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The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel

The Dairy, exterior

Queenstown New Zealand
Queenstown's dramatic scenery took the lead role in The Lord of the Rings but, we discover, hobbits aren't the half of it.

first impressions
An elegant and luxurious boutique hotel that boasts an unrivalled presence in the heart of Queenstown. Set on the hillside with sweeping views of the town and surrounding peaks, The Dairy takes its name from the original 1920s corner store that now serves as its guest dining room. Having undergone extensive refurbishment and renovation in 2004, this four-star-plus exclusive hideaway is now every inch as tasteful and appealing as its name suggests.

A host of complimentary facilities - including complimentary outdoor spa, private library, courtyard with roaring fire, ski storage, and an extensive bar stocked with award-winning local wines - makes The Dairy the perfect choice for movie stars and movie buffs alike.

The Dairy, bedroom

bedrooms
Each of The Dairy's 13 guest bedrooms are light, spacious and comfortable, with queen-sized beds and designer 'Peri' bedspreads and linen as standard. All are outfitted in contemporary, fashionable decor, and boast high ceilings and thick, shag-pile carpet throughout. Standard rooms offer magnificent views of the surrounding alpine scenery, while Premier rooms have unbeatable vistas of the Remarkables Mountain range - home to several battle scenes in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Bedrooms have flatscreen TVs with SKY as standard, free broadband, a wooden writing desk with complimentary stationary, plush armchair, designer bath robes, and a large, elegant wooden wardrobe complete with iron and board.

The Dairy, bathroom

The bathrooms - all en-suite - have deep tubs, power-showers, vanity sinks, and a selection of complimentary toiletries as standard.

State-of-the-art soundproofing ensures rooms are quiet and relaxing around the clock.

food and drink
New Zealand has hundreds of award-winning wineries - with a wide variety on offer at The Dairy. It's well-stocked 'honesty bar' has everything from Pinot Gris to Merlot - not to mention spirits, beers and liqueurs - on tap, and at cut prices, to boot. Leave your cash in the box, and while away an afternoon in the plush guest lounge, where luxurious sofas and a roaring fire await.

A complimentary breakfast is served in the spacious dining room, a wing that once served as the town's dairy. Sepia photographs and the odd, original kitchen utensil line the walls.

Guests are treated to Continental-style cereals, fruits and toast, before a cooked breakfast is made to order by the chef. Be sure to try both house specialities: creamy scrambled eggs, and berry pancakes. (In the comments book, a happy guest described them as 'sinful' and 'out of this world' - I'd agree entirely).

But whatever you do, leave a gap: The Dairy serves-up a selection of mouthwatering scones, cakes and sandwiches every afternoon - free of charge.

The town centre is less than a minute's walk away, where you'll find every kind of restaurant imaginable.

Whether it's Italian, Japanese, Mexican, French, Indian - or just plain ol' Fish and Chips - Queenstown has it all. Try a combo platter for two washed down with strong margaritas at the Sombrero Mexican restaurant on Beech Tree Arcade. Alternatively, head to the harbour for a gourmet platter of locally-caught seafood at The Boardwalk Seafood Restaurant.

Back at The Dairy, ask for a nightcap - a complimentary glass of homemade mulled wine.

service with a smile?
The Dairy's mission statement says it all: 'Our ultimate aim is to provide our guests with the very best of personal service so that they leave Queenstown with big smiles!'

And if the long list of glowing guest comments isn't enough to convince you, the warm welcome you'll receive from Scottish manager, Elspeth Zemla, should do the trick. When she's not organising ski passes, tours or sightseeing tickets, she doubles as the baker, butcher, chef and - probably - the candlestick maker, and is a delightful host.

Guests are free to borrow books, DVDs and CDs from the extensive private library, while mountain bike use is also complimentary. A deep hydrotherapy spa on the deck has superb views of the town, and could help treat those weary limbs at the end of a day's skiing. There is secure luggage and ski storage on-sight, and off-street parking. Teas, coffees, and a selection of cakes and biscuits are available to guests anytime.

local attractions
Queenstown, the 'adventure capital of New Zealand' really does have it all: from heart-in-your-mouth outdoor sports, to shopping and cafe-culture.

Among the more active pursuits to be found here are sailing, rock climbing, scuba diving, 4x4 driving, bungy jumping, skiing, kayaking, rafting, jet-boating, snowboarding and hang gliding. Spend an hour on board the Kawarau Jet boat, a thrilling ride at breakneck speeds over Lake Wakatipu and along the beautiful Kawarau River. If you have time, take a short drive to the Remarkables Mountain Ranges. These majestic peaks are home to some of the best snow sports in the world - a must-see at any time of year.

Alternatively, watch the world go slowly by, and soak-up that 'adventurous' atmosphere in any one of the town's trendy cafe bars.

will it break the bank?
Like the interior, it's not cheap, but worth the extra cost. Rates start from NZ$380 per night for a Standard single, rising to NZ$410 per night for a Premier single.

Ski packages for 2008 begin at NZ$650 pp, including five nights' stay, breakfast and afternoon teas.

details
The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel
Corner of Brecon and Isle Streets
Queenstown
New Zealand
Web: www.thedairy.co.nz

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