As the undisputed outdoor adventure capital of New Zealand, choosing where to stay in Queenstown is always top of mind when planning your ultimate New Zealand itinerary.
Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the beautiful city of Queenstown offers travellers an opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s finest natural scenery up close—with a small dash of adrenaline thrown in!
Looking for the best hotels in Queenstown, New Zealand? Plan your trip with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Queenstown including the top areas, neighbourhoods, and hotels for travellers…
Best places to stay in Queenstown
Surrounded by stunning alpine scenery dotted by lakes, rivers, and canyons, Queenstown is the most popular travel destination on New Zealand’s South Island. With its fame and natural fortune, picking out where to stay in Queenstown isn’t always easy.
While Queenstown itself isn’t exactly a metropolis, you’ll quickly discover that the absolute best hotels in Queenstown tend to book up fast thanks to the city’s immense popularity with local & international travellers.
Aside from the town itself, there’s a wide array of other areas & places to stay in Queenstown that’ll give you access to farther-flung natural delights 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 in Queenstown for first-time travellers
For first-time travellers there’s no better choice for where 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 and 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 who’ll help you kick your Queenstown adventures into high gear whether that means flyboarding on Lake Wakatipu or jetboating on the Shotover River.
There’s also a thriving nightlife and dining scene here. Within Downtown Queenstown, you’ll have a chance to indulge in the city’s tastiest food or enjoy some relaxing (or wild—your choice!) drinks to views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.
Recommended hotels in Queenstown CBD
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 those a little further outside of the city.
- Adventure Q2 Hostel: Located less than a kilometre from the Skyline Gondola, this hostel is a fantastic choice for backpackers & travellers looking to stay in Queenstown on a budget. The hostel offers both dorms and budget-friendly private rooms with private bathrooms.
- Novotel Queenstown Lakeside: Perched on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this mid-range property is one of the top hotels in Downtown Queenstown thanks to its convenient location and amenities including a popular on-site restaurant and a café bar.
- Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel: Nestled within beautiful parklands and surrounded by mountains, this lovely boutique hotel 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 incredible 5-star resort charms guests with a distinctive French elegance unmatched in the alpine town. Splurge on one of the luxurious superior rooms to enjoy a private balcony with swoon-worthy mountain & lake views.
✔ Best neighbourhood to stay in Queenstown for late arrivals, early departures, and for skiers
Situated within a cove on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu’s bend and at the mouth of the Kawarau River, Frankton lies about 7 kilometres east of Queenstown proper.
Thanks its proximity to Queenstown Airport, Frankton is the best place to stay in Queenstown if you’re arriving on a late flight or departing early in the morning.
Frankton is also home to The Remarkables Park Town Centre, the largest shopping mall in the Queenstown area.
In winter, Frankton makes an excellent base for skiers. The popular Remarkables Ski Area is just 30 minutes away by car.
Although it’s a little sleepier than Queenstown itself, if you choose to stay in Frankton you’ll get to enjoy high-quality accommodations at prices a little lower than in the town centre—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 with little offered at the budget or top-end of the market.
Along Frankton Road between Queenstown and Frankton, however, you’ll find plenty more options including holiday villas, apartments, and lodges.
- Ramada Suites by Wyndham Queenstown Remarkables Park: Featuring views of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, the suites here are fully self-catering, offering 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: Occupying 4.5 acres, this newly-renovated resort is surprisingly budget-friendly for the quality. The rooms here are spacious and deliver great views of Lake Wakatipu.
- Wyndham Garden Queenstown: Nestled at the foot of The Remarkables, this brand-new hotel charms with its modern style and 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 in Queenstown for hiking & quiet contemplation
Nuzzled up to the slopes of Ben Lomond southwest of Queenstown, the suburb of Fernhill is one of the best places to stay in Queenstown when you’ve got hiking on your agenda.
The area is mostly residential, but its proximity to well-known hiking, walking, and biking paths makes it a fantastic choice for active travellers and trekkers.
The most popular rails around Fernhill include the Arawata Terrace Track, The Fernhill Town Link Track, and The Fernhill Loop Track venturing off to the Ben Lomond Reserve.
Recommended hotels in Fernhill
As the neighbourhood is more decidedly 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 absolutely stunning vistas of Lake Wakatipu, this elegant hotel is one of the best in Queenstown if you’re looking for a little quiet contemplation. Spend a night here and you’ll get to enjoy a wide range of amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, and sauna. This is also a perfect way to soak away all 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 with its full menu of luxurious amenities. Whether you want to 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, there’s something on offer for everyone at this superb hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand.
- 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 that features incredible alpine & lake vistas.
- Azure Lodge: To dabble in luxury in Fernhill, there’s no better choice for where to stay in Queenstown than this luxurious lodge. Enjoy star-gazing at night from the comfort of your soaker tub to get into the true spirit of Queenstown’s stunning wilderness.
✔ Best choice for where to stay in Queenstown for a relaxing luxury homestay
Located across Lake Wakatipu from Downtown Queenstown, Kelvin Heights is an upscale neighbourhood and one of the most coveted places to live in Queenstown.
Like Fernhill, Kelvin Heights skews more towards residential than commercial and is one of the greenest areas of the city.
It’s home to a handful of walking trails including the Frankton Track, Kelvin Peninsula Trail, and Jack’s Point Trail sections of the 110-kilometre-long Queenstown Trail.
Recommended hotels in Kelvin Heights
There’s only a small collection of accommodations in Kelvin Heights, comprising mostly of homestays and villas with a few hotels thrown in the northeast just across the Kawarau River Bridge from Frankton. Most options are located along Peninsula Road near the lake.
- Doubletree by Hilton Queenstown: Featuring fully self-catering rooms by the lakeside in Kawarau Village, these suites sit among the best in Queenstown, New Zealand. Spend a little more for a deluxe room for some of the most fantastic views in town.
- Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa: If you’re looking 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 including 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 choice for where to stay in Queenstown for nature-lovers
Shadowing the town centre, the small but majestic Queenstown Hill is the closest nature escape from the bustle of Queenstown.
The hill is known by the indigenous Maori as Te Tapu-nui, translated as the “Mountain of Intense Sacredness.”
As you’d imagine, walking up Queenstown Hill unleashes mind-blowing views towards 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 Queenstown Hill is on The Time Walk, a 3-hour hike that 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 other areas outside the town centre, most of the options here are Airbnb-style rental-by-owner properties including whole houses and apartments.
- The Queenstown Bothy: If you’re looking for a stay that feels a little like home, check out this lovely holiday home rental. This spacious villa is a great choice for families, featuring 4 bedrooms, a barbecue, free parking, and an amazing balcony with incredible views.
- Balmoral Lodge: With apartments & studios available, this bed & breakfast-style mountain lodge offers spacious & comfortable rooms without breaking the bank.
- Alpen View Luxury Villa: Perched on the edge of Queenstown Hill, this luxury home features 4 bedrooms with private balconies and a large garden patio with a barbecue for your grilling pleasure.