20 Best Hotels in Christchurch and Canterbury, New Zealand

Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge

$$$$ | State Hwy. 73, Arthur's Pass, 7654, New Zealand Fodor's Choice

Surrounded by spectacular peaks, beech forests, and serene lakes, this sophisticated back-to-nature lodge shares 4,000 acres with its own high-country merino sheep station and nature reserve in a valley called Te Ko Awa a Aniwaniwa (Valley of the Mother of Rainbows). Rooms have balcony views of this incredible area. Full-day guided trips can take you to limestone caves, a tranquil lake, a glacier basin, or to spots where you might glimpse rare alpine plants and kea (native mountain parrot); you'll soon share the owners' passion for preserving this environment. There is a sister lodge at Lake Moeraki on the West Coast.

Pros

  • On alternate days, you can muster sheep with border collies and help blade-shear sheep the old-fashioned way
  • Great wine and food with a view
  • Rates include breakfast, dinner, and guided activities

Cons

  • Quite remote if you like shopping
  • Closed in the off-season
  • Surcharge on New Zealand holidays
State Hwy. 73, Arthur's Pass, 7654, New Zealand
03-318–9246
hotel Details
24 rooms
Rate Includes: Closed June and July, All-Inclusive

Quick Facts

Braemar Lodge & Spa

$$$ | 283 Medway Rd., Hanmer Springs, 7360, New Zealand

Part lodge, part boutique hotel, these slick accommodations were built around all that remained of the original Braemar Lodge—an impressive two-story-high river stone fireplace. Rooms are big and have expansive views across the river plain to Hanmer and its snowy backdrop (in winter). The warm sunny aspect is sheltered from the cold southerly winds that sweep through this area so you'll get real value from your own deck. The interior is neutrally contemporary; the rooms all have gas fires, swiveling TVs, and marble bathrooms. The on-premises Altitude Restaurant is worth a visit.  

Pros

  • On-site day spa
  • Packages available with outdoor activities included
  • Large rooms with great views

Cons

  • 10-minute drive from Hanmer
  • Access is by several kilometers of gravel road with a steep but paved driveway
  • Some parts need an upgrade
283 Medway Rd., Hanmer Springs, 7360, New Zealand
03-315–7555
hotel Details
24 suites
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

Brinkley Resort

$$ | 43 Barkers Rd., Methven, 7730, New Zealand

These affordable one- and two-bedroom apartment-style units are just a two-minute walk from the center of town, surrounded by landscaped gardens. Shackleton's Bar and Grill features the best Canterbury produce, perfect after drinks in front of the open fire in the bar. They also do different packages including ballooning, golf, fishing tours, mountain shuttles, and ski and helicopter trips.

Pros

  • Tennis court, hot tub, children's playground, and putting green
  • Plenty of off-street parking and a helipad
  • 12 ski areas within easy range, including Mt. Hutt

Cons

  • Convention center on site, so sometimes it can be busy
  • Rooms overlooking the parking lot are noisy
  • Some rooms are compact
43 Barkers Rd., Methven, 7730, New Zealand
03-302--8855
hotel Details
80 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

  • $$

Recommended Fodor's Video

Commodore Hotel Christchurch Airport

$$$ | 449 Memorial Ave., Christchurch, 8053, New Zealand
Just minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from central Christchurch, this family-owned, resort-style accommodation includes a heated indoor pool, sauna, spa, fitness center, and tennis court. Rooms are quiet, large, and comfortable, with the latest TVs and generous bathrooms. The stylishly landscaped terrace area, with a big open fireplace, is a great place to relax with a drink just about all year-round. Staff are super friendly and helpful.

Pros

  • Free 24-hour shuttle service to and from the airport
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Plenty of outdoor space and gardens

Cons

  • There can be big functions here, keeping the lobby and the car park full
  • No other amenities nearby
  • Longish walk to get from one end of the property to the other
449 Memorial Ave., Christchurch, 8053, New Zealand
03-358--8129
hotel Details
157 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Hanmer Springs Hotel

$$$ | 1 Conical Hill Rd., Hanmer Springs, 7334, New Zealand

Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, this hotel is across the road from the thermal pools, and staying here will remind you of the grand, genteel era in which it was built. There are garden suites and three-bedroom self-contained villas that are great for families, too. Breakfast is served on the front courtyard or in Isobel's Restaurant, which also offers excellent evening dining and a top local wine list.

