While New Zealand’s South Island (Te Waipounamu) is generally thought of as a paradise for nature lovers, you can also find many Te Waipounamu boutique hotels awaiting your visit. Between exploring this nature paradise, you can recuperate with a stay at one of the quirky, hip hotels packed with amenities on the South Island.
We’ve gathered a list of the ten must-stay hotels on the South Island, ranging from unique stays (spend the night in a tree house!) to more luxury affairs. So, without further ado, here are our top choices for boutique hotel accommodations on TeWaipounamu.
Best South Island Boutique Hotels
Arrowtown House Boutique Hotel
Arrowtown House Boutique Hotel is easy to miss, as it’s tucked away in the Arrowtown neighborhood. This hotel offers a luxurious stay, with five rooms to spend the night in. Each room has a cozy fireplace, DVDs, and a minibar to make your stay more enjoyable. If you stay in one of the lower-level rooms, you’ll be greeted by beautiful garden views through French doors. This boutique hotel is close to multiple fine dining options, hiking trails, and more.
Hulbert House Luxury Boutique Lodge Queenstown
Hulbert House Luxury Boutique Lodge has a unique backstory – it was one of the original houses in Queenstown. It was built in a Victorian style that you can still enjoy today. Now, it has two rooms and three suites available for your stay. Each room or suite is beautifully redone in an elegant style. During your stay, you’ll be in touch with friendly hosts who can help book activities for you nearby, including spa services. Additional amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, gourmet breakfast, and arrival refreshments.
Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses
If you’re looking for a unique stay, book your next New Zealand holiday at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses. This boutique accommodation sits on a farm at the bottom of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range. You can stay in a lodge suite or room, the private olive house, or one of the luxury tree houses on site. The amenities vary, depending on which accommodation option you choose. However, you’ll be greeted with incredible views no matter which option you select at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses.
14th Lane Urban Hotel
You’ll want to check out 14th Lane Urban Hotel for a more modern and elegant stay. This option features eight stunning rooms, each with its own style. A few rooms also include a full kitchen, so you can cook meals during your stay. If you prefer to have meals crafted for you, there is a lobby lounge area that serves breakfast. Right outside the hotel, you’ll find plenty of options for activities, including restaurants, shops, and bars.
Blanket Bay is a stunning boutique lodge near the south west coast of South Island. It sits alongside the picturesque Lake Wakatipu, offering stunning views of the surrounding nature scenes. You can choose to spend the night in one of the lodge rooms, a private chalet, or the onsite villa. The lodge also has an award-winning restaurant, so you can enjoy fine dining without traveling far. Blanket Bay is an ideal accommodation for those who want to spend their trip exploring the outdoors, as the region is known for being a nature paradise.
The Ebb-Dunedin is a modern boutique hotel that has won multiple awards for its unique architecture. It’s close to an array of activities, as it sits in the heart of Dunedin (one of the oldest towns on the island). You’ll find Ebb Cafe connected to the hotel. This small cafe offers delicious fresh food, excellent coffee, and beautiful views of its atrium garden. When staying at this hotel, you’ll find spacious rooms with many amenities, including coffee service in your room.
Shining Star Beachfront Accommodation
Perhaps you’re planning a trip with younger family members. If so, you’ll want to consider Shining Star Beachfront Accommodation. It’s a family-friendly holiday park near Heritage Highway Motel in Hokitika. This Hokitikas kiwi holiday park has the lowest nightly price on this list, though you would never guess from the beautiful sea views. Depending on your budget and accommodation needs, you can stay in a chalet, apartment, cabin, or RV camp (known as Hokitika Holiday Park). This boutique accommodation is also nearby the Waipounamu Maori Heritage Centre, a must-see on the island.
The Vicarage Geraldine
This historic building was once home to the vicars of Geraldine. Once the last vicar moved out, the property fell into disarray until 2017, when Michael and Brigitte Baker purchased and began remodeling it. Now, it’s a beautifully restored boutique hotel with suites and rooms available for rent. The property has five rooms that can be rented separately or for exclusive use for larger parties. When staying here, you can enjoy complimentary wine and port while learning about the history of the building. Amenities include kitchenettes, decks, and sitting rooms, depending on which room you book.
The Observatory Hotel
The breathtaking architecture and interior design are more than enough reasons to stay at The Observatory Hotel. This stunning spot is in Christchurch and was once the town’s observatory Tower. It now boasts 33 contemporary rooms that are each uniquely designed. The Observatory Hotel has a gym, meeting room, and Drawing Room bar for you to use during your stay. This boutique hotel is nearby many attractions, including art galleries, museums, cinemas, and a perfume studio. It’s the ideal accommodation for fine arts lovers.
Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel
For a stay next to the water, you’ll want to check out the Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, which offers views of the marina. This boutique hotel also has a restaurant onsite, which serves delicious meals made from locally sourced produce. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can enjoy high tea at the restaurant. There are two suites and a room which you can stay in, each offering different amenities and styles. Soak in the French tubs, enjoy the complimentary breakfast, and snack on the arrival fruit platter while staying at this boutique hotel.
Depending on the checkout/start date, pricing varies, with availability subject to change since this hotel has only three rooming options.