As a holiday destination, Nelson knows how to turn it on. Whether you’re into eating and drinking your way around town, keen for a bit of culture, or simply want some rest and relaxation, this little gem is the place to come. Planning a trip to Nelson but don’t know where to stay?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some of the region’s most unique accommodation options. So without further ado, here are the best places to stay in and around Nelson.
Privacy is in abundance at these island getaways. Just a half an hour drive from central Nelson, Pepin Island is a rustic retreat, and these Airbnbs will make sure your stay is one to remember. Both the Passage Hut and the Rocky Hut feature breath-taking views of Cable Bay, as well as outdoor baths where you can soak and take in the panoramic sunset. It’s not all relaxation though, as there’s no vehicle access to the huts and the walk up is rather steep. But don’t let that put you off, as the uninterrupted stargazing alone will make it all well worth it.
Monaco Laneway Suites
Take a European holiday without going the distance at the Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco. These streets will make you like you’re feel miles away under the Tuscan sun, but with its sunshine hours, Nelson is the next best thing. For your stay, you can choose from Laneway or Garden Suites, Cottages, Terrace Houses, or something more cosy with a sea view. Each option has a classic vibe to make you feel like you’ve stepped out of the modern world—but don’t worry, ultra-fast WiFi has come with you! On site is a pool and gym for you to use, as well as a beauty lounge and restaurant, perfect for your indulgent getaway.
Jester House Boot Cottage
One of the best places to stay in Nelson—this one is straight out of a nursery rhyme, and is one of a kind to say the least. Stay in a literal boot at the iconic Jester House for a night or two, and take in all that this idyllic setting has to offer. Inside the boot you’ll have all you need, including an open fireplace, kitchenette, and a cosy queen bed up the spiral staircase. Outside is just as charming, with a private courtyard and outdoor fire, set amongst a small fairy tale forest. Room service from the award winning Jester House Café is available to the cottage, but when you’re not having a feed, you can feed the resident tame eels. Cosy and intimate all year round, this unique accommodation is perfect to enjoy with a special someone.
If you fancy stepping back in time, Fellworth House is worth a visit. Spend the night in opulence at this Victorian mansion overlooking the city. The house is decked out in Victorian style furniture to complement its period features, but still includes the modern necessities like unlimited WiFi and Sky TV. Location is ideal too, being only short stroll to the local township where you’ll be able to take some time to wander the streets and enjoy all of the eats Nelson has on offer. That doesn’t mean you have to leave the house to take in the city of course—you can do that from the stunning balcony and floor to ceiling windows throughout the house. Fellworth House is a Nelson icon, so why not live a bit of history during your next visit.
Sea Change Apartment
For those wanting to stay in seaside luxury, this one is for you. Sea Change Apartment is a waterfront beauty, and features panoramic views of the stunning Tasman bay, backdropped by the Southern Alps. Relax out on the deck and watch the boats sail past, or take it all in from inside through the huge windows. If you fancy a swim, you can pop across the coastal road for a dip off the sea wall, or you can head up the road to Tahnuanui beach where you can soak up the sun. You’ll also be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to eat, with plenty of award-winning restaurants right on your doorstep. Nelson’s waterfront is breath-taking to say the least, so we highly recommend staying somewhere you can enjoy it morning, noon, and night.
South Street Cottages
Keen on the heritage, but mansion not really your style? The cutsie cottages on South Street might be more your thing. Dating back to the 1880’s, South Street is Nelson’s beloved heritage precinct and is the oldest preserved street in Aotearoa which people actually live in. You can stay here too, in a quaint two storey historic house at the opening of the street. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms, antique furniture, and modern amenities, you’ll have all you need to make the most of your stay in this charming gem. What makes this place even better is that it’s right in town, so you can grab a coffee or find a place to eat within minutes. No wonder it makes our list as one of the best accommodation options in Nelson.
If sleeping outdoors is more your vibe, check out Nelson's best camp grounds here.
Image credit: Dominique White Photo for Passage Hut, Jester House Boot Cottage, Sea Change Apartment