Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How To Book NZ Hotels

There are loads of website that allow you to book an accommodation in New Zealand. I will take you through some online booking platforms that we used.

On This Page:

Best Websites for Booking Accommodations

This is a great website to choose different accommodation types.  
Booking a place in Auckland

Why use

  • Flexibility of selection of different accommodation types that you cannot find on general booking hotel / motel booking sites
  • You can stay at private residences and bachs
  • Paypal is accepted
Booked and happily staying Tips
  • Check the rating of host. Obviously, try to get one with a higher rating. From the example above, the host has a 5 star rating from 4 reviews, giving a certain level of assurance about the property.
  • Message your host for any clarification or request prior to confirming a booking. Rule of thumb is negotiate and be satisfied before you make payment.
    Example 1 - If your departing flight on your last day is late, there is no harm in asking if you can leave later.
    Example 2 -
    f you want to negotiate on the number of days to stay, that can take a while to confirm through message exchanges and discussing cost differences.
  • Get a referral from a friend who has an existing Airbnb account. Chances are both you and your friend will get credited a certain amount which can be used to offset your stays. If you sign up with Airbnb using this link, you will get NZD 49 off your first booking.

This was the most regular online booking platform that we used. It's generally reliable and has an intuitive user interface.

Why use
  • Extensive network of accommodations such as motels, hotels, B&Bs
  • Excellent pricing
  • Responsive customer service
  • The booking dashboard gives a quick overview of all your bookings for quick and easy reference
  • If your motel has no vacancy, the map function gives a good overview of which accommodations are available in the vicinity
  • Reviews are done up by folks who have actually stayed. Tips

  • Book early
  • Check when full payment is needed. Is payment flexible of semi-flexible? Some will take it at minus 24 hours from check in while some take the full amount at the point that you confirm your booking.
  • If you are going on a road trip, try to take the flexible payment option. You never know when you may want to stay longer either because your town warrants more of your time or for unintended reasons like an earthquake / frosty conditions.


Why use

  • If you use on a regular basis, you get a free night after every 10 nights stay. How about that? Tips 
  • There are deals that will pop up every now and then. For example, there may be an 8% discount when you enter a code sent through mailing list.
  • Do check through the final amount before confirming the hotel. The daily rate does not give the full picture. Only after you go to the check out screen, the amount including taxes is added in. 


Why use

  • There are a ton of reviews on on hotels, food, places of interest. If you need frank reviews on a motel, do install the app before your trip.
  • If you are booking a motel, you may want to consider reading through the reviews to understand whether the accommodation is to your liking. Tips

  • Check the ranking of each motel and cross check with the rating of your booking platform.
  • Look through the pictures. Sometimes reviews may be fantastic but pictures tell a thousand words instantly.
  • You can download info on large cities and can check out reviews offline while saving on data charges. Currently, only Auckland can be downloaded (40MB).

5. Hotel Websites
Hotel chains are starting to get their act together with the rise of sites like and Most understand that loyal customers are absolutely vital. There is, just to name a few. Some like Hilton only have a limited but focused presence on the major cities in NZ.

Why use hotel websites

  • Hotels chains tend to have built a brand and a wide network of hotels within the country. Accor Hotels has a range of 35 hotels (ibis, Novotel, Grand Mercure) in New Zealand.

Hotel Website Tips
  • Enlist in their loyalty program straight away. There may be perks you can use instantly. For, enlisting with Le Club Accor Hotels grants you access to free Wi-Fi and early online check-in.
  • Loyalty points can be accumulated and staying several nights can translate to a free night's stay.

How To Get The Best Hotel Deals?

  • Book early. That can't be emphasized more especially during summer season where motels are snapped up and it's not just the top ranked ones.
  • Register yourself to the booking websites early prior to initiating booking your hotels. You may get some promotions being sent to your email that you can use.
  • When booking the hotel, email or call the hotel directly to find out if there is any further promotion or better room availability.
  • Ask for a room upgrade. Grow some thick skin and try this. What do you have to lose after all?

Why Do Hotels Use Booking Sites?

  • One obvious reason is greater visibility and hence access to more customers. This is to your advantage as popular hotel consolidators will have a wide range of accommodations for easy comparison and selection.

Top 12 Tips For Booking NZ Hotels Online

  1. 1. Book early
    Did we already mention this? Do this to avoid any distress if there are limited accommodations where you are heading. In Arthur's Pass, there are only 3 motels around and they are all in pretty high demand.
  2. 2. Bring the confirmation email
    You may not need a hardcopy but minimally, download the softcopy to your phone so you can produce it straight away after your lengthy drive.
  3. 3. Contact the motel after you book
    Want to check for the best (or better) rate? Whether loyalty points can be accepted? Or more importantly, whether they received your booking? Yup, do contact them.
  4. 4. Use Filter
    There are a ton of metrics on online booking sites. Filter them down so you see only what you want. For example, you can limit the hotel price, select only hotels with a bathtub.
  5. 5. Use Sort
    View the highest rated ones ranked by customers or perhaps the most inexpensive ones straight away.
  6. 6. Check Ratings
    Ratings really make a difference. They don't get a 5 star or a 3 star rating by customers for no reason.
  7. 7. Compare with different booking websites
    There are different prices for similar motels and a different selection of hotels on different websites. Do not limit yourself to one website.
  8. 8. Is there parking?
    If you are visiting New Zealand, it is quite likely you will be driving. Parking in most motels is free but you will find that in city areas like Auckland / Wellington, you may be charged on a nightly basis. Do check the fine print.
  9. 9. Do children sleep free?
    Quite a few motels give the option of allowing children to sleep on existing beds provided. For B&Bs, they tend to be more iffy so do contact them to find out not just if they can sleep for free but if they are comfortable with children.
  10. 10. Payment options
    Is the amount refundable and if so, until how many days before staying?
  11. 11. Use a Travel Credit Card
    If you are traveling a lot, use a travel credit card that meets your needs. Either it should give you bonus points for overseas usage or a discount when making an online purchase.
  12. 12. Read the reviews
    This is good for setting expectations right. Read them and look at the pictures to have a good idea where you will be staying.

How To Organize Your Hotel List
If you are not using a single booking platform, do consider using Once you install it on your mobile phone, this will help you to organize all your flights, accommodations and transportation. Let's put it this way - If you book through multiple online hotel platforms, it would be quite tedious to keep track of your multiple bookings. This is where TripIt comes in. It simplifies the process such that you can see everything in a single page.

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