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All reviewsother guestsnew zealandwonderful hostsgorgeous countrysidesheep grazingfavorite stayeach eveningb bslovely homeperfect place to relaxlocal attractionstea and coffee making facilitiesluxury stayviews of the mountainsbreakfast was excellentspent three nightscooked breakfast
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Reviewed 28 April 2013

We spent 5 nights at the Queenstown Country Lodge in January and it was the highlight of all the excellent hotels we visited in a 3-week trip to New Zealand. Having stayed on the lake in central Queenstown on a previous trip, we wanted to be away from the tourist action, but still close enough to enjoy dinner and the attractions of the area. The Queenstown Country Lodge is the ideal location -- close to the airport, close to town, close to vineyards, close to the bungy bridge -- but just far enough away to feel like we were in the gorgeous countryside that makes New Zealand so special. The lodge is situated at the foot of a tall, scenic hill, in the midst of a sheep field and near a beautiful lake that's accessible for running or walking. We took bikes from the lodge for a tranquil ride one morning that turned out to be one of the nicest experiences we had.

The accommodations are top-notch. The rooms are comfortable and stylish. The views are stunning. The linens are soft, the robes are plush, the towels are warm, and the gourmet breakfast is made to order! Best of all, the morning meal was fresh, creative, and gourmet all the way. In fact, breakfast was so beguiling we had dinner at the lodge twice during our stay, and even though we ate at every top restaurant in the area, our meals Amanda made for us were better. Why? Because they were handmade and home cooked with high quality, local ingredients, paired with scrumptious local wines and graciously served in a comfortable, relaxed environment -- by candlelight, outside at dusk, overlooking the rolling hills.

But the location, the scenery, the comfortable rooms, and the delicious food are not why you want to stay at the QCL. The reason you want to stay at the QCL is the hosts, John and Amanda. They are warm and welcoming, they are generous, they are attentive, they are gracious and most importantly they are knowledgeable about all things New Zealand. You don't need a tour guide or a travel agent or even a map when you have John and Amanda. They made sure we saw the best vineyards, ate in the best restaurants, took the best excursions, saw the best attractions and helped us plan our days efficiently to get the most out of our time in Queenstown. This was our second trip to Queenstown, and it was an entirely different experience from the first. We saw a different Queenstown, and it was all due to the care and attention of John and Amanda.

If you're a curious traveler who enjoys learning about the environment you're visiting and the local way of life, the QCL is the place to stay. Want to know about the stars in the southern hemisphere's night sky? Ask John. Want to learn about New Zealand wines? Ask John. Want to know which tour to take to Milford Sound, which vineyard produces the nicest pinot, the history of bungy, how a speed boat driver gets his license, where the best lamb chops come from? Ask John.

And the hospitality doesn't stop there.

Each evening, we were invited to sample fine wines, poured by John and accompanied with delicious appetizers served by Amanda. We'd enjoy a fascinating conversation with the other guests and learn something interesting about a far away place from John & Amanda, who, we learned, circumvented the world as the captain and first mate of a luxury yaught. Does it get more interesting than that?

In short, I wish all the hotels I stay in around the world came equipped with John and Amanda. Because nothing compares to having hosts who make you feel like friends.
If it weren't 12,000 miles away, we'd be regulars.

Enjoy your stay and say Hi from Kristi and Bob!

Room Tip: All the rooms are modern, spacious and comfortable with gorgeous, sweeping views. The lodge is small and intimate. It's as if you're staying a friend's huge home. It's not a B&B. It is a proper lodge.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank GoKristiGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2013

We were travelling around the South Island on a busy trip and our night with John and Amanda was one of the best of our whole journey. The house and rooms are stunning in every way, they have really thought of everything - even the view from the toilet was incredible.
Best of all though is John and Amanda's hospitality, we spent around 5 hours with them enjoying food, wine and conversation. They are great people and very involved in the community.
I still laugh when I think about John telling me of a previous American guest who had never seen cricket before so John took him down to the nets and started bowling bouncers to him when he hit a few easy ones early on. You won't get that at the Hilton!
Thanks so much guys and I can't wait to stay again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank wellsynz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JohnCushen, Owner at Queenstown Country Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2013

Thanks so much for your positive comments. Yes, explaining to Americans the ins and outs of cricket is rather challenging but so enjoyable......perhaps solving the world's economic problems would be easier...
Look forward to hosting you again......

