With a total area of over 1,000 square kilometers and a population of 1.6 million, Auckland is New Zealand’s biggest city. It is often referred to as “the Gateway to New Zealand”, primarily because it’s a major transport hub where most people start and end the NZ holidays at the airport.
However, Auckland isn’t just a mere stopover. It’s a diverse city with a thriving culture, endless stretches of beach, and high-end shopping and dining. Auckland also comes with plenty of things to do, and its location right on the water makes it one of the most beautiful places in NZ.
Being a large city, Auckland sees massive traffic jams every day, and you can’t always rely on public transport (which can be pretty expensive too). This means you’ll usually end up wasting precious hours on the road, so it’s best to stay in one area where you can experience what you came to the city for.
If you don’t know where to stay in Auckland, I’m here to lend a hand. I’ve visited the city plenty of times now and know which areas are the best to stay in for every budget. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the six best places in the city and each of the top hotels in those places.
6 Best Areas to Stay in Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is a really big city with lots of great areas to stay in. But in this post, I’ll be sharing my six top areas to book your hotels. These include the city center, primarily known as the Central Business District (CBD); Auckland Viaduct; Ponsonby; Newmarket; North Shore; and near the airport.
The CBD is the main city center around Queens Street. Home to Auckland’s many tourist and historical sites, this area is highly recommended for first-time visitors and those who mainly want to go sightseeing.
The Viaduct, on the other hand, is the area closest to the harbor. Although quiet during the day, this area comes to life at night. You’ll surely love the selection of high-end dining options here, as well.
Like the Viaduct, Ponsonby is renowned for its nightlife and food. The only difference is that this area is trendier and has a more vibrant, youthful vibe to it.
For shopping and entertainment, look no further than the Newmarket area. It has a little bit of everything that the CBD has to offer but is less busy, so it isn’t as draining to walk around and explore. It’s also easy to get to the other areas of Auckland from here.
The North Shore is the perfect getaway for beach lovers who want to escape with their families. Home to some of the best beaches in New Zealand, it’s packed with outdoor activities and seaside delights. The downside is you’ll be a bit of a drive from the CBD.
For visitors who aren’t staying longer than a night or two, near the airport is the best place to look for hotels. It’s just as developed as the other areas of Auckland despite being out quite far from the city center.
Want to know more about these areas? Keep reading!
About Staying in Auckland City Center (CBD)
The Central Business District (CBD) is the best place to stay in the metro area of Auckland, and it’s easy to see why.
Staying in the Auckland CBD makes it easy for you to enjoy everything the city has to offer as it’s the most accessible area for public transport and is typically the pick-up point for tours. This is also where you can find the best hotels in Auckland with the best prices to suit your budget. In fact, during the off-season, the backpacker hostels here can go for as low as $20 NZD per night.
Another great thing about the CBD is how walkable everything is. The tourist hotspots like Albert Park and Sky Tower are all within a quick stroll from the accommodations, and you’ll likely find yourself near Queen Street, where most of the city amenities are.
If it’s your first time visiting Auckland and you want to focus on sightseeing with decent nightlife, the CBD is your best choice.
Pros to staying in Auckland City Center:
- Lots of hotel options and price points to choose from
- Central location to explore all of the best things to do in Auckland
- Lots of attractions and landmarks
- Walkable area
Cons to staying in Auckland City Center:
- Not close to nature or the beach
- Lack of parking in places
- Can be busy
3 BEST Hotels in Auckland City Center (CBD)
$$$ – The Grand by SkyCity
The Grand by SkyCity is an Auckland accommodation unlike any other. Treating you to a lavish stay right in the heart of the city, this five-star hotel is exactly where you want to be if you’re after luxurious rooms and city views.
The suites here are easily one of the best you can find in CBD. Designed with your comfort in mind, they come complete with a smart TV with in-house movies, Nespresso machine, rainhead shower, complimentary PressReader app, mini-bar and fridge, and self-controlled air conditioning. Some even have separate lounge areas, walk-in wardrobes, separate baths and showers; and the most luxurious suite of all, the presidential suite, features an en-suite infinity bathtub.
If you want to splurge a little but the more lavish suites aren’t within your budget, I recommend booking the Grand Harbour View Room. It’s minimalistic in style but what it makes up for with gorgeous views of the harbor. It also isn’t as expensive as the other suites.
