Unique Sleeps: Azur Lodge Queenstown


Unique Sleeps: Azur Lodge Queenstown

Unique Sleeps: Amazing hotels hand picked by Expedia Experts. Azur Luxury Lodge, Queenstown New Zealand 

If you’re the kind of person who demands a holiday filled with Instagram gold, Azur Lodge is for you.

Five minutes out of Queenstown, Azur Lodge is directly above Lake Wakatipu and offers gobsmacking, uninterrupted views from The Remarkables to Cecil Peak and down towards Glenorchy. With all the lush foliage covering the hillside and bright blue skies, it’s all a little bit The Sound of Music, which is never a bad thing.

Popular with honeymooners, Azur is serene, secluded and view-wise, bloody breathtaking. Don’t be fooled by your arrival at the property. The main lodge used to be a private residence, so you drive through the small village of Sunshine Bay to reach the gates, coming to a halt at the end of a suburban cul-de-sac … but once you’re through the security gate and cruising up the steep, landscaped driveway it aaaaall comes together. Arrive at the top and you’re thrust into a world of fluffy white clouds, jagged mountains, aqua green water and blooming wild flowers. Sensational.

Once you’ve checked in, it’s on to a golf buggy (it’s a steep hill) to one of the nine villas, all of which are completely private and very suitable for those who choose to travel with 8-month old babies that may or may not wail at 4am.

These are not hotel rooms. They are miniature homes, spacious and tranquil, offering a living area, fireplace, enormous balcony and bathroom (featuring the most phenomenal bathing-and-view combo you may ever experience) and even a small kitchenette. They kindly provided a cot and a microwave for the baby and I’m quite sure if I’d asked for a pet lamb they would’ve found one. Such was the level of service and willingness to please.

You can walk into town (if, uh, you’re feeling fit), but the Azur gang will drop you off and pick you up free of charge with a bit of notice. This is handy since Queenstown cabs seem to run on diamonds.

Food, comfort and views are the pillars of any good holiday, and the further away you are from other dining options, the more crucial your accommodation‘s offerings become. I needn’t have worried; Azur nailed it.

Breakfast of your choosing is delivered to your room, or you can head up to the main lodge to eat and mingle with other guests. Lunch and dinner are not provided on site, the expectation being that you’ll be out at wineries or bungy jumping, however each room has a ‘Takeaway Bible,’ which collates menus from a stack of local restaurants and cuisines for you to order from. For us this was one of the highlights: choose from hundreds of dishes, have it delivered piping hot thanks to Azur’s special mobile oven, then laid out beautifully in front of the view of a lifetime with a drop from their extensive wine list, and, if you’re lucky, some homemade dessert from the magnificent onsite Azur pastry chef.

Maybe it’s cos we have a baby and heading out for dinner is All Too Hard, but having homemade gnocchi from V’Know and a local Pinot brought to our little house on the hill as we sat in our robes and our baby slept in the living room was complete bliss. (We popped into town one night thanks to Azur’s great babysitting service, but luckily we remembered we are exhausted parents and have trouble staying up past 10pm so were home by 9:30. Phew!)

We stayed at Azur in February (summer), when the town experienced a freak cold snap. Which was was awesome. The gigantic mountains that cradle Queenstown were capped in snow, our (gas) fireplace was blazing; we were in coziness heaven. Azur would be a dream to come home to in the depths of a South Island winter, after a long day on the slopes. That said, once it warmed up a few days later, wine and cheese on the balcony in the evening sun was pretty special…

Azur may lack some of the superluxe design touches of nearby Matakauri, but the comfort, view and service are second to none. Nothing was a problem for the small, friendly team, making you think as you leave, ‘Cripes, we really should come back here someday…’ and actually mean it.

You also leave thinking I’m gonna own a bath like that one day, but you don’t really mean that one.

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Zoe Foster Blake

About the Author Zoe Foster Blake

Zoë Foster Blake is the kind of traveller who pays attention to the toiletries in hotels, but don't judge her on that. Judge her on the ridiculous size of her suitcase, instead. Zoë is the founder of the clean, cute skin care line, Go-To, the creator of Break-Up Boss, the author of nine books, and a mother of two. She has been to the Greek Islands far too many times, arrogantly dishes out unsolicited hotel recommendations, and can change a nappy in a plane toilet one-handed in under 60 seconds. She spreads her time between Melbourne, Sydney and Queenstown. Lucky pig!

 

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