Sitting right on the lakefront in downtown Queenstown Eichardt’s provides the perfect luxury stay on a journey to the southern lakes of New Zealand.
With Lake Wakatipu quite literally just out the window and the sharp features of Cecil and Walter Peaks glinting across the water, it’s a fabulous place to wake up in the morning.
Surprisingly, this beautiful five star property began life as a woolshed back in the days of the Otago gold rush in the 1800s, but the only wool you will see there now is in the thick carpets underfoot. Early on, the old woolshed was given a wooden facade and a new lease of life as a hotel, which in those heady days would have meant a drinking establishment of dubious repute. Once again, the only sign of a drinking establishment now is in the hotel’s elegant wine and cocktail bar overlooking the lake. Known for its extensive wine list and beautifully presented food the bar at Eichardts has become a destination in itself, open for breakfast through till late in the evening.
Accommodation is a mix of five luxurious suites in the main hotel, four self-contained two-bedroom apartments nearby and a separate private Residence just a short walk away. The hotel is fronted by a striking glass lobby opening to the lakefront; upstairs the classic style parlour also offers perfect lake and mountain views and is filled with comfortable furniture and a large fireplace. It’s a great place to relax.
Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of New Zealand, with full justification. With all the mountains, lakes and rivers nearby there are plenty of high places to bungy or paraglide off, lots of white water to raft or jet boat on and endless miles of exceptionally good fly fishing on the local rivers. Add in three championship golf courses, high country farm tours, winery visits, winter skiing and snowboarding, and the proximity to the vast beauty of the Fiordland National Park and you will need at least a week to skim the surface.
(C) by Sue Farley