The 20 Best Hotels in Otago

Mahu Whenua

A beautiful region famed for its lakes and mountains. This is a place to come and get back to nature whether you are an adrenaline junkie, a rambler or a wildlife enthusiast. Our Hotel Gurus have compiled a list of the best hotels in Otago including cheap and chic stays suited to backpackers, secluded luxury Alpine lodges reachable only by helicopter, spa hotels, charming B&Bs, boutiques set on vineyards and smart urban boltholes. With something for all tastes and budgets, why not browse through our collection to start planning your stay?

For great value


  • Larnach Castle is a 19th-century mock-castle with accommodation spread out across its manicured estate: the lodge is traditional, with heavy chintzy drapes and 4-posters, while the stables are chic and contemporary. A world of hills, forests and gardens, it's one of the best-value hotels in Otago for a country escape: the potential for wildlife is amazing, with lots of albatrosses and penguins in the area.
  • Queenstown Country Lodge is a quiet country escape outside of Queenstown, a chic boutique offering lovely, intimate rooms perfect for couples. Breakfast is served on the terrace with views of the mountains, soak in the hot tub after a day of exploring the area on the hotel's bikes. Quiet, stylish, and secluded.

For foodies

Pen-y-Bryn Lodge

  • Elegant rooms can be found at Pen-y-Bryn Lodge, a charming boutique and member of both the Slow Food movement and Chaîne des Rôtisseurs - making it one of the best hotels in Otago for foodies. The rooms have antiques, fur throws, oil paintings and rustic furnishings, and the billiards room is decked out in period charm.

For a spa break

Gibbston Valley

  • Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa is one of Otago's best luxury hotels for couples on a romantic break. Stylish, luxury villas with private sundecks nestling quietly in a Pinot Noir vineyard. There's a vinotherapy spa, sauna, classy cafe, lounge and a brooding cinema.

For a famous hotel

Cardrona Hotel

  • One of the last of the Goldrush-era buildings, Cardrona Hotel was built in 1863 and is rumoured to be one of the most photographed buildings in the country. Simple, cosy, light-filled rooms with balconies affording views of the hills. The restaurant is as equally snug, warm and inviting. Families with kids will love the play park outside. Undoubtedly Otago's most famous hotel.

For a golfing holiday


  • One of the best hotels in Otago for a golfing holiday, Millbrook Resort features a range of sleek, contemporary cottages peppered across a 27-hole golf course. Framed by mountains, there's a spa, indoor pool, a choice of 3 restaurants, babysitting services and a playground - ideal for all the family.

For an active holiday

Wanaka Haven

  • Wanaka Haven is great for an active holiday. This luxury, modern lodge is flanked by mountains, not far from Lake Wakaka - with all its fishing and watersports opportunities - and 45mins from four ski areas. The rooms are spacious, chic and minimalist, with floor-to-ceiling windows letting in plenty of light. Woodburning stoves and geothermal heating make it a warm, welcoming and sustainable stay.
  • In a spectacular canyon setting, like something out of Lord of the Rings, The Canyons is a charming B&B perfect for an adventure holiday. Paragliding, hand gliding, bungee-jumping and sky-diving are available locally and, after, you can relax in the outdoor hot tub, sunbathe on your private patio or sink into the plump bedding of your rustic-chic room.
  • Sherwood is perfect for skiers hitting the slopes of the nearby Remarkables Mountain Range. In a quiet, riverside setting a few miles from Queenstown, the rooms are post-industrial bohemian-chic, with local artworks, while the restaurant serves organic food grown locally, or in the garden. Live music and stand up feature prominently, the huge rooms (and amazing rates) are great for families.

For a B&B

Wanaka Homestead

  • For intimacy, Wanaka Homestead works wonders. A choice of an adults-only B&B or 2 self-catering family-friendly cottages, all adorned in a smart, rust-chic decor, you can relax in the outdoor hot tub, borrow mountain bikes and explore the area or gently stroll through the lovely garden.
  • Set in a restored Victorian villa in Queenstown, Hulbert House is rich in period charm. Elegant and sophisticated, all the individually-styled rooms of this gorgeous B&B come with enchanting views of Lake Wakatipu or Skyline Hill.

On a budget

Kinloch Lodge

  • At the north end of Lake Wakatipu, Kinloch Lodge is the perfect stay for backpackers. Built in 1868, it's unbelievably cheap; the chic and simple rooms range from shared dorms to double en-suites. There's a restaurant, shared kitchen, outdoor hot tub and garden BBQ. An area packed with watersports and hiking trails, this is a real steal!

