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Where to Stay in Christchurch – 5 BEST Areas and Hotels (for all budgets!)

Where to Stay in Christchurch – 5 BEST Areas and Hotels (for all budgets!)

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Christchurch, the biggest city on the South Island, is a city full of wonders waiting to be discovered. Lying on the east coast, the city is where innovation and urban regeneration thrive alongside culture, heritage, and exciting activities.

From street art and green spaces to cutting-edge architecture and local wildlife, Christchurch has plenty to showcase. Interestingly, the city sees constant evolution, always offering locals and tourists something new to explore. And, this is why it’s one of the most unique destinations to visit on the South Island!

If visiting this charming city is on your to-do list, it’s probably best to start deciding where to stay in Christchurch now. The good news is there are tons of options when it comes to hotels to stay in and areas to choose from.

The bad news is because there are lots of Christchurch hotels, choosing just one can be overwhelming, and sometimes downright stressful. And, considering the size of the city, it would be difficult to know where to begin looking.

Since picking the right hotel isn’t an easy task, I’ll share with you some pieces of information that can help you in selecting. This post will give you an overview of the best areas and the best hotels in Christchurch, so read on!

5 Best Areas to Stay in Christchurch

Sumner Beach, Christchurch
The stunning Sumner Beach area is beautiful!

With all there is to see and do in the city, staying in the perfect location is a great advantage for you to make the most of your vacation. There are five main areas in Christchurch that you can choose from if you’re visiting on a holiday. They are:

  • Christchurch city center (CBD)
  • Near the airport
  • Riccarton
  • Cashmere
  • Sumner

Tourists in Christchurch can either stay in the city center or near the airport. The latter option is best for short stays or travelers looking for immediate accommodation after a long flight.

Meanwhile, the central city or the metropolitan area is ideal for those who wish to catch sight of the cutting-edge architecture and oldest buildings in New Zealand. It’s also where vibrant nightlife can be enjoyed as there are malls, bars, live music, and more to expect here.

Besides these two locations, visitors can also stay in Riccarton, which is due west of the city center. It is home to a trendy university area and a great place to experience nightlife as well.

If you prefer a quieter location, staying in Cashmere would be the right choice. It’s a residential area with nice bed-and-breakfast-style hotels.

Finally, if you want beachfront accommodation, try searching in Sumner, a beautiful coastal seaside suburb outside of the city.

Below, I’ll break down each neighborhood in detail, as well as provide a range of accommodations to choose from in each!

About Staying in Christchurch City Center

Bailey at the Christchurch Botanical Garden, in Christchurch, New Zealand
Being in the city means you’ll be close to the botanical gardens!

Christchurch’s downtown area is the best place to stay for enjoying all the city has to offer. Here, you can experience typical city life as it is filled with restaurants, rooftop bars, underground nightclubs, and more.

The city center is also where lots of hotel options are located, from budget-friendly hotels to luxury ones, along with several cultural spots and main attractions. Many of the best free things to do in Christchurch are right in the city too.

However, because it’s where all the fun happens, the central area can be busier and noisier than its neighboring communities, especially at night. If you don’t mind the hustle and bustle, then this is the right location for you!

Pros to staying in Christchurch City center: 

  • Walking distance to restaurants, local shops, bars, and other eating and drinking places
  • Close to main attractions and cultural spots
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Various hotels for all budgets

Cons to staying in Christchurch City center:

  • Loud and busy, especially at night
  • Not surrounded by nature/ not near the beach
  • Lack of parking in places and paid parking

3 BEST Hotels in Christchurch City Center (CBD)

$$$ – OGB Suites

OGB Suites in Chirstchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: OGB Suites

OGB Suites is one of my favorites when staying in the downtown area. Besides its ideal location, I love how the place is built with all of the amenities and facilities a traveler would need and more.

Starting with the accommodations, each one comes with a private bathroom and a living room. There’s also a fully-equipped kitchen, which is convenient in case you get hungry late at night and don’t want to go outside.

