help choosing accommodations in NZ South Island

Nov 29th, 2011, 07:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 13
help choosing accommodations in NZ South Island

You have all been helpful with our planning the itinerary for our South Island trip next Feb. through April. Now we need advice on accommodations.
A travel rep has suggested the following motels/lodges. We specified central city locations with a $100 US per night budget in studio or 1-bedroom apartments, with kitchen facilities included. Suggested were:
Balmoral Motel - Nelson
Raethihi Lodge - Marlborough Sounds
Commodore Court Motel - Blenheim
Alpine View Motel - Kaikoura
Christchurch Motel - Christchurch
Glacier View Motel - Franz Josef
Aden Motel - Te Anau
Aberdeen Motel - Dunedin
Hermitage Hotel - Mont Cook
We were wondering if anyone has had past experiences they wouldn't mind sharing regarding the reliability of these suggestions.
eileennz is offline  
Nov 29th, 2011, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,071
The only place on your list that I'm familiar with is the Hermitage in Mount Cook, and I'd be really surprised it if were only $100 USD per night. We stayed there years ago and felt it was way overpriced then, but there are only a few options in Mt Cook, so they're all pricy for what you get.

Motels in NZ are definitely a good option, but keep in mind that NZ is full of lovely unique accommodation too...B&Bs, homestays, cottages, villas, converted old churches and schoolhouses...many self-catering and most reasonably priced. If a unique NZ experience appeals to you, you might want to see what's out there other than motels. In Blenheim for instance, you might prefer a vineyard stay or something out of town as town isn't all that interesting, and the best of Blenhheim is in the surrounding vineyards and countryside IMO.

There's a lovely B&B in Te Anau called the Croft - it's on the road to Milford Sound, set in the country with views of the lake and complete with sheep and friendly pets. The owners are wonderful, the accommodation ideal. IMO it's a perfect blend of peaceful location, excellent hosts and privacy - and it's self-contained. You might take a look and see what they're charging these days. Hosted accomodation is often invaluable - you'll learn more about the areas you're visiting than you'd ever imagine.

I looked up Raetihi Lodge, which looks lovely. I assume you're aware that access to the lodge is a three hour drive from Picton or Blenheim, 30-45 minutes via water taxi? Water taxis aren't cheap, so be sure to include this in your budget. The roads into the sounds aren't much fun, so keep that in mind too - unsealed, narrow and squiggly which could be an issue if you're prone to car sickness.

Enjoy NZ!
Melnq8 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,106
We used Bella Vista motels in several locations on our last NZ holiday and found them all clean, modern, comfortable and a reasonable price.
marg is offline  
Dec 8th, 2011, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 55
See below a portion of a trip report I wrote about my trip to NZ last in february/march 2011.

"The hotels we stayed at were all very good - no complaints at all and usually very friendly staff. The points we sticked to when booking were: a) tidiness; b) good location; c) good evaluations made by customers on sites as Tripadvisor and Booking; d) prices ranging from NZ$ 90-150.

There wasn't breakfast included in the tariff in any of them. The concept of the hotels there is that they provide you whatever is need for your cooking. Some offer a buffet breakfast, and you have to pay for it. So, if you want to save money, it pays going to a market (chains like Four Square and New World) and buy supplies so you can cook your food.

Almost all of them (the two exceptions are the hotel in Wellington and the hotel in Auckland, both in big cities, so it is easy to understand) had free external parking.

Here is the list. I am sure the average person (whatever it means this expression) will like them:

- 2 nights in Queenstown: Earnslaw Lodge
- 2 nights on the Routeburn Track (1 on the Routeburn Hut; the other on Lake Mackenzie Hut) - we found the bunks in the huts very very comfortable, but remember you need to carry your food and your sleeping bag, and that there is no hot shower)
- 1 night in Milford Sound, on a boat - Milford Mariner - Real Journeys
- 1 night in Wanaka: Wanaka Hotel
- 2 nights in Fox Glacier (this is the only one which coasted us more than what we would expect to pay: NZ$200, and the motel quality was just like the others, which are cheaper): Bella Vista Motel
- 1 night in Arthur's Pass: Arthur's Challet
- 1 night in Hanmer Springs (subbing one of the nights we had planned to spend in Christchurch): Heritage
- 2 nights in Kaikoura (one of which subbing the other night that should be spent in Christchurch): Aspen Court
- 2 nights in Motueka: Equestrian Lodge
- 1 night in Picton: Te Mahia Bay Resort
- 2 nights in Wellington: Trinity Hotel
- 1 night at the Tongariro National Park (the other night was rescheduled for Rotorua): Discovery Lodge
- 1 night in Rotorua: Pohutu Lodge
- 1 night in Auckland: Chiffley Suites"
Cruzeirense is offline  
Dec 14th, 2011, 05:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 13
Thank you all for your suggestions. I will keep them in mind.
Now I have another request. We have been working with Relaxing Journeys and have been very optimistic about their itinerary. They will take us on public transportation to our destinations, arrange the accommodations and tours as we want.The motels are in the center of the cities since we don't want to rent a car. However, before we we confirm with them we want to be sure that they are a reliable company.
eileennz is offline  

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