Pamela Wade finds everything she needs in Queenstown’s bright new hotel.
Nestled under the Remarkables, this hotel opened its doors last December. With 182 rooms spread over four floors, two restaurants and a gym, it has everything guests will need between getting out to explore and enjoying this glorious destination.
IHG Group’s new Open Lobby concept means the space is large and airy, with a flickering fire that will be particularly inviting in winter. There are no divisions between here and the lounge, bar and restaurant, all merged and linked by a bold and elegant decoration that still manages to create a relaxing and friendly atmosphere.
Just a five minute drive from the airport, the hotel is 15 minutes from central Queenstown and 30 minutes from the Remarkables ski slopes.
Well stocked with brand new shopping malls and non-touristy shops easily accessible from ample parking spaces, Frankton is growing rapidly but remains quiet at night.
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It’s well placed to access most of the area’s attractions, without having to submit to the often congested crawl in and out of Queenstown.
The living room in our corner suite was comfortable, but supplied with everything we needed: suitcase space, large TV, free wi-fi, coffee machine and fridge, sofa and table.
The bedroom was larger, very quiet, and dominated by a huge, extremely comfortable bed with giant pillows. The elegantly decorated bathroom had both a walk-in shower and bath, twin sinks and Soak toiletries.
Get out of
As well as the many shops, including the new Five Mile Shopping Centre, Frankton has a leisure center and a range of restaurants. On Saturdays, from December to April, a varied open-air market is popular with locals, and there is also a twilight market on Thursdays.
Many of the area’s most famous attractions are easily accessible: Lake Hayes, Arrowtown and Cromwell, Kingston, ski slopes, wineries, golf courses, and biking and walking trails. A popular route crosses the nearby Kawarau River to the historic TSS Earnslaw slipway on Kelvin Heights point.
Adjoining the bar, Giants is the main restaurant, bright and sunny, with floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek decor. The menu is short, with around six dishes to choose from in each section, but it’s fresh, rustic and full of flavor, prepared in the open kitchen and served by friendly waiters. The choice of drinks is wide, with a natural focus on local drinks: gin, beer and wine. Accompanied children under 13, whether hotel guests or not, eat there for free.
A Rolling Giants Cafe is also on the way, offering barista coffee, light meals and a selection of on-the-go supplies to fuel your day’s adventures.
The hotel is so new and bright that it is a delight from the entrance hall; but the best part was the huge and very comfortable bed, with its choice of pillows. Soft and cozy, in a dark and quiet bedroom, it meant sleep came easily here, even if it wasn’t gained by vigorous exercise outside.
The living room in our corner suite, unlike the bedroom, was rather dark as it was difficult to open the curtains to make the most of the wonderful view of the Remarkables.
Room rental starts at $143. Children under 13 eat and sleep free in their parents’ room (rollaway beds and cribs are available, suites have a sofa bed). Wi-Fi and the fitness center are also free. There’s free tea, coffee, and bottled water, eco-friendly toiletries dispensers in the bathroom, and each room has a pillow menu.
Stay safe: New Zealand is currently under Covid-19 restrictions. Face coverings are mandatory on all flights and public transport. Proof of vaccination and vaccine exemption may be required at some locations under the traffic light system. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.
The writer was hosted by Holiday Inn Remarkables Park.