The Best Hotels to Book in Picton, New Zealand, for Every Traveller

Forested slopes make their way down to turqoise water in Picton - find yourself in between with a Culture Trip stay
Forested slopes make their way down to turqoise water in Picton - find yourself in between with a Culture Trip stay | ©Yoal Desurmont / UnSplash
Alicia Miller

Tucked at the northern reaches of South Island, Picton is the gateway to Marlborough Sounds, a dramatic set of sunken river valleys that draws boaters, anglers and dolphin-spotters. But that’s not all this ridge-framed New Zealand town has going for it. You’re only a day trip from the Marlborough wine region – home to the country’s zingy sauvignon blancs – and just a ferry ride away from cutesy capital Wellington. Make the base for your adventures one of the best hotels in Picton, bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Picton Beachcomber Inn


Two black sun loungers by the pool at Picton Beachcomber Inn, situated by the harbour
Courtesy of Picton Beachcomber Inn /

The location couldn’t be more convenient: only moments from Picton’s restaurants, marina and boat-lined waterfront. Rooms are classic and comfy, but also bright, with many showing off views over the green forested slopes that encircle the town and the blue waterways that squiggle to the Insta-famous Marlborough Sounds. Count on the restaurant for a proper seafood feast, including tempura calamari, seafood chowder and mussels in a saffron broth.

2. Escape to Picton

Boutique Hotel

A regal-looking room with large bed and traditional design at Escape to Picton
Courtesy of Escape to Picton /

There’s a bit of old-world flair to this central restaurant with rooms, from the clapboard exterior and the chandeliers to thr rolltop bathtubs and sturdy wooden bannisters. The building dates back to 1902 – it was once Picton’s bank – and its owners nurture the nostalgic feel with a decadent afternoon tea, starring lemon curd tartlets, opera cake and, of course, fluffy scones with lashings of jam. The restaurant, serving pulled-lamb pie and sticky pork ribs, is one of the town’s favourites.

3. Gateway Motel


A small double room with abstract art and small window above the bed at Gateway Motel
Courtesy of Gateway Motel /

Friendly, helpful hosts Kent and Marie will make you feel welcome at the Gateway Motel. They can hook you up with local cruises, swimming with fur seals or guided treks – all right on your doorstep. And they’ve made sure that their rooms come kitted out with everything you’ll need, no matter how long you’re staying; even the smallest studio units feature kitchenettes and outdoor patio space, plus barbecue and laundry facilities.

4. Kippilaw House


A side view of Kippilaw House with multiple plants in the foreground
Courtesy of Kippilaw House /

The three-course gourmet breakfasts – majoring in hazelnut-topped fruit parfait, airy scones and decadent blueberry pancakes smothered in cream – aren’t the only thing that’s sensational about this B&B. There are the bloom-perfumed garden, fringed with a picket fence, and classy rooms, with marble-topped bedside tables, throw pillows and button-back armchairs. Best of all? The cooking classes, where you’ll learn to make delights from terrines to cheese.

5. Aldan Lodge Motel


An exterior view of the two-story Aldan Lodge Motel, with tree-covered mounds in the background
Courtesy of Aldan Lodge Motel /

All the essential comforts are here: a central location (minutes from Picton’s boat-bobbing waterfront), complimentary wifi and free-to-use barbecues if you’d like a DIY dinner (a large supermarket right across the street makes it a no-brainer). Split-level units let families spread out, while kitchenettes and dining spaces mean you’ll have breakfast in-room, saving cash for day trips exploring Marlborough Sounds or bottles of wine at nearby Nelson’s cellar doors.

6. Bay Vista Waterfront Motel Picton


A private social area in a suite room at Bay Vista Waterfront Motel Picton, with doors leading out toward the water
Courtesy of Bay Vista Waterfront Motel Picton /

Shimmering blue water, framed by undulating green ridges and studded with bobbing boats – the view is the number one selling point at this waterfront motel, kitted out with kitchenettes and laundry facilities. Because you’re in sleepy Waikawa, just a 5-minute drive away from Picton’s town centre, serenity is practically guaranteed, too – though you still have a full list of must-try activities right on your doorstep, including kayaking and mountain biking.

7. Jasmine Court Motel


A black sofa situated in front of a wall-mounted TV with an open plan kitchen at Jasmine Court Motel
Courtesy of Jasmine Court Motel /

With loads of different room categories to choose from, this self-catering option can suit travellers who might typically find apartment-style motels either too small or too big. Cream- and red-hued standard options sleep just two, while the largest two-bedroom spa units sleep up to five (and come with sink-in double spa baths for evening relaxation). Hosts Caron and Quinton work hard to ensure the whole place is spotlessly clean, too.

8. AAA Marlin Motel


A wooden patio area with small table, fresh fruit and champagne at AAA Marlin Motel
Courtesy of AAA Marlin Motel /

Mountain views from your terrace are the perfect sun-drenched moment to accompany a glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. And they come as part of the package at this motel, a short drive beyond Picton town centre. So, too, do comfortable rooms with microwaves and, sometimes, kitchenettes. Book two nights or more, and you’ll arrive to find a free bottle of wine in your room – a bonus that makes this reliable spot even better value.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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