Join Accor Plus for cool room upgrades, discounted stays & up to 50% off meals

Cool upgrades first because I’m sure that’s what readers want to see, then the business end where I list hotel brands part of Accor and link to membership details. The information is based on our experience as Accor Plus members for nearly two years, it’s not written in association with the hotel chain.

Cool upgrade Number 1* – Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa
We booked a superior room for two nights at Sofitel Queenstown but were upgraded to a luxury room. The upgrade included complimentary evening drinks and tapas from 5pm-7pm in the Executive Lounge, and complimentary buffet breakfast. … Read the rest

TSS Earnslaw Lake Cruise in Queenstown

We were travelling in the slow lane on this trip to Queenstown so a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw out to Walter Peak Station for a farm tour and afternoon tea sounded like the perfect afternoon out, and it was.

The grand old Lady of the Lake is a coal powered steamer and made her maiden voyage in 1912, the same year as the Titanic. In the early days she delivered sheep, people and supplies to isolated farms along Lake Wakatipu. Road improvements meant less demand for steamships, but tourism saved the Earnslaw from the scrap heap.

It’s hot work … Read the rest

Quirky Creeksyde Holiday Park – Unusual Accommodation in Queenstown

Curious, quirky and unusual all describe the facilities at Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde. From the ‘Tapas Room’ barbecue pavilion to the trompe l’oeil (deceive the eye) murals in the communal bathrooms …..

The ‘Oast House’ communal bathrooms are built with timber recycled from an old brewery.

The trompe l’oeil (deceive the eye) murals inside ‘Oast House’ – mind the stairs in the mens room.

Girls get a Body Sanctum bathroom with the Skyline Gondola in the shower.

Creeksyde’s not only unusual in design, it has a reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy and it’s the first holiday park in … Read the rest

Curiously Cool in Queenstown

Below Zero Ice Bar was a bit like a 3D New Zealand tourism brochure in ice, if you melted the polar bear. Although the polar bear’s handy for holding vodka bottles, and plenty of vodka is needed to fill the ice glasses with Perky Penguin and Chilled Kiwi cocktails.

The ice sculptures have changed since our visit, the jet boat may have gone but the gondola remains. The gondola comfortably seats two, although getting up close and personal isn’t a bad idea. After 30 minutes or so in Below Zero you’ll feel the cold begin to creep under the standard … Read the rest

High flying in Queenstown – G Force Paragliding

G Force Paragliding, Skyline Gondola, Bob’s Peak
After Parasailing in Pahia with Flying Kiwi Parasail I’ve been keen to keep my feet on the ground, or at least on the water. It was Mike who signed up to be a high flyer off Bob’s Peak with G Force Paragliding.

Mike was matched with Rene for the tandem flight, and strapped into a harness – part of the harness turns into a chair once you’re in the air. With the paraglider wing open behind them, they took a few steps down hill, the wing inflated, and they had lift off.… Read the rest