The 12 Best Luxury Hotels On New Zealand South Island (2024 Guide)

Last Updated: April 12th, 2024

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Splurging on a five-star hotel is a guaranteed way to have an amazing trip, no matter where you’re going. And when your destination is somewhere as beautiful as New Zealand’s South Island (my personal favorite island!), staying in premium accommodation ensures one of the greatest trips of your life.

Whether you’re exploring the beauty of Fiordland National Park, spiking your adrenaline with adventure sports in Queenstown, or discovering the wonders of Lake Tekapo, there’s no shortage of world-class accommodation.

Here are the best luxury hotels (and lodges!) in New Zealand’s South Island that you won’t regret.

The 12 Best Hotels On the South Island, NZ

1. Blanket Bay, Lake Wakatipu

A lakeside oasis for adventure-seekers

Blanket Bay overlooking Lake Wakatipu Image by:

For those seeking adventure and thrill, Blanket Bay is just 35 minutes from Queenstown. The lodging offers a slice of luxury with amenities like a hot tub and lake views, along with a carefully planned complimentary breakfast and dinner menu.

As part of the five-star service, the staff are happy to organize mountain bike tours, bike and kayak hire, jet boating, and tours of Milford Sound (which, as a side note, is probably the prettiest place I’ve ever seen!).

One of the best parts of Blanket Bay may just be the fireplace in each guestroom, which makes the place ooze with old-world charm.

Book here!

2. Commonage Villas by Staysouth, Queenstown

Five-star luxury villas with stellar vistas

The lavish villas at the Commonage Villas by Staysouth Image by:

Located in Queenstown, the Commonage villas give guests the five-star treatment as they bask in the beauty of Lake Wakatipu. All villas are complete with dining areas, spacious bathrooms and spa baths, and balconies or terraces.

This is a particularly good accommodation choice if you’re going to be driving around the South Island, as all villas have a private garage.

But if you’re not driving, the staff can help you to arrange transfers and bookings to ensure you have the trip of your dreams–with as much or as little action as you prefer.

Book here!

3. Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau

A warm and cozy lodge set in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations

Stunning views from the balcony Image by:

Fiordland National Park is not just one of the prettiest destinations in New Zealand; it’s a World Heritage Site that people travel from all over the globe to admire. Staying at Fiordland Lodge puts you in the middle of the beauty.

The rooms are spacious and elegant, with some rooms having their own spa baths. However, the real allure is the view. Guests get unrivaled vistas of Lake Te Anau and the surrounding picturesque mountains.

There’s also a tour desk on the property to help you organize your itinerary and make any reservations you might need.

Book here!

4. Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses, Hapuku

Treehouses with style

Not your average kind of treehouse Image by:

“Treehouse” probably isn’t the first word you think of when you imagine luxury, but those at Hapuku Lodge are a far cry from the rustic wooden play areas you remember from your childhood.

The treehouses are set 30 feet in the trees and feature modern amenities in addition to beautiful views. If you choose to stay in the lodge accommodation instead, you’ll have your own fireplace, balcony, and a spacious spa bath.

The location is one of the best parts of Hapuku Lodge, as it’s only 10 minutes from Ohau Stream Walkway and Waterfall.

Book here!

5. Hulbert House Luxury Boutique Lodge, Queenstown

A restored Victorian heritage villa a stone’s throw from central Queenstown

The royal treatment awaits at the lodge Image by:

You’ll feel like a celebrity at Hulbert House, which is set in a refurbished Victorian villa close to the center of Queenstown. There are only six rooms on the property, so you’re guaranteed a quiet and exclusive stay full of personalized treatment.

From the Egyptian cotton linen to commercial-grade coffee grinders in each room, the luxury here is all in the details–none of which have been forgotten about. A fresh and hearty breakfast is served every morning, while drinks and canapes are served before dinner.

However, if you don’t want to stay at the lodge for dinner, the cafes of Queenstown are only a short walk away.

Book here!

6. The Peppertree Luxury Accommodation, Blenheim

Luxe lodging in the heart of wine and olive country

The charming exterior of the Peppertree Image by:

The Peppertree is full of character, set in the midst of the Marlborough wineries, for which the area is famous. This is the perfect accommodation for those who are looking for a lavish outdoors vacation, as each room has access to the property’s beautiful garden.

There are several outdoor activities to enjoy here, including golf, horseback riding, and diving. Wine tasting is also a must! After active days, you can kick back in the room or in front of the open fireplace in the dining room.

Book here!

7. Manakau PurePod, Kaikoura

Glass eco-cabin with spectacular views

Views for days from the glass eco-cabin Image by:

Cabins aren’t typical for luxury accommodations, but the eco-cabin at Manakau PurePod is designed to give you a high-end experience. You’ll get panoramic vistas of the surrounding natural landscape, which ranges from the dramatic mountains to the charming farmland.

The cabin is topped with a glass ceiling, too, so you can end each day by gazing up at the stars under the great southern sky. You’ll also find a deck outside the cabin where you can truly soak up the serene atmosphere, or cook your own barbecue.

Manakau PurePod is just 20 minutes from Kaikoura and offers free private parking.

Book here!

8. Montrose Estate, Mount Hutt

Luxury chalets for the ultimate mountain getaway

A luxe mountain chalet Image by:

An hour from Christchurch International Airport, you’ll find the exquisite Montrose Estate. The three on-site chalets deliver fantastic views of the surrounding mountain ranges and Rakaia River.

The chalets are self-contained and beautifully furnished, with some offering extra lavish amenities, like a hot tub. They’re also located on the base of Mount Hutt ski area, so this is an especially good accommodation choice if you’re traveling in winter.

Book here!

9. Stoneridge Estate, Queenstown

Where bed and breakfast meets fine dining

Not a bad view to wake up to Image by:

Stoneridge Estate strikes the perfect balance between charming personalized service like you might find in a B&B and high-end luxury. Just 15 minutes from central Queenstown, the estate is sprawled across 12 acres of vineyard.

Every room at Stoneridge boasts magnificent views of the surrounding landscape and a private balcony to enjoy them on. The property also offers world-class fine dining, so a stay will be a treat for your taste buds as well!

Book here!

10. Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, Queenstown

Private villas with tailored itineraries and a rejuvenating day spa

A taste of luxury at the lodge Image by:

If you’re looking for a getaway where you can de-stress and unwind, the Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa is perfect. The on-site day spa has everything you need to find your center and pamper yourself.

The villa is located deep within wine country and just 20 minutes from the Queenstown Airport. There are 24 units offering mountain and vineyard views, along with private decks and courtyards.

Book here!

11. Matuka Lodge, Twizel

A lodge with magnificent views over the Southern Alps

Breezy and spacious Image by:

Nestled on the Alps to Ocean Cycleway, Matuka Lodge is an oasis of five-star service and world-class views.

Every room has its own patio to observe the surrounding beauty, along with luxurious amenities like electric blankets and walk-in wardrobes.

The lodge is just five minutes away from the heart of Twizel and is also within driving distance from Mount Cook National Park and Lake Pukaki.

Book here!

12. Casa Nova House, Oamaru

A bed and breakfast in a stone mansion

A mansion with old-world charm Image by:

Escape back in time at Casa Nova House, a mansion that dates back to the mid-19th century. Within this historic stone dwelling, you’ll find sophisticated decor, sea views, and free Wi-Fi.

There’s a communal sitting room in the mansion, where you can chill out with a book or sip a cup of cocoa and chat with other guests. You might consider staying at Casa Nova House if you’re a solo traveler since the communal spaces provide the perfect opportunity for making new friends.

Book here!

FAQs About Hotels in the South Island


What are the best