Skip to Content
Where to Stay in Queenstown: Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Queenstown: Best Areas & Hotels

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover where to stay in Queenstown, New Zealand. From hotels overlooking Lake Wakatipu to luxury retreats with hot tubs and great value budget backpacker accommodations.

Queenstown is New Zealand’s adventure capital, and perhaps one of the most scenic mountain towns in the world. There’s an abundance of activities and things to do, from skiing to hiking to just enjoying the ambiance of The Remarkables Mountain Range above beautiful Lake Wakatipu during your stay.

Due to Queenstown being a small town, staying in the town center or nearby neighborhoods is convenient. Choose a hotel or hostel downtown in Fern Hill, or Frankton for nightlife, restaurants, and being close to the action. If you’re planning to ski, consider lodging in Arrowtown or Shotover. Each area offers unique advantages, ensuring you’ll find the perfect spot for your stay.

A top pick of mine was the Black Sheep Backpackers for its budget price and location to nearby hiking trails.

A Quick Rundown Of The Best Accommodations

Map showing the different areas to stay near queenstown on the south island, new zealand
Map showing the areas to stay near Queenstown

Best Areas to Stay in Queenstown

Queenstown may be small in size, but it attracts over a million tourists each year. Before exploring the accommodation options, it’s helpful to understand more about Queenstown and its various nearby areas.

  • Queenstown - Refers to downtown, it's quite small, you can walk to pubs, clubs, restaurants, shops, the Gondola, and Lake Wakatipu. Most tours and activities include transport from town. This area is best for those on a budget as more hostels are available.
  • Fern Hill - A residential hill just above the town. Many locals and seasonal workers live here as it's more affordable. It's a little harder to walk to the main attractions from here. Accommodations here boast incredible views.
  • Frankton - Closer to the airport and large shopping centres with incredible views and ski access to the Remarkable mountains.
  • Arrowtown - Another small, historic mining town 18 minutes from Queenstown. It boasts a much quieter and quaint atmosphere with walking tracks and rivers nearby. Good for skiing as it's close to the Mount Coronet Ski Slopes.
  • Shotover - Many Queenstown hotel options are found alongside the Shotover River. It's close to attractions like the Shotover Bridge, Kawarau Gorge Bungy, and the Remarkables Ski Area. It's just 7 km from downtown Queenstown.

Queenstown City Center

HotelAreaPrice
Shotover penthouse & spa queenstown accommodation new zealandShotover Penthouse & SpaQueenstown$$$$
The rees hotel & luxury apartments queenstown new zealandThe Rees HotelQueenstown$$$
Lakeridge queenstown new zealand accommodationThe Black Sheep BackpackersQueenstown$

1. Shotover Penthouse & Spa

  • Area: Queenstown
  • Best for: Large groups celebrating or families

Shotover Penthouse & Spa is an incredible apartment that features an outdoor terrace with a barbecue and hot tub. It is situated 200 m from the Skyline Gondola and Luge and is 1.3 km from the Shotover River.

The apartment offers three large bedrooms and a spacious dining and kitchen. Wi-Fi and free parking is available on-site for those with a car.

It's a perfect holiday option all year round and a great place to stay in Queenstown if a luxury, central location is important.

Shotover penthouse & spa queenstown accommodation new zealand

2. The Rees Hotel

  • Area: Queenstown
  • Best for: Families or couples looking for a romantic stay

The Rees Hotel and Apartments offers one to three-bedroom modern rooms equipped with private balconies which overlook Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding Remarkable mountains.

This stunning Queenstown accommodation is a short ten-minute drive from the town center towards Frankton and it provides a range of services to its guests such as massage, body and facial treatments, and mountain bike hire.

Perfect fit for families or couples wanting a luxury experience with spectacular views

The rees hotel & luxury apartments queenstown new zealand

Book in advance! During peak times hotels can be fully booked out. If you're traveling to Queenstown it is important to plan ahead as this is not a location to make last-minute bookings.

3. The Black Sheep Backpackers

  • Area: Queenstown
  • Best for: Backpackers on a tight budget looking to meet others

The Black Sheep Backpackers is a fun-filled hostel that features pod beds, an outdoor hot tub, and loads of storage for your ski gear.

It is located within walking distance of central Queenstown and the Queenstown Hill Hike. It also offers free bike rental which is great for those looking to explore more of the surrounding areas. It's an excellent Queenstown backpacker accommodation option as the hostel is very close to the action and has great reviews for the vibe.

This is a great choice for those on a tight budget wanting to socialize and meet other travelers.

