Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, South Island $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:After an extensive makeover, Matakauri, positioned along milky-blue Lake Wakatipu, less than six miles from the center of Queenstown, has commanding views of the Big Threethe Remarkables, Cecil Peak, and Walter Peakwithout a single man-made development sullying the splendor. The lodge maximizes its scenic surroundings with a number of gorgeous viewing platforms: a large infinity pool (though it is rarely warm enough for swimming), a pretty courtyard with a massive outdoor fireplace next to the dining and lounge area, and the accommodations themselves. Warmly designed in burnt orange and russet colors against white walls and stone elements, the two simple-yet-cozy suites and eight outlying cottages have a beachy feel, with daybeds in the suites, a freestanding tub in front of massive windows. Perhaps only an artist like Picasso could compete with nature on this scaleand in fact he does: Look for the plates and vase by the master in the main lounge as well as works by well-known New Zealand photographers and painters throughout the property. Staff are attentive and helpful, and while the dining is elegant, those with hearty appetites may want to skip the artfully presented but tiny-portioned ménu dégustation. 2011 Hot List
Which room to book: The decor is similar throughout, but the spaces flow more easily in the deluxe suitesNos. 2 through 9than in other rooms, where the layout feels slightly forced.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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