The Best Hotels in Dunedin for Every Traveller

Dunedin District Courts and train station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand
Dunedin District Courts and train station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand | © Scott Kemper / Alamy Stock Photo
Alex Allen

On the southeast coast of New Zealand’s gorgeous South Island, the city of Dunedin is a busy, buzzy place with a young and up-for-anything population. Whether you’re drinking Kiwi wine on George Street or just hanging out in the Dunedin North neighbourhood, you’ll feel welcome here. So where to lay your hat? From boutique bases to hip motels, we know the best places to relax in Dunedin.

1. The Chamberson Hotel

Hotel, Apartment

The Chambers
Courtesy of The Chamberson / Expedia

There’s only one word for this boutique hotel in a heritage-listed former warehouse in central Dunedin, and that’s cool. From the exposed red-brick walls, backlit headboards, moody colour palette and elegant, Nordic-sleek furnishings, it’s jam-packed with little “wow” moments. Crucially, and true to New Zealand’s laid-back ethos, it’s neither pretentious nor fussy. Staff are warm and instinctively helpful, with genuine personal recommendations to share, rather than the usual tourist spots.

2. Amross Motel

Motel

Amross Motel
Courtesy of Amross Motel / Expedia

It’s a motel, but not as you know it. Soundproofed rooms, high-speed internet, thousands of free films loaded onto flatscreen TVs. This friendly, family-run pad certainly raises the bar. Rooms are modestly decorated but spotless – and come with their own fully-equipped kitchenette and at least king-size beds. Just five minutes’ north of Dunedin’s city centre, staying here on George Street, you’re a stone’s throw from shops and restaurants, and even closer to the Otago Museum, home to many natural history exhibits – and a planetarium.

3. Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Hotel

Distinction Dunedin
Courtesy of Distinction Dunedin Hotel / Expedia

The name’s a little bit corny, but that’s the only smudge against this otherwise impeccably stylish city centre hotel. Housed in a handsome, subtly art-deco slab of a building, which once served as the city’s chief post office, the rooms are generous, as you might expect. Warm tones of grey and putty softly echo the building’s stony exterior, while pops of acid yellow and denim blue in the soft furnishings, and sleek walnut furniture, bring things bang up-to-date.

4. Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

Hotel

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Courtesy of Scenic Hotel Southern Cross / Expedia

If location is key, you won’t get much closer to the heart of things than here, less than 500m from the centre of Dunedin’s Octagon plaza. The price to pay? Rooms that somehow walk a tightrope between corporate-plain and granny-flat-dated, with green carpets and purple divans, tartan wingback armchairs and gold picture frames. That said, they’re spotlessly clean, and those armchairs will induce a state of soporific comfort, especially with a blanket draped over your lap.

5. Aria on Bank

Motel

Aria on Bank
Courtesy of Aria on Bank / Expedia

Motels with more (moretels?) seems to be something Dunedin does especially well, as this group of self-contained studio and suite units proves. Details such as satin-sheeny roman blinds, sleek, white designer kitchenettes and – in the mezzanine rooms – high, attic-like ceilings, will make you feel more like you’re staying in a friend’s very trendy suburban cottage than a motel. It’s a little bit further from the city centre (although still not all that far – just six minutes’ drive), but Aria on Bank makes up for it with its location, right opposite the rambling Dunedin Botanic Gardens.

6. Beechwood Boutique Accommodation

Motel

Beechwood Boutique Accomodation
Courtesy of Beechwood Boutique Accommodation / Expedia

You know you’re in the company of clever design when even the smallest of rooms – we’re talking a short corridor with a bed, bathroom and kitchenette crammed in – is swooningly cosy rather than claustrophobic. The trick they’ve used in the smallest “compact double” room at this chic motel, in buzzy Dunedin North, is to add dimension by covering one wall in an epic high-resolution image of New Zealand’s landscape. Choose one of the other, larger suites or studios, however, and there are no trompe-l’oeils needed, as they’re big, bright and beautifully furnished.

7. Bluestone on George

Serviced Apartment

Bluestone On George
Courtesy of Bluestone On George / Expedia

Looking a bit like a modern townhouse, this hotel of self-contained apartments doesn’t appear remotely out of place in the leafy, residential neighbourhood of north Dunedin. The apartments, too, are homely – with prettily shaded bedside lights, soothing tones of sky blue, gold and fawn, and massive french doors opening onto balconies and patios. Put a bottle of Otago Valley wine to chill in the fridge, settle down and make yourself at home. You’re going to like it here.

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