially if you are on your way to the legendary Milford Sound. During the winter months, you are in a prime location for the ski resorts and in the summer you can swim in the lake and go hiking.
Continue planning your trip to New Zealand!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which I earn a small commission from and are at no additional cost to you. All images for accommodation used are from Booking.com or Airbnb.