Staying at Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Check-in experience? A sign of good things to come. Millbrook’s reception area has comfy couches, a wood-burning fire, a basket of shiny red apples and friendly, professional staff. To the left is a shop selling top-of-the-line golf gear, local products and Millbrook merch. We’re delivered to our rooms via golf carts, a fine way to get about indeed. I could get used to this.

Room? The resort’s Villa Suite – a luxurious and spacious one-bedroom apartment with a small kitchen, lounge area, gas fire, two televisions (one hidden behind a painting!), an en suite and a private balcony looking out over the fairways of the golf course and the Remarkables.

Price? The Villa Suites are priced from $310 a night. There are cheaper options, including Village Inn rooms which start at $260

Who owns it? The Japan-based Ishii family who bought the property in the late 1980s.

What’s so good about this place? Its location for a start – Millbrook is 20 minutes from Queenstown, 10 minutes from the airport and two minutes from Arrowtown, meaning it’s right in amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the country – not to mention handy to wineries, skifields, and the area’s lakes and rivers.

And the bad? You’ll need to get a cab or the resort’s complimentary shuttle to Arrowtown or Queenstown if you want to explore the townships.

Claim to fame? Probably the award-winning 27-hole golf course, first designed by Bob Charles and later updated by Greg Turner.

The bed? Two Sealy Posturepedic “Celestial” king singles pushed together. Vast and comfortable.

The grounds? Spectacular really. There wouldn’t be many hotels in New Zealand surrounded by such iconic snow-clad mountains.

The bathroom? Almost bigger than my flat at home. There is an enormous standalone bath, separate shower, and twin basins. Oh, and the floor is heated.

Toiletries? French Connection. Divine.

Noise? One of my colleagues was woken by someone upstairs having a bath at 4am, but apart from a few creaks from the wind, I couldn’t hear a thing.

Exercise facilities? Take your pick – as well as the golf course there are three tennis courts (one AstroTurf), bikes for hire, petanque, a fully equipped fitness centre (which offers classes), and a 25m indoor heated swimming pool.

Food and drink? There are four dining options, from the fine-dining Millhouse Restaurant, the casual Hole in One Cafe, Japanese dining at Kobe Cuisine or the Clubhouse for breakfast and special events. If you want to explore the grounds, staff can make you up a picnic hamper.

Perfect for? A romantic weekend getaway or as a luxury base from which to explore the area.

Would I return? In a heartbeat, but I would make sure I had plenty of time to make the most of the resort’s world-class facilities.

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NZ Herald