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Best Places To Stay In Queenstown New Zealand (2024 Guide)

Are you planning a trip to Queenstown and don’t know where to stay? Look no further! 

Queenstown is one of my favourite places in New Zealand, and one of the best places to visit in the South Island. I’ve visited several times and stayed in different places each time, so I know it pretty well. There’s so much to do in Queenstown, it’s one of my top recommendations for visiting New Zealand.

From small independent BnBs to chain hotels, hostels and winery lodges, Queenstown has a wide variety of accommodation types that can make it hard to choose where to stay. Free wifi is pretty standard across accommodation in Queenstown, and there are many accommodation options close to the town centre.

If you are visiting New Zealand then a couple of days in Queenstown is a must, and these are my recommendations for places to stay in Queenstown. 

People walking along a path. Bushes and trees are to their left, and the lake is on the right side of the path. There are clouds in the sky, and mountains behind the lake.

Quick Guide: Best Places To Stay In Queenstown

fiona’s favourite
The New Zealand flag on a bright and cloudy sky. The flag has the British Union Jack in the top left corner and 4 red stars on the right side in the shape of the Southern Cross constellation

Chalet Queenstown

✔️ Excellent staff

✔️ Cosy rooms

Read the full entry for Chalet for more information on why this is my favourite pick.

Budget Pick
Looking down over Queenstown with the lake and mountains in the background.

Absoloot Hostel

✔️ Central Location

✔️ Kitchen and laundry facilities

Mid-range Pick
A sightseeing boat next to a dock on a lake with trees and mountains behind

Hotel St Moritz

✔️ Central Location

✔️ Onsite restaurant and bar

luxury Pick
A large lake with shrubs in front of it and mountains behind on a cloudy day.

QT Queenstown

✔️ Central Location

✔️ Onsite restaurant and bar

✔️ Swimming pool

Best Places To Stay In Queenstown For First-Time Travellers

For your first time in Queenstown, you’ll want to be close to the action. Many tour operators will either pick you up from your accommodation or have a meeting point in the town centre for you to walk to. 

My recommendations for first-time visitors are all within walking distance of Shotover Street, where many major adventure companies meet their guests.

Queenstown is one of the more expensive places for accommodation in New Zealand. Tourism is big business and in the peak of summer, tourists can outnumber the locals. 

There are plenty of places to stay but you do need to book in advance to avoid paying the highest prices or finding your options limited.

📍Budget Option Absoloot Hostel

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option in downtown Queenstown, Absoloot is the place to book. It’s a fantastic central location, next to Lake Wakatipu and just a 2 minute walk to many shops, bars and restaurants.

You can book private rooms here, but the best value comes from their dorm rooms. The dorm room beds all have privacy curtains, under-bed storage and power sockets. 

The fully equipped kitchen area has direct views of Lake Wakatipu. There is also a coin-operated laundry on-site as well as a 24hr lounge area. Given the facilities and location, the dorm rooms really are extraordinarily good value for money. 

The main downside to this particular backpackers hostel is that it doesn’t have female-only dorm rooms. If you are a solo female traveller and a mixed room is a dealbreaker then try YHA Lakefront. It’s a bit further out of town and the reviews are slightly more mixed, but there are female-only dorms.

Another thing to note about Absoloot – if you are going to check in after 9pm you need to let them know in advance so they can arrange a late check in.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍 Mid-Range Option Hotel St Moritz

Hotel St Moritz is a short walk along the lakeside from central Queenstown, and is a perfect mid-range option. The rooms are larger than can be found in some other similar hotels, and feel very relaxing.

It benefits from the typical features of a larger chain hotel such as a bar and fitness centre. 

The Lombardi Restaurant has a great menu featuring some Kiwi classic lamb and venison dishes as well as views over the lake and mountains. 

Some rooms come with lake views, but those are obviously the more expensive options. If the view from your room is important to you, make sure you pick the correct option when booking. 

There’s car parking on site with a discount if you sign up to their loyalty scheme, although like most parking in Queenstown it is still fairly expensive. There’s a bit of a walk up a hill to get to the hotel, which is also how it gets those amazing views.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍Luxury Option QT Queenstown

QT Hotels is a chain of luxury, quirky hotels in Australia and New Zealand. The Queenstown site had one of the best hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in.

The rooms are large and very comfortable with big bathrooms. I love Queenstown and there’s so much to do, but it’s so very tempting just to curl up in bed and spend the day relaxing in your QT room. 

For breakfast, check out the hotel’s Bazaar restaurant with views over the lake and the Remarkables mountain range. It goes way beyond a normal buffet style hotel breakfast with different stations offering a much wider selection. There is even a DIY Bloody Mary station! 

Unfortunately, since Covid, it is breakfast only, but I’m crossing my fingers that by the next time I turn up they’ll have returned to dinner service as well, but in the meantime they also have another small restaurant onsite – Lil Red.

If you need somewhere to relax after a day of adventure, the hotel bar has a wide range of cocktails, wines and whiskeys to go with its spectacular views. If you are interested in local wines, the wine list has about 40 different pinot noirs, just from the local area. 