Pros

  • Lovely old Spanish Mission–style building
  • In the middle of town within easy walk of most things
  • Very comfortable beds

Cons

  • During New Zealand school holidays it can get busy
  • Renovations underway, but some rooms still need upgrades
  • No elevator
1 Conical Hill Rd., Hanmer Springs, 7334, New Zealand
03-975--1010
hotel Details
65 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Heritage Christchurch

$$$$ | 28–30 Cathedral Sq., Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand

Inside the beautifully restored Old Government Building built in 1913, with its sweeping central staircase and high ceilings, the Heritage has suites in an Italian High Renaissance Palazzo style complete with stained-glass windows and dark-wood paneling. It has sports facilities, a fitness center, a heated lap pool, sauna, spa, and the highly rated O.G.B. Bar on the ground floor.

Pros

  • Self-contained with kitchen and laundry
  • Decent spa and lap pool
  • Extremely comfortable beds

Cons

  • Short-term parking can be difficult
  • O.G.B. bar is always busy and can be noisy outside, especially in summer
  • Christchurch Cathedral and the square surrounding are under long-term restoration
28–30 Cathedral Sq., Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand
0800-368–888
hotel Details
42 suites
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Methven Motels and Apartments

$$ | 197 Main St., Methven, New Zealand
This modern accommodation complex has both motel rooms and apartments for small or large groups. It's warm in winter which is a big plus for weary skiers, and many of the units have whirlpools, and all have the latest showers. Ask them about their apartments and holiday homes off-site, too.

Pros

  • Drying cupboard for ski clothing and short-term gear storage
  • Electric blankets
  • Upstairs rooms have views of Mt. Hutt

Cons

  • Road outside can be busy
  • Free Wi-Fi only if you book directly with the hotel
  • TVs could do with an upgrade
197 Main St., Methven, New Zealand
03-302--9200
hotel Details
8 units
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

  • $$

Mountain House Arthur's Pass YHA

$ | 84 West Coast Rd., Arthur's Pass, 7875, New Zealand

This is the biggest spot in town with a main lodge that has private and shared rooms; there are also two separate cottages, two motel units, and backpacker dorms in the old YHA lodge. You can sign up for one of the bedrooms in the cottages, reserve an entire cottage, or choose a bed in the private or dorm rooms in the main lodge. There's one women-only bunk room. The interior design may be homely, but you can't argue with the impressive peaks right outside your window.

Pros

  • <PRO>wing of newer facilities and private rooms that are clean and tidy</PRO>
  • <PRO>YHA members get discounts and free Wi-Fi</PRO>
  • <PRO>spectacular walking tracks start right next to the front door</PRO>

Cons

  • <CON>whole complex is spread over about a kilometer</CON>
  • <CON>no en suite bathrooms</CON>
  • <CON>more expensive than most hostels because it's so remote</CON>
84 West Coast Rd., Arthur's Pass, 7875, New Zealand
03-318–9258
hotel Details
27 rooms
Rate Includes: No meals, Credit cards accepted

Quick Facts

  • $

Mt. Hutt Lodge

$$ | 45 Zig Zag Rd., Methven, 7572, New Zealand

If you’ve come south for the views and outdoor activities then the Mt. Hutt Lodge delivers with its laid-back atmosphere. By day you’ll look out across the magnificent, sometimes turquoise Rakaia River toward Mt. Hutt, the area’s main ski field. By night you’ll be amazed at the clarity of the sky and the sheer depth of stars. Rooms are clean and pleasant with an eclectic mix on offer from motel units to time-share apartments of up to three bedrooms.

Pros

  • Close to great fishing spots, skiing, golf, and hiking
  • Amazing views of the mountain
  • Restaurant on site with beef steak specialty

Cons

  • Building is very 1970s and needs an upgrade
  • 15-minute drive from Methven, so you’ll need a car to get here
  • No washer in room, but there's a communal laundry
45 Zig Zag Rd., Methven, 7572, New Zealand
03-318–6898
hotel Details
14 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

  • $$

Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

$$$ | 52 Cathedral Sq., Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand

From the moment you walk in to the futuristic lobby you will receive a warm welcome from staff who know the city well and can help with directions and recommendations. The comfortable, smart rooms have views overlooking the Southern Alps, New Regent Street, or directly on to the still-damaged cathedral. The restaurant has clever nooks designed for sole diners, a nod to the many business travelers the hotel attracts.

Pros

  • Right in the heart of the city
  • Stunning views of the Southern Alps from executive rooms
  • Comfortable contemporary bar open 'til late

Cons

  • Bathroom sink is set outside the bathroom door in the living areas
  • Quake-damaged Cathedral is right next door, and building work surrounds it
  • Valet parking is expensive (better to use public lot nearby)
52 Cathedral Sq., Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand
03-372--2111
hotel Details
154 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Oinako Bed and Breakfast

$$$$ | 99 Beach Rd., Akaroa, 7520, New Zealand

Surrounded by a tranquil garden, just a two-minute walk from town and a few steps from Akaroa Harbour, this character Victorian manor house has its original, ornate plaster ceilings and marble fireplaces. The house has been completely refurbished after the earthquakes with modern bathrooms and amenities. You'll also find fresh flowers in the spacious and pleasantly decorated rooms. Drive to the far end of Beach Road where the road runs onto what looks like a private driveway shared by a number of properties. Just follow that road a little farther to Oinako, which is marked.

