Escape to Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort

Few things say ‘luxury’ like a weekend in Queenstown. For Remix’s Brand Manager Andrea and her beau, escaping to New Zealand’s most picturesque city was the perfect way to celebrate an upcoming birthday. Here, find out how the duo spent a blissful 48 hours in the popular tourist destination.

Arriving on the last flight into Queenstown before the theatre of weather rolled over the mountains set the precedent for the weekend – luck. We were lucky enough to be invited to Queenstown’s premier destination, resort and spa – Millbrook Resort.

The perfect reprieve from a busy few weeks, and the ideal way to surprise my unknowing hubby, we fired up our relic rental car and I took charge of the wheel. This weekend was all about celebrating him, and I remained tight-lipped the whole flight down about what was in store.

Coronet Peak looked extra majestic when powdered with snow, and it was hard to not feel awed by our stunning (and remote) surroundings as we pulled into the Millbrook Resort driveway.

There’s an etiquette to arriving at Millbrook. Staff rush in such a welcoming and accommodating way that you feel like royalty. They greet you as if you were a long-lost friend, making everything more personal and special.

Walking into reception, the fire crackled as the concierge keenly imparted the weather report and ski conditions. Millbrook in itself is a little village; the detailed map of the grounds gives you an idea just how expansive the resort is.

While I regretted not packing my trusty chucks instead of three pairs of heels, the super helpful Daniel swooped in to escort us around the grounds via a golf cart, which was on-call 24/7 (what is this place?!). With bags strapped down, we hopped into the zippy golf cart and snuggled up as the icy wind whipped around us. Before I could even grab a snap for my Instagram story, we were arriving at our chalet. Perfectly positioned next to the stream and a view that really was breathtaking. Millbrook, you had me at hello.

After devouring the ‘Happy Birthday’ hamper that waited for hubby and I in our fire-lit room, we were eager to explore the rest of the grounds. Millbrook boasts two restaurants and a café. The Millhouse is an elegant nod to the history of Millbrook and still has a stone wall from the original mill-house – warm and cosy, you can get lost for hours looking over the mill pond and surrounds.

Kobe Cuisine is the little gem of Millbrook. We were treated to a front row seat at this authentic Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, where we would watch some of the best Japanese chefs in the business at work.

We wanted to capture the essence of Kobe Cuisine and asked the head chef, Yuki Ariya, to serve us his favourite and signature dishes. Colourful and punchy in both looks and flavour, each dish was a work of art, with all fish freshly caught and it showed. We eagerly dined our way through the sushi and sashimi platter, Ura Maki and tempura vegetables with ease.

Next, Yakitori, skewered chicken paired with a soy-glazed cabbage, fresh ginger and tomato relish, roasted coconut and pea feathers. The Butabara Char-Sui followed, and was a hit with my pork belly-lovin’ husband. Served with spiced croquettes, apple and plum chutney, spring carrots and crackling puffs, going back for seconds was a must.

To finish, the Maguro Isobe Tataki, a nori and chill crusted tuna dish. A favourite of head chef Yuki, who is solely responsible for plating this dish every night. Smooth avocado and wasabi mousse complemented the flavours perfectly, while tomato marmalade, lotus crips, yuzu miso and brazil nuts added texture and bite.

The pride of the three chefs on the night we dined were clearly very proud of what was being presented, and the full restaurant did not hinder their quality or preparation. A culinary delight in every sense. Kobe Cuisine’s full menu is available again in October, while the capsule offering continues from now, here.  

With full bellies and big grins spread across our faces, our next stop was bound to help us unwind. The Spa at Millbrook is a little oasis sitting proudly in amongst million-dollar views of the surrounding sugar-coated mountains.

Simply named ‘The Spa’, this luxurious retreat is a must-do when staying at Millbrook. We changed into our fluffy white robes, and got ready for our consultation while sipping on herbal tea.

The treatment menu at The Spa is extensive, and offers the perfect balance of treatments to address skin ailments, or to offer the ultimate relaxation. I was treated to the 60-minute Signature Massage – a full body massage that focuses on all tension points. Combined with your choice of aromatic oil blends, this massage was the perfect blend of relaxation and tension release.

No stranger to a good massage, I always find myself mentally calculating how much time I have left before the bliss ends, but this was different. I was lost in the warmth and gentle music – light rain started to fall and that was me, totally transported. The massage comes to an end with the curtains opened just wide enough so that when you open your eyes all you see is a snow-capped mountain range.

The full menu of offerings at The Spa range from couples’ massages, Vichy Hydro Bliss treatments, Cleopatra-style soak baths, body wraps, facials and eyebrow and lash services. The perfect escape for personal indulgence, as a group getaway or couples retreat, this luxe spa experience leaves you feeling pampered and truly immersed in the Millbrook way of life.

One I am happy to adopt!

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