Queenstown' luxury Matakauri Lodge tops Travel + Leisure award

Two luxury lodges on the shores of Wakatipu have landed the top spots in the Travel + Leisure awards.

Queenstown's Matakauri lodge has been named the best Resort Hotel in Australia and New Zealand.

Editors of the US magazine said the hotel was effectively "a private alpine hideaway," but with all of Queenstown proper on your doorstep.

The mix of high-luxury and high-adrenaline was given a score of 95.47 out of 100.

"Its 11 light-filled rooms all offer superb mountain and lake views. But most guests choose the property for the calibre of the experiences the staff can arrange, including private wine tours, heli-skiing, and mountain treks.

However it was the windows looking out on a backdrop of Remarkables, Cecil Peak, and Walter Peak, which wowed their American readership.

Jay Robertson of Robertson Lodges, CEO and US expatriate, said it was very welcome news during "challenging times" and was delighted that international travellers were still dreaming of a break in Queenstown.

"We are so proud of our lodge team for their hard work and superior guest service and are excited and ready to welcome local and international travellers, as soon as we can, to showcase Matakauri Lodge and this great corner of New Zealand."

Queenstown's lakeside views are the star at Matakauri Lodge (also a strong contender for New Zealand's best bathtub). Photo / Supplied

First and second place were a close run thing, with runner up Hilton Queenstown separated by just 20 minutes drive in Kelvin Heights.

On the far shore of the lake and at the mouth of the Kawarau River the Hilton achieved an impressive score of 83. With pride of place in the southern adventure capital, this was the second year in a row for the Hilton.

Heaping praise on the outdoor sport credentials Travel + Leisure said there were plenty of home comforts too, saying "a heated pool, outdoor terrace, spa, and spectacular lakeside restaurant mean there's plenty to enjoy on site".

Queenstown swept the awards, with Tahuna topping wish lists in Australia and the South Pacific.

Jumping two places since last year, the Lakes District capital was runner up only to Sydney in top cities in Australia the South Pacific.

The Awards were compiled by Travel + Leisure editors and research firm M&RR, based on reader survey held in the first half of this year. While Covid restrictions were still in place, results took account of experiences over a three year period.

"We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world," said the editors.

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