The Best Hotels in Napier for Every Traveller

Much of Napiers architecture is art deco as the town was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1931
Much of Napier's architecture is art deco as the town was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1931 | © All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo
Alex Allen

In the southern crook of Hawke Bay, on the southeast coast of the North Island of New Zealand, the wonderful Napier is an essential stopover on your grand tour of the country. Art deco architecture, more than 70 local wineries serving world-class Hawke’s Bay wines and creative energy means streets dotted with antique shops, art galleries and craft studios. Here are the best places to bunk down on your way through Napier – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. The Nautilus Napier


The balcony clad exterior of the Nautilus Napier with palm trees and parking bays
Courtesy of the Nautilus Napier / Expedia

Right on the beach and only a 10-minute walk from central Tennyson Street, this modest but immaculately clean and comfortable studio-and-suites hotel has top views of the sparkling Pacific from almost every room. Most come equipped with a spa bath, and there are subtle nods to the area’s Art Deco heritage in the elegantly curved bedside tables and headboard. The on-site restaurant, Burton’s, serves up bistro classics (think seafood chowder and steak) for when you want an easy evening out.

2. The County Hotel


Double room at the Country Hotel features a dark blue bed with wooden furnishings
Courtesy of Country Hotel / Expedia

You’ll feel like a character in a film noir or an F Scott Fitzgerald novel as you pull up outside this handsome slab of Art Deco details in the city centre. Inside, the high ceilings and towering windows flood the rooms with natural light, which means that the wine-red carpets, drapes and bedclothes and dark wood furniture are saved from being oppressive. In fact, the proportions of the entry-level rooms are so generous here that you needn’t blow the budget on a suite. Instead, spend it at the hotel’s excellent Wine Street restaurant, or its Churchill Bar, buzzy with the clinking of champagne flutes.

3. Quest Napier


Quest Napier Serviced Apartments room with twin beds, ceiling fan and forest views
Courtesy of Quest Napier Serviced Apartments / Expedia

What these stylish studios, one- and two-bedroom serviced apartments in Napier’s Art Deco centre might lack in period details, they more than make up for in contemporary style. Reclaimed honey-coloured floorboards add warmth and texture to the monochrome palette of charcoal, white and stainless steel. Each apartment room also comes outfitted with everything you’d need to help you feel like a local: a roomy, fully equipped kitchenette, high-speed internet, work desk and an LCD TV with Sky built-in.

4. The Dome


The Dome balcony with a sea view and cosy seating area
Courtesy of the Dome / Expedia

Not just the most iconic of Napier’s Art Deco hotels, this is one of the most photographed buildings in the country. Built in 1935, it’s not hard to see where this boutique studio-and-suites hotel got its name – from the Spanish mission-style copper-roofed cupola perched on top of the building like a cloche. Contrasting stylishly with the grandiosity of the hotel’s architecture, its interiors are modern and pared-back: monochromatic bedding, clear plastic Philippe Starck bar stools and squishy black leather sofas. It’s not all black and white, though, as balcony doors slide open to reveal turquoise sea views.

5. The Crown Hotel Napier

Suite Hotel, Hotel

The Crown Hotel room with patter carpet and blankets on bed, chandelier above
Courtesy of the Crown Hotel / Expedia

This all-suites hotel, in the pretty north Napier suburb of Ahuriri, is just moments from Perfume Point beach, where the blue Pacific meets volcanic, slate-grey sand. Inside, the suites are light-filled and elegantly decorated with leggy furniture and plush fabrics such as velvet bedspreads. Balconies open onto views across Hawke’s Bay and north up the rugged volcanic coastline. And there’s no need to look further than on-site Milk and Honey Restaurant for modern pan-Pacific bites such as Korean fried chicken or locally sourced ceviche.

6. Navigate Seaside Hotel


Twin room at Navigate Seaside Hotel with modern furnishings and plush details
Courtesy of Navigate Seaside Hotel / Expedia

The dated website doesn’t do this bright and breezy beachside Ahuriri hotel justice. Its handful of suites and studios are generously proportioned, and with the 1960s nods in the patterned headboards, retro revolving chairs and leggy tables, it feels more like staying in your own bohemian beachfront apartment than in a hotel. Plus, you’re just across the quay from Westshore Beach, Napier’s only bonafide surfing spot, so grab some beers and head down to watch the long-haired dudes do their thing.

7. Scenic Hotel Te Pania


The crescent shaped exterior of the Scenic Hotel Te Pania on a tree-lined street next to the shore.
Courtesy of Scenic Hotel Te Pania / Expedia

Set your alarm early, as, from the ocean-facing rooms of this sleek, crescent-shaped hotel, you’ll be one of the first people on the planet to watch the sunrise. Bucking the ArtDeco trend, interiors here are all frosted glass corridors, pin-point spotlighting and crisp white walls. In the best way, it feels a bit like spending the night in a state-of-the-art private health centre. And if it’s a health kick you’re looking for, take advantage of the free access to the neighbouring Ocean Spa Gym.

8. Kalldeen Luxury Accommodation

Suite Hotel

The beautiful Kalldeen Luxury Accommodation property with a pool, tennis courts and gardens
Courtesy of Kalldeen Luxury Accommodation / Expedia

Surrounded by acres of fruit orchards and sheep-grazed fields, this cluster of eco-savvy chalets and suites is still only a 10-minute drive from the centre of Napier – and five from the excellent Church Road Winery. The two chalets are open-plan, with warm wood floors, a cute country-style kitchen and a private patio garden with a spa pool. The three spacious suites have a smaller kitchenette and private patios that look out across the landscape – an ideal spot for recovering from jet lag.

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