Pros

  • Old-fashioned leafy garden overlooking the harbor
  • Tea, coffee, wine, cookies, feather pillows, and duvets add a luxurious touch
  • Beautifully restored homestead

Cons

  • No televisions in rooms
  • No fridges in rooms
  • No desks or chairs in rooms, but they can be provided on request
99 Beach Rd., Akaroa, 7520, New Zealand
03-304--8787
hotel Details
6 rooms
Rate Includes: Closed June–Aug., Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

Old Glenmark Vicarage

$$$ | 161 Church Rd., Waipara, 7483, New Zealand

Once a real vicarage, Old Glenmark is now a funky barn lodging—with lots of rough-sawn timber and colonial trimmings—that's suitable for families and makes a very comfortable base while touring the area. The Wicked Vicar, the Vicar's Mistress, Divine Daughter and the Sweeter Daughter are not members of the staff at this pleasant Victorian homestay, but are wines produced from the owners' small vineyard.

Pros

  • Central to most Waipara wineries and restaurants
  • On-site boutique vineyard and vegetable garden
  • Large well-equipped kitchen and barbecue area for self-catering

Cons

  • Close to busy State Highway 1
  • Rustic style may be too eclectic for some
  • Popular in summer
161 Church Rd., Waipara, 7483, New Zealand
03-314–6775
hotel Details
3 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Orari Bed & Breakfast and Apartments

$$ | 42 Gloucester St., Christchurch, 8013, New Zealand Fodor's Choice

Hidden behind an ivy-clad wall and pretty gardens, this lovely heritage villa boasts modern, spacious rooms. The interior is particularly welcoming with a large lounge and dining area, bathrooms are generous, and there is good off-street parking. The Canterbury Museum, Botanic Gardens, Art Gallery, Tram, and plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars are within easy walking distance. Arrive in time for a complimentary glass of wine at 5:30 pm. There are also three-bedroom apartments with leafy views that are fully self-contained, each spanning three floors.

Pros

  • No need for a car with so much nearby
  • The apartments are ideal for longer stays and for larger families
  • Extremely helpful and friendly hosts

Cons

  • Two of the rooms have separate bathrooms that are not ensuite
  • You will need to book well ahead to get a room in peak summer season
  • Some uneven, squeaky floorboards
42 Gloucester St., Christchurch, 8013, New Zealand
03-365–6569
hotel Details
15 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Otahuna Lodge

$$$$ | 224 Rhodes Rd., Tai Tapu, 7672, New Zealand

Just 20 minutes from Christchurch and almost hidden by glorious century-old gardens is one of New Zealand's most important historic homes, now an award-winning luxury retreat. Built in 1895 in Queen Anne style for Sir Heaton Rhodes, a high-profile Member of Parliament of the time, the three-story homestead has been restored to its former grandeur, yet has all the modern amenities you would expect in an exclusive luxury lodge. Each of Otahuna's seven suites has a distinctive character and reveals a different element of the Otahuna story. Original fireplaces complement the rooms and the wisteria-blue drawing room is divine. Be sure to wander the 30 acres of gardens (guided tours available), and take a dip in the heated pool (summer only). Do spend some time in the potager garden and the kitchen with the chef to learn some of his secrets.

Pros

  • Memorable five-course degustation dinner included
  • Lots of fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables and cooking classes are available
  • Exceptional hosts with special touches at every turn

Cons

  • Not for the budget-minded
  • TV only available by request
  • You will need a car if you want to visit the city
224 Rhodes Rd., Tai Tapu, 7672, New Zealand
03-329–6333
hotel Details
7 suites
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive

Quick Facts

Peel Forest Lodge

$$$$ | 96 Brake Rd., Geraldine, New Zealand

Tucked in among giant kahikatea trees and native forest, and overlooking Little Mt. Peel (which isn't so little), this comfortable log lodge provides a haven of peace and quiet. Opened as a hunting and fishing lodge it's a nice getaway if you want to experience the great outdoors without hiking miles up into the hills. There are four bedrooms—two share a bathroom—all looking out to the mountains. You can self-cater, have breakfast provided, or request a fully catered service. Nearby there's rafting, fishing, hunting, horse trekking, hiking, helicopter tours, and visits to Mesopotamia Station up in the high country. It's available for exclusive bookings only.