Suites here can accommodate two to six people, so it doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with your partner or your entire family, then OGB Suites would be perfect for you! Average rates start at around $234 NZD per night for two but a two-night stay is their minimum booking requirement.

Other excellent features of the hotel I like are the hot tub and sauna, which can be your go-to spots for relaxation. They also have an indoor swimming pool and a fitness room. And, for some tasty meals and drinks, you can just head to the hotel’s in-house bar and restaurant. Free private parking and complimentary Wi-Fi in all areas are available as well.

You can check prices and availability of OGB Suites online here.

$$ – Crowne Plaza Christchurch

Room at Crowne Plaza in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Crowne Plaza Christchurch

Located in the heart of the central business district, Crowne Plaza Christchurch is a perfect starting point for exploring all the city center has to offer. This 4.5-star hotel is an easy walk to parks, restaurants, cafés, malls, and more.

Another thing that will make you fall in love with this hotel is the beautiful view of the city that you get to enjoy from your room. And speaking of rooms, accommodations here come in a standard single, standard double, Queen suite, and King suite.

You can make use of the luxurious bathrobes, slippers, and free unlimited Wi-Fi provided in each suite. Room rates here range upwards from $237 NZD per night.

You can also expect a fully-equipped gym, which has elliptical machines, free weights, stationary bicycles, and treadmills. I’m into staying fit while on vacation, so if you’re like me, you might want to consider booking here.

Another in-house facility is the full-service restaurant and lounge. Food and drink options are available throughout the day, so you can drop by anytime you want. You can also enjoy meals at your leisure with in-room dining.

Moreover, this luxury hotel is open for travelers on a business trip. You can book their meeting rooms and use their business center.

You can check availability and book the Crowne Plaza online here!

$ – Urbanz Christchurch

Accomodation at Urbanz in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Urbanz Accommodation Services

Urbanz Christchurch is a great option for a budget-friendly stay in the central city. You can book a bed in the hotel’s dorm for as little as $37 NZD per night, or if you need some privacy, their single room only averages $89 NZD per night.

The private rooms are ideal for one person up to six people, and are complete with a TV, USB, and power-up points, plus shared or ensuite bathrooms. Meanwhile, all dorms offer king-size bunk beds, thick mattresses, and lockers, in addition to USB and power-up points.

Besides good value for money, Urbanz Christchurch also guarantees easy access to all city sights. It’s only within walking distance to the historic New Regent Street, Cardboard Cathedral, bus stop/station, and more.

When it comes to on-site facilities, this hotel features a restaurant and a bar with the cheapest beer in the city! There’s also a guest kitchen if you want to put your cooking skills to the test. You can also chill out at the lounge, where you can play pool or watch Netflix shows. 

You can check availability and book Urbanz online on either or Hostelworld.

Staying near the Christchurch Airport

outside of the Christchuch Airport with a plane flying in
The airport is a good area for a quick overnight stay.

The area near Christchurch’s airport is popular for being a great point to start and end travels. Lots of people have no interest in seeing the city itself as they come to New Zealand for its fascinating nature, so staying near the airport is convenient for a short stay before/after a flight.

In addition to this, plenty of car rentals and motorhome rental companies are located here, which are perfect if you’re heading off on a South Island road trip (don’t miss the drive from Christchurch to Franz Josef – it’s epic!)

Pros of staying near the Christchurch Airport:

  • Convenience for travelers opting for a short stay
  • Good selection of nice hotels at good prices
  • Near car rentals

Cons of staying near the Christchurch Airport:

  • Far from the city (about a 20-30 minute drive)
  • No attractions nearby to see
  • No trendy restaurants, shops, bars, etc.

3 BEST Hotels near the Airport in Christchurch

$$$ – Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport

Neutral Colored Room at Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Sudima Hotels

Situated just a five-minute walk from the airport, Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport offers a wide variety of modern and air-conditioned accommodations. You can reserve a Superior Queen room starting at $220 NZD per night with breakfast or a junior suite for $305 NZD per night with breakfast.

