Planning the ultimate New Zealand itinerary? As the outdoor adventure capital of New Zealand, choosing where to stay in Queenstown should be top of mind.
Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is one of the most beautiful cities in New Zealand. It’s home to some of New Zealand’s finest natural scenery—with a dash of adrenaline thrown in!
Many of the best hotels in Queenstown ring in & around the CBD in the city centre. And while downtown is among the best areas to stay in Queenstown, it’s not the only option. Other neighbourhoods like Fernhill, Frankton, and Kelvin Heights are great choices, too.
Looking for the absolute best Queenstown hotels? Plan your trip with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Queenstown, New Zealand. In the guide, we’ve included the top areas, neighbourhoods, and hotels for travellers.
Best places to stay in Queenstown
Queenstown is the most popular travel destination on New Zealand’s South Island. It’s surrounded by stunning alpine scenery, dotted by lakes, rivers, and canyons. But with its fame and natural fortune, picking out where to stay in Queenstown isn’t always easy.
Queenstown is hardly a metropolis, but you’ll discover that the best hotels in Queenstown book up fast. The city is immensely popular with local & international travellers. Be sure to book your accommodations well ahead.
Aside from the town centre, there’s a wide array of other areas & places to stay in Queenstown. From these areas, Queenstown’s farther-flung natural delights are within reach. You’ll love a chance to visit outdoor gems like Coronet Peak, The Remarkables mountain range, and Shotover Canyon.
The best areas to stay in Queenstown include:
Queenstown CBD (Downtown)
✔ Best area to stay for first-time travellers
For first-time travellers, there’s no better place to stay in Queenstown than the CBD (Central Business District). Also referred to as Downtown Queenstown, the CBD is home to many of the best Queenstown hotels. It’s also close to many of the top things to do in Queenstown.
The Queenstown CBD is nestled on the edge of Lake Wakatipu—with spectacular views to match! In the area, you’ll also encounter a high concentration of tour companies & outfitters. Stop by to kick your adventures into high gear. (Flyboarding on Lake Wakatipu or jetboating on the Shotover River, anyone?)
There’s also a thriving nightlife and dining scene in the CBD. Within Downtown Queenstown, you’ll get to indulge in the city’s best food & drink. The area is home to Queenstown’s tastiest restaurants. You’ll also be able to enjoy some relaxing (or wild—your choice!) drinks to views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.
Recommended hotels in Queenstown CBD (Downtown)
From hostels to luxury hotels, there’s a mix of everything in central Queenstown. As you’d imagine, accommodation prices in this area are higher than at hotels further outside of the city.
- Adventure Q2 Hostel: Visiting on a budget? This hostel is a fantastic choice for backpackers & travellers. Both dorms and budget-friendly private rooms with private bathrooms are offered. It’s located less than a kilometre from the Skyline Gondola.
- Novotel Queenstown Lakeside: This mid-range property is one of the top hotels in downtown. It’s perched on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Besides its convenient location, the hotel offers excellent amenities. You’ll find a popular on-site restaurant and a café bar here.
- Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel: This lovely boutique hotel is nestled within beautiful parklands and surrounded by mountains. It features spacious & stylish suites equipped with kitchenettes. Upgrade to one of the premium units for a private balcony with spectacular views of The Remarkables mountain range.
- Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa: One of the best luxury hotels in Queenstown, this 5-star resort is an incredible option. Unmatched in the alpine town, the hotel charms guests with distinctive French elegance. Splurge on one of the luxurious superior rooms to enjoy a private balcony with swoon-worthy mountain & lake views.
✔ Best neighbourhood to stay for late arrivals, early departures, and for skiers
Frankton lies about seven kilometres east of Queenstown proper. It’s situated within a cove on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu’s bend and at the mouth of the Kawarau River.
Among travellers, Frankton is most known for its proximity to Queenstown Airport. If you’re arriving on a late flight or departing early in the morning, Frankton should be on your radar.
Frankton is also a great choice for shoppers. It’s home to The Remarkables Park Town Centre, the largest shopping mall in the area.
In winter, Frankton makes an excellent base for skiers. One of the most popular ski fields in Queenstown, The Remarkables Ski Area, is 30 minutes away by car. In summer and fall, it’s a great base for exploring the best Queenstown wineries. Frankton is closer to the start of the Queenstown Wine Trail than the town centre.
Frankton’s a little sleepier than Queenstown itself. In choosing to stay in Frankton though, you’ll get to enjoy high-quality accommodations at prices lower than in the town centre. All without sacrificing the views that New Zealand is oh-so famous for!
Recommended hotels in Frankton
There’s a relatively limited selection of hotels in Frankton. Most of the accommodation options here fall in the mid-range. You’ll find little here at the budget or top-end of the market.
Along Frankton Road between Queenstown and Frankton, however, more accommodations await. Most of the top choices are holiday villas, apartments, and lodges.
- Ramada Suites by Wyndham Queenstown Remarkables Park: This property features incredible views of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. The suites here are fully self-catering. They offer everything from a kitchenette to a washer & dryer. Guests staying here will also enjoy free amenities like unlimited WiFi, a fitness centre, and on-site parking.
- Holiday Inn Queenstown Frankton Road: This newly-renovated resort occupies 4.5 acres. For the quality, it’s surprisingly budget-friendly. The rooms here are spacious and deliver great views of Lake Wakatipu.
