Posted: 2/10/2024 | February 10th, 2024
The largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch is a popular stop for pretty much anyone traveling around the country. The city was severely damaged by massive earthquakes between 2010 and 2012, which killed hundreds and injured thousands, but has since been revitalized and reborn.
Home to just under 400,000 people, this small city is filled with cool markets, funky bars, and lots of new and trendy restaurants. Admittedly, there aren’t a ton of things to see and do here, but that doesn’t mean the city is boring and should be skipped. There’s fun nightlife, cool museums, and tons of green space where you can lounge away the day or go hiking. It’s a relaxed destination perfect for a couple of days of exploring and taking in the pace of local life.
To help you plan your visit, here’s my list of the best hotels in Christchurch:
1. Carnmore Hotel
Located downtown in Central/City-Centre, this is a modern, stylish four-star hotel within walking distance of most of the city’s main sights. While there’s no included breakfast, the on-site bar and bistro open early and serve delicious locally sourced food. The rooms here are bright and spacious, with colorful wallpaper and a simple, minimalist design. Everything feels new and there’s lots of natural light in all the rooms. The beds are comfy, and the rooms include a TV, desk, AC, and a coffee/tea maker. The showers have excellent water pressure too. If you want to stay in the center of it all, stay here.
2. The Observatory Hotel
If you want to stay downtown and are looking to splurge, this luxe five-star hotel is located in a massive, palatial building once home to an actual observatory. It’s a lavish boutique property with just 33 rooms, each featuring antique furniture and a unique, colorful décor. The hotel feels cozy and historic; the lounge is particularly stunning, with exposed brick walls and hardwood floors, giving it a very warm and rustic feel.
The rooms (and bathrooms) are large and airy, with incredibly comfortable beds, coffee/tea makers, Bluetooth speakers, plush bathrobes, and luxurious bath products. There’s free parking, complimentary continental breakfast served each morning in the lobby, and a fitness center on-site. It’s just a five-minute walk to the popular (and must-visit) Canterbury Museum too.
3. Pavilions Hotel
Located in Merivale, a hip suburb north of City-Centre, this is an unpretentious, affordable hotel that’s clean and comfortable. It has a contemporary design and large, modern rooms with smart TVs, mini fridges, and large desks. A four-star property, there are two restaurants on-site as well as a buffet breakfast in the mornings (not included though). There’s also a heated outdoor pool, sauna, and a small fitness center.
The rooms are all large and well-lit, the beds are comfy, the bathrooms are roomy, and the shower has pretty good water pressure. There’s also free parking (an important plus if you’re on a road trip) as well as larger family rooms if you’re traveling as a group.
4. The Mayfair
Just south of Merivale and perched at the edge of the sprawling Hagley Park, this sleek and stylish five-star hotel makes a posh impression. Everything here is modern and clean. It’s a very good minimalist design. The rooms are bright and feature a flat-screen TV, minibar, desk, a coffee/tea maker, a bathroom with a walk-in shower, and excellent soundproofing. There’s a bar and café on-site, and while breakfast is not included, it is delicious and includes lots of fresh, local food. Some rooms even have stunning views over the nearby mountains (try to get one of those).
5. Chateau on the Park
West of Hagley Park on the eastern edge of Riccarton (an area with lots of students and affordable nightlife), this four-star hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens. An incredibly picturesque property with beautiful architecture (it looks like a cross between a rustic lodge and a charming mansion), it’s just a five-minute drive from downtown. The hotel has a modern interior design and features a simple but contemporary décor. Rooms are bright and sizable, boasting flat-screen TVs, desks, coffee/tea makers, and large bathrooms. The beds are super comfy too.
If you have a vehicle, there’s free parking. There’s a bar and a restaurant on-site too (the latter offering a sprawling buffet breakfast), as well as a fitness center and an outdoor pool.
6. Dyers House
This charming B&B is located in a century-old Edwardian-style home. The house is massive and stunning, with large rooms that invite in lots of natural light. Some have beautiful views of the nearby hills, while others have patios or views of the relaxing garden. The owners are especially welcoming and helpful and go out of their way to make sure you have an exceptional stay. The included breakfast is delicious, with lots of fresh fruit and pastries, and the dining room itself offers gorgeous views of the surrounding area.
The rooms have underfloor heating, comfortable beds with mattress toppers, luxurious bathrooms with walk-in showers and high-end bath products, and there are even complimentary in-room snacks available too. It’s my favorite B&B in the area.
Christchurch is a main stop on pretty much every trip around the South Island of New Zealand. And while it is a smaller city, there’s enough to keep you busy for a couple of days (especially if you enjoy the outdoors). By choosing one of the hotels above for your stay, you’ll set yourself up for a restful and enjoyable time in one of New Zealand’s most popular cities.
Book Your Trip to New Zealand: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
If you’re looking for more places to stay, here is a complete list of my favorite hostels in New Zealand.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on New Zealand?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on New Zealand for even more planning tips!