Each room includes free unlimited Wi-Fi, LCD TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Want hot beverages? There are tea and coffee-making facilities available as well.

If you opt for a strong drink, head down to the hotel’s restaurant to get a taste of award-winning wines, and treat yourself to international cuisines while you’re at it. If you’re not yet in the mood for a meal, you might want to hang out first at the lounge bar for pre-dinner drinks. You can also relax by the fireplace whenever you please.

Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport also houses a fitness center, meeting rooms, and a complimentary private parking space. For any concerns, the hotel has a 24-hour front desk.

Another thing you will love about this luxury hotel is the free and 24/7 airport shuttle!

Sudima Hotel is one of the most popular hotels in Christchurch, so be sure to book it well in advance online to secure your room!

$$ – Airport Palms Motel

Airport Palms Motel in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Airport Palms Motel

Offering stylish and affordable accommodations, Airport Palms Motel is one of the best hotels in Christchurch. It is located in a quiet residential area just a five-minute drive to the airport and a 15-minute drive to the central city. It is an ideal choice for overnight travelers, tourists, families, and corporate travelers.

Besides its close proximity to the airport, what I personally love about Airport Palms Motel is its complementary offers, such as daily newspapers, laundry facilities, unlimited WiFi, and even free airport transfers.

Every morning, continental breakfast is available at the hotel. You can have it delivered to your room for a minimal charge in case you feel too lazy to get out of bed (I don’t blame you, especially after a long flight!) Complete your meal with a cup of hot beverage that you can make using the tea and coffee-making facilities in your room.

For other breakfast choices, you can head to the nearby restaurants, or ride a bus to the city or mall where various eateries are also located.

If you’re in the mood for some outdoor activities, you’re in luck because Airport Palms Motel is just a short drive to many recreational spots in the Canterbury region, including Canterbury Museum, Riccarton Racecourse, Russley Golf Club, Peppers Clearwater Golf Resort, and more.

Room prices here range from around $173 NZD to $400 NZD per night. You can check prices and availability for all rooms online here.

$ – JUCY Snooze Christchurch

JUCY Snooze Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: JUCY Snooze

If I have to name one thing that I love the most about JUCY Snooze Christchurch, it’s their “pods”, which are the first are their kind in New Zealand! These pods are much cheaper than an average hotel room, and also have more features like a privacy blind, USB charging port, light, and a private locker.

Pods come with an average rate of around $50 NZD per night and are placed in a shared room. So, you can have your own space while making new friends and staying on budget.

If private rooms are what you’re looking for, this budget-friendly hotel has you covered, too! They offer single rooms, Queen rooms, twin rooms, and family rooms, and their prices start at approximately $164 NZD.

In terms of services, JUCY Snooze Christchurch has luggage storage, laundry service, daily housekeeping, and a 24-hour reception. Hotel staff can also provide travel advice in case you’re new in the city.

Meanwhile, in-house facilities and amenities you can find here are a sun terrace, garden, fax/photocopying machine, and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property. There’s also a communal area with kitchen facilities perfect for making your own meals.

You can check availability and book JUCY Snooze online on either or Hostelworld.

About Staying in Riccarton

the stalls at the Christchurch Farmers MArket
Riccarton is where you’ll find the Christchurch Farmer’s Market. Photo Credit: Christchurch Farmer’s Market

Riccarton is situated west of Christchurch’s metropolitan area, with Hagley Park separating the two. It has a young population compared to the rest of the suburbs and is teeming with trendy areas in contrast to the city center with old buildings.

With its huge Westfield shopping center, the famous Christchurch Farmers Market, parks, and restaurants, what’s not to love about Riccarton? Everything you need is just right at your doorstep, so if you’re looking for inner-city convenience, Riccarton could be the ideal place for you!

Another advantage of staying in Riccarton is easy and quick exploration as it is only a distance from some attractions.