For a vineyard

Mt Michael Lodge

  • Mt Michael Lodge offers 4 sleek, minimalist rooms in a boutique hideaway sprawling on a Pinot Noir vineyard. Take a helicopter tour, sample the wine, relax in the hot tub, swim in the pool flanked by the mountains, sunbathe on the terrace or relax in the cosy rooms. One of the best boutique hotels in Otago.
  • Stoneridge Estate is a small boutique on a working vineyard, by a lake, surrounded by trees and mountains. The rooms are truly beautiful: simple, smart, and with artisan flourishes like handcrafted timber beams, archaic chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. Filled with light from the bay windows, the landscaped gardens roll effortlessly around you. Nearby there is white water rafting and bungee jumping for thrill seekers.

For luxury

Minaret Station Alpine Lodge

  • Minaret Station Alpine Lodge is truly special, undoubtedly one of the best luxury hotels in Otago. Perched in a remote glacial valley of gushing streams and Alpine meadows, reachable only by helicopter, these cosy chalets are rustic-chic, snug and warm. Expect fur throws, Persian rugs, roaring fireplaces and glass doors. Perfect for couples with no budget constraints.
  • A luxury lodge on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, Blanket Bay is a snug getaway. Set on a sheep, deer and cattle farm the rooms are rustic and homely affairs with open fireplaces, schist stone and timber beams, antique furniture and private balconies with views of the bay. Try your hand at horseriding, heli-skiing and mountain biking while you're there!
  • Mahu Whenua sits in a private national park spanning 200 square miles, a luxury boutique lodge offering warm and rustic rooms decked out with exposed stone, wooden rafters and sheepskin throws. Gothic chandeliers hang from the ceiling, the restaurant tailors the menu to your desires, and the windows are like gigantic paintings of plains, lakes and mountains. Complete with a spa, horse riding and guided safaris - unbeatable.
  • Azur Lodge is the ultimate romantic luxury hideaway, one of the best hotels in Otago for couples, offering luxury open-air apartments in a lakeside setting framed by mountains. Snug and contemporary, the apartments have open fires and jacuzzis, offering breakfast and pre-dinner canapes. Perfect for a ski holiday, sightseeing tour or just an escape to the great outdoors.

For an urban bolthole

Hotel St Moritz

  • For a chic, urban bolthole, you can't get better than Hotel St Moritz. In Queenstown, perched by the lake, the cosy rooms are smart and brooding, the light-filled restaurant is a fine-dining experience, and the Lombardi Bar serves up bespoke cocktails.

Still not sure which to book?

  • Larnach Castle Dunedin (Otago Peninsula) 18 rooms from £84

    Hotel Entertainment  -  Guided tours of NZ's only castle and its magical gardens are a highlight - and they're included in your room rate
    Back to Nature  -  The area is renowned for its yellow-eyed penguins and albatross, a great base for wildlife enthusiasts
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the Otago Peninsula Headland, looking out for native birdlife
    Country Escape  -  A unique experience to stay in lodges within the grounds of a family-owned castle
    RestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Characterful accommodation in 35 acres of grounds surrounding New Zealand's only castle. The Lodge offers a truly traditional stay, while the affordable Stables are more contemporary. Savour four-course dinners in the castle's atmospheric dining room. A grand rural escape. Great for weddings. See More

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  • Pen-y-bryn Lodge Oamaru, South Island 5 rooms from £320

    Romantic Break  -  With beautifully appointed guestrooms, gourmet cuisine and friendly hosts, book this hotel for your next romantic city break
    City Style  -  Set in the laid-back town of Oamaru in a beautifully preserved heritage property, this hotel has lots of local city charm
    Foodies  -  The hotel is a member of both the Slow Food Movement and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, great news for foodies
    Great walks  -  Take a personalised tour of Oamaru’s distinctive historic centre, the best-preserved heritage town in New Zealand
    RestaurantGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    This boutique lodge is nestled within a Victorian mansion in the Oamaru District of New Zealand. Following a recent renovation, the elegant interiors feature a blend of custom-made furnishings and selected antiques. Sample gourmet 'slow food' in the stylish hotel restaurant. See More

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  • Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa Queenstown 24 rooms from £410