The black sheep backpackers queenstown accommodation

Pros:

  1. Convenient access to pubs, clubs, and restaurants
  2. Walking distance to major attractions and local busses run regularly. Grab a Beecard for cheaper fares.
  3. Budget-friendly accommodation options

Cons:

  1. Can be noisy due to the nightlife
  2. Limited space during peak tourist seasons
  3. Crowded streets and sidewalks
Lake wakitapu in queenstown
Lake Wakatipu

Fern Hill's Community

HotelAreaPrice
Azur lodge queenstown accommodation new zealandAzur LodgeFern Hill$$$$
Kamana lakehouse queenstown new zealandKamana LakehouseFern Hill$$$
Outdoor hot tub at the ora retreat, new zealandOra RetreatFern Hill$$

1. Azur Lodge

  • Area: Fern Hill
  • Best for: Honeymooners looking for spectacular hot tub views

Azur Lodge features panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu and is situated on the foot of Fern Hill. It offers room service breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and runs a private shuttle to and from the town center every day. Each bedroom provides spectacular views of the Remarkables Mountain Range and Lake Wakatipu.

This is a great luxury hotel option for those interested in a romantic getaway or a relaxing solo retreat.

A private hot tub with mountain and lake views is the perfect place for a bride on a honeymoon.

Book: Azur Lodge

Azur lodge queenstown accommodation new zealand

2. Kamana Lakehouse

  • Area: Fern Hill
  • Best for: Families or couples looking for delicious breakfast and hot tub

Kamana Lakehouse is just a short five-minute drive from Queenstown center at the base of Fern Hill. It offers incredible views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Additionally, guests can also enjoy a range of modern rooms which cater for up to two adults and two children.

For hiking enthusiasts, Kamana Lakehouse is a good pick for where to stay in Queenstown as it's only a five-minute walk from the entrance to the famous Ben Lomond track and Fernhill Loop Track.

And to top it off you can relax in the rooftop hot tub with spectacular views after a long day of adventuring.

Kamana lakehouse queenstown new zealand

If you're a hiker like myself and want to conquer Ben Lomond an 18 km return hike be sure to pack adequate water, food, warm clothes (it can be freezing at the summit), and most importantly a headtorch. I recommend leaving before sunrise as the golden views over Queenstown are magnificent!

3. Ora Retreat

  • Area: Fern Hill
  • Best for: Travelers looking for a retreat oasis

A mountain oasis for up to 16 guests, surrounded by forest gardens and stunning views. Guests can enjoy communal spaces, a large living room, a kitchen, and cozy cabins.

It's a great choice for family gatherings, yoga classes, or workshops, Ora Retreat offers a unique blend of communal and private areas and is Ideal for nature lovers and wellness seekers.

Guests can explore scenic attractions and enjoy a transformative experience in a nurturing environment. Located just 13-minute drive from Bob's Cove Track which is a must when staying in Queenstown.

Book: Ora Retreat

Outdoor hot tub at the ora retreat, new zealand

Pros:

  1. Unique accommodation options
  2. A residential atmosphere with a local community vibe
  3. Scenic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu

Cons:

  1. Further distance to downtown Queenstown
  2. Relies on transportation for access to main attractions
  3. Steep hill to walk if you don't have transport
Views from queenstown hill with fern hill accommodation in the distance

Frankton Neighborhood

HotelAreaPrice
Views of hilton queenstown resort spa on lake with ducks and snow capped mountainsHilton Queenstown Resort & SpaFrankton$$$$
Holiday inn queenstown remarkables park with remarkable viewsHoliday Inn Queenstown Remarkables ParkFrankton$$
La quinta queenstown with remarkable mountain in the backgroundLa Quinta QueenstownFrankton$$

1. Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

  • Area: Frankton
  • Best for: Families, groups, or couples looking for a luxury resort

Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and offers 5-star amenities including an indoor pool, gym, and day spa that includes a sauna.

Rooms feature gas fireplaces, king-sized beds, and stylish bathrooms with separate showers and bathtubs. Rooms options accommodate 2-9 people making it a great choice for large families or groups traveling together.

Just a 5-minute drive from Queenstown Airport and 15-20 minutes from the city centre by car, complimentary shuttle bus, or ferry, the resort provides easy access to nearby local attractions.

Views of hilton queenstown resort spa on lake with ducks and snow capped mountains

2. Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park

  • Area: Frankton
  • Best for: Families and couples looking for a value-for-money accommodation option

Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park offers a prime location just 5 minutes from Queenstown Airport, serving as an excellent base for exploring the South Island's alpine attractions.