Apart from the comfy units, The Grand is packed with everything you’d need to entertain you during your stay. Need to unwind? Experience a pampering session at the East Day Spa or dip in the heated indoor 25-meter lap pool.
Get toned in the 24-hr gym with personal trainers available upon request. If you feel like touring the city, don’t hesitate to approach the friendly concierge staff, who can help you with itinerary and private transfers.
You can also spend your entire day trying out all the entertainment spaces in SkyCity including the theatre, casino, and the iconic Sky Tower! Other on-site services offered by the hotel include daily laundry and babysitting.
When it comes to dining, you won’t run out of options, whether at the Grand or on Federal Street. Right in the lobby are three restaurants: Gusto at the Grand, The Grill, and MASU by Nic Watt. Gusto serves the hotel breakfast and has an amazing selection for lunch and dinner, too.
If privacy is more your thing, you’d be happy to know that you can readily avail of the room service any time of the day.
Staying at The Grand costs from $309 NZD per night. You can check availability and book The Grand online here.
$$ – CityLife Auckland
Sitting on Queen Street just a six-minute walk from the Sky Tower, CityLife Auckland is a mid-range hotel in Auckland city center that will treat you to little luxuries without hurting your budget. I like that it’s close to the best dining places and attractions in town, so you won’t need to rent a car or catch the buses.
On the property, you can find an indoor saltwater lap pool, where you can go for an early morning swim. If you feel like lifting some weights, drop by the fully-equipped gym. You can enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar, as well, and they offer boxed breakfast options. I also love how the hotel gives 15% discounts at Coffee Club on 16 Wyndham Street for all their guests, too.
The rooms at CityLife are decently furnished with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, and mini-fridge. You can pick from five room options that fit your budget: one, two, or three bedroom suites, Superior Rooms, and a rooftop Penthouse Suite. Some of these units come with kitchen facilities for your convenience and balconies with city views that will take your breath away.
Rates here range from $250 NZD to $765 NZD per night. Check availability and book CityLife Auckland online here.
$ – The Attic Backpackers
The Attic is one of my favorite budget-friendly accommodations in the heart of Auckland city, especially if I’m traveling with friends and family. This is because the hostel is intimately located on a single floor (the top-most floor), so you’re always just a door away from your group. Of course, its strategic location also plays a part, particularly since the city’s top attractions are within walking distance.
Although The Attic isn’t as high-end as the other hotels in the area, you can still call it your home-away-from-home, and it’s actually pretty cozy. You have some chill-out areas a few steps away from the room for chatting with friends and watching TV. There’s also a spacious outdoor covered deck to enjoy the sun in.
While you can find no bar and restaurant on the property, you can always cook your own meals in the well-equipped shared kitchen. If you’re craving something else, just head to The Atrium on Elliot Food Court and Elliot Stables eateries directly below the hostel.
One thing I particularly like about The Attic, apart from its laid-back atmosphere, is how warm the welcome is. As soon as you check-in, you will be given a quick tour of the place, which is unlike other accommodations that just point you to your room.
Speaking of rooms, you have a variety of options, from single, double, and twin rooms to dorms and private rooms. The private room starts at $68 NZD, private dorms at $144 NZD, and shared dorms at $33 NZD. If you’re with a big group, you won’t have to book individual beds as The Attic offers group and family bookings, too.
You can book The Attic online on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.
About Staying at the Auckland Viaduct/Harbour
The Viaduct/Harbour is a posh area right on the water, perfect for those looking for Auckland accommodation with awesome views. While it’s only minutes from the heart of the CBD, the atmosphere here is nicer and quieter.
This makes it an ideal base for couples looking to go on romantic walks by the marina. Apart from the beautiful ocean view, you get to see numerous boats and yachts coming and going onto the harbor.
Keep in mind that the Viaduct/Harbour is more of an upper-class area, so expect more luxury stays, world-class restaurants, and ferries.
Pros to staying at the Auckland Viaduct:
- Water views
- Nice hotels
- Central location very close to the CBD
- Quiet and romantic atmosphere
Cons to staying at the Auckland Viaduct:
- Less choices for hotels
- Limited parking
- No hostels or budget-friendly options
- Not right in the CBD
3 BEST Hotels at the Auckland Viaduct
$$$ – Park Hyatt Auckland
So you’re deciding where to stay in Auckland and want to experience the ultimate luxury? Then Park Hyatt Auckland is the place for you!
