Queenstown, New Zealand

Azur Lodge

Rates from (inc tax)$867.70

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (NZD1,380.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Luxe lakeside lodges

Setting

Lush Queenstown hillside

Luxuriously appointed stone and silver beechwood villas offer vast views of the New Zealand wilderness at Azur Lodge hotel, a hillside hideaway two miles outside Queenstown. The balconies, beds and baths in these nine modern villas all provide uninterrupted vantage points overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Range.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Arcadia sparkling wine on ice and handmade chocolates in your villa upon arrival

Facilities

Photos Azur Lodge – Queenstown – New Zealand

Need to know

Rooms

Nine villas.

Check–Out

11am, or a bit later for a fee. Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $867.70 (NZD1,200), excluding tax at 15 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next {dayrange} days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (NZD1,380.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include airport and town transfers, breakfast, minibar drinks, afternoon tea, apéritifs and canapés.

Also

To help you chill out, bedrooms come with aromatherapy burners and soothingly scented essential oils. You can also request spa treatments in your room, including massages to get those bungy-jump neck cricks sorted.

At the hotel

Library, Jacuzzi. In rooms: minibar, LCD TV, Denon DVD/CD player, iPod dock, free WiFi, Linden Leaves toiletries, private decks.

Our favourite rooms

All villas come with separate lounging areas, ensuite bathrooms replete with rainforest showers and double spa baths, and huge windows bringing the outside in – but we like number 5 for its privacy.

Poolside

There's no pool at Azur, but gardens overlook nearby Lake Wakatipu – ideal for a dip.

Packing tips

Binoculars for spying on lake action, including historic local steamboat TSS Earnslaw as it cruises past.

Also

On arrival at Azur you’re welcomed with a glass of wine, beer or a soft drink on the house – and a run-through of Queenstown’s highlights.

Children

Baby cots are free. They can split double beds into twins or provide extra beds for NZ$70 plus tax. High chairs, toys, microwaves and patio safety features are also on tap, as is babysitting at NZ$20 an hour.

Overview

Azur Lodge welcomes kids of any age, and can split double beds into twins or provide extra beds (NZ$70 plus tax) and free baby cots. High chairs, toys, microwaves and patio safety features are also on tap, as is babysitting for NZ$20 an hour.

Best for

Any age, but teen adrenaline junkies might get the most out of Queenstown.

Recommended rooms

Four of the nine villas have super-king-size beds which can be unzipped and split into twin beds for children. These villas are flanked by regular ones, so parents can book a villa for their children next door to their own, reassuringly close by.

Activities

Queenstown has a wealth of fun-filled adventure pursuits and natural excursions that would suit kids, with many tailored specially for them. Riskier fare like bungy jumping or jet- boating may be age-restricted, but Azur Lodge staff recommend mini golf, go karting, 10-pin bowling or movies for younger kids. Azur also has a good stock of boardgames and DVDs for entertaining smaller folk.

Rates

More details

Rates include airport and town transfers, breakfast, minibar drinks, afternoon tea, apéritifs and canapés.

Meals

Children are welcome in the hotel restaurant, which offers a kids' menu, high chairs, packed lunches on request and can heat up baby food or milk.

Babysitting

Hotel staff are happy to babysit, for $20 per hour, given 12 hours' notice.

No need to pack

Baby cots, high chairs, toys and a microwave for preparing kids' food can all be supplied by Azur Lodge, so you can pack lighter.

Also

Let the hotel know in advance and they'll have your villa primed with any child-friendly options you need, including extra beds or patio safety features.

Food and Drink

Photos Azur Lodge – Queenstown – New Zealand

At the hotel

Azur Lodge doesn’t have a restaurant but it does provide breakfast, afternoon tea and evening drinks and canapés. In-room dining can be arranged (eat out on the deck for sublime views) or the concierge can book you into the best local restaurants.