Pros to staying in Riccarton: 

  • Some attractions within its vicinity
  • Chance to visit Westfield Riccarton (one of New Zealand’s biggest shopping malls)
  • Easy access to the city center
  • Trendy neighborhood

Cons to staying in Riccarton:

  • Busy and noisy, especially at night
  • Not surrounded by nature/not by the beach
  • Still a little away from the central city
  • Limited hotel options – There are no hostels and only one real luxury hotel (need to go to the downtown area for more luxury hotels in Christchurch)
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3 BEST Hotels in Riccarton, Christchurch

$$$ – Chateau On The Park – Christchurch, A Doubletree By Hilton

Chateau On The Park in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton

You won’t have any trouble finding Chateau on the Park in Riccarton as it only stands across the street from Hagley Park. And thanks to its location, you can easily visit the park’s Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Canterbury Museum – two of the best things to do in Christchurch.

Another thing I love about its location is that it’s only three kilometers away from the city center. So, visiting the city’s main attractions, cultural spots, and heritage sites isn’t a hassle. What’s more convenient is that the hotel offers a free scheduled local shuttle to Christchurch’s central business district.

Upon your arrival at Chateau on the Park, expect to receive a freshly-baked DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie. For more treats, you can head to the Den Bar, where you can find snacks and light meals, as well as drinks. The bar also features an open fire, where you can stay warm during winter.

Chateau on the Park also has a special offer during the summer season: all-day alfresco dining in its Garden Court Brasserie (GCB), which overlooks the moat. On a daily basis, the GCB is open for breakfast, morning and afternoon teas, business lunches, weekend brunch, and dinner. It’s an ideal place to relax and relish the great food and wines of the region.

Regarding the accommodations, this hotel offers a variety including king rooms, twin rooms, one-bedroom suites, and more. You can avail a king/twin room for as little as $248 NZD or a 1 bedroom suite for $426 NZD.

Meanwhile, the other amenities and facilities you’ll find here are an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness room, a business center, and a free parking lot. There are also meeting rooms for those visiting the city for business purposes.

In terms of a beautiful hotel is the most ideal location, you really can’t go wrong with Chateau on the Park. You should book your room online in advance to avoid missing out (this hotel is often fully booked!)

$$ – Golden Star Motel

Room at Golden Star Motel in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Golden Star Motel

Golden Star Motel may be new in Riccarton’s hospitality industry but it’s already rising to be one of the top Christchurch hotels thanks to its strategic location and great rooms.

In particular, this motel is situated within walking distance of popular shopping centers, such as Westfield Riccarton and Tower Junction. Buses stop right in front of the motel and the train station is just a few meters away.

Regarding the rooms, each one of them is soundproof, air-conditioned, and full of amenities, so you’ll surely feel at home. You can entertain yourself by watching on the 42-inch LED television with 50+ Sky channels or scroll through your Facebook newsfeed using the complimentary Wi-Fi. Free tea and coffee are provided as well.

Moreover, expect to see a private bathroom with a hairdryer, towels, high water pressure, and free toiletries, alongside a kitchen with a microwave, cooking top, and a range hood.

Meanwhile, public facilities found at the Golden Star Motel include a laundry with a dryer on the ground floor and a fax and photocopy machine in the office.

You can book a deluxe Queen studio for as low as $144 NZD per night, while the two-bedroom apartment is priced at about $174 NZD per night. You can check availability and book Golden Star Motel online here!

$ – 123 Motel

Bedroom at 123 Motel in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit:

When picking where to stay in Christchurch, you should definitely consider 123 Motel, especially when you’re on a tight budget. This comfortable hotel offers self-contained accommodations ranging from studios to family apartments. And the best part? Rates here start at $134 NZD.

At 123 Motel, you’ll get to stay in a modern room with free Wi-Fi, an en-suite bathroom, an in-room heater, a hairdryer, and an iron & ironing board. I was particularly delighted to see a kitchenette with a tea/coffee maker, a microwave, and a refrigerator. There’s also a flatscreen LED satellite television.

travelers with their own car will also find this motel convenient as it offers ample street parking spaces that you’re sure are secured. Don’t worry if you have no vehicle with you as 123 Motel provides free shuttles to the railway station.

