EXPLORING THE REES RESORT, QUEENSTOWN
Whether you’re in Queenstown to marinate your travelling bod in the world’s most ‘de-lish’ Pinots or you’ve been drawn to this southern utopia by its pristine trails and tracks (or plenty of both like I did)… the Rees is the perfect place to recharge, refresh… and sink into the finest of fluffy luxury beds.
Lets cut straight to what we all want after a busy day of travel fabulosity – The views, wine and room service are out of this world!!
Soaring vaulted ceilings provide an instantly impressive entry into the realm of the Rees. Enormous lodge windows frame the lake views with entirely unpretentious grandeur. The lush lodge-chic attention to detail whispers ‘Aspen luxury’ totally sans ostentatious airs.
The minxy razor spine of the Remarkables mountain range expands into every breathtaking vista. Couple that with the twinkling waterfront location on Lake Wakatipu and its a case of jaw-flooring beauty at every turn.
Each of the 60 apartments and 90 rooms boasts this stunning outlook. No back-facing garbage-can alley-view let-downs here.
Every character-filled corner and crevice feels authentic- a warm and a visual cuddle for the senses. The larger than life action portrait of Queenstown founder George Rees, above the enormous lobby lounge fireplace seems to say, ‘hey there traveller, get on in here’.. In every aspect, the Reese is generous.
Another major plus – The Rees is a rare non-chain resort. Co-owner and General Manager, Mark Rose, takes special pride in the unique one-off touches throughout the property. An avid traveller himself, he stays ahead of global dining, wine and accommodation trends. The personally curated wine-selection is a world-class award-winner (and well worth the visit all on its own).
Bordeux meets Otago in the Bordeau wine lounge, celebrating the history of cleverly industrious winemaking in the region. Named for Jules Bordeau, the eccentric old storeman who became a local legend among the early goldminers, (some of whom became Central Otago’s earliest winemakers). The vineyards that followed had their origins in Bordeaux (and Nantes), while Otago itself is on the same 45th parallel of the globe (apparently a magic number for stellar winemaking).
*Id recommend a 96 Chateau Latour, Pauilla with a selection of pickled and preserved delicacies. For some local flavour, try the elegantly toasted in-demand 2014 Amisfield Pinot and a chunk of the creamy-delicious award-winning Whitestone Windsor Blue.
If you’re not already salivating like a cartoon canine, lets dive into dining at the Rees.
The entire True South Dining Room menu is available in the sublime comfort of my beautifully appointed Executive Lake View Suite (top shelf mod-cons, excellent WiFi). On the healthy side, the natural oysters with horseradish and elderflower is a tastebud explosion as a starter. The Ora King salmon with crab and pea salad, pea dashi and grilled aubergine is exceptional as a tummy-tickling main.
In the restaurant itself, the views almost overwhelm again – But too much of this madly gorgeous panorama is never enough! The seasonally evolving Taste of the True South 6 course culinary adventure is as decadent and uplifting as the location. *Perfectly wine-paired at $185pp.
The breakfast buffet also ticks all the tasty boxes – a perfect blend of traditional European charcuterie, Asian flavours (Miso for breakfast is de-lish, who knew!). All things bacon, eggs and snags are served up with trademark generosity. Warning – The butter-grilled wild mushrooms are addictive.
Another Rees highlight is the quality and warmth of the service and staff. The vigilant top-down approach of Mark and his executive team shines through (though the result is never over-the-top). Service is a huge part of their focus and it shows. From the gleaming smiles of the helpful (and very attractive) front desk team, to room service and housekeeping, the Reese feels like a very well put-together family.
The resort is a picturesque, flat and easy stroll around the stunning Wakatipu into town – ideal for stretching out on a walk or a run. I revelled in it most on rambles into dinner or lunch.. basking in the magic of changing light at disparate turns of the clock (yep, it brought on all the mushy ‘grateful just to be alive’ feelings. ‘happy sighs’ ). .
*Bring your iphone/smartphone, its impossible not to go a little snap-happy.
If you’re getting the impression I’m a love-struck fan, you’re spot on. The Rees won my heart in a mere four nights.
I could go on and on, but I have to leave a few things for you to discover for yourselves.
Look forward to hearing from readers who’ve visited the Rees and happy to answer any questions if you’re planning a Queenstown adventure.
5 Pinots out of 5