At the bar

Although there’s no dedicated public bar, there’s a sociable drinks scene at Azur. Each evening a buffet bar is set up in the main lodge with a tempting selection of local wines, spirits and beer for guests to quaff before dinner.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am to mid-afternoon, so you can lie in late. The pancakes are a great pick-me-up, or they'll take special requests from burritos to Japanese omelettes.

Room service

Meals can be ordered in from local restaurants until 10pm, and your table set and cleared by Azur’s staff. Burgers, pizza or Thai can also be sourced for a 20 per cent fee.

Location

Photos Azur Lodge – Queenstown – New Zealand
Address
Azur Lodge
23 MacKinnon Terrace, Sunshine Bay
9300
Queenstown
New Zealand

Planes

Queenstown Airport (www.queenstownairport.co.nz) is serviced daily by Air New Zealand (13 24 76; www.airnewzealand.co.nz), Jetstar (13 15 38; www.jetstar.co.nz), Qantas (13 13 13; www.qantas.co.nz) and Virgin Australia (13 67 89; www.virginaustralia.com). All inbound Azur guests will be met at the airport and transferred to the Lodge via luxury class Land Cruiser.

Automobiles

Cars can be hired from any of the usual rental companies at Queenstown Airport. Azur Lodge is 15km from the airport. However, Azur does offer complimentary airport transfers and trips into town are also included.

Worth getting out of bed for

The area’s mix of wildly beautiful nature and fun, high-octane sports means you can go hiking, skiing and skydiving, or just relax into more leisurely pursuits such as wine tasting.

Local restaurants

The Bathhouse (+64 (0)3 442 5625) at 15–28 Marine Parade, Queenstown Bay, offers fine dining right by the lapping waters of Lake Wakatipu. Showcasing local produce from Central Otago, this is a stylish spot for an organic coffee, glass of white, a casual lunch or more formal dinner with an optional tasting menu (when reservations are essential). Gantleys Restaurant (+64 (0)3 442 8999) at Arthurs Point Road is another upmarket affair with an award-winning wine list served up in an appealing historic stone building in landscaped gardens. Public Kitchen (+64 (0)3 442 5969), on the lakeside at Steamer Wharf, is known for its strong Central Otago wines, local seafood and freshly shucked melt-in-your-mouth New Zealand oysters, with all dishes designed to be shared. For a friendly local that serves tasty pizza, pasta, salads and good wines, from budget to more rarified options, head for Vknow (+64 (0)3 442 5444) in Fernhill. If fine-cut steak and wild, organic food is more your bag, then make a trip to Botswana Butchery (+64 (0)3 442 6994) at Archers Cottage, 17 Marine Parade. Set in an old villa, it has cosy nooks inside and a large patio outdoors.

Reviews

Photos Azur Lodge – Queenstown – New Zealand

Anonymous review

By Rosemary Purcell, Forensic psychologist

This review of Azur Lodge in Queenstown is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.

It’s a testament to the sublime comforts of Azur Lodge that, in the renowned Adventure Capital of the World, this keen skier was unable to leave her private villa for the better part of 24 hours. Even snow falling heavily outside didn’t make me muster the energy. OK, so I managed to meander up the path to the main lodge at 3pm for an afternoon tea of melt-in-the-mouth brownies and still-warm choc-chip cookies whipped up by our host Maria (very handily a pastry chef in her former life). But that was the extent of my outdoor adventures. Like Gollum and his cave, I quickly slunk back to savour the delights of my sumptuous cavern.

On arrival, I confess to some foreboding as our courtesy car turned off the road hugging Lake Wakatipu and instead headed up into the suburban estate of Sunshine Bay. Any fretting was quickly allayed when we swung onto a dirt track and up the driveway of the Azur. Perched on the crest of the hill was the main lodge, with its nine private villas scattered down the hillside. And not a provincial house – or any other distraction for that matter – in sight. Only the breathtaking panorama of snowcapped mountains and the grandeur of New Zealand’s longest lake.