    Foodies  -  Renowned chef Anthony Gradiska has created a sumptuous fine dining experience accompanied by the best local wines.
    Other Activities  -  Enjoy a picnic for two with a bottle of regional wine especially prepared by the hotel's chef
    Wine tasting  -  Tour the Gibbston Valley's own vineyard, chat to winemakers & taste wines in the cellar
    Spa breaks  -  Winner of New Zealand's Best Resort Spa 2020 & 2021 at the World Spa Awards
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    A small luxury hotel boasting an enviable setting within a Pinot Noir vineyard in Queenstown. Stylish villas offer private sundecks with spectacular views, indulgent bathrooms and open-plan living spaces. With both a spa and private dining on offer, nothing has been missed here. See More

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  • Cardrona Hotel Cardrona 9381 16 rooms from £101

    Local exploring  -  On the stunning Crown Range road between Wanaka and Queenstown, the perfect base from which to explore the Central Otago region
    Historic  -  Established in 1863, one of New Zealand’s oldest hotels, one of only two remaining buildings from the region's gold rush era
    Charming  -  Rumoured to be the most photographed building in New Zealand, the historic facade hides a stylish and award winning interior
    Kayaking  -  Explore Lake Wanaka and the Clutha River in a kayak or on a stand-up paddle board. Guided tours and freedom rentals available
    RestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    One of the last remaining buildings from the Cardrona gold-rush era and arguably one of the most famous hotels in the country. Charming rooms are simple yet cosy with grey and blue hues, sink into beds and wooden furniture. Boasting an award-winning restaurant and popular beer garden. See More

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  • Mahu Whenua Wanaka 4 rooms from £1006

    Back to Nature  -  Spans over 200sq miles of majestic beauty – towering mountains, lush green valleys, native bush, forests and meandering rivers
    Foodies  -  A creative and innovative Mahu Whenua chef will tailor the menu to your requirements and source the freshest local produce
    Eco break  -  On 200 sq miles of eco-sanctuary; effectively New Zealand’s first privately owned national park
    Birdwatching  -  Much birdlife to see, including birds of paradise and Weka birds, which are supported by Mahu Whenua’s conservation projects
    SpaSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A boutique hotel with four suites in a private national park with a strong eco and conservation emphasis. Luxury suites offer spectacular views across the hills (best enjoyed from the bath). Feast on meals made using seasonal produce, much of it grown on the property. Superb. See More

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  • Millbrook Resort Arrowtown 170 rooms from £215

    Mountain biking  -  Hire a bicycle from the resort's fleet of mountain bikes & e-Bikes to explore Queenstown's trails in the spring, summer & autumn
    Families  -  Families will love flexible cottage options & child-friendly acitivites, including a playground, duck feeding & garden games
    Golf  -  Home of the NZ Open, Millbrook Resort has two 18-hole golf courses - The Remarkables and Coronet - perfect for keen golfers
    Active Holiday  -  Brilliant for active holidays, the resort has tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses & activities for little ones
    TennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A range of cottages and suites situated on the 600-acre Millbrook Resort with two 18-hole golf courses. Decor is contemporary, modern and slick. Cottages come with private verandas and dining areas. Also has a spa, indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and choice of three restaurants. See More

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  • Wanaka Haven Wanaka 5 rooms from £188

    Back to Nature  -  Appreciate the beauty of New Zealand’s South Island. Mountains merging into lakes, sunny crisp air and crystal clear waters
    Eco break  -  Geothermal underfloor heating throughout the lodge and the highest environmental practices adhered to
    Sights nearby  -  Puzzling world- regularly voted one of New Zealand’s best family attractions, experience the eccentric maze or Illusions room
    Fishing  -  Brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon can all be found in the local waters. Shoreline fishing or take a boat to the best spots
    Swimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxurious and well-appointed lodge with beautiful views. Interiors are chic and contemporary yet still with a cosy lodge feel. Expect expanses of glass, wood-burning stoves, pale wooden floors and plush leather sofas. A warm property perfect to return to after a day spent outdoors. See More

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  • Wanaka Homestead Wanaka 10 rooms from £137