But, you won’t be needing transportation when visiting the mall and eating places because they’re within the vicinity of the motel. The Westfield Riccarton mall is only a two-minute walk away, while several pubs, restaurants, and cafés are a five-minute walk away.

Meanwhile, you will need to drive a few kilometers or hire a taxi to get to Canterbury Museum, Hagley Park, Addington Raceway, and other top attractions in the city.

You can check availability and book Motel 123 online here!

Related Read: Everything you need to know about taking the ferry from the North Island to the South Island.

About Staying in Cashmere, Christchurch

Bailey at the Sign of the Kiwi Cafe in Cashmere, Christchurch
Sign of the Kiwi Cafe!
View of Christchurch from Sign of the Kiwi Cafe in Cashmere, Christchurch
The view while I enjoy my coffee! Oh and I’m not even sitting outside!

Cashmere is an excellent destination for those wanting to escape the downtown rush without straying too far into the countryside. It is also ideal for recreation as the rest of the Port Hills is within its vicinity, and for a relaxing break during a weekend.

Lying approximately five kilometers from the city center just north of the Port Hills, Cashmere offers a commanding view of the city. It even boasts a village-like flair and heritage buildings, which history buffs will definitely relish. The tranquil surroundings, cafés, and retail shops also add to the suburb’s appeal.

I personally love this area so long as you have wheels. The reason, your only a stones throw from one of my favorite cafes, The Sign of The Kiwi Cafe! It’s located at the top of Summit Road with views of Christchurch on one side and Lyttelton on the other. Feel like adventuring more? Check out Sign of the Bellbird wheere you’ll find Ohinetahi Viewpoint!

What’s more, you can find here some of the best hotels in Christchurch, some of which are close to the parks. Cashmere particularly has nice boutique hotels and B&B’s, as well as some very beautiful romantic hotels.

Pros to staying in Cashmere: 

  • Amazing natural scenery
  • Home to some heritage buildings
  • Proximity to parks
  • Quiet surroundings

Cons to staying in Cashmere:

  • Far from the culture of the city
  • Not walking distance to restaurants, shops, or bars
  • Doesn’t offer a huge selection of large hotels

3 BEST Hotels in Cashmere

$$$ – Cashmere Heights

Cashmere Heights in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Cashmere Heights

Located in the Canterbury region, Cashmere Heights is my top choice for a luxury hotel outside of the busy city center. One of the things that I won’t get tired of in this place is the stunning views of the Southern Alps, the ocean, and the city. The hotel’s executive lounge is where you can feast your eyes on these panoramic views.

Another aspect that had me loving Cashmere Heights is its laid-back atmosphere. The property only caters to a small number of travelers to ensure that all guests will have a quiet and relaxing stay.

We booked the bedroom junior deluxe that has its own private entrance, separating it from the other two-bedroom apartment. A free Wi-Fi, a luxurious Super King bed, a walk-in wardrobe, a fully-equipped kitchen, and an en-suite bathroom are some of its main amenities.

On top of that, we got to enjoy a private spa pool and outdoor dining. Rates for this room start at $365 NZD per night.

Meanwhile, if you opt to book other accommodations, expect to find a well-equipped kitchen with a dining area, a living room, and a private bathroom. Some units are air-conditioned and include a patio and/or a balcony. Just a little tip, guests booking an apartment-style accommodation will be provided with a breakfast basket.

Meanwhile, if activities are what you’re looking for, there are lots within the hotels’ proximity, including hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and zip-lining. You can also visit some top attractions like the Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Arts center.

Since there are only a couple of rooms available, you should book Cashmere Heights online in advance.

$$ – Dyers House

Dyers House in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit:

Just a 10-minute drive from the city center, Dyers House is another luxury accommodation situated in Cashmere, but what makes it stand out is its well-preserved Edwardian heritage. Here, guests can enjoy the charm of a past era alongside the comforts of modern living.

