The Best Spa Hotels in Canterbury, New Zealand

Canterbury provides the ideal landscapes for travellers looking to relax and recharge
Canterbury provides the ideal landscapes for travellers looking to relax and recharge | Courtesy of MT Cook Lakeside Retreat / Expedia
Alexis James

From the whale-hosting shores of Kaikoura to the alpine serenity of Lake Tekapo, Canterbury provides the ideal landscape for travellers looking to relax. We’ve put together a list of the best wellness and spa hotels in Canterbury, the most laid-back region of New Zealand’s South Island.

1. Braemar Lodge and Spa

Hotel, Spa Hotel

The exterior of the Braemar Lodge and Spa.
Courtesy of Braemar Lodge and Spa / Expedia

Breathe in the fresh air from your private balcony overlooking the geothermal landscape of Hanmer Springs. All suites at this spa in Canterbury feature open-plan sleeping and living areas, super-king beds, gas fires and marble bathrooms with double spa baths. With the view arguably even better at night, don’t miss the option of an outdoor hot tub for a front row seat of the starry sky.

2. Revive on Oakview Boutique Accommodation and Spa

Hotel, Spa Hotel, Boutique Hotel

A woman relaxing in a wooden hot tub next to a pond.
Courtesy of Revive on Oakview Boutique Accommodation and Spa / Expedia

A 10-minute drive south of Ashburton leads to this secluded boutique hotel in Canterbury, run by Nicky and Simon on their 32-acre (13ha) plot. Overnight packages see guests stay at the Oakview Suite while enjoying a choice of spa treatments including facials, electrolysis and massage. Home-cooked meals including breakfast and dinner platters are served in your suite, while a wood-fired hot tub is among the optional extras.

3. Heritage Christchurch

Hotel, Spa Hotel

The grand exterior of the Heritage Christchurch.
Courtesy of Heritage Christchurch / Expedia

Opened in 1913, this Category I-listed building south of the Avon River brings the Italian Renaissance to New Zealand’s second city. In the shadows of Christchurch Cathedral, accommodation comprises one- to three-bedroom self-contained suites, all of which offer kitchen facilities with fridge, oven and dishwasher. You’ll also have access to a well-equipped gym, jacuzzi, sauna and heated lap pool.

4. Sudima Christchurch City

Spa Hotel, Hotel

A luxurious spa waiting area.
Courtesy of Sudima Christchurch City / Expedia

The yoga mats provided in the spacious rooms at the Canterbury spa hotel hint at the tranquil vibe at Sudima. Other neat touches include an Amazon Echo Dot in each room, complimentary streamed movies and a babysitting service for kids. You’ll wake up each morning to a cooked breakfast at the hotel’s Vices and Virtues restaurant, where the locally sourced menu, including sustainable line-caught fish, persuades many to return for dinner.

5. Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses

Hotel

The pool and landscaped gardens outside the Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses.
Courtesy of Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses / Expedia

Sleep among the canopy of kanuka groves overlooking the Pacific Ocean in one of five treehouses at the base of the Kaikoura Mountains. Located on a deer farm and only 10 minutes from Kaikoura’s whale-watching and dolphin-spotting excursions, nature takes centre stage. Food is another passion, as chefs cook vegetables, venison and crayfish that are all grown, reared and caught within metres of where they are served.

6. Mantra Lake Tekapo

Hotel, Spa Hotel

Te pool area, landscaped gardens and exterior of Mantra Lake Tekapo.
Courtesy of Mantra Lake Tekapo / Expedia

The underfloor bathroom heating is a welcome feature during the winter ski season at Mantra Lake Tekapo, as is the outdoor stone fireplace near the BBQ and pool. Each of the 28 apartments at this luxury spa hotel in Canterbury come with a private balcony and magnificent alpine view. There’s also a sizeable kitchenette, though guests preferring to dine out can tuck into a three-course set menu at the nearby Rakinui Restaurant, including Canterbury rack of lamb.

7. Otahuna Lodge

Hotel, Lodge

Built in 1895 for Victorian gent Sir Heaton Rhodes, this regal estate offers you a choice of seven luxury suites. Formerly the master bedroom, the highlight is the Rhodes Suite, with its stained-glass windows, grand fireplace and private balcony overlooking the Canterbury plains. The wine cellar is a sommelier’s dream, set into a hillside in what used to be the game house, ensuring ideal temperatures and humidity.

8. Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat

Eco Hotel, Lodge, Luxury

A woman relaxing in a sunken stone hot tub with mountain view behind her.
Courtesy of Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat / Expedia

Photograph the clouds caressing the tip of Aoraki (Mount Cook) from these two villas on the water’s edge of Lake Pukaki. The views can also be enjoyed from the outdoor hot tub, part of a private spa that also includes a sauna, workout room and massage room. Holistic therapies can also be experienced al fresco, and the retreat even puts on mind-bending stargazing events from its wine-cellar observatory.

9. Lakestone Lodge

Eco-Lodge

Snow capped mountains can be seen across the lake from the pool area at Lakestone Lodge.
Courtesy of Lakestone Lodge / Expedia

Sat on the southernmost shore of Lake Pukaki, these six lodge guest rooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows, taking full advantage of the breathtaking Southern Alps from this spa near Canterbury. An on-site chef serves up a cooked breakfast delivered to your lodge every morning. If the view of Aoraki brings out the adventurer in you, bike hire is free, and access to the Alps 2 Ocean trail is within easy reach.

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