    Groups  -  Special rates for group bookings of up to 21 guests- ideal for weddings, residential courses, conference stays or group holidays
    Country Escape  -  Borrow mountain bikes to explore local scenery, use a BBQ built from local stone and relax under-the-stars in the hot tub
    Self catering  -  Offers a choice of either luxury lodge or self-catering cottage accommodation
    Restrictions on children  -  Family friendly self-contained accommodation in choice of 2 cottages; or luxury boutique adult-only B&B in the main lodge.
    GardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxury B&B lodge (adult only) and a family-friendly self catering cottage set in a stunning location with mountain views, close to Wanaka Lake. Rural chic interiors are charming. Spend the day in the great outdoors before returning to relax in the hot tub under the stars. See More

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  • The Canyons Queenstown 3 rooms from £115

    Back to Nature  -  Set amidst majestic mountains and overlooking Shotover Canyon; this is an impressive spot for a nature escape
    Families  -  Rent the lodge out in its entirety (it sleeps up to eight) for an idyllic family break
    Sights nearby  -  Set just 4km outside of Queensland which is filled with museums, restaurants and exhibitions
    Views  -  Breathtaking views over the Shotover River Canyons
    GardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A charming small lodge boasting a spectacular canyon side setting within striking distance of Queenstown. Interiors are perfectly rustic chic with beamed ceilings, roll-top baths and picture frame windows. The hosts are charming and breakfasts wonderfully indulgent. An idyllic and convenient escape. See More

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  • Sherwood Queenstown (Aotearoa) 78 rooms from £70

    Families  -  Large family suites available, with a range of dining, babysitting and activity options available to keep the whole family busy
    Active Holiday  -  With ski equipment to hire and repair on-site, and access to local outdoor activities, this hotel is perfect for active guests
    Back to Nature  -  With an eco-conscious vibe promoting harmony with the natural world, Sherwood supports guests in reconnecting with the nature
    Foodies  -  Enjoy organic, on-site or locally sourced and produced food prepared in a hearty and rustic style
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParking

    Attractive lodgings just outside Queenstown with an eco-conscious vibe. This bohemian retreat is perfect for guests hitting the slopes on the Remarkables mountain range. With excellent organic food, spacious rooms with spectacular views, and very attractive rates - this is an alluring stay. See More

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  • Kinloch Wilderness Retreat Glenorchy, South Island 19 rooms from £25

    Riding  -  Ride through 150,000 acres of countryside - some seen in Lord of the Rings - with High Country Horses or Lighthorse Adventures
    Cycling  -  Borrow mountain bikes or electric bikes to cycle along lakeside and mountain paths from Glenorchy or the Dart River Bridge
    Groups  -  Groups and families will appreciate the flexible accommodation options - inc dorm rooms - and the communal kitchen
    Back to Nature  -  Ideal for nature lovers eager to immerse themselves in the striking countryside, with hikes, walks & watersports
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    Range of accommodation at the north end of Lake Wakatipu, from shared dorms to delightful double ensuites. Communal kitchen, restaurant, outdoor hot tub and stunning lake and mountain views. Fabulous watersports and a great base for Routeburn, Greenstone, Caples and Rees and Dart walking tracks. See More

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  • Azur Lodge Queenstown from £614

    Hideaway  -  Escape to one of nine indulgent villas with lake views, private terraces and delicious food
    No restaurant  -  Generous breakfasts, scrumptious afternoon teas & delicious canapés are provided
    Other Activities  -  Hop aboard iconic vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw for a cruise on the lake
    Riding  -  Ride through filming locations from The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit
    Air conditioningTennisGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    Open-plan villas with floor to ceiling windows, glass doors and open plan layout including dining and living areas. Stunning views across Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables and Cecil and Walter Peaks, only five minutes to Queenstown. Perfect for a romantic getaway. See More

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  • Hulbert House Queenstown 6 rooms from £256

    Romantic Break  -  With luxurious bedding, stylish interiors and a great location, book this hotel for your next romantic city break
    Local exploring  -  Siutated just 500m from the centre of Queenstown, book this hotel as a base for your local exploring
    City Style  -  Set in one of the original residences of Queenstown, this hotel has reams of original city style
    Sights nearby  -  Ride in the Skyline Gondola, cable cars which will carry you over the city to the sleek Skyline complex, with panoramic views
    GardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    This hotel is housed in a beautifully restored Victorian villa in Queenstown. Each of the individually designed guestrooms offers views of Lake Wakatipu or the Skyline Hill, in addition to elegant, period-style furnishings and luxurious, Hungarian goose down linens. See More

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  • Mt Michael Lodge Cromwell, South Island 4 rooms from £248