This modern hotel features a range of amenities, secure storage for outdoor gear, and breathtaking views of The Remarkables. It's perfect for families, and couples, with an on-site restaurant, café, and bar.

Guests can easily reach popular spots such as Lake Hayes, the historic town of Arrowtown, and Jack’s Point Golf Course. A 30-minute drive will take you to The Remarkables for skiing or to Kawarau Gorge for winery visits.

Holiday inn queenstown remarkables park with remarkable views

3. La Quinta Queenstown

  • Area: Frankton
  • Best for: Solo travelers on a short stay

Just 2 km from Queenstown Airport, this modern hotel offers free WiFi, a 24/7 gym, and well-appointed guest rooms. Just a short walk from the Remarkables Park Town Centre and large shopping centres.

Apartments include kitchenettes and the rooms are comfortable with large beds and a private bathroom.

Adventure sports like bungy jumping, zip-lining, and jet boating can be enjoyed near the accommodation making it an ideal choice for a good price. If you're looking for a place to swim head to Frankton Beach as it's much calmer than Queenstown Bay Beach.

La quinta queenstown with remarkable mountain in the background

Pros:

  1. Close proximity to the airport and shopping centers
  2. Epic views of Remarkable mountains
  3. Easy access to The Remarkables Ski Area

Cons:

  1. Less vibrant nightlife compared to Queenstown
  2. Can feel over-industrialised
  3. More noise due to the airport
Frankton overlooking lake and housing

Arrowtown Village

HotelAreaPrice
Millbrook resort arrowtown near queenstown, new zealandThe Millbrook ResortArrow Town$$$$
The arrow nest in arrowtownThe Arrow NestArrow Town$$$
Trees blossoming at settlers cottage motel in arrowtown, new zealandSettlers Cottage MotelArrow Town$$

1. The Millbrook Resort

  • Area: Arrowtown
  • Best for: Those looking for a 5-star luxury retreat

The Millbrook Resort is an award-winning 5-star retreat on 650 acres of beautiful countryside near Arrowtown. For those people looking for an all-inclusive retreat away from the hustle and bustle but still close enough to get in on the highlights, look no further.

The Millbrook has elegantly decorated suites with mountain views and features a Fitness Centre and three outdoor hot pools! During Autumn the town is covered in red and yellow leaves which adds the most beautiful touch to the landscape.

It is a great pick for couples, solo travelers, or a small group looking to unwind and fully immerse themselves in this beautiful landscape.

Millbrook resort arrowtown near queenstown, new zealand

2. The Arrow Nest

  • Area: Arrowtown
  • Best for: Couples looking for a relaxing and romantic stay away from the crowds

A beautiful brand new apartment with all new furniture. This light and sunny space offers gorgeous views in all directions. Located 1 km walking distance to Arrowtown and Millbrook Golf Resort 300 m, guests can enjoy the gym, a heated 20 m pool, and tennis courts included in their stay.

The apartment is attached to the owner's home with a separate entrance. It is near the Arrow Trail, perfect for walking or cycling, offering beautiful river views.

The arrow nest in arrowtown

3. Settlers Cottage Motel

  • Area: Arrowtown
  • Best for: Groups and families

Settlers Cottage Motel is nestled in a beautiful garden, just a 5-minute walk from Arrowtown's historic town centre and a 20-minute drive from Queenstown.

Each unit features a private entrance, rustic interiors, and a fully equipped kitchenette, perfect for families or groups wanting to cook.

On-site parking can be arranged, and the property includes a playground with a swing set, trampoline, and rock wall to amuse the kids. Staff can help book activities like jet-boating, rafting, mountain biking, and horse trekking.

The motel is conveniently located just a 4-minute walk from the Lakes District Museum and a 5-minute drive from Arrowtown Golf Club.

Trees blossoming at settlers cottage motel in arrowtown, new zealand

Pros:

  1. Very quiet picturesque town
  2. Boutique style accommodations
  3. Close to the river for swimming

Cons:

  1. Limited public transportation options
  2. Distance from major tourist attractions
  3. Not a big nightlife scene
Arrowtown in autumn, new zealand
Arrowtown

Shotover River Escapes

HotelAreaPrice
The canyons b&b queenstown new zealand accommodationThe Canyons B&BShotover$$$$
Accommodation at shotover country cottagesShotover Country CottagesShotover$$$
Outdoor hot tub at night at the luxurious family homeLuxurious Family HomeShotover$$

1. The Canyons B&B

  • Area: Shotover
  • Best for: Shotover river views outdoor spa pool

The Canyons B&B just a short five-minute drive from the town center offers spectacular views of the Shotover River and surrounding mountain peaks.