Pros

  • Café and bar just down the road at Peel Forest village
  • Full kitchen for your use
  • Big schist fireplace in the lounge

Cons

  • A few trophy heads on the walls, which might not be for everyone
  • Can sometimes be booked out for weddings
  • You will need a car to get here
96 Brake Rd., Geraldine, New Zealand
03-696--3703
hotel Details
4 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Rydges Latimer Christchurch

$$$ | 30 Latimer Sq., Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand
Set on leafy Latimer Square, this newly built low-rise hotel is just a few minutes' walk from the central city, but far enough away to be quiet and relaxed. Many of the rooms and family-size suites overlook the square, and there is a spacious penthouse taking up the entire top level. It's just a short walk to the Transitional "Cardboard" Cathedral, a must-visit symbol of the new Christchurch. Do dine in the splendor of Bloody Mary's restaurant—and don't forget to ask about the intriguing story of how it got its name.

Pros

  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Free parking on-site
  • Excellent in-house dining options

Cons

  • Big conference hotel often busy with large groups
  • Just a little too far to walk into the central city on cold days
  • Traffic on the one-way roads surrounding the hotel
30 Latimer Sq., Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand
0800-176--176-NZ only
hotel Details
175 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Settlers Motel

$$ | 6 Leamington St., Hanmer Springs, 7334, New Zealand

This property has peaceful apartments and studios set off Amuri Avenue, the main street into Hanmer. Upstairs rooms have balconies with views of Mt. Isobel, and two apartments have private courtyards. Handcrafted slat beds and furniture have been installed in all the rooms, and each unit has either a full kitchen or kitchenette. A continental breakfast is available on request.

Pros

  • Quiet, friendly, motel-style establishment
  • Short walk to town
  • Flexible check-in and check-out times

Cons

  • Units all open onto central courtyard and parking lot
  • Reservations are essential over weekends and holiday periods
  • Popular with families and can be busy
6 Leamington St., Hanmer Springs, 7334, New Zealand
03-315–7343
hotel Details
14 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

  • $$

Terrace Downs

$$$$ | 623 Coleridge Rd., Rakaia Gorge, 7572, New Zealand

Considered a top golf resort in New Zealand, Terrace Downs is a good place to base yourself for a vacation away from the crowds. Although not strictly in Methven, Terrace Downs is a 20-minute drive away, with spectacular views of the Rakaia Gorge and the looming presence of Mt. Hutt. Accommodations are in a series of contemporary one- to three-bedroom villas and larger fairway chalets perched on a ridge above the clubhouse and restaurant, with views from their balconies over the golf course and of the mountains.

Pros

  • 18-hole championship golf course
  • Day spa and extended list of on- and off-site activities
  • Kid's club and babysitting available

Cons

  • You'll need two nights if you want to really appreciate the surroundings and venue
  • High winds in this exposed area
  • The hotel has been through a series of management changes, and service can be varied
623 Coleridge Rd., Rakaia Gorge, 7572, New Zealand
03-318–6943
hotel Details
19 villas
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

Tussock Peak Motor Lodge

$$ | 25 Amuri Ave., Hanmer Springs, 7334, New Zealand

Adjacent to the thermal pools, this stylish, eco-friendly, 14-unit complex offers a choice of spacious one- and two-bedroom units. Most have sunny balconies with alpine views. There's a large parking lot in front and plenty of activities right on the doorstep.

Pros

  • Netflix on demand with smart TVs in every room
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Excellent power steam showers

Cons

  • Can be busy with lots of families during New Zealand school holidays
  • No air-conditioning in summer
  • Basic kitchen facilities in units
25 Amuri Ave., Hanmer Springs, 7334, New Zealand
03-315--5191
hotel Details
14 units
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

  • $$

Waipara Sleepers

$ | 10–12 Glenmark Dr., Waipara, 7483, New Zealand

Wake up to fresh-baked bread and newly laid eggs (when chickens are laying) at this basic-but-rather-quirky backpacker lodge housed in old railway carriages and huts. It's first-come, first-served for breakfast in the station waiting room (now a communal kitchen). Some of the carriages retain old leather seating and travel posters. There are also powered campervan sites and a number of tent sites, and they are close to the Weka Pass vintage railway.

Pros

  • Very rustic and rural
  • Complete with all the sounds and smells of the country
  • Good stop for anyone cycle-touring

Cons

  • Some of the accommodations and services are quite basic
  • Often cold at night
  • Cramped parking if it's busy
10–12 Glenmark Dr., Waipara, 7483, New Zealand
022-573–7101
hotel Details
6 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

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