Friday, February 17, 2017

Our 20 NZ Accommodations

Before I talk about how to book NZ accommodations, I thought to do a sharing on the types of lodgings we stayed in. After all, the likely question you are asking is what do we know about booking platforms. Well, I'll share a little on the background of the motels and hotels we stayed at. We will talk about the booking platform types, their pros and cons in a separate post.

During our 63 day stay in New Zealand, we stayed at a grand total of 20 accommodations. Yes, we did not stay in a camper van. We were driving in a car and as a family, decided that we would stay in the privacy of a decent and private lodging.

These include: 
  • Motels
  • Hotels 
  • B&Bs
  • Farmstays
  • Actual residences 
  • Holiday parks
  • Bachs

If you are unfamiliar with the term 'bach', this is a NZ term for holiday home. It is pronounced 'batch' like I learnt when I foolishly spoke to a lady in Picton on a how it is like to stay in a 'bak' which thankfully, she corrected.
Taupo - Lakeside Villas - What a bach should be like!

Now, only 9 of them were fully planned for prior to our trip. We had reserved these using online booking platforms such as Booking.com and Hotels.com. 

During the events of our trip, we changed some accommodations on-the-go due to a few reasons:

1. Kaikoura Earthquake
When the quake struck, we thought we could stick to our plans as we would drive head to Kaikoura one month later (we were obviously very wrong).

2. Learning-on-the-go / Opportunity
After a few bookings, we realized what kinds of accommodation we were more inclined towards. Packing and unpacking was becoming a pain and we wanted a spot where we could stay for a longer period. Also, some lodgings were only open during certain timings eg timeshare bachs.

3. A failed booking
Toward the end of our trip, there was a failed booking. This caused a bit of chaos so we stayed at 3 accommodations instead of 1 single stay of 3 nights 'cos it was the eve of New Year's Eve, the time of the year where accommodations are snapped up big time.

Before we run through the booking platforms, here's the list of where we stayed throughout our entire trip. I will skip day 1 and 63 'cos those were spent on the airplane to and from New Zealand. 
Picton - Bay Vista Waterfront Motel - One of our better stays

Update (15 Mar 2017)
I've put recommendations in blue whether it makes sense to stay or not. Some stays were fabulous and some, absolutely atrocious.

Day 2
Town - Christchurch
Accommodation - Adorian Motel
Good value
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 3-4
Town - Arthur's Pass
Accommodation - Arthur's Pass Alpine Motel
Recommended!
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 5-7
Town - Punakaiki
Accommodation - Te Nikau Retreat
Not for families. More for couples
Type - Cottage / Backpackers
Booked through - Hotels.com

Day 8-9
Town - Hokitika
Accommodation - Annabelle Motel
Recommended!
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 10-11
Town - Fox Glacier 
Accommodation - Mt Cook View Motel
Recommended! For space in garden
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 12-15
Town - Haast
Accommodation - Aspiring Court Motel
Recommended!
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 16-19
Town - Lake Hawea
Accommodation - Lake Hawea Holiday Park
Recommended! For extremely spacious grounds
Type - Holiday Park
Booked through  - Booking.com

Day 20-24
Town - Queenstown
Accommodation - Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park
Too many access control measures for comfort
Type - Holiday Park
Booked through  - Booking.com

Day 25-27
Town - Te Anau 
Accommodation - Aden Motel
Recommended!
Type - Motel
Booked through - Hotels.com

Day 28-30
Town - Twizel 
Accommodation - Mountain Chalets Motel
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 31-34
Town - Christchurch
Accommodation - Colonial Inn Motel
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 35
Town - Hanmer Springs
Accommodation - Forest Peak Motel
Type - Motel
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 36
Town - St Arnaud
Accommodation - Tophouse Historic Inn & Cottages
Highly Recommended! For mountain view and farmstay
Type - Cottage
Booked through - Booking.com

Day 37-39
Town - Picton
Accommodation - Bay Vista Waterfront Motel
Highly Recommended! For seaview and service
Type - Motel
Booked through - Direct (bayvistapicton.co.nz)

Day 40-43
Town - Greytown 
Accommodation - The Farm, Greytown
Highly Recommended! As farmstay
Type - Farmstay
Booked through - Airbnb.com

Day 44-50
Town - Taupo
Accommodation - The Lakeside Villas
Highly Recommended! As resort stay
Type - Bach
Booked through - Airbnb.com

Day 51
Town - Kawerau
Accommodation - Kawerau Thermal Motel Tarawera River Lodge Motel
Type - Motel
Booked through - Direct Booking.com

Day 52
Town - Rotorua
Accommodation - ibis Rotorua
Type - Hotel
Booked through - accorhotels.com
NYE Fireworks in Rotorua
NYE Fireworks in Rotorua

Day 53
Town - Whakatane
Accommodation - Secret Lake Farmstay
AVOID like the plague!!
Type - B&B (this is not a farmstay)
Booked through  - Booking.com

Day 54-62
Town - Auckland
Accommodation - Villa in Ellerslie
Recommended!
Type - Residence
Booked through  - Airbnb.com

So the summary is we stayed using:
  • Airbnb - 3 times (19 days)
  • Booking.com - 12 times (29 days)
  • Hotels.com - 2 times (7 days)
  • Direct - 2 times (4 days)
  • Hotel website - 1 time (1 day)
As you can see, we booked primarily through Booking.com. Overall it was reliable for 11 out of the 12 times we had booked. The motel hosts knew exactly who we are and had our rooms prepared nicely. Basically, the site gives the information you need and you select accordingly. However for one of the times, our reservation was not taken in by the motel and we were quite taken aback so we had to hurriedly find another place to stay.  

Airbnb.com was something we tried on-the-go. We actually canceled a few bookings and tried Airbnb to surprisingly good effect. The first was a very enjoyable 4-day farmstay in Greytown, Wellington region. The second was a 7-day bach stay at the Lakeside Villas in Taupo where almost everything was provided (kayaks, swimming pool, private pool, tennis court). The third in Auckland was where we truly understood how it was like to stay in a New Zealand residence.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments System

Disqus Shortname

Popular Posts

Featured Post

NZ Road Trip Overview

Kia Ora! My name is Stephen and I traveled with my family of four, including my wife and two toddlers around New Zealand for a period spa...