Overlooking the mountains and the gorgeous blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, the historic Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments offers stunning postcard views in peaceful Queenstown, New Zealand. A wide selection of accommodation — from lake-view rooms to multi-room villas — gives travelers in pairs or groups access to the best of the region’s natural landscape and the lively city center.
Budget Level: Luxe ($300+/night)
Lodging Type: Large Hotel (100+ rooms)
What You Need To Know
The Rees lobby feels like a modern ski lodge, with a wooden beam ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The minimally decorated guestrooms make the lake the focal point. A quick push of the button raises the electric curtain in the bathroom, giving guests a full view of from the soaking tub or bed. The luxury villas have high-end bedding, lavender-scented pillows, and high-tech kitchen appliances. Bathrooms are stocked with the Rees’ own line of aromatic, herbal toiletries.
Named after one of Queenstown’s pioneers, William Gilbert Rees, this family-friendly hotel plays up its historic side. The lobby combines nods to the region’s gold-mining days with hip, elegant touches of modern Queenstown style. The friendly front desk staff reflects New Zealand’s refreshing international influence and can accommodate visitors in several languages.
Who Will Love It
The Rees is a perfect respite in a region dominated by adventure tourism. Families will love the expansive, sunny apartments with comfortable couches and full-service kitchens. The cozy fireplaces are a nice bonus on chilly evenings after a day of exploring. Travelers seeking a more exclusive luxury experience will feel right at home in the brand new three-bedroom, three-bath Rees Residences with attached garages and private outdoor hot tubs.
Who Might Not
Those who like to be smack dab in Queenstown’s city center may prefer to stay somewhere closer to the action. The hotel provides a free hourly shuttle to and from the city center (just five minutes away by car), and guests can also take the scenic 30-minute walk from the hotel to downtown Queenstown along the lakefront trail.
In addition to the views, the hotel’s food and wine programs are a draw. Feast on a delectable array of New Zealand cuisine from acclaimed chef Ben Batterbury and taste a selection of wines from around the world in the Bordeau Lounge Bar. Our favorite amenity is the private boat jetty at the hotel’s lakefront. Just ask the concierge to book a ride on a thrilling jet boat, and you’ll get your very own boat pick-up and drop-off the Rees dock.
Free underground parking, WiFi, access to the hotel’s gym, and a daily shuttle to/from the city center. Guests who stay at the new three-bedroom villas get a personal travel curator, who makes arrangements for guests 24 hours a day (he’ll even bring you Queenstown’s famous burgers in the middle of the night if you ask!), as well as airport transfers; gourmet breakfast along with a bottle of champagne; a daily loaf of warm, freshly baked bread with a selection of homemade jams; and evening turndown service, complete with boxes of handcrafted local chocolate at your bedside.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
All food and beverages in the hotel’s restaurant and wine lounge will be extra.
How to Get a Deal
Go in New Zealand’s shoulder months (March through May, and September through November), when you can snag off-season pricing from $295 NZD or about $215 USD for a standard room to $595 NZD or about $430 USD for a 2-bedroom executive apartment in low season. That’s a 50% savings compared to high season rates (between December and February), from $465 NZD or about $340 USD for a standard hotel room to $875 NZD or about $630 USD for a 2-bedroom apartment.
In the Neighborhood
The Rees is situated right on the lakefront, with a picturesque walking trail at the foot of the hotel. A five-minute drive gets you to the lovely Queenstown Gardens or the bustling city center full of great food.
The Queenstown airport is just a 10-minute drive from the hotel. The Rees can arrange airport transfers, and there are many taxi services available.
The Bottom Line
The Rees offers a relaxing nature retreat, but with a plethora of dining options, activities, and the Queenstown city center at your fingertips.