The rooms at the back of the hotel don’t have great views, so choose your room type carefully if the lake views are important to you. 

If you were to look up this hotel on a map, you would probably notice that the main entrance to Reception is up quite a steep hill. Don’t be put off by this. The hotel is actually connected to the Rydges Hotel which has a lakeside entrance. 

You can then access QT with an elevator and hotel connections rather than having to walk up the hill! If only I had known before I dragged my suitcase up the road…

They also have a fantastic luxury hotel in Wellington with artwork dotted around and flamboyant decor. 

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍Special Mention – Chalet Queenstown

Chalet Queenstown is another great mid-range option, but I didn’t include it as my main pick for first-timers as the location isn’t as central as Hotel St Moritz and it doesn’t benefit from the amenities of a larger hotel.

Having said that, I didn’t want to skip it totally due to my personal experience there. Also, for many travellers, the independent nature of a B&B might be more appealing than a bigger hotel anyway. 

Chalet is a small, independent Bed & Breakfast with lovely rooms and made-to-order breakfast. I’ve stayed there once before and it deserves a special mention because of how wonderful the owners are. 

At the time I was staying there my phone wasn’t working and I was having trouble keeping in touch with friends and family in the UK. My parents couldn’t contact me and called the staff at Chalet to try and speak to me.

The Chalet owners came up to my room to make sure I got the call so my parents could tell me that my grandfather had died. I’ll always remember how kind they were to me and the effort they made to make sure I had what I needed without me having to go out and deal with other people before I was ready. 

So, if you want somewhere to stay that has a more personal atmosphere, I highly recommend Chalet. They really do deserve their good reviews.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

Best Area to Stay for Skiing

People skiing and snowboard down a mountain with clouds in the sky and a mountain range in the distance.

Queenstown has 4 ski fields nearby – Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone. Not all of them have particular types of accommodation nearby, so if you are planning on visiting a particular ski field you may need to look around a bit more. 

As the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are opposite the Northern hemisphere, ski season in Queenstown is roughly mid-June – early October, dependent on the individual ski fields.

📍Budget OptionQueenstown Top 10 Holiday Park

The ski fields generally don’t have budget accommodation options very close by, but Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park is one of the best choices if you want to stay close to the slopes for a reasonable price. 

It’s a 15 minute drive from Coronet Peak and 45 minutes from the Remarkables ski field. It’s good value for money and has options for family rooms as well as rooms for two. To save even more money you can pick cabins which have shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. 

As it is further out of town, the accommodation provides free parking. Parking in the centre of town can be very expensive and hard to find so picking somewhere further out will save you money. There is also a shuttle service into the town centre that you can book.

The shared facilities cabins are very good value for accommodation near a ski field. Just make sure you pick the correct option depending on whether you would rather save money and share, or pay a bit more for an ensuite bathroom.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍Mid Range OptionHoliday Inn Remarkables

In a straight line, the Holiday Inn Remarkables is just a few miles from the ski field car park, however, in practice it still takes about 30 minutes to get there. There aren’t many closer options for the ski field as the winding mountain road just takes a while to get to the top.

On the plus side, you can enjoy some stunning mountain views as you make your way up the mountain road. The rooms are fairly standard, but if your priority is spending time on the slopes then you won’t mind too much, and it’s a good value choice. The hotel covers all the necessities such as a restaurant, fitness centre and bar.

It’s just a 15 minute drive or 30 minute bus ride to Queenstown’s centre, so you can still enjoy everything else Queenstown has to offer while being (relatively) close to the ski field.

This hotel is also very close to the airport so has its advantages even though it is away from the town centre. Unfortunately the parking isn’t free, but it is cheaper than many of the hotels in the town centre.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍Luxury OptionHawkRidge Chalet

Wooden chalet surrounded by plants and fields with mountain views. A wooden dining table is on a patio outside the chalet. One of the best places to stay in Queenstown New Zealand.
Image provided by HawkRidge Estate

HawkRidge is a luxury lodge just a 20 minute drive from Coronet Peak, and is a perfect choice for a couple’s getaway. If you are looking for privacy and a romantic escape (and access to skiing) then this is the ideal place.

It has a kitchen and dining area as well as a patio, and lots of windows with stunning mountain views.

There is an outdoor hot tub on site. It’s shared with guests staying at the more rustic Alpine Suite, but you are given time slots so that when you want to use it, it will be private.

As the chalet is further out of town away from Queenstown’s lights, you’ll get far better views of the stars, especially from that hot tub!

HawkRidge Chalet is a one-off, so if it’s already booked, then perhaps check out Stoneridge Estate which is part of a winery and a similar distance from Coronet Peak.

But definitely check HawkRidge first!

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

Unique Places to Stay In Queenstown

📍Budget Option – Lylo

Like many other New Zealand hostels, Lylo offers both private and dorm rooms. What makes this hostel a little different, is that the dorm rooms are more like a cross between a Pod hotel and a typical hostel.

Rather than bunk beds, at Lylo each dorm room bed is an individual pod with a privacy blind and USB charging point. There are different-sized dorms with the cheapest options being those with more pods in. There are also female-only dorms available.