Perfectly nestled on the waterfront, this five-star hotel offers magnificent views of Wynyard Quarter’s Lighter Basin and the Waitematā Harbour that will surely make the perfect backdrops for your photos. But the views here aren’t the only thing that the hotel boasts as its amenities are unmatched, too.
For your entertainment, you’ll find a variety of spaces right on the property. Take a dip in the 25-meter infinity pool overlooking the Lighter Basin, stretch your legs in the 24/7 fitness center, or ask the concierge for a quick city tour recommendation. There are also several elegant event spaces and meeting facilities in the hotel in case you need one for your business conferences.
While these facilities already sound nice, wait until you learn that Park Hyatt comes complete with not just one but four restaurants! There’s the Onemata for traditional cuisines, The Living Room for light meals and afternoon tea, The Pantry Café for freshly made pastries and comfort food, and the Captain’s Bar for rums and classic cocktails.
If you like a little bit of privacy when dining, personalized room service is also available 24/7. After indulging in the expertly crafted meals, you can spend the rest of your day in The Spa, pampered by professional therapists.
By the end of the day, retreat to one of the 195 boutique rooms in the hotel. Most of the units here are designed with floor-to-ceiling windows, treating you to a sweeping view of Waitematā or the Lighter Basin. That means you can still enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from the comfort of your bed.
All of the units are furnished with a TV, mini bar, Nespresso coffee machine, STAYCAST/Google Chromecast, La Labo/Aesop bath amenities, and opening windows. Some rooms have a designer kitchen with Gaggenau appliances, separate living room and dining room, a private internal garden, and a private balcony.
Rates range from $650 NZD to $4,150, inclusive of a full daily breakfast at Onemata for guests staying at the suites. Check availability and prices for your dates online here.
$$$ – QT Auckland
QT Auckland is a haven of luxury right in the heart of the Viaduct Harbour. Located just seven minutes away on foot from Sky Tower, this five-star design hotel is the perfect base for couples looking to explore the city.
The rooms here are not only spacious but also elegantly styled by Australia-based interior designer Nic Graham. I love the way they incorporated techy amenities into the room without destroying the visuals. The air conditioning, the TV, the Nespresso machine, and even the wireless Bose speakers really fit well into the decor.
If you want to experience QT Auckland to the fullest, get the Premier Harbour Suite. You’ll be treated to sky-high harbor views as it’s on the top floor, plus a separate guest bathroom and a master bathroom, both with rainfall showers.
Outside of your luxurious suites, the hotel has plenty more amenities for you to enjoy. Visit the gym for a quick exercise before heading to the on-site restaurant, Esther, to get a taste of their one-pan bacon and eggs. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, too, so in case you want to get a taste of some Mediterranean cuisine and watch your dish get prepared in the open country-style kitchen, feel free to drop by.
After a lavish meal in Esther, proceed to the Rooftop at QT for their Harbourside Signature Cocktail with wild strawberry and best-selling Mezze Plate. The bar has plenty of classic and contemporary cocktails and Mediterranean snacks for you to enjoy while soaking in the beauty of the harbor.
You can also avail yourself one of the hotel’s private dining package. There are spaces on the property that can cater to up to 50 guests, where you can dig into a two or three-course menu or four-course tasting option.
The rates at QT Auckland start at $513 NZD for the QT King, inclusive of breakfast. You can also get two connecting bedrooms for $798 NZD per night and three connecting bedrooms for $1242 NZD per night.
You can check availability and book QT Auckland online in advance here.
$$ – Marsden Viaduct Hotel
One of the Auckland hotels with the best views, the Marsden Viaduct Hotel puts you right on the harbor without breaking your budget. This world-class accommodation is within walking distance to the Wynyard Quarter and the restaurant and bars in the Viaduct Harbour, so you’re pretty much in the center of it all.
Although there isn’t much in terms of on-site amenities, the hotel makes up for it with its luxurious and comfortable rooms. You can choose from four room configurations: Superior King, Deluxe King, Deluxe King with Balcony, and Deluxe King with Marina View.
Each one is outfitted with a smart TV, wireless internet, coffee facilities, and complimentary toiletries. My favorite amenity, though, is the terrace/balcony, where you can take in the sun all day long.
If you’re in the mood to splurge, I recommend the Deluxe King with Marina View. It has a spacious covered balcony that faces the harbor. You’ll even have elevator access for your convenience.