The panoramic views of Christchurch, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Alps, and the property’s relaxed at-home atmosphere are other things you can look forward to. You can also expect their service to be top-notch, and the hosts, Barry and Angela, surely know how to make guests feel as comfortable as possible.

Dyers House is ideally suited for both leisure and business travelers. But it is also perfect for a romantic getaway and can serve as the backdrop for wedding pictorials. They even have a conservatory available for wedding receptions.

Meanwhile, each room here is full of luxurious furnishings, has underfloor heating, and a Queen-size bed, which I guarantee can give you a good night’s sleep. All rooms also come with an en-suite bathroom, plus broadband Wi-Fi, snacks, and drinks, all at no extra charge.

Just a little tip when choosing, the White Room especially offers a romantic setting for couples. Room rates start at $395 NZD per night for two adults.

Around the property, there are many tourist attractions and award-winning restaurants, cafés, bars, and vineyards you can visit. If you’re not in the mood for tours in Christchurch, you can head to the library to read books, watch television in your room, or the garden to appreciate nature.

Be sure to book Dyers House online well in advance to avoid missing out.

$ – Sherwood Lodge

Sherwood Lodge in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Sherwood Lodge

Despite just being a five-minute drive away from the city center, Sherwood Lodge can give you that sense of isolation as it is set in a native bush surrounded by a private forest and birdsong on a hill. It is a perfect choice not only for budget travelers but also for those seeking to stay in nature. Here, you can get all the peace and quiet you need, and the bonus part is you can enjoy the magnificent views of Christchurch and the mountains.

Unlike the other Cashmere hotels, Sherwood Lodge offers exclusive use of the entire property, especially for larger groups. But, the rooms are still available for travelers with different budgets and different tastes. You get to choose from three spacious, sunny private rooms, all with comfortable Queen-size beds, spectacular views of the city, and free WiFi along with coffee, tea, and breakfast supplies. Guests have access to shared bathrooms, kitchens, and a TV room.

During your free time, you can take a walk through the trees and try to spot some native birds like kereru, bellbirds, fantails, and wax eyes. Or, you can chill out in the property’s quiet spots, decks, or sunny outdoor spaces.

In addition to being close to the central city, Sherwood Lodge is also an easy walk to plenty of amazing shops, restaurants, and cafes in Christchurch. The property is also within walking distance to Adventure Park, the Crater Rim, and other activity sites for cycling, walking, and mountain biking. Moreover, the lodge is just within driving distance of Mount Hutt, Hanmer Springs, beaches, and more.

The downside is that you are required to go up a hill to get to the accommodation. So the lodge is unfortunately not suitable for travelers under 18 and with mobility issues. Also, if you’re not confident to drive on narrow hillside streets, you can park on Valley Road.

You can book a 3-bedroom suite for about $300 NZD per night, or a Queen room with a balcony for $140 NZD per night for two. You can check availability and book Sherwood Lodge online here!

Related Read: While you’re here, be sure to check out the best day trips from Christchurch!

About Staying in Sumner, Christchurch

Bailey stands on a rock overlooking Sumner Beach in Sumner, Christchurch
Sunmer Beach!
Bailey out the front of the Bohemian Café in Sumner, Christchurch
The Bohemian Bakery is one of the best!

The downtown area may have everything you need for a perfect vacation. But it’s hard to deny that the noise at night and busy streets can sometimes ruin your mood.

If you opt for a place surrounded by nature rather than buildings, then the tranquil and lovely seaside suburb of Sumner is a good choice for you. It isn’t that far from Christchurch’s central business district, though, as it is only a 20-minute drive away.

What makes Sumner a must-consider location when deciding where to stay in Christchurch is its charm, laid-back coastal lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and exhilarating outdoor activities. Let’s not forget the good value vacation homes, some of which provide breathtaking and panoramic views of the city and sea from the mountains.