    Boutique  -  The four-room property offers sleek boutique design with simple minimalist style and plenty of luxury trimmings
    Country Escape  -  A stylish rural escape set in an expansive vineyard - it doesn't really get much better than this!
    Romantic Break  -  Think hot tubs, sink-into-beds, mountain views and plenty of good wine
    Private Hot Tub  -  Book the Lake View or Dunstan room for your patio with private hot tub
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolParkingNo pets

    Set amidst a Pinot Noir vineyard, this is a sleek boutique property perfect for a rural hideaway. The four rooms are minimalist in design with floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors leading on to private terraces. Spend days in the great outdoors before returning for a soak in the hot tub. See More

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  • Minaret Station Alpine Lodge Wanaka, South Island 4 rooms from £1264

    Local exploring  -  Choose from a range of hotel packages to help you explore the area, with helicopter access to surrounding sites of interest
    Active Holiday  -  This hotel offers an excellent programme for active guests, from mountain biking to trekking and fly fishing
    Families  -  The hotel chalets are perfect for a family stay, with additional roll-out beds available for children
    Fishing  -  Enjoy a day of backcountry fishing with a hotel package; enquire with your room reservation for more details
    RestaurantViewsNo pets

    This luxury lodge is set in a remote glacial valley surrounded by towering peaks in Wanaka, New Zealand. Accessible only by helicopter, the hotel offers unique vistas across an alpine meadow from cosy guest chalets. Try your hand at heli biking, a fresh way to explore the mountains. See More

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  • Blanket Bay South Island 12 rooms from £1197

    Restaurant  -  Pacific Rim cuisine
    Fishing  -  Close to Dart River
    Restrictions on children  -  Must be 10 or over
    Lakeside  -  On Lake Wakatipu
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors

    Set on a sheep, cattle and deer farm on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, this luxury lodge has open fireplaces, schist stone and timber beams. Rooms with antique furniture, large double beds and private balconies overlooking the bay. There is mountain biking and riding on the farm. See More

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  • Stoneridge Estate Queenstown 9 rooms from £260

    Country Escape  -  Set on a beautiful vineyard & surrounded by mountains, this is an idyllic rural retreat
    Wine tasting  -  Follow the Queenstown Wine Trail, beginning at Stoneridge's own Cellar Door
    Views  -  Stunning views over Lake Hayes to the mountains beyond.
    Weddings  -  A sublime spot for an intimate wedding or elopement
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    A small boutique hotel set on a picturesque vineyard with spectacular mountain views. Choose a contemporary or traditional suite, feast on local produce with the 5-course degustation menu, and relax in the hot tub. Ideal for intimate weddings, adventurous holidays & wine tasting holidays. See More

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  • Queenstown Country Lodge Queenstown 5 rooms from £98

    Country Escape  -  Whether your idea of a rural break is pure adventure or just lounging with a good book in a hot tub, this lodge has you covered
    Golf  -  Play a round on one of the six golf courses within 45 minutes' drive, or watch the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open each March
    Active Holiday  -  Head to one of the nearby ski resorts for the day or use one of the hotel's bicycles for an adventurous day out
    Cycling  -  Hop on one of the hotel's bikes and explore more than 130km of surrounding trails
    Air conditioningGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    A secluded lodge set in spectacular countryside outside of Queenstown. Boutique interiors have a chic contemporary feel and all the rooms offer mountain views. Breakfasts are served on the terrace and there's a hot tub to soak in after a day's adventuring. An indulgent and well located rural escape. See More

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  • Hotel St Moritz Queenstown 134 rooms from £123

    Romantic Break  -  With stylish suites, a romantic restaurant and hot tub garden, book this hotel for a chic couples' city break
    Local exploring  -  This hotel makes a superb base from which to explore the broader region of New Zealand’s South Island
    City Style  -  Set in the heart of Queenstown in a chic, Alpine-style property, this hotel has lots of city charm
    Great walks  -  Queenstown is riddled with walking paths and hiking trails; enquire at the hotel for guidance on the best routes
    RestaurantDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    This luxury bolt-hole overlooks Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown. The hotel's alpine exterior gives way to cosy guestrooms with contrasting textures, where leather headboards juxtapose with relief wallpaper and sink-in throws. Enjoy bespoke cocktails at the hotel's Lombardi Bar. See More

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Written by Edmund Wise

posted Tuesday, 20th September 2022