As the gateway to the South Island, Christchurch attracts visitors of all types and is consequently blessed with some of the country’s best hotels. Those looking for a getaway in the Chur will not be disappointed. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious weekend away or craving a staycation to explore a different part of your city, there is a hotel for everyone in Christchurch. We’ve done the research (and tested the pillows) and can assure you that you’re spoiled for choice regardless of whether you’re looking accommodation based on location, 5-star rating or even the quality of the mini bar. Read on for the best hotels in Christchurch.
Crowne Plaza Christchurch
Our pick for the most conveniently located hotel, Crowne Plaza is also one of Christchurch’s most beautiful. The city’s tallest hotel, the Crowne Plaza boasts 17-storeys and has 200 or so rooms, which are all beautifully decked out in navy and mustard hues. The beds at this upscale hotel are ridiculously comfy, making them perfect for either a staycation or weekend away. Every detail here is perfectly executed from the downstairs Cafe 1851, which pays homage to the hotel’s roots to the lobby bar with its marble details. Much more than a hotel, Crowne Plaza Christchurch is also a hangout spot for locals and its restaurant, Market Place is one of the city’s best.
Quality boutique hotels can be hard to find in New Zealand, so Hotel Montreal is an easy sell. With thoughtfully designed rooms and a lovely in-house restaurant, Polo Bar, which is a favourite among visitors and locals. The hotel offers contemporary luxury suites that overlook Hagley Park and it’s only a five-minute walk from the bustling Victoria Street precinct, with all its bars and restaurants. The elegant suites are impressive in size and fully equipped with kitchenettes, lounges and an excellent compendium of reading material. The cushion collection in each room is equally impressive with its soft blues and yellows. Pour yourself a drink and watch the world go by on your astroturf balcony or head downstairs for a cocktail followed by a game of croquet. After a relaxing night’s sleep (the beds are incredibly comfy) head downstairs for a delicious breakfast at the Argentinean Polo Bar. You’ll be forgiven if you mistake the waitstaff for Ralph Lauren employees in their preppy attire. Attentive and immaculately dressed with silk HM monogrammed neck scarves, you’ll feel as though you've stepped into a polo club. The restaurant boasts an extensive menu of hot and cold tapas and breakfast staples like cinnamon and apple pancakes plus a divine smoked salmon hash.
If it’s luxury you’re after, The George is sure to impress. The only 5-star boutique hotel in Christchurch, they even have a one-to-one staff to guest ratio, so you’re guaranteed to receive top service. A favourite among business travellers and those who appreciate the finer things in life, The George is elegance at its best and has extensive facilities and attention to detail. With stunning views of Hagley Park and tasteful furnishings, you might not want to leave your room. But you definitely should, even if only to head downstairs to sample the seasonal and locally sourced menu at 50 Bistro. Offering a unique chef's table experience providing seasonally inspired Modern New Zealand cuisine, showcasing the best of Canterbury and New Zealand.
Exploring the city by foot? You’ll absolutely love staying at The Heritage. One of the city’s few heritage buildings, the grand and elegant building is located in the heart of the Garden City. Opened in 1913, the hotel is listed as a category one building on the Historic Places Trust Register, reflecting its status as a building of national significance. In addition to elegant suites and opulent furnishings, it is also home to OGB, one of the city’s best bars. Stop by for an excellent negroni, delicious snacks (their vegan burger is divine) and regular live music both inside and outside the establishment.
Novotel Christchurch Airport
Take it from us, this is not your standard airport hotel. As one of Christchurch’s best designed and most luxurious hotels, Novotel at Christchurch Airport is a minimalist dream. Speaking of the design, the 4.5 star hotel was envisioned by Warren and Mahoney and features two-storey sheer walls, steel braced columns, luxurious timbers, terracotta cladding and plenty of marble. There are oodles of public spaces as well, from the lobby cafe, which welcomes weary travellers and its rooftop restaurant and bar that would fit in well in any cosmopolitan city. The panoramic views of the Canterbury plains and Southern Alps are something else. The rooms are sparingly designed with clever features that make good use of space and enable you to watch the planes take off and arrive but with none of the noise. Score.
Sudima Christchurch City
The new Sudima is an inner-city delight and close to many of Christchurch’s hot spots. Conveniently nestled in Salisbury Street, its location means you’re within walking distance of the city centre and only a stone’s throw from Victoria Street. There are 86 rooms, all with real plants and fresh flowers, a nice reminder of home. Stop by Vices and Virtues, the on-site restaurant, which aims to celebrate locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients. Its menu is largely plant-based but with protein options. Oh, and there’s free evening drinks and canapés, á la carte breakfast, mini bar, streamed movies, unlimited Wi-Fi and access to gym and yoga with every booking. Another draw is Moss Spa with treatments ranging from manicures to waxing, relaxing massages and facials. Blush pink and blonde wood, the interiors are as noteworthy as the facials.
The Rydges Latimer Square
Overlooking Latimer Square, Rydges is right in the heart of the city. Opened in 2013, this 4.5 star hotel boasts four levels of rooms plus a fifth floor penthouse apartment with incredible views stretching across the Port Hills to the Southern Alps. All spaces are flooded with natural light, integrated audio visual equipment, exceptional menu options and a dedicated team of conference professionals on had to assist in the planning and facilitation. Located on the ground floor is Bloody Mary's Bar-Lounge-Grill, a premium steakhouse featuring some of the finest locally sourced ingredients from right here in Canterbury. New York steakhouse meets Kiwi hospitality for a true beef lover’s dream. You will be eager to ‘steak’ your claim.
Eco Villa is a charming and historic hotel housed in a 100-year-old timber villa. Originally a four-bedroom home, it has since been converted into a community-minded hotel. Combining the luxury of a boutique hotel and the warmth of a bed and breakfast with the practical comforts of a backpackers', guests can expect luxurious rooms with king-sized beds but the kitchen and all facilities are shared. Located on the edge of the city centre, just a block from the Cardboard Cathedral, it’s not far from The Crossing and the restaurants along the Terrace. Reclaimed timber from the renovation has been used in creating dining tables and headboards and many of the original features of the building have been retained. Sustainability is a focus here and owners, Nisha and Evan provide shopping bags and plastic-free details and products for guests. Right on.
Now your accommodation's sorted, check out what else there is to do in the glorious garden city.
Image credit: Crowne Plaza Christchurch, Hotel Montreal, The George, Heritage Christchurch, Novotel Christchurch Airport, Sudima Christchurch City, The Rydges Latimer Square, Eco Villa