It is also important to note Sumner’s unique geography and coastal location, which makes microclimate and a wonderful variety of recreational activities. One side of the place has the Sumner and Scarborough beaches, which offer safe swimming and some of the best surfing in New Zealand, while the other side is surrounded by the Port Hills featuring cliff tops and rugged hill tracks.

However, due to its distance from the city center, you can only find limited amenities in the area, including cafes, bars and restaurants, shops (including a supermarket), medical services, and the Hollywood Cinema.

Pros to staying in Sumner: 

  • Near the beach and wildlife
  • Serene environment
  • Plenty of outdoor activities to do
  • Good value Airbnbs and holiday homes (ideal for families or groups)

Cons to staying in Sumner:

  • Very few places to stay
  • Limited amenities
  • Away from the culture of Christchurch
  • Very far from the airport

3 BEST Hotels in Sumner, Christchurch

$$ – Harbour Lodge

View from the balcony at Harbour Lodge in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: The Harbour Lodge

Nestled in the heart of Lyttelton (just beside Sumner), Harbour Lodge promises an experience that you won’t find in any of the Christchurch hotels listed in this guide. This luxury boutique accommodation offers breathtaking views of sunrises, colorful sunsets, and amazing views of moving boats, ferries, yachts, and ships. Lyttelton is known for its harbor, so there are a lot of great shore excursions from here too and you don’t have to be a cruise ship passenger to join!

Besides the rooms, the best spot where I was able to admire these stunning views is in Harbour Lodge’s Paua Lounge. In case you want to watch something else, you can head to the Jazz Lounge, where there’s a 70-inch smart television with satellite channels, plus a sound system.

If you get tired of watching, there is plenty to do down the hills. You can pay a visit to local cafes, restaurants, bars, or souvenir shops. A library and an art gallery are also nearby.

If you opt for thrilling activities, skiing and other snow sports on Mt. Hutt are just within driving distance. And, if you’re too cold to enjoy activities, you have the option to go to Hanmer Springs for a relaxing dip in the natural springs.

Harbour Lodge’s accommodations are also worth noting. Rooms come with contemporary comforts like hairdryers, wall heaters, plus towels, and heated towel rails. I personally loved the eco-friendly body cleanser and shampoo. Some units have an en-suite bathroom and/or a King-size bed. Pricing starts at $206 NZD, but they also offer room packages (either two rooms or three rooms) starting at $415 NZD.

You can check availability and book Harbour Lodge online in advance here.

$$ – Cave Rock Guest House

Cave Rock Guest House in Christchurch, New Zealand
Photo credit: Cave Rock Guest House

The first thing that I like about the Cave Rock Guest House is its ideal location. Guests can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and fresh air by the beach, and at the same time, the convenience of being close to the center of Sumner, where there are historical homes, shops, monuments, etc.

Other than that, the guesthouse is the only accommodation on Sumner’s coast that offers jaw-dropping sea views. So if you’re looking forward to having this kind of scenery during your stay in Christchurch, better not hesitate to book a room here.

For your accommodation, you can pick from their studio unit, standard double, and apartment. If you want a large bed, a fully-equipped kitchen, plus the stunning sea views, then the latter option is for you! Apartment rates start at $190 NZD per night for two guests. An additional $25 NZD is required per extra person.

If you’re on a budget, you can book the other accommodations instead. They are complete with a flat-screen TV, a kettle, a private bathroom, and free Wi-Fi. Average rates start at $135 NZD per night.

If you’re looking for fun, try the various activities nearby, such as windsurfing, cycling, and golfing. You can also roam around the center of Sumner, which is just a three-minute drive away.  For food and drinks, there are lots of restaurants, bars, and cafés within walking distance.

You should book Cave Rock Guest House well in advance since it is one of the most popular places to stay in Christchurch.

$ – Cosy Studio Apartment

To complete the list, I will introduce you to a Cosy Studio Apartment, which is a perfect option for couples. You can have the entire apartment to yourself for approximately $99 NZD.

