>  Destinations   >  New Zealand   >  Peppers Beacon review

Queenstown is a picture-postcard destination with stunning scenery and world-renowned adventure activities plus the added pleasures of excellent dining, wineries and accommodation such as Peppers Beacon. This hotel is positioned on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and only a five-minute stroll into town. What makes Peppers Beacon so unique is its commanding view of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu and its many different styles of accommodation.

While we ended up loving our stay at this hotel, our arrival at Peppers Beacon didn’t get things off to a good start after our early morning flight from the Gold Coast. When we arrived at the hotel we were told our room was not ready. Not a big deal even though it was nearly 2pm which is the regular check in time. We decided to grab a late lunch and come back but it wasn’t ready then either. Waiting until nearly 4pm to eventually check in wasn’t ideal after a 2.45am start but it turned out to be worth it.

Peppers Beacon
Peppers Beacon

When we got to the room we could see why the previous guests were so late in leaving. Our apartment had such a stunning view of the lake it was no surprise whatsoever that they didn’t want to check-out. We booked a Two Bedroom Lake View apartment that came with a fully equipped kitchen, two large bedrooms with comfy queen beds, each with an ensuite, laundry, TV and a cosy fireplace for chilly nights.

View of the paragliders from our balcony
Peppers Beacon view
Dining table and open plan lounge

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Peppers Beacon bedroom
Master bedroom
Peppers Beacon bedroom
The second bedroom had a courtyard view

Apart from the spectacular view, the standout feature of our accommodation was its sheer size with a massive wraparound lounge and dining area near the floor to ceiling windows at the front of the apartment. As we were travelling as a family with a teen we had loads of room to spread out. Based on the price per room, the size of the accommodation, the view and the handy location, this hotel is one of the Queenstown’s best bargains. Sure, our room could have done with a bit of TLC as some of the furniture was looking rather worn. However, the superb view more than made up for this.

Peppers Beacon kitchen
Fully equipped kitchen
Peppers Beacon
Enjoying a glass of red by the fire

We put on the fluffy bathrobes in the wardrobe, and grabbed a cheese platter and a bottle of wine to enjoy at the dining table on the balcony where we could soak up the view. We had been grocery shopping to fill in time while we were waiting for the room to be ready but couldn’t be bothered cooking. Just staying awake was a challenge after such an early start so we ordered takeaway from one of the many great dining spots around Queenstown and got it delivered by Food on Q which is Queenstown’s version of Uber Eats. 

As the view slowly faded we headed inside, turned on the gas fireplace, and chatted about our upcoming adventure in Queenstown and how we could maximise our stay and the view. This was one aspect of the accommodation I wasn’t expecting. Queenstown has so many things to do but sitting on the balcony was like watching a show. Everything from the historic T.S.S. Earnslaw steamship to jetboats, yachts and paragliders was on hand to keep us entertained.  And, of course, everywhere we looked there were stunning scenic views to enjoy.

Peppers Beacon view
Afternoon coffee on the balcony
Peppers Beacon view
Watching the S.S. Earnslaw steam back into town from our balcony
Peppers Beacon view
Early evening as the light began to fade

While it was tempting to stay and enjoy the view we did leave eventually leave for breakfast the following morning. Peppers Beacon offers a breakfast option for $20 extra per person, but with some great cafes in town, we opted to head out for an early morning stroll along the lakefront and something to eat. With so many dining options and activities located less than a 10 minute walk away there was no need for a car. Having said that if you do happen to be driving there is a $20 per day parking fee. Given the problems associated with finding a street park in Queenstown, this is a handy option and removes the hassle of trying to find a park in town which can be impossible at times.

Peppers Beacon
Rooms with a view of the courtyard are cheaper
Peppers Beacon BBQ
Complimentary guest barbecue facilities

With its stunning location, superb views and friendly service from an always smiling staff, Peppers Beacon is a hotel in Queenstown that I would come back to in a heartbeat. We would love to book the same premier room type so we could enjoy that amazing view and a few more wines on the balcony. However, if money was tight, the garden view apartments at Peppers Beacon would be our family’s pick, especially in summer when the flowers are blooming and we could enjoy the complimentary BBQ facilities in the central courtyard.

Disclosure: The writer paid a media rate for his stay at Peppers Beacon. He prefers visiting Queenstown in summer when the weather is warmer, the accommodation is cheaper and there are no crowds. 

If you are looking for some things to do in Queenstown, we enjoyed sailing on the TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu and scaring ourselves silly with some of Queenstown’s best adrenline activities.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.