Kaikoura, on the South Island of New Zealand, is popular with with wildlife lovers and those wanting to hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. If you’re looking for a nice place to stay in this coastal town, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of options available for all budgets, tastes and travel needs. The very best of these range from charming boutique hotels to hospitable self-catered units. Here’s a showcase of the finest offerings in this eco-friendly New Zealand destination.
Touted as the only boutique hotel in town, Kaikoura Boutique Hotel is ideally located right by the waterfront and is handy for a number of attractions like Fyffe House and the Kaikoura Museum. There are 12 smoke-free rooms to choose from, many of which face the hotel’s lovely courtyard garden. The Historic Waterfront Room is where you’ll get to soak up the waterfront vistas – you might even catch sight of dolphins on the odd occasion. Breakfast is complimentary for all guests and includes freshly made barista coffee every morning.
With four guest rooms, stunning mountain views and a manicured veranda, Nikau Lodge is the ideal choice for those wanting a retreat that’s still within reach of all of Kaikoura’s action. If you want to mingle with other like-minded guests, there’s a shared lounge with satellite TV and a roaring fireplace to warm up next to in the snowy winters. Fully cooked breakfasts are available every morning, home baking is offered as a complimentary treat for all guests, and courtesy pick-ups and drop-offs can be arranged upon request.
For those looking for a private, intimate setting, Bendamere House Bed and Breakfast is the ideal option. There are five en-suites to choose from, all of which are equipped with tea and coffee facilities, fridges, TVs, air conditioning, plush beds and electric blankets. On top of that, each room has its own private balcony with breathtaking ocean and mountain views. Homemade baking and spreads can be enjoyed in the communal dining area when the continental breakfasts are ready to be served.
Kaikoura Gateway Motor Lodge is well regarded thanks to its quiet and peaceful, but central location. The motel comprises 20 self-contained rooms, ranging from single studios to two-bedroom units, plus three special accommodation options devised to be fully wheelchair-friendly. All guests get to enjoy the lodge’s solar-heated swimming pools, sauna and barbecue area, and there’s a playground right next to the premises. Some rooms are also fitted with their own spas and air conditioning for additional comfort. There are conference facilities available for hire if you’re in Kaikoura to mark a special occasion.
Alpine View Motel is a good go-to on a hot summer day: it is right next to the beach, and there is a spacious outdoor barbecue area for guests wanting to relish the extended sunshine hours with their family or travel companions. Being off the main street, the motel also enjoys plenty of peace and quiet without foregoing the essential facilities. There are 12 self-contained apartments available, ranging from single studios to one- and two-bedroom family lodgings.
Bella Vista Motel offers a good base for some of Kaikoura’s best activities: it is just a five-minute walk from the town centre as well as being 10 minutes away from the main whale and dolphin encounter tour operators. Room options range from single queen studios to four-sleeper bedroom suites – all of which come with their own tea/coffee-making amenities, toaster, fridge and some basic cooking facilities. On-site parking is free, and families with globe-trotting tots can request cribs, high chairs and interconnecting rooms if needed.
The White Morph offers self-contained accommodation options with a luxurious flair. Its location on Kaikoura’s Esplanade means that guests are always surrounded by the town’s exquisite ocean vistas. Five-star rooms come with their own spa pools, and some even have their own private balconies to allow guests to bask at those postcard-worthy views. Four-star accommodation options include fully furnished family apartments, deluxe upstairs bedroom suites and garden studios for solo travellers wanting an extra layer of comfort.
Alicia Miller contributed additional reporting to this article.