- Wyndham Garden Queenstown: This brand-new hotel is nestled at the foot of The Remarkables. It charms with its modern style. It boasts a ton of great amenities including free WiFi and a heated ski gear storage room. The Remarkables Park Town Centre is less than a 5-minute walk away for your shopping pleasure.
✔ Best place to stay for hiking & quiet contemplation
The suburb of Fernhill nuzzles the slopes of Ben Lomond southwest of Queenstown. It’s one of the best places to stay in Queenstown when you’ve got hiking on your agenda.
The Fernhill area is mostly residential, but it’s close to well-known Queenstown hiking & walking trails, and biking paths. As you’d imagine, Fernhill is a fantastic choice for active travellers and trekkers.
The most popular trails around Fernhill include the Arawata Terrace Track and The Fernhill Town Link Track. It’s also home to The Fernhill Loop Track, a trail that ventures off to the Ben Lomond Reserve.
Recommended hotels in Fernhill
As the neighbourhood is more local than the town centre, there’s only a handful of “official” accommodation options in Fernhill.
On your search, however, you will find plenty of holiday homes, and villas, apartments for rent in the area. Be sure to book ahead during high tourist season.
- Heritage Queenstown: Boasting stunning vistas of Lake Wakatipu, this elegant hotel is one of the best in town. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for some quiet contemplation. Spend a night here and you’ll get to enjoy a wide range of amenities. They include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, and sauna. Staying here also offer a perfect chance to soak away your stresses in the hotel’s relaxing spa pool.
- Mercure Queenstown Resort: Yet another Queenstown hotel with a breathtaking view, this resort goes for the full monty. There’s a full menu of luxurious amenities at this superb hotel. Grab a meal with a view through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the South Eatery Restaurant. Or enjoy a chilled-out glass of wine on the terrace.
- Matakauri Inn: With only a handful of rooms from rent, you’ll want to book well ahead of time to snag accommodations at this villa. It’s quite charming with its incredible alpine & lake vistas.
- Azure Lodge: To dabble in luxury in Fernhill, there’s no better choice than this luxurious lodge. You’ll love star-gazing from the comfort of your soaker tub to engage the spirit of Queenstown’s stunning wilderness.
✔ Best area to stay for a relaxing luxury homestay
Located across Lake Wakatipu from downtown, Kelvin Heights is an upscale neighbourhood. It’s one of the most-coveted places to live in Queenstown, and one of the coolest places to stay.
Like Fernhill, Kelvin Heights skews more towards residential than commercial. It’s also one of the city’s greenest areas of the city. (Not exactly easy in green city like this!)
Kelvin Heights is home to a handful of walking trails. Some of the best tracks in the area include the Frankton Track, Kelvin Peninsula Trail, and Jack’s Point Trail. All these popular trails are sections of the 110-kilometre-long Queenstown Trail.
Recommended hotels in Kelvin Heights
There’s only a small collection of accommodations in Kelvin Heights. They comprise mostly of homestays and villas. There’s also a few hotels thrown in the northeast across the Kawarau River Bridge from Frankton. Most options are located along Peninsula Road near the lake.
- Doubletree by Hilton Queenstown: These self-catering suites are located on the lakeside in Kawarau Village. Spend a little more for a deluxe room for some of the most fantastic views in town.
- Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa: Want to stay in Kelvin Heights in style? Look no further than this Lake Wakatipu resort. Grabbing a room here, you’ll be treated to a range of 5-star amenities. They include an indoor pool, fitness centre, day spa, wine bar, and grill restaurant.
- Sunny Lakeview Villa: To add a dash of luxury to your New Zealand visit, book a stay at this lovely lakeside house. Besides its impeccable views, the villa offers a patio terrace, barbecue, and hot tub spa pool.
✔ Top-rated area to stay for nature-lovers
Shadowing the town centre, the small but majestic Queenstown Hill is the closest nature escape from the urban bustle. The hill is known by the indigenous Maori as Te Tapu-nui. The name translates to “Mountain of Intense Sacredness.”
As you’d imagine, walking here unleashes mind-blowing views. Atop the hill, you’ll be able to witness the majesty of The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.
Staying at the base of this sacred hill is a fantastic way to get up close to some of the finest nature the town has to offer.
The most popular way to experience the area is on the Queenstown Hill Time Walk. This 3-hour hike details the history of the region through a series of plaques.
Recommend hotels around Queenstown Hill
Many of the top places to stay around Queenstown Hill sit in & around the Belfast Terrace area. Like many areas outside the town centre, most of the options here are Airbnb-style rental-by-owner properties. They include whole houses and apartments.
- The Queenstown Bothy: Looking for a stay that feels like home? Check out this lovely holiday home rental. This spacious villa is a great choice for families. It features 4 bedrooms, a barbecue, and free parking. You’ll also enjoy an amazing balcony with incredible views.
- Balmoral Lodge: This bed & breakfast-style mountain lodge offers spacious & comfortable rooms. Both apartments & studios are available. All without breaking the bank.
- Alpen View Luxury Villa: Perched on the edge of Queenstown Hill, this luxury home is a great option. It features 4 bedrooms with private balconies. There’s also large garden patio with a barbecue for your grilling pleasure.