Christchurch hotels, much like the city itself, are a mix of styles. Some are traditional luxury hotels, while other properties are best suited to budget travelers. Some are right in the heart of the city while others overlook a sheep farm. In and around the Garden City, the center of tourism on New Zealand’s South Island, you’ll also find accommodations that match the city’s creativity and quintessential Kiwi charm, including bed-and-breakfast inns, farm stays, and country lodges. Whether you’ve spent the day mountain biking, watching for whales, or something else that suits your style, you’ll need somewhere to rest up for the night. With the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, several of the Christchurch hotels were damaged or outright destroyed. Most are being rebuilt, but you’ll want to make sure you have updated information when you’re deciding where to stay.
The third-largest city in New Zealand is the best place to find luxury hotels on the South Island. A legend beyond the island, the George is one of the country’s best hotels. The luxury property, situated between the River Avon and Hagley Park in central Christchurch, combines plush surroundings with top-flight, friendly service. The 53 rooms and suites come standard with 32-inch flat-screen TVs, WiFi and evening turndown service, along with complimentary parking and gym access. The property is also home to some of the best dining in Christchurch, within walking distance of many of the city’s top things to do.
If you’d rather spend your money on penguin souvenirs at the International Arctic Centre or you’re traveling on a tight budget, staying at a motel would be a good choice. Many of the motels are located right in Christchurch, by its gardens, so you don’t have to spend a lot to stay in town or spend a lot of time driving from far away. The Bellagio Motel Suites is one of those places located in the city center; it offers boutique style without the high price tag to match. Like many of the Christchurch hotels in this part of town, the Bellagio was heavily damaged by the quakes. It was completely rebuilt, opening in early 2013. Guests can expect to find styling suites with flat-screens and contemporary design.
Bed & Breakfasts
For a taste of that legendary—and heartfelt—Kiwi hospitality, a stay in one of the bed and breakfasts is an excellent choice for Christchurch hotels. Elegant historic homes, garden chalets, and other distinctive residences have been transformed into places to stay, eating well, and making new friends with the innkeepers. Dyers House, overlooking the Cashmere Hills, is a labor of love for Barry and Angela. Both business travelers and sweethearts are welcome at the inn where the luxury accommodations and gourmet food are as pleasing as the views. The Stoneleigh Lodge also specializes in a casual luxury; this French-style chateau is located 20 minutes outside of town, in the heart of the island’s outdoor adventure playground.
If you’re looking for something beyond the obvious Christchurch hotels, you’re options are plentiful. Christchurch is a modern city, for sure, but it’s not far from wide-open green spaces where sheep graze and the skies seem endless. Some of the region’s farms are turned for visitors, offering comfortable accommodations and a host of activities. Along with farmstay properties, you’ll also find country lodges—private retreats nestled besides lakes, in the mountains, or close to the Merino sheep fields. Holiday parks are a third option for countryside lodging minutes from Christchurch. They’re favored by families and backpackers as well as nature lovers—some sites have traditional camping accommodations while others feature cabins and lodges available to guests to enjoy.