At risk of succumbing to scenery fatigue so early in our stay, we relaxed with a latte in the main lodge where we were introduced to the delightful Keiko, resident chef and conjurer of breakfasts and any other daytime food requests. With Mr Smith itching to hit the slopes for a few afternoon runs, we went down to our villa (number 5), where Maria tried in vain to explain the various amenities on offer. In vain only because our attention was consumed by what Mr Smith astutely referred to as the ‘living wallpaper’ around us: Cecil Peak, front and centre, the Remarkables to the left and Lake Wakatipu below.

Mr Smith recovered his composure more quickly than I and was soon whisked away in his snow gear by Corey, a big-mountain skier and relatively recent addition to the Azur team. Having eyed the Central Otago sauvignon blanc on ice, I contemplated spending the afternoon in the jaw-dropping bath with a wine glass for company. But instead I put on my hiking boots and headed off along the Sunshine Bay track for the 40-minute lakeside walk into Queenstown. The fragrant wet track in winter evoked a rainforest, which is an appropriate segue into my afternoon appointment, as I’d arranged to meet with local tea expert Michelle Casson to discuss all things leafy and infused. (I’m into tea.) After taste-testing numerous exotic concoctions and purchasing some must-have brewing paraphernalia, I scurried back to the lodge laden but feeling virtuous enough to now indulge in my bath fantasy.

The Azur bath experience would be hard to eclipse. The deep spa-for-two is set against large bi-fold windows that open to create a Japanese onsen-like effect by letting in the sense of the elements – in this case relentless rain – without the accompanying reality. From this stage I watched the drama of the weather unfold, from wild gusting winds that helped a Titanic-era steamboat, the TSS Earnslaw, on its voyage across the lake, to a misty fog that settled in to blanket nearby Cecil Peak. My emotions watching this natural theatre rode an equally wide range from blissful to exhilarated, especially when a bird attempted a sortie through the open windows. (The fact that Damien Rice was rotating with David Gray on the iPod might also explain the mood swings.) At any rate, as a psychologist, I can easily recommend this as the ultimate stress antidote.

Each Azur villa has clearly been designed to maximise the drama outside by keeping the interior luxe but subdued – Queenstown’s wilderness is the headline act in the decor here. The beechwood palette never competes for attention, and the furnishings, including the super king-size bed, are comfortable but refined. Photographic prints of mountains and water by Christchurch artist Doc Ross are both fitting and stunning. Topping off the comfort are heated tiles throughout and a gas fireplace in the lounge. But lest I give the misleading impression that the Azur is in any way ‘homely’, all the mod-cons are available, including wireless internet. Plus, there’s a deck for outdoor dining and lounging around when the weather better reflects the Sunshine Bay tag.

The thing that distinguishes the Azur from traditional lodges, and which apparently leads to some confusion among guests, is the decision not to cater dinner. Since Queenstown’s finest eateries are only five minutes away by car, this struck Mr Smith and I as reasonable. Instead, the Azur offers the best of both worlds. The first night we mingled with other guests and staff over pre-dinner drinks and canapés, where we gleaned local insights from Corey about skiing options and jostled with Elvis, the resident pooch, for prime position at the fireplace. Ready for dinner, we were then driven by Sharon to Wai restaurant in Queenstown where we feasted on seafood, lamb, cheese and more wine. Treating us like indulged teenagers, Sharon duly collected us after we’d called to say we’d finished. On our second night, when I shamefully couldn’t bring myself to leave the Azur grounds, we instead ordered in Thai, which Sharon brought to our villa (with complimentary pinot noir) and artfully assembled with candlelight at our own dining table.

We floated out the next day, resolving that it would be remiss of us not to return in the summer. Just to see what those snowcapped peaks look like when it’s a little warmer, of course.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Azur Lodge’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The staff were fantastic at the Azur Lodge and could not do enough to help.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Feb 2015

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