Memorable Christchurch Accommodation Worth Travelling for
Looking for that one-of-a-kind Christchurch accommodation that will make your trip to Ōtautahi truly unforgettable? From fancy five-star hotel experiences to secluded cabins in the heart of wine country, whatever your needs and whatever your budget, our Christchurch accommodation guide has you covered.
Words; Julia Rutherford
Photos: Nancy Zhou
Christchurch’s location in the heart of the South Island makes it the ideal place to base yourself if you are wanting to explore the gems of Te Waipounamu. The city itself makes for a great long weekend away, or if you have the chance, spend a bit longer and enjoy everything Christchurch Ōtautahi has to offer.
High up on this list of offerings would have to be the many incredible accommodation options in and around Christchurch.
Whether you’re after a fancy five-star hotel experience or a secluded cabin in the heart of wine country, Christchurch and its surroundings have you, and whatever your budget is, covered.
From inner city hotel rooms with interiors so pretty they are trending on Instagram, to historic buildings that have been lovingly restored and given new life as luxurious accommodations, to getting out into nature and going off the grid, no matter where you choose it’s sure to be a memorable stay and well worth travelling for. Here is our guide to the best Christchurch accommodation.
The Observatory Hotel
9 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
What once housed the university departments of astronomy and physics is now home to 33 beautifully and uniquely designed rooms. Befitting its location, around the hotel there are artworks provided by The Central Art Gallery,- and if a piece catches your eye, you’re in luck as they are available to purchase (just use the QR code next to each piece).
On the doorstep, there are many incredible restaurants, such as Cellar Door (the wine flights are a must!), and boutique shops in and around the Arts Centre to take advantage of…everything you need for the most relaxing of stays.
155 Victoria Street, Christchurch
Looking for the ultimate in luxury? Then look no further than The Mayfair, perfectly positioned in and amongst the hustle and bustle of Victoria Street and mere metres away from Christchurch’s green space gem, Hagley Park.
Opened in mid-2022, no detail has been spared in the fit-out of this hotel. Each room is sumptuously appointed, from the interior decor to the latest in-room technology and bathroom amenities by Byredo. The in-house café and cocktail bar, Majestic at Mayfair, has you covered from breakfast to high tea, to an evening snack and nightcap of choice. It’s all about indulgence at The Mayfair, where elegance reigns supreme.
224 Rhodes Road, Tai Tapu
Set on a 30-acre estate of lush gardens and peaceful tranquillity, Otahuna Lodge in Tai Tapu is a mere 20 minute drive from the centre of Christchurch city.
Originally built in 1895, this grand homestead was lovingly restored by current owners Hall Cannon and Miles Refo and opened in 2007. Staying here is a true escape, and refined comfort is what they do best at Otahuna. Each of the seven suites is decked out in luxury, complete with deep-soaking bathtubs and bath products specially created for Otahuna.
The real cherry on top of a stay at Otahuna is the four-course dining experience, the cuisine celebrating the best in local produce, including estate-grown offerings. This degustation is known to be one of the best in the country, and with the impeccable service, you won’t want to leave Otahuna.
82 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
“Like always. Like never before.” This is the motto at Eliza’s Manor, and for this beautifully restored boutique hotel, it rings so true.
The manor house was built in 1861, and throughout its history has lived many lives, including serving as a boarding house, a private hospital, a lodging house, a family home and now as a luxury 5-star hotel.
A sense of heritage is everywhere at Eliza’s - the painstakingly preserved carved kauri staircase, the antique furnishings and the curation of the rooms. With the same owners as Christchurch foodie hotspot Miro, the menus for the onsite restaurant will have you salivating. Make sure to enjoy the incredible food, a drink or two in the courtyard bar or beer garden and their decadent high tea.
Pohatu Farm Stay
The farm stay at Pohatu, located on the south-eastern corner of Banks Peninsula, is the definition of a memorable stay worth travelling for.
Memorable in its beauty, its uniqueness (and it certainly is a bit of a four-wheel drive to get there), the scenic journey and the feeling of seclusion once you arrive. On this working sheep and cattle farm, there are four different accommodation units to stay in, including the Penguin Cottage and the Gypsy Wagon.
