Queenstown, New Zealand
Azur Luxury Lodge
Luxury in the Wild
What it is
A 9-villa lodge on a lush hillside overlooking Lake Wakatipu, with a titillating activities list.
What it isn't
All adrenaline, all the time. The resort is ready to pamper with in-villa spa treatments and insider access to hot springs tucked into the cliffs at Shotover River Canyon.
What we think
When cinematographers discovered New Zealand—as seen, most famously, in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy—this spot of land was very likely what turned their heads. Set between verdant foothills and jagged snow-capped peaks, Azur Lodge has curated an activities list that would satisfy Legolas himself—you can bungee jump off Karawau Bridge, raft grade 5 rapids on the Shotover River, sky dive (!) and horseback ride with guides across filming locales from (yes) The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Of course, plenty of guests just hole up in their 850-square foot villa, all of which have gas fireplaces, under-floor heating and deep soaking tubs that sit against bay windows overlooking the lake and mountains beyond.
You're here because
The lodge includes delectable breakfasts, afternoon tea, and cocktail hour drinks and canapes—all of which you can take in the main lodge or order delivered to your villa. Bonus: the hotel offers a free shuttle to and from downtown, making going out a breeze.
This trip has been Wild with a capital W. But it’s not until you’re careening through a 25,000-year-old glacier-carved canyon— “Skipper’s Canyon Road”—by 4WD, hugging a precipitous cliff, that you realize just how wild. Blessedly, the hotel staff awaits to bring you back down to earth with plenty of local pinot noir (the region is home to some 75 wineries).
Restaurants & Bars
Open Kitchen- provides complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapes.
Just a 20 minute drive from the Queenstown airport, on a lush hill set on Lake Wakatipu. Though it feels like its in its own little world, downtown Queenstown is a mere five minutes away; head to Lover’s Lookout for a prime view of the cinematic landscape.