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This post is part of our Australia/New Zealand Series. You can find the rest of the series here.
Queenstown, New Zealand, quickly became one of our favorite cities in the entire world. The city is full of activities in both the summer and winter months, so there is something for everyone. We combed through the Hilton and IHG hotel options, looking for the best redemption value for our points. We decided to stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Queenstown, and we loved it there.
- Cash & Point Expense – Hotel costs in terms of cash, points, or both.
- Hotel Overview & Rooms – Overview of the property and room choices.
- Service & Conveniences – Service and amenities offered by the hotel.
- Restaurants & Dining – Restaurant and bar choices in the hotel.
- X-Factor – What sets this property apart from others.
Cash & Point Expense
We used our HHonors points, earned from a few rounds of the Amex HHonors Surpass card (No longer available – see Top Offers Menu for current offers) and the Amex HHonors card. At 30,000 points per night, this is an excellent value. The cash price ranges from $185 per night for a basic room to $215 per night for a deluxe lake view room like ours, which is quite fair for the location and service at the hotel. At this hotel, we also utilized Hilton’s perk of booking four nights on points, then getting the fifth night free.
Hotel Overview & Rooms
The Doubletree is a quick, 5-minute drive from the airport. Although the property sits on the opposite side of the lake from downtown Queenstown, the hotel offers a convenient shuttle into downtown that runs frequently. It’s only a 15 minute ride into the heart of downtown. If you have a rental car, there is complementary on site hotel parking (garage and outdoor). The Doubletree and Hilton are sister properties in this area, which creates its own little village on the lake. The Kawarau Village includes several restaurants; a small market where you can purchase sandwiches, sundries, and wine; bike rentals during the summer & ski rentals during the winter; the Eforea Spa; and The Salon.
Our room was a King Deluxe Lake View on the 4th floor. The room had a small kitchenette, living area, bedroom that could be open or closed to the rest of the suite, and a relatively small bathroom. Since Queenstown is also a ski destination in the winter, we could definitely see this as a great landing spot after a day on the slopes. Our favorite part of the room was the view out to Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.
Services & Conveniences
All Doubletree hotels provide a warm, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie at check-in. This property was no exception. As Diamond members, we received nightly drink vouchers for the Cru Wine bar.
Although the Doubletree and Hilton share the same space, amenities specific to the Hilton property are subject to availability. Diamond members will generally have free access to these amenities. Gold members will only have access if the Hilton is not at high capacity. Guests at the Doubletree do have the option to purchase a day pass to use the Hilton pool and gym for $20.
Restaurants & Dining
Our Hilton Diamond status included free breakfast at the Doubletree. Gold members also get free breakfast. You can earn HHonors Gold Status from the Amex Platinum card or Hilton Surpass card (see the Top Offers – Hotel tab for details). Breakfast was served in the Wakatipu Grill. This was a full service breakfast where we were able to choose from the buffet or select other made-to-order items from the menu.
Me & Mee
Me & Mee was a fantastic option of Chinese inspired dishes. We had trouble deciding which menu items to order, so our lovely waitresses recommended the Prawns and the Peking Duck (one of the house specials). Our waitresses also had to coach Jesse on how to eat Peking Duck. It was quite the process, but very delicious. We also tried an appetizer sampler and some local wine. The prawn twists on the appetizer were fantastic! We ate so much at this place, it hurt!
Stack Pub is a sports bar & grill that is open most of the day. We grabbed lunch here a couple different days.
Cru Wine Bar & Lounge
At check-in, we received vouchers for nightly drinks at the Hilton Lounge (Diamond only benefit). Most places limit free drink vouchers to house wine or cheap beer. Here we could choose from local wine and beer options as a complementary selection!
The x-factor that really made our experience at the Doubletree great was the location directly between the Remarkables Mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. We had easy access to downtown Queenstown by car or shuttle, and we could opt for water activities on the lake if we wanted.
Additionally, in the winter, the Doubletree is on the ski slope side of the airport. This would be a big deal, because the crowds can be quite large crossing the narrow bridge from the direction of Queenstown and the airport.
Queenstown is a must-see destination to add to your travel bucket list! We loved our time here, and especially loved our accommodations at the DoubleTree in the Kawarau Village. As a Hilton Diamond or Gold member, you will likely have access to most of the same amenities as the neighboring Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, for a fraction of the point cost.