Rooms at the Marsden Viaduct Hotel are as low as $243 NZD for the Superior King Room and as expensive as $317 NZD for the Deluxe King Room with Marina View – it’s one of the most reasonably priced Auckland hotels. Check availability and book online here.
About Staying in Ponsonby
When thinking of where to stay in Auckland, Ponsonby should be on your list. This vibrant up-and-coming area sits about a ten-minute drive west of the Central Business District, so it’s great if you want to be close to CBD.
The location is best for the younger crowd as it has a thriving nightlife and tons of trendy restaurants, boutique shops, and gift stores to check oit. Most of these are found right on Ponsonby Road. Craft beer lovers will also be pleased to know that the area boasts some of the country’s best craft beer!
Apart from being a foodie haven, Ponsonby is home to a handful of galleries showcasing the Kiwi modern art scene. This is one of the trendiest areas to stay in Auckland!
Related Read: Love craft beer? Check out the best breweries in Queenstown, NZ!
Pros to staying in Ponsonby:
- Tons of gourmet and trendy restaurants
- Vibrant nightlife
- Trendy area
- Less touristy
- Has some quieter areas
Cons to staying in Ponsonby:
- Barely any hotels to choose from
- A little far from tourist attractions (not walking distance)
- No hostels
- No big hotel chains
3 BEST Hotels in Ponsonby
$$$ – Hotel Fitzroy curated by Fable
One of the best hotels in Auckland for a luxury retreat, Hotel Fitzroy curated by Fable is my go-to accommodation when I want to be pampered while in Ponsonby. This luxury boutique hotel is housed in a two-story villa just five minutes on foot from the trendy Ponsonby Road.
As soon as you walk into the property, you’ll be greeted with a special welcome refreshment and led to your luxurious room. There are a total of ten guest rooms here, all beautifully designed with five-star amenities like a 48” flat-screen satellite TV, Nespresso coffee machine, T2 teas, and a complimentary minibar replenished with tasty snacks and drinks every day.
Beyond these modern-day facilities, what really made me fall in love with Hotel Fitzroy is its 24-hour room service and in-room breakfast service. You really won’t go hungry during your stay, and the staff will happily cater to your every whim. Every morning, you can enjoy your continental or cooked breakfast in bed while staring out into the lovely city.
Did I mention that you can also dig into some complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks served in the Guest Library? If you prefer some outside food, you can easily walk to the restaurants and bars in the area. When you return to the property, make sure to take advantage of the in-room massage.
Rates at the hotel start at $460 NZD for the Superior Suites and $540 NZD for Luxury Suites. This already includes a full, cooked a-la-carte breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, minibar snacks and evening refreshments, and FABLE welcome drink!
You can check availability, prices, and book Hotel Fitzroy online here.
$$ – Ponsonby Manor Guest House
Found in the heart of Ponsonby, Ponsonby Manor is part of New Zealand’s early settler history. This Victorian mansion was originally built in the mid-1860s until it was renovated to become a standard-quality Auckland accommodation. The owners made sure to keep the Victorian era alive in the manor, though, so when you step inside, you’ll still see beautiful fireplaces and stained glass windows with great city and harbor views.
While Ponsonby Manor looks like an age-old hotel at first look, it has actually blended modern-day amenities and technology into its decor. There is a communal kitchen/dining area on the property, equipped with smart appliances and a complete set of kitchenware to help you prep your meals.
When you don’t feel like going out, you can always stay in the TV room that comes complete with a large 50” HD LCD TV with 40+ satellite channels. You also have wireless internet access in the lounge. Other on-site facilities include coin-operated washing machines and dryers, and BBQs.
You can find the same modern amenities right in your room. Whether you choose a room in the main building or in the garden, you can enjoy large LCD TVs, air conditioning and heat pump systems, and tea-making facilities.
If you’re coming with your significant other, make sure to grab the Ponsonby Suite, the largest one in the house. It’s right by Ponsonby Road, so you can enjoy the views all day long. If you’re with your family, the Cottage is the perfect spot for you as it sleeps up to four and comes complete with a large private deck.
Rates at the Ponsonby Manor are between $130 NZD to $180. You can check availability (which is very limited) and book online in advance here.
$$ – The Great Ponsonby Arthotel
Established two decades ago in the heritage neighborhood, The Great Ponsonby Arthotel is my definition of a home away from home. It’s a charming 1980s renovated villa offering bed and breakfast just a two-minute walk from Ponsonby’s central area and a five-minute car ride from the harbor.
