Azur, Queenstown, South Island $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Commanding stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the daunting Remarkables Range, this lodge and nine villas are set on a steep hillside almost two miles west of Queenstown, the South Island's adrenaline-sports mecca. The airy, stand-alone stone and beechwood villas offer privacy, with under-floor heating, flaming faux-log fires, and spa baths designed for the illusion of bathing in the open air. The tiny touches are cute (essential oils, spiced apple lip salve), and the larger ones well considered (including gourmet canapés in the lodge). Internet access can be spotty depending on the weather, but the service is wonderfully personal. 2006 Hot List
When to go: June through August, for snow sports; December through February, for long summer days.
Which room to book: Villas 1, 5, and 9, for maximum seclusion; of these, Villa 1 is nearest the lodge (doubles, $595).Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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