This may be a low-budget accommodation but it has everything you need in a home away from home. It has one bedroom, one bathroom, a seating area, a dining area, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a patio with lake views. Extras include free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, bed linen, towels, a wardrobe, electric blankets, and more.

The apartment also has a garden where you can enjoy the sun and green surroundings. If you’re up for a little adventure, you can rent the water facilities on-site and head to Sumner Beach which lies 5.3 km (3.3 miles) away. Cycling, hiking, horseback riding, bowling, fishing, and canoeing are other activities you can try within proximity of the property.

If you opt for a daily tour, you can visit the Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch Arts center, Cardboard Cathedral, Ferrymead Heritage Park, and Port Hills, all within 10 km (6.2 miles) from Cosy Studio Apartment.

Meanwhile, for dining options, you can dine out in Estuary & Co and The Majestic Indian Bistro & Tandoor, which are just a short drive away.

You must book the Cosy Studio Apartment online in advance here.

Related Read: A couple of other epic beach destinations in NZ are the Coromandel Peninsula as well as Paihia in the Bay of Islands – both on the North Island.

Hot Tip: A campervan is a great alternative to a hotel. Check out the best campervan rental companies in Christchurch.

Must-do Activities in Christchurch

Views from the Christchurch Gondola
Views from the top of the Christchurch Gondola!

During your visit make sure not to miss out on the best activities Christchurch has to offer! Here are some of my top recommendations.

  • Ride the gondola – The Christchurch Gondola is famous both for sightseeing and as a way to transport hikers up to one of the many walking tracks on Mount Cavendish. So whether you’re in it for the views or are looking to pick a track to walk along this is a must-do while in Christchurch for just about anyone!
  • Ride or fly a helicopter – In Christchurch you can enjoy the views from above in a 20-minute helicopter tour overlooking the pretty Sumner Beach and Lyttleton Harbor or for a unique experience book this YouFly Trial Flight where you will learn how to take off, hover, fly, and land!
  • Tramway City Tour – This is perfect for seeing all the key landmarks including the Botanic Gardens, Avon River, and New Regent Street! Just sit back and gaze out your window. Since it’s a hop-on hop-off style tour you can choose to get out and explore any of the sights!
  • The International Antarctic Center – Take a glimpse into life in Antarctica! There are a lot of unique experiences here, from learning about and snuggling with Huskies to seeing blue penguins in the rescue center before stepping inside the Storm Dome for a feel of the extremely cold Antarctic weather this place will have all your senses stimulated.

Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand

Bailey stands in front of a right green JUCY campervan
JUCY is one of my favorite campervan rental companies (read below for a discount code!)
Bailey stands behind her Mad Campers campervan cooking in the kitchen at Piha Beach
I also really like Mad Campers!

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 rent 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’s what most budget travelers use 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…and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime! My favorite campervan rental company is JUCY because they have a huge selection of campervans to choose from, plus multiple pick-up/drop-off locations. You can browse JUCY’s campervan selection online here. Alternatively, you can easily compare all campervans available in NZ on Motorhome Republic here.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE: I’ve managed to snag a discount code for 5% off for my readers if you book your JUCY or Star RV campervan or motorhome before the end of June 2024! Simply click here to select your JUCY campervan, or click here to select your Star RV motorhome, and then use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off – it’s that easy! One thing to note is that this code is only valid for travel before Dec 21, 2024.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey poses for a photo at New Regent Street in Christchurch, New Zealand
Thanks for reading!

This blog ends right here, so hopefully, you were able to determine which hotel is the best one for you. If you’re still having trouble choosing, it’s important to decide first what kind of experience you’re looking forward to during your stay in Christchurch. This way, it will be easy for you to pick where to book your accommodation.

If you liked this blog, look around a little more – I have written a ton about visiting New Zealand including popular blogs below:

Best time to visit New Zealand

Christchurch to Kaikoura road trip

Epic things to do in New Zealand