Apart from its quaint architecture, what really gives this small hotel its homey feel is the interior decoration. You’ll see several original New Zealand and Pacific Island artwork around the property, tons of books and magazines to keep you busy, and Persian rugs that add a hint of elegance to the rooms.
Another reason why The Great Ponsonby Arthotel is one of the best hotels in Auckland is its unmatched breakfast. They call these meals “legendary” and for good reason. They provide you with a varied selection of juices, fruits, bread, jams, homemade banana bread loaf, and yogurt. There’s an a la carte-cooked breakfast menu, too, in case you’re hungry for that.
The hotel sources its ingredients right from its backyard, so you’ll surely get nothing but fresh meals. Besides a dining room, you also have the option to dig into your sumptuous breakfast right on the outdoor balcony.
The Great Ponsonby Arthotel offers a total of 11 rooms, which come in three types: villa rooms, courtyard studios, and the penthouse. Each of the rooms is appointed with Sky TV, tea/coffee facilities, books and magazines, and the highlight of the space: New Zealand native rimu furniture handcrafted by Otto Larson.
The villa rooms are right in the main house, and most come with french doors opening to a private deck. If you prefer to stay outside the house, the self-contained courtyard studios may be right for you. They are fully equipped with a kitchenette and dining table.
I highly recommend the penthouse, though, if you have the cash to spare. This is the most luxurious room on the property and treats you to a romantic sunset over the Waitakere Ranges.
Standard rates for the Villa Rooms start at $290 NZD, the Courtyard Studios at $340 NZD, and the Penthouse at $430 NZD, all of which are inclusive of breakfasts, parking, and a daily newspaper. The hotel also offers a day tour package, where you can book a room and enjoy the hotel facilities from 10 am to 5 pm. The day tour package starts at $130 NZD.
You can check prices and availability for The Great Ponsonby Arthotel online here.
About Staying in Newmarket
Newmarket is situated around four kilometers from the city center of Auckland. Though it is slightly far from the city, the distance doesn’t make the place less interesting. In fact, this vibrant suburb is teeming with activities that will surely make your visit a memorable one.
Featuring streets lined with more than 500 retail stores and 120 cafés, Newmarket is deemed Auckland’s major fashion, shopping, and entertainment destination. This high-end precinct is also characterized by cobbled pavements and bold, bright street art by local and international artists.
Besides dropping by restaurants and bars, there’s also the option to visit the Auckland Domain (museum) and the historic area of Parnell, which are both within the vicinity of the suburb.
Considering all of these, there’s no denying that Newmarket is a good option for families seeking activities they can enjoy together. Travelers looking for a laid-back atmosphere will also love this place as it has quieter Auckland hotels.
Pros to staying in Newmarket:
- A few good affordable hotel options (lots with full apartments)
- Not too far from the city but in a quieter family neighborhood
- Some nice cafes and restaurants around
- Close to the museum and Parnell
Cons to staying in Newmarket:
- Limited hotels to choose from – most are in the mid-range with no hostels or luxury stays available
- A little ways from the city and most tourist attractions
- Not close to the water or beach
3 BEST Hotels in Newmarket
$$ – The Edgerley Suites
When staying in Newmarket, The Edgerley Suites is my favorite. It surely is a home away from home thanks to its comfortable and spacious room at affordable prices. Each unit at the apartment comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, which I’m looking for whenever I travel.
A fridge, microwave, oven, and an electric tea pot are just some of the kitchen amenities available. You will also find other room conveniences, such as complimentary Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a washing machine, and a seating area. There’s even a private bathroom complete with a shower and a hairdryer.
Here at The Edgerley Suites, accommodations are available in varying sizes and types, so you can find the perfect accommodation that meets your needs. Prices start at $148 NZD per night.
For relaxation, you can hang out in the garden or on the terrace of the apartment and enjoy the green surroundings and soak up the sun. For your meals, you have plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at close-by Newmarket restaurants.
If you’re in the mood for a tour, you can visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Domain, among nearby attractions.
You can check prices and availability for the Edgerley Hotel online in advance here.
$$ – Ramada by Wyndham Newmarket Auckland
Another hoteI highly recommend when visiting Auckland is the Ramada by Wyndham Newmarket. The main reason? Well, it’s located in the Newmarket district, meaning almost everything the city offers is just at your doorsteps.
