By Rachel Grunwell
I ran the Queenstown Marathon last November and while I was there I stayed at one of New Zealand’s most luxurious retreats – Eichardt’s Private Hotel. This grand heritage building overlooks Lake Wakatipu and the dramatic Southern Alps.
From the deck leading out of my room, I was just metres from the lake and could gaze at the mountain-peak vista. The hotel boasts its own bar with a cosy fireplace that oozes old-world charm. You can sip wine or Bollinger, cocktails or whisky, and order delicious food like seafood chowder, whitebait, duck and hare.
Guests can escape upstairs to a large whisky lounge, furnished with designer couches and ornaments. Here they can help themselves to a single malt, scotch, brandy, bourbon or sherry. This hotel is in the heart of Queenstown’s shopping and restaurant area, so following apéritifs in Eichardt’s bar, it doesn’t take long to find top-quality eateries to dine at.
When it is time to retreat to bed, each spacious suite offers luxurious super-king beds with white linen and giant, silky-soft, possum-fur throws. Above the bed is a skylight where I enjoyed cloud-gazing. The ‘pillow menu’ you can choose from – latex, memory foam, allergy-free, down and feather included — ensures a comfortable stay. Each suite also has a big bathroom with a deep spa bath, a dressing room, a lounge area (with a gas fireplace, TV and music) and fresh flowers.
The hotel also offers golfing, heli-sightseeing and ski tours on request.
Eichardt’s Private Hotel has been named as one of the top eight “forever fabulous hotels in the world” by Tatler magazine. And its bar is “one of the Top 10 bars with a view” according to The Times newspaper.