Winter family holidays… Exploring, adventuring and creating memories on the slopes are all part of what we dream of as the holidays approach. Add long car journeys, expensive meals and a hotel room you can’t wait to leave into the mix – and it can suddenly all become a bit much. With this in mind, we’ve pulled together 7 Expert Tips from local Queenstown friends with families, to give you an insight into making your Winter holiday in Queenstown, a breeze.
- Focus On Making Memories
Time is one of our last true luxuries. So, it is important to make our increasingly precious time with family and friends count! If you speak to Queenstown locals about why they love Queenstown, far from the incredible array of tourism attractions on offer, they’ll often say it’s the quality time it affords them and their families.
Living in (or visiting) such an incredible part of the world is akin to spending time in a treasure trove of memory generating opportunities. Walks along the lake track, biking in the forest, enjoying hot chocolate with a snow-capped backdrop. Queenstown offers some of the best opportunities of any place we know, to make real memories with the family, that will last long into the future.
Local Tip: Take the pressure off family holiday expectations. Living in Queenstown (one of the most instagrammed places in New Zealand) we know that it’s what goes on behind the lens that counts. Spending time together is the key. Keep reading for our tips on how to make the most of it!
- Get Outdoors
When children see snow for the first time, gaze at the mountain views and feel the adrenaline that comes with their first run down the mountain. It’s priceless and something hard to replicate. Queenstown offers more easily accessible outdoor adventures than anywhere we know. If you ask locals, they’re explain that it’s far beyond what you see in tourism brochures. There is something incredible to be said for experiencing the awe of nature as a family.
Every morning when you wake up in Queenstown with views of the surrounding Remarkables Mountain Range, you’ll experience a deep and collective breath of fresh air.
Local Adventure Tip: if you’re an active family, take a morning stroll along Frankton Beach or the local river track that lines the shore before hitting the slopes. The powerful ‘wow’ component the natural beauty of Queenstown offers is something you can’t put a price on.
- Don’t Make Them Ask “Are We There Yet?”
The great old kiwi road trip… they can be brilliant fun. They can also be taxing for both the kids and the parents designing the mission. Regular stops, requests for snacks from every place you pass and the inevitable and perpetual question of ‘how much longer’? One of the reasons we chose our location for the Holiday Inn at Remarkables Park is its incredible location.
Under 5 minutes’ drive from Queenstown Airport, for those of you arriving by air, our location is unrivalled. What do you do from here? Well, let’s see. There is a plethora of cafes, restaurants and shops within walking distance. But where our location really counts is being one of the closest hotels to the base of the Remarkables Ski Field. The ski bus leaves from right outside the hotel on the main road, or if you prefer you can drive to the base car park for the Remarkables ski field in exactly 6 minutes. Tough eh? If you do have a car and are happy to drive up to the ski field it takes a whole 28 minutes door to door – not bad really, from bed to base building.
Local Travel Tip: If you choose this option, be prepared you may need snow chains at certain times of the year. Most locals, even with their own 4×4’s usually choose the bus.
If culture and Central Queenstown is on your to do list, from the hotel, it’s only a 15-minute drive into the centre of town. Explore Queenstown gardens, visit the Ice Bar or learn the history of the lake.
Local Taste Tip: Fergburger is undoubtedly amazing. But if you’re with hungry little ones and want to avoid the queues, head over toPerky’s – New Zealand’s only floating bar. From here you can order Devil Burger (equally as delicious) to take away and eat on board, with views of the setting sun over glassy Lake Wakatipu. Enjoyable for the parents? Sure. Novelty for the children? Absolutely.
- Embrace Après With The Little Ones
Many parents (and particularly any of you who have skied in Europe) will likely be able to reminisce. That precious first sip of your Après Ski beer (or wine) whilst still wearing your snuggly salopettes. The Giant’s Restaurant & Bar at the Holiday Inn Remarkables Park is designed to be family friendly before anything else. Yep, that’s right. A family friendly bar, without having to leave the hotel.
Our vision? Parents, relaxing with a cold beer or glass of Central Otago Pinot by the roaring fire, whilst the kids feel more involved than ever before, sipping one of our carefully crafted mocktails. Rather than sending them away to play, get the kids involved in the traditions you hold dear, and debrief on the day as a family.
Local Tip(ple) Insights: in a community like Queenstown it is incredibly important to #supportlocal so when you check out our Drinks List ask our team for their favourite local choices. We recommend cold beer from Canyon Brewing or if you’re into wine we recommend a local Pinot Noir as our winter drop of choice – all the Pinot on our menu is from the surrounding areas.
- Food Tastes Better With Family
Who has memories from when they were younger that started around the dinner table? Family dinners on holiday aren’t always the easiest but we believe they are a crucial part of making memories together. We’ve asked our local friends what matters to them when it comes to eating as a family on holiday. With their insights we’d made strides to make family dining even more enjoyable, accessible and (crucially) affordable. Those aged 12 years and under stay for free when sharing their parents’ room and eat free in Giants Restaurant.
Our team are ready to take orders from the whole family – and promise we won’t bat an eyelid at second breakfast or dessert. We know the importance of fuelling hungry tummies before an adventurous day on the slopes. If it’s a grab-and-go for morning coffee and provisions – our lobby café Rolling Giants – will have you sorted and out the door in no time. We know as families you might not want to eat out every night, and so our incredible room service is available to order directly to your room – 24/7.
Keeping It Local: Another aspect of eating in Queenstown that is hugely important in the local community is keeping the flavours homegrown. Surrounded by Mother Nature’s rustic theatre our menu is hearty. Inspired by the surroundings the Menu at Giant’s creates an experience that speaks to the place that surrounds us. You’ll feel at home with well-crafted food you know and love. What we’re most proud of? Our delectable Platters.
- Embrace Technology In The Right Way
We’ve all heard it – children are spending too much time on technology these days. It’s equally as important not to feel guilty using it wisely when downtime is needed. After a day on the slopes, it can be the easiest way to switch off excited little minds. So, at Holiday Inn Remarkables Park, we’ve tried to embrace technology in a way that we know families will enjoy. Alongside our cosy nooks and board games, the lobby includes charging stations.
Up in your rooms, our smart TV’s mean that you can connect your own account, when only Netflix will do. You can keep up with your favourite shows, enjoy a family movie or keep the little ones entertained. Unlimited Wi-Fi means it’s also easier than ever to kick back, pick your favourite shots of the day and share your family holiday snaps and videos. If she hasn’t been able to join you – keep grandma in the loop!
- Choose The Right Space For You
True comfort on a family holiday is having a space you don’t feel you ever need to leave. Our rooms at Holiday Inn Remarkables Park Queenstown feature natural tones of eucalyptus and paprika in the soft furnishings. Bathrooms? Big enough for any budding little batman to swing his towel (it’s a cape, Mum!) to his heart’s content.
Local Design Insights: As much as comfort was a huge factor in the design of our rooms, chatting to our local friends, we really felt it was important to bring the outside in. Mirroring the design of many Queenstown homes our rooms feature floor to ceiling glass, so that you can drink in the views, whilst you sink into a delectable glass of local Gibbston Valley wine.
The organic landscape is carried throughout the interior of our rooms with timber finishes and natural stone. Connecting you to the landscape without having to leave the comfort of your room. Fresh air is a huge component of any Queenstown getaway, so (if you can) picture the ability to gaze out to the Remarkables Mountain Range, from the privacy of your own balcony.
We hope these tips were helpful! As always, our team are on hand to answer any questions you may have. Family holidays are our specialty – so feel free to put our local knowledge to the test!