In particular, you can have a picnic in Cornwall Park, hit the links at Chamberlain Park Public Golf, or browse cool exhibits at the Museum of Transport and Technology. Auckland Art Gallery, Aotea Square, Auckland Domain, and Auckland Town Hall are other top attractions within easy reach. On top of that, this 4-star hotel is just across from shopping and dining at Westfield Newmarket.
Before you head out to explore Newmarket or downtown Auckland, you can indulge in continental or vegetarian breakfast at Ramada by Wyndham Newmarket. For other breakfast options, you can find some at Bambina Newmarket Café.
In addition to easy access to points of interest, Ramada by Wyndham Newmarket also provides a relaxing stay with on-site parking, free Wi-Fi in all areas, and apartment-style accommodations. There’s also a beautiful meeting space and a courtyard for unwinding.
About the rooms, each one is well sound-proofed, so you’ll surely enjoy a quiet stay just like us. The units are also air-conditioned and feature a kitchenette and in-room laundry machine. We booked the one with a seating area, which is available in selected rooms. Rates start at $165 NZD per night.
You can check availability and prices for your desired dates at the Ramada Newmarket online here.
$$ – Quest Newmarket Serviced Apartments
Some of the best apartment-style accommodations and studios can also be found in Quest Newmarket Serviced Apartments. Each unit includes separate living, dining, and sleeping areas, as well as well-equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and separate workstations.
So, if you’re planning to stay in Auckland for days, weeks, or even months, Quest Newmarket Serviced Apartments can be your temporary home or office. Room rates start at $211 NZD per night.
Another thing I find invaluable here at Quest Newmarket Serviced Apartments is their various services, such as regular housekeeping, babysitting booking service, valet laundry and dry cleaning services, and selected local restaurant chargeback arrangements
I also love the hotel’s location as it lies just next to a bus stop, where you can ride a bus going directly to Auckland city center, Ponsonby, and famous attractions. Just a 10-minute walk from the hotel are several shops and restaurants, while Vector Arena and Ellerslie Racecourse are both a 10-minute drive away.
You can check availability and book Quest Newmarket online here.
About Staying on the North Shore
The North Shore is north of downtown Auckland and connects to the rest of the city through two harbor bridges. In addition to land transportation, a 12-minute ferry ride is another choice to reach this place.
A little history about the North Shore: It was formed in a series of volcanic eruptions more than 50,000 years ago. Now, it’s one of Auckland’s oldest volcanic cones that commands panoramic views over the Hauraki Gulf and its islands.
Given that it sits next to a gulf, this suburb is exactly what travelers wanting a beach holiday need. It’s one of the most romantic places in all of New Zealand. The place may be a little touristy, especially during peak season, but you wouldn’t want to miss the nice beaches that aren’t that far from Auckland including Piha Beach.
Paying a visit to gun emplacements, underground tunnels, and fortifications in the North Shore is also a must. You can also browse boutiques for unique jewelry and clothing, then indulge in delicious treats at cafés and restaurants.
Pros to staying on the North Shore:
- Close to the beach
- Less busy
- Some mid-range hotels to choose from
- Family-friendly and safe area
- Surrounded by nature and trails and wildlife
- Some places are a short drive to the city center
Cons to staying on the North Shore:
- Can be very touristy and busy during the summer months (especially on weekends)
- No luxury or budget hotels are available
- Traffic can make getting to the CBD long and frustrating
Related Read: You’ll pass the North Shore on the drive from Auckland to Paihia.
3 BEST Hotels on Auckland’s North Shore
$$ – FERNZ Motel & Apartments Birkenhead
If you’re looking for quiet Auckland hotels not too far from the city center, FERNZ Motel & Apartments Birkenhead is perfect for you, as it’s just a 15-minute drive from there. You don’t have to worry about activities though, since you can find some near the motel.
Just within a walking distance is the bustling Highbury Village and its shopping center, and an array of eateries, restaurants, and boutique stores. If you’re a nature lover, you can enjoy nature walks and see reserves nearby.
Another thing I’m certain you’ll like about the motel’s location is the fact that accommodations here offer sweeping views of Auckland harbor and the city. You’ll get to see breathtaking sights from sunrise to sunset.
And speaking of accommodations, rooms here are excellent for guests who are either traveling alone or in groups, and for short-term or long-term stays. Free Wi-Fi, a hairdryer, a fully-equipped kitchen, and laundry facilities are just a few of the comforts you can expect.