Alongside the farm animals, white-flippered penguins also inhabit the area, and at certain points of the year, an evening penguin tour is included. There are many incredible hiking trails in the area to explore, as well as the opportunity to go sea kayaking. So for those active relaxers with a keen sense of adventure, this is the stay for you.
216 Okuti Valley Road, Okuti Valley, Christchurch & Canterbury
otahuOkuti Garden is a friendly place - it’s eco-friendly, family-friendly and vegetarian-friendly - and quite simply put, a welcoming place to stay.
The lush garden is nestled in the valleys of Little River, and the accommodation options here are varied and can host up to 15 people. They include four yurts, a tipi and a house truck, plus you are welcome to bring your own tents too. Okuti Garden is often a space used to host retreats, weddings and other events, with a garden kitchen, a marquee space and various other facilities available to use. Its adaptability to be whatever kind of gathering place you need is what makes Okuti Gardens so special.
52 Main Road, Governors Bay, Christchurch & Canterbury
In just 20 minutes you can drive from the bustling city centre of Christchurch to the calm, serene bays on the other side of the Port Hills.
That is where you will find Ōtoromiro Hotel, with an incredible view across to Lyttelton Harbour and a property with beautiful surroundings. The restaurant at this hotel is beloved by locals, and on a sunny day, it’s hard to think of a better spot to sit on a deck with a selection of share plates and a glass of wine in hand. There are seven guest rooms at Ōtoromiro, all on the first floor of the building.
An insider tip… make sure you request one of the four rooms that have a balcony - it does make for the perfect spot for an afternoon of relaxation. To round out the experience, take a dip in the saltwater pool, and don’t worry it’s heated!
French Bay House
113 Rue Jolie, Akaroa, Christchurch & Canterbury
One of the area’s most scenic journeys would have to be the drive between Christchurch and Akaroa; those Banks Peninsula views are hard to beat.
When you reach Akaroa, it is a must to stay at the boutique bed and breakfast, the French Bay House. One of the area’s original homesteads, the building and its surroundings are pretty as a picture, and the hospitality of owners Jacqui and Tim will make you feel like you never want to leave! The four guest rooms here are cosy, with an inviting shared lounge, honesty bar system and a delicious breakfast each morning - cooked or continental, guest’s choice. It all makes for a seaside escape to remember.
Kumiko’s Guest House & Russell’s Cabins
618 Omihi Road, Waipara
The origin story of Kumiko’s Guest House is a heartwarming one.
Built in 1995 by Waipara wine legend Russell Black, this house was influenced by his wife Kumiko’s Japanese heritage. Fast forward to 2018, when it was bought by current owners Sue and Paul, who have extensively renovated the property, whilst staying true to the original design and homage to Japanese architecture.
Every detail has been carefully thought out and enacted, with the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi (perfect imperfection) at the heart of this guest house. Stunning Waipara views, a chef’s kitchen and generous bedrooms, makes this the perfect spot for families or groups wanting a special gathering place.
Sue and Paul have added to the property and there is now also the option to stay at Russell’s Cabins. Inspired by the classic Kiwi DOC hut, these three cabins (two are sleeping quarters and one is a living space) are labelled as a “fusion of luxury and a true kiwi camping experience.” You can’t go wrong with either choice of accommodation, and their proximity to the wineries of Waipara really is the icing on the cake.
Throughout the country, there are structures that have taken on new lives as creative accommodation spots and in Little River, you will find one such example. Eight grain silos have been converted into the very unique SiloStay, each one a self-contained three-storey unit with everything you need for the cosiest of stays.
The furnishings and fit out are all custom made, due to the curved nature of the silos, and there’s even the ability to stargaze from inside via the skylight feature. This location is perfect for exploring Banks Peninsula, with Akaroa only 30 minutes in one direction and a whole host of other bays close by. Or you might want to stay super local and enjoy everything Little River has to offer, from beautiful walks to the art gallery and cafe right next door to the silos.
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