With so many natural wonders on its doorstep, it’s a no-brainer that New Zealand offers a trove of sustainable accommodation options to its visitors. Whether you’re searching for that ideal romantic retreat or you’re on the prowl for an eco-friendly holiday, here are 10 of the best hotels and stays you’ll have at your disposal.
Chalet Eiger is a boutique lodge nestled above the scenic Acadia Valley in Lake Taupo. Besides offering some lovely lake views, this environmentally-friendly accommodation is known for its privacy and tranquility. Guests get to choose between luxury suites that are spread between two floors and have access to a spacious outdoor entertainment area and opulent guest lounge. Food is another highlight here; cooked-to-order breakfasts and lunches are available, and you can have a two-course dinner for an extra fee. All food uses locally sourced ingredients, including produce from the lodge’s very own vegetable garden.
Split Apple Lodge is located just outside of Kaiteriteri, in a stunning setting which offers the ideal base for those wanting to explore Abel Tasman National Park. Eco-friendliness is this accommodation’s strong suit; the hosts have taken extra care to provide energy efficient facilities (LED lighting is found throughout the premises), all rubbish is recycled, food leftovers are composted and the lodge’s water supply is 100% rainwater-based. Room options include a mountain view apartment, three sea view rooms and three mountain view rooms, all of which come with complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and spa access.
Private, sustainable and self-contained, Catlins Mohua Park has all the right elements for the ultimate South Island countryside escape. The park’s four self-catering cottages are designed to be shared by two people and offer some great views of the Catlins River and forest. In-house meals are also available upon request; a combination of home-grown and locally sourced produce is used in its wholesome food offerings. As a bonus, Catlins Mohua Park also offers guided wildlife tours of the area.
Tucked amid a lush bush setting just a few minutes from Kaiteriteri Beach, Kimi Ora Eco Resort allows its guests to enjoy nature at its finest. Accommodation options range from self-contained wooden chalets to stylish spa suites and airy studio units. Solar water heating and energy efficient lighting are some of the sustainable features on-site. A fully licensed vegetarian restaurant that primarily uses in-house, local and organic produce in its meals is another eco-friendly highlight in this stunning getaway.
SiloStay takes eco-friendliness to a whole new level. Here we have a selection of self-catered apartments made out of re-purposed grain silos. The accommodation is set at the heart of Little River, just under an hour’s drive from Christchurch city en route to the picturesque town of Akaroa, and enjoys easy access to a local cycling trail. Each of the two-level cylindrical ‘apartments’ feature their own kitchenettes, en-suite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi; bike hire and off-street parking are also available.
Located right on the water’s edge in the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound, the Lochmara Lodge offers plenty of opportunities to get up close to nature. Getting there is an adventure in itself, as there’s no road access; in order to reach it, you need to take a water taxi from the port town of Picton. On arrival, guests get to experience local wildlife encounters, have easy access to the famous Queen Charlotte Track and will relish a lovely selection of chalets and apartment units that cater to everyone from solo travellers to holidaying families.
Sans Souci Inn is a family-owned operation that takes pride in ensuring all its facilities are sustainable: its seven-bedroom adobe-lined building is surrounded by subtropical vegetation; the shared bathroom and shower facilities are fitted with composting toilets; and the communal dining room and lounge areas are heated by a mud oven in the winter months. The artsy, Mediterranean-style lodge is located just a short stroll from Golden Bay’s pristine Pohara Beach, near Abel Tasman National Park. Self-contained family units are available for those who enjoy a bit of self-catering and plenty of privacy. Sans Souci Inn also has its own restaurant, which has earned a solid reputation for fresh slow-cooked dinners — naturally most ingredients come straight from the lodge’s organic garden.
The Eco Villa is a boutique hotel in Christchurch city known for its sustainable conscience. Free bicycle hire, an edible garden, outdoor baths and fully equipped shared cooking and dining facilities allow like-minded travellers to enjoy their surroundings without needing to fret about their carbon footprint. Whenever guests seek a bit of privacy, they can escape into one of the eight bespoke rooms, all of which come with complimentary internet access, air conditioning, modern furnishings and wooden adornments that give each room a unique personality.
The Rainforest Retreat lies among the native forestry that surrounds Franz Josef Village, and has been designed with the intention of making the most of its natural West Coast environment. The West Coast Wildlife Centre is just a three-minute walk from the accommodation and the iconic Franz Josef Glacier is within a few minutes’ driving distance. The retreat caters to all travel budgets and features a holiday park with campervan facilities, motel rooms, ‘flashpacker’ dorms, as well as luxury cottages, tree houses and tree huts.
The Birds Ferry Lodge is an eco-friendly bed and breakfast with a luxurious flair. It’s an ideal option for the nature-loving couple heading on a South Island expedition. Not only is the the lodge handy to a number of hiking and cycling trails and the iconic Pancake Rocks, the accommodation has its own set of pamper packages for the romantic souls among us. The latter includes holistic massages, private cottage accommodation and a special dinner for two. True to its exclusive appeal, Birds Ferry Lodge consists of two rooms; complimentary home-cooked breakfasts, made with the lodge’s own organic fruit and produce, are a given no matter which accommodation offering you go for.