I stay at… The Hilton
There are few names that are as recognisable as that of the Hilton. Esteemed, luxurious and dependable, I find myself returning to the hotel chain time and time again. However, it’s the Queenstown branch, set against the profound background of the Southern Alps, that ranks high amongst my favourites. Why? Well, the views across the water looking back over to Queenstown Hill from the Hilton are breathtaking for a start — you can’t beat waking up to that every morning.
Also, I love going for an early morning walk along Frankton Arm, which is right on the hotel’s doorstep. During winter, I love to thaw out after a full day of skiing in their sauna or sip on mulled wine in front of the fire in the lobby lounge. If the weather is dismal and skiing is off the cards, I book in for a face treatment — usually something hydrating. I use Osmosis and the Hilton spa Eforea is the only place in Queenstown to offer it. They are always so accommodating and their therapists’ knowledge of the product ingredients is extensive.
I play at…
If your other half is golf-obsessed, like mine, they will no-doubt have planned a round at one of the most breathtaking golf courses in New Zealand, Jack’s Point. This always suits me well as the Clubhouse is usually sun-drenched and offers a delicious wine list which makes for the perfect afternoon watering hole! Arrowtown, rich with history and formally a Chinese mining district during the gold rush, is beautiful to wander through all year round. It’s made up of over 50 historic buildings and all new developments are in keeping with earlier architectural styles.
Skiing is always at the top of my agenda during winter in Queenstown. Having multiple mountains to choose from means no two days are the same and makes skiing pow that much more likely. In the off-season, there are so many hikes and walks to choose from; Sawpit Gully near Arrowtown, Sam Summers Walk near Closeburn, or Wye Creek, all with spectacular views and fresh mountain air. It’s the best medicine for the soul.
I eat at…
A long lunch at Amisfield serves as the ultimate combination of exquisite food, quality wine and glorious scenery, while Chop Shop in nearby Arrowtown is renowned for its brunch like no other. A recent opening in Queenstown is White & Wong’s. I haven’t visited yet but if the food is half what is at the Auckland restaurant it will be hard to resist frequenting for dinner.
I shop at…
I wholly recommend dropping into boutique homeware store North of Here in Frankton. The owner, Olivia Dunstan, curates everything so beautifully it’s impossible to walk out empty-handed.
*Sarah Harris Gould is co-founder and co-director of shirt label Harris Tapper. With a serious eye for all things prepossessing — her label’s high-end collection comprises shirts that are unrivalled in both quality and design — she is the perfect person to share her Queenstown recommendations. Here, the designer tells us why a trip to the adventure capital shouldn’t be complete without a stay at the renowned Hilton hotel, a summer hike or a bite of some top-notch fare.