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Reviewed 10 April 2013

We spent three nights at the QCL and every apsect of the stay was stellar. The room was luxurious, quiet and with all the modern amenities of upscale resorts. The location near, but not in, Queenstown worked very well. In planning the trip we worried that being outsie the city would deprive us of some of the urban offerings of Queenstown. To the contrary, we quickly saw that while we enjoyed the hustling crowds and tourist-rich parts of Queenstown for a while, it was wonderful to retreat to our quiet haven a few minutes outside town. Being near the vineyards, and Arrowtown were unexpected benefits. The food at the lodge was marvelous. Amanda is a fantastic cook and a lovely and gracious host. Who makes their own granola? Amanda does, as well as many other delicacies. John is extremely gregarious and also has a wealth of knowledge about NZ and its wines. It was great fun spending time with them and their help guiding us to the best places was invaluable. We only wish we could have stayed longer and seen John play a cricket match!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank RJayWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JohnCushen, Owner at Queenstown Country Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2013

Laura and Ron, many thanks for taking the time to post a comment. We absolutely love hosting you...it was our pleasure. All the best for the move WEST. Warmest regards John

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Reviewed 30 March 2013

The biggest thanks to Amanda and John for 4 days/3 nights of wonderful friendship and delicious meals. The property is gorgeous and our room was simply divine. Beautifully furnished (I just love the tiles in the bathroom) and too many special little extras to mention. Breakfasts and our one dinner were amazing - Amanda should be running a restaurant !!! Not to mention the great evening wine tasting and canapes - John loves to share his knowledge of local wines and we tasted many wines, some which we would never have otherwise tried. It was lovely to sit around in the evening chatting with other guests over a wine. We met some truly lovely people during our stay. As for Amanda and John - to say they go out of their way for their guests would be an understatement !!!! John knows what I am talking about....... THANKYOU !!! They are great in offering ideas on what to do and where to go, and happily arrange any bookings for you, even following up on those you have made yourself. The property is so very beautiful and so well designed with several lovely spaces you can just sit and relax on your own, although I doubt you would want any time out as Amanda and John are really great company. Then there is what had to be the highlight for me - feeding the pet sheep each evening. They are ALL so sweet and friendly but William and Golly (Gosh) were my two very favourites. I had so much fun with them each day. I wholly agree with other reviewers that there isn't anywhere better to stay in Queenstown that at Country Lodge with Amanda and John, and we will definately be staying with them on our next visit to NZ. I hope we can keep in touch, your friends Lindy & Craig.

Room Tip: I am sure all rooms are superb - we chose the Pinot Noir room which had an amazing jacuzzi bath.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank LinnyLuvsBears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JohnCushen, Owner at Queenstown Country Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2013

Hi Lindy and Craig...what can I say? Thanks so much for this feedback. You should be doing all the writing on our website.We loved having you stay at our Lodge and look forward to a catch up in Melbourne during the Ashes Boxing Day Test. Take care and many many thanks once again. John

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Reviewed 24 March 2013

We stayed for three nights with Amanda and John. This had been arranged by Paul at New Zealand in Depth, who thoroughly recommended us to stay here. How right he was! From the moment we walked in we felt quite at home. Our room was spacious, amazingly comfortable with the best view you could wish for. We had a huge walk in closet, which as I have won the prize for the most luggage ever, I found most useful! The bed was sumptuous, the bathroom immaculate and well equipped with beautiful toiletries together with a host of useful extras. The wine tasting was delightful and I was very impressed with the Pinot Gris. Our breakfasts were delicious, prepared by Amanda who is an excellent cook. My only regret is that we didn’t actually have an evening meal cooked by Amanda as the ones I saw being prepared looked amazing. As my husband has a more than keen interest in cricket and all sports, he got on famously with John. We enjoyed going to see the Highlanders versus the Blues on his birthday and sharing a meal with them after the game. Amanda and John are both exceptional hosts. I would thoroughly recommend Queenstown Lodge and could not think of anywhere more perfect.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Clakerbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JohnCushen, Owner at Queenstown Country Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2013

Hi Folks,
Thanks so much for your kind words and for taking the time to post these on our Trip Advisor site.
We just loved having you stay with us and help you enjoy the Queenstown area. Do keep in touch and thanks once again for this wonderful feedback.
Warmest regards
John

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