It is also worth noting that FERNZ Motel & Apartments Birkenhead has its rooms (alongside common areas) adorned with New Zealand art, photography, and sculpture by top artists, making the property more pleasing to the eyes. Room prices start at $238 NZD per night.
You can check availability and book FERNZ Motel and Apartments online here.
$$ – Emerald Inn on Takapuna Beach
Emerald Inn is a beachside property on the North Shore. It is tucked away in lush greenery just a few meters from Takapuna Beach and across the Harbour Bridge from Auckland’s central business district. If you prefer a vacation along the beach and away from the lively city center, this is the right place for you.
Besides its tranquil atmosphere, I love how Emerald Inn is only a few minutes walk from excellent shops, cafés, and award-winning restaurants. You’ll absolutely have no trouble grabbing a meal throughout your stay.
Making your own meal is also possible at Emerald Inn as there’s a fully-equipped kitchen on-site. If you’re like me who wants a little privacy when cooking, you can book the one-bedroom or two-bedroom suites that come with self-catering kitchen facilities. Rates for these suites range from $265 NZD to $385 NZD per night.
Free private parking and a barbeque area are among the other facilities you can find at the inn. There’s also a courtyard and an outdoor swimming pool, where you can enjoy pure serenity.
Regarding tourist spots, Auckland Art Gallery, Aotea Centre, National Maritime Museum, and Sky Tower are located within a 10km drive. If you don’t mind driving that far, then you might want to consider Emerald Inn as your base – it’s a beautiful hotel!
You can check availability and book the Emerald Inn online here.
$$ – Ocean Breeze Hotel
This is my other go-to North Shore hotel whenever I wish to escape the busy downtown area. Sitting 3.7km from Auckland center, Ocean Breeze Hotel offers complete tranquillity, and that’s one of the main reasons why I keep going back to this place.
I also fell in love with the view of Shoal Bay from our suite. I was able to appreciate it on the balcony while enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning and nibbling on snacks at sunset.
It is important to note, however, that not every room at the hotel has sea views. In case sea-view rooms are all booked, there’s always the option to reserve suites with harbor views. Rates start at approximately $167 NZD per night.
Apart from the balcony, each suite includes a private bathroom, a kitchen, a dining area, and a safety deposit box among other amenities. And, when it comes to in-house hotel amenities, there’s a restaurant, a bar/lounge, a terrace, and a garden. If you’re into fitness, you’ll definitely love the gym here. Other offers are free private parking and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Want to visit attractions? There are nice beaches within a 3km drive from the property such as Takapuna Beach, Narrow Neck Beach, and St. Leonards Bay Beach. You can also head to the National Maritime Museum, Sky Tower, Auckland Art Gallery, Aotea Centre, and Auckland Domain, all of which are within a 5km ride.
You can check availability and book Ocean Breeze Hotel online in advance here.
Related Read: If you love the beach, be sure to head to the Coromandel Peninsula!
Staying near the Auckland Airport
Not everyone who comes to Auckland wants to see the downtown area. There are some who opt to use Auckland as a quick stopover on the way to check out other places in New Zealand. If this is your plan, then booking accommodation near the airport is the top choice for you.
This is the best option for visitors who are scheduled to arrive in the city late at night and seek prompt lodging after a tiring flight. Travelers staying in the city for one night will also find this location really convenient.
Besides the short distance from the airport, hotels here are also close to plenty of car and motorhome rental companies, which can come in handy since most people travel New Zealand by car. There are also some great Auckland motorhome rental companies nearby.
The only downside of staying near the Auckland airport is that there is not much nice to see around, so it is ideal for only a one-night stay to rest upon arrival and before departure. If you wish to explore Auckland, I don’t recommend staying here. It’s best that you head into the city instead.
Pros of staying near the Auckland Airport:
- Good selection of nice hotels at good prices
- Near car rentals
- Perfect before or after flights
Cons of staying near the Auckland Airport;
- Far from the city
- Not many attractions
- No trendy restaurants/shops/bars etc
3 BEST Hotels near the Airport in Auckland
$$$ – Novotel Auckland Airport
Novotel Auckland Airport is my ideal hotel close to the airport, as it is situated right next to Auckland International Airport—so there’s no need to book a taxi just to get here. If you come from anywhere in New Zealand, the domestic terminal is only five minutes’ walk from the hotel.