It features spacious rooms with private patios and an outdoor spa pool. This is a great place to stay for those wanting to immerse themselves within the landscapes that this incredible region has to offer.

Perfect for skiers as it's closer to the Remarkables Ski Fields and the incredible Lake Alta hike which was a favourite during my stay.

The canyons b&b queenstown new zealand accommodation

2. Shotover Country Cottages

  • Area: Shotover
  • Best for: Couples looking for an escape

If a small country cottage with spectacular views over the surrounding snowcapped mountains is what you're looking for then, go no further!

Located in the heart of Shotover it serves as an unreal base for those looking to escape the city crowds and be immersed in country landscapes with views for km's. Ideally, this would be great for parents who are away from the family for the weekend and want to relax.

The nearby Twin Rivers Intersection Trail, an 11 km track ideal for biking, connects to Queenstown. It's a fantastic activity to enjoy during your stay!

Accommodation at shotover country cottages

3. Luxurious Family Home

  • Area: Shotover
  • Best for: Families and Groups wanting a house

For those traveling in a large family or group, this is one of the best options to stay in Shotover due to its epic 5-bedroom option and outdoor hot tub and trampoline.

With spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and only a short drive from downtown Queenstown, it serves as a great base if you're looking to stay away from the crowds of main areas and head to the ski fields or enjoy the Shotover Jetboat.

If you book this property take my advice when I say to look up at the stars whilst you're relaxing in the hot tub at night, as the sight will take your breath away!

Outdoor hot tub at night at the luxurious family home

Pros:

  1. Close proximity to attractions like Shotover Bridge and Remarkables Ski Area
  2. Scenic views of Shotover River
  3. Quiet area with fewer tourists

Cons:

  1. Less transportation to downtown Queenstown
  2. Further from supermarkets
  3. Hotel options can be more expensive
Shotover country from lake alta saddle viewpoint
Shotover River
Shotover jet in queenstown
Shotover Jet

My Hotel Selection Process

  • Accommodation Criteria: I've selected hotels based on value for money across different budgets, prime locations, and current reviews. Each hotel offers something unique, from stunning views to convenient access to local attractions & hot tubs.
  • My Experience: I've spent extensive time traveling around Queenstown and New Zealand, in various neighborhoods and hotels. This firsthand experience has allowed me to assess the comfort, convenience, and overall quality of the accommodations that are on the list.
  • Top Reviews: I have meticulously compared hundreds of accommodation listings and read countless reviews across booking sites. Each recommendation in this guide has at least an 8/10 rating based on recent traveler feedback.
  • Local Insights: While exploring Queenstown, I gathered personal recommendations from friends and fellow travelers. Many of my friends, who have lived in Queenstown, shared their favorite neighborhoods and specific hotels. These insights are reflected in my curated list, ensuring you get the best possible experience during your stay.

Read more about how I review & select hotels & accommodations.

6+
Years Traveling
250+
Hotels Stayed
50+
Countries
Olly gaspar

I'm Olly, a full-time traveler since 2018. Each accommodation option in this guide is handpicked by me. Read my travel review ethics statement.

FAQ About Staying in Queenstown

What is the best area to stay in Queenstown?

The downtown area of Queenstown is ideal for nightlife and dining. It's a small, walkable area with many pubs, clubs, restaurants, and shops. Most tours and activities also start from downtown. The lakefront is a great place to relax during the day.

Where should I stay if I want to be close to the ski fields?

Consider staying in Frankton, Arrowtown, or Shotover. These areas provide closer access to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski areas.

What are some budget-friendly accommodation options in Queenstown?

Budget travelers should look into The Black Sheep Backpackers in downtown Queenstown. This hostel offers affordable rates and a social atmosphere.

Is it better to stay in Queenstown or Arrowtown?

It depends on your preferences. Queenstown is more vibrant and closer to the action, ideal for those who enjoy nightlife and adventure activities. Arrowtown offers a quieter, more historic atmosphere and is closer to Mount Coronet Ski Slopes.

How far is the airport from Queenstown city centre?

Queenstown Airport is about a 15-20 minute drive from the city centre, making it easily accessible by car or bus.

Can I find accommodations with lake views?

Many accommodations offer stunning views of Lake Wakatipu. The Rees Hotel and Hilton Queenstown Resort are two great options that boast lakefront views.

I hope that you've found this accommodation guide to the best places to stay in Queenstown helpful for planning your next trip to New Zealand's adventure capital!

If you're still planning your travels, don't miss out on some of my other articles for things to do including hikes, adrenaline activities, and tips to finding hidden gems in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Best places to stay in queenstown