One word of warning, like in many other hostels travellers often have a very positive or quite a negative experience which is largely dependent on how considerate other guests are with the shared facilities.

Recent reviews have been better, but I would consider Lylo as a secondary option if you need a budget option and Absoloot is already booked up.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍Mid Range Option – The Dairy

For international visitors the name is perhaps slightly misleading. What New Zealand refers to as a Dairy is what might be more commonly called a corner shop. Not a building where dairy products are produced!

Historically these small shops often sold dairy products, and other perishables, which is where the name came from. 

So, when I recommend The Dairy it’s not a rustic farm or barn building! It’s actually a beautifully converted and eclectically decorated former shop, just a few minutes walk from the town centre.  

Guests can enjoy a happy hour complimentary glass of wine each night in the lounge. Breakfast is available and as a cute extra touch, there is even a lolly station at breakfast (aka candy or sweets depending on where you are from)!

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍Luxury Option Gibbston Valley Lodge

Gibbston Valley is well known as a winery and restaurant, in one of New Zealand’s best wine regions. If you take a wine tour in Queenstown, chances are it will include Gibbston Valley. What isn’t so well known, is that it also has a boutique hotel attached. 

There are 24 beautiful villas next to the vineyards, a spa and best off all guests can take part in a free wine tasting. The Lodge restaurant uses local, seasonal ingredients and for something extra special you can even enjoy private dining in the wine cellar. 

It’s a 25-minute drive outside of Queenstown, but if you are looking for some luxury and are a fan of wine, then this is a great choice. It’s one of the most expensive recommendations on this list, but also one of the most luxurious.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

Best Places To Stay Near The Airport

📍Budget Option Absoloot Hostel

Unfortunately there aren’t any particularly budget friendly options near the airport, so I would send you back to Absoloot and take a bus/shuttle/ride share to and from the airport.

📍Mid Range Option Quest Apartments

Quest Apartments are just a few minutes from Queenstown Airport. It’s also a great choice if you are attending an event at the Queenstown Events Centre. Airport hotels can sometimes be pretty expensive so this one is a good deal.

The comfortable rooms are Studios and Apartments with kitchenettes. The hotel is also next to the Remarkables Park shopping centre, so there ae several shops and restaurants just a few minutes away.

You can easily drive or take a bus to the town centre, so it’s still well-connected, but if you want to be close to the airport and events centre this is a great choice.

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

📍Luxury OptionHilton Queenstown Resort

The Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa is on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and just a 6 minute drive from Queenstown Airport. The rooms are spacious and many of them have views over the lake.

There are two restaurants on site, a casual option and a more formal option with lakeside views.

If you are feeling stressed before your flight, or jet-lagged when you arrive, there is a spa onsite with a range of massages, wraps and facials.

It’s a 15 minute drive from central Queenstown, but if you don’t have a car or just fancy a more scenic route, there is a ferry terminal just outside the hotel!

🛏️ Check prices and availability!

FAQs: Visiting Queenstown

How many days in Queenstown is enough?

To get the most out of Queenstown you really need at least 2 full days, but you could easily fill up a week or more without running out of things to do.

Some of the best activities in Queenstown are weather-dependent, such as skydiving, bungy jumping and jet boating so it’s best to make sure you have a chance to re-book if your adventure is cancelled.

Is it easy to get around Queenstown without a car?

Queenstown is a town rather than a city, and it’s very walkable. You don’t need a car in Queenstown itself, and if you do have one you may find yourself paying a premium for parking. Not all accommodation options have their own parking so it’s worth checking dependent on your needs. 

Many of the activities in the area such as skydiving, wine tours and tours to Milford Sound will either pick you up at your accommodation or have a meeting point in the town centre.

If you want to explore the area outside of Queenstown such as Glenorchy or Wanaka, it is best to hire a car.

Is Queenstown expensive to visit?

It definitely can be expensive. In the peak of summer tourists outnumber locals and accommodation increases in price. 

The best things about Queenstown are also what makes it more expensive. No visit is complete without some kind of adventure activity, and those don’t come cheap. A jetboat ride around the lake is on the cheaper end of the scale. A skydive will be a few hundred New Zealand dollars, depending on the height of the jump and what photo and video packages you add on.

You can offset some of the costs by staying in cheaper accommodation with kitchen facilities so you can save on your food costs.

What is the best month to go to Queenstown?

This depends on what kind of trip you want. For most people February or March are ideal. The weather is sunny and ideal for outdoor activities, but you miss the crowds of December.

If you are after a ski holiday, then you’ll be aiming for July or August.

Calm waters at Lake Wakatipu with the snow-capped Remarkable Mountains behind and a few clouds in the sky

Final Thoughts

No matter what you are looking for, Queenstown is full of choices.

Now that you know where to stay, you need to know what to do! Queenstown has plenty of things to do – wine tasting, skydiving, boat cruises, Skyline gondola, Kiwi park and more. Check out my Queenstown recommendations here.

For options in the wider area, there are some amazing places to visit on a day trip – Milford Sound, Wanaka, Arrowtown, Glenorchy and more. For my day trip recommendations, take a look at this post.

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