But if you’re like me, who flew from another country, the international terminal is also just a few meters away, thus it won’t be too much of a hassle to reach it. Additionally, getting to Auckland city center won’t take long as it is only a 30 minutes drive away.
Novotel Auckland Airport makes for the perfect place to rest right after a flight, thanks to its elegant, modern accommodations that are air-conditioned and with soundproof windows. A minibar, a satellite TV, and a work desk are other room amenities just to name a few. Average room rates start at roughly $259 NZD – one of the most affordable luxury hotels in Auckland.
At the in-house restaurant, I love their offer of custom meals that the chef can cook for you impromptu. You can also satisfy your craving for New Zealand cuisine here. In the bar, you’ll get to choose from an extensive selection of wines, cold beers, and snacks. The hotel even has a fully-equipped fitness center, where you can spend your free time.
You can check availability and book the Novotel Auckland Airport online here.
$$ – Heartland Hotel Auckland Airport
Heartland Hotel Auckland Airport is one of my personal alternative hotels in case Novotel gets fully booked. It may not be within a walking distance from the airport, but it’s still within its vicinity. You just need a five-minute drive and you’re already there! Additionally, this hotel puts you just a 25-minute drive away from Auckland downtown.
Another convenience I love about Heartland Hotel is their free 24-hour airport shuttle service. It was absolutely useful for us the last time we flew in, especially since we arrived at the airport around 3 o’clock in the morning.
We booked a suite with a kitchenette, since we’ll surely have jetlag and may not have the energy to go outside to grab a meal. Rates for suites with a kitchenette start at approximately $355 NZD per night. Meanwhile, prices for studios range from $205 NZD to $375 NZD per night depending on the number of guests.
For leisure, you can take a dip in the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool or spa pool. If you get hungry or thirsty after a swim, you can drop by the Lobby Bar where there’s a variety of refreshing drinks and light meals, or the on-site restaurant (for breakfast and dinner). For other meal options, you can head to the restaurants and cafes that are only within a five-minute drive.
Check availability and book Heartland Hotel Auckland airport online here.
$ – Ibis Budget Auckland Airport
Located only minutes away from Auckland’s domestic and international terminals, Ibis Budget Auckland Airport is my top economy option near the airport. While it doesn’t offer luxurious comforts, it does have all the necessities for a short stopover, so you’re sure to have a comfortable stay here even at an affordable price.
You can expect bright, modern rooms with black-out blinds and a private bathroom with a shower and complimentary toiletries. Accommodations vary from standard to family rooms, and prices range from $135 NZD up to $180 NZD per night on average.
Aside from cozy units, Ibis Budget also offers a 24-hour reception and free on-site parking. They also provide an airport shuttle with an additional charge—hence, you can avoid the last-minute rush and stress of travel, plus you can sleep longer while staying on budget.
I also like how the property is located close to public transport to the city. You can take the yellow bus service, which operates from 5 am to 10 am & 4 pm to 12 am and only costs $6 per person (children under 12 years of age travel for free).
For meals, you have the option to eat at Szimpla Gastro Bar, which is only adjacent to the hotel, or at the nearby cafes. You can also venture further out in Auckland city center to experience its vibrant food and wine scene.
You can check availability, pricing, and book the Ibis Auckland Airport online here.
Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand
Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!
You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:
- Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to book a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
- Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It is what most budget backpackers get for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping! You can easily compare campervans, prices, and book on the website Motorhome Republic. We also have a 5% discount code (DTRAVEL5) with Mad Campers, which you can use at checkout.
- Motorhome – A motorhome is larger and more comfortable than a campervan. Many motorhomes will comfortably sleep 6 or more people – perfect for a family visiting New Zealand. Motorhomes are the most expensive option, but with one, you won’t ever need to stay in a hotel and you’ll save money that way. Motorhome Republic is my suggested website for booking a motorhome in New Zealand simply because they are a reliable company and the website is super easy to use! We are also partnered with Kiwi Motorhomes, which is well known as the top motorhome rental company in New Zealand. You can get 5% off using the code Queen5. For more detailed info, read my complete guide to renting a motorhome in New Zealand!
Thanks for reading!
And now you know about all of the best areas to stay in Auckland as well as the absolute best hotels in Auckland for all price-points! If you found this blog helpful in deciding where to stay in Auckland, check out some of our related reads below:
6 BEST Campervan Rentals in Auckland
The BEST Things to do in Wellington