Head to Napier-Hastings in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, for vineyard tours, 1930s architecture and hikes – all while bedding down in these top cheap motels in Hastings, now bookable with Culture Trip.
The Hawke’s Bay region on the North Island’s east coast is beloved for its prolific wineries and fertile farmland, but most visitors stay in and around its major urban area, Napier-Hastings. An advantage of staying in Hastings town is the proximity to Splash Planet, an outdoor water park, but coastal Napier makes a great base for travellers interested in art deco architecture (the whole city was rebuilt following a major earthquake in 1931). There are also nearby surf beaches and a port that oversees the export of lamb, wool, fruit and wine. It’s all beneath the shelter of Te Mata Peak, a green-carpeted mountain that curves 400m (1,312ft) upwards from the wine-producing Heretaunga Plains and tempts hikers and cyclists for its panoramic views. After all that exploring, you’ll want to settle in for the night with a glass of local syrah or chardonnay at sunset, in one of these affordable motels or bed and breakfasts.
In a city full of art deco architecture, McHardy Lodge is strikingly different. This renovated 1890s villa comes with four-poster beds, antique-style furniture, a wraparound deck and even a billiards table. It’s close enough to Downtown Napier to be convenient, but far enough away to be peaceful, on Napier Hill, overlooking the city, the ocean and the mountains beyond. The outdoor swimming pool is inviting on a hot summer’s day.
Another grand, late-19th-century homestead that’s been turned into boutique accommodation, Greenhill Lodge was designed for aristocratic tastes and comes with a three-story viewing turret, a rare sight in New Zealand. Guest rooms are in the lodge building itself as well as a separate cottage, which has an outdoor claw-footed bathtub. Enjoy sweeping views of Hawke’s Bay from the colonial-era gardens (or your personal outdoor tub if you book that most special room).
Another motel in the heart of Hastings, Cumberland Court is equipped with spa baths in every room, and the large pool and gym next door are free to use. Choose between studios and one- or two-bedrooms accommodating groups of varying sizes. Cooked and continental breakfasts are also provided.
With an outdoor pool, spa baths in most units, a BBQ area and rooms in many different configurations, Valdez Motor Lodge is a convenient option for large groups with complex room requirements. It’s in central Hastings, near the Showgrounds that host the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market on Sunday mornings – a good place to stock up on local produce to prepare in your fully equipped kitchen.
Te Mata Lodge is well-positioned for exploring one of the finest food and drink hubs in Hawke’s Bay: Havelock North, which is known for its bar-and-restaurant scene. Rooms are all equipped with super-king beds and spa baths. Air conditioning is available in all units (not something to be taken for granted in New Zealand), so Te Mata Lodge is a good option for summer travels.
Liz on Lowry is homely accommodation in Hastings with shared facilities, including a lounge, garden, terrace and kitchen. If you’re looking for more of a home from home and less of a cookie-cutter motel, pick Liz on Lowry. Daily continental breakfasts are provided to guests. The gorgeous pink magnolia tree in the garden adds a splash of colour in the winter.
This pint-sized, boutique B&B in Napier has some handy freebies. It’s close to Hawke’s Bay Airport, and the hosts offer complimentary transfers, as well as complimentary wine that they make on site. Breakfast is also included. Perched above Napier, the four ensuite rooms either look out over the attractive gardens or the spacious lawns, with rolling farmland and the sea beyond.
Continue exploring the rest of New Zealand’s North Island by using one of the best places to stay in Hastings or one of the best hotels in Wellington as a base. They’re all bookable now with Culture Trip. Fill up your itinerary with the best outdoor activities in Auckland, or entertain the family with the best things to do with kids in the city. Enjoy the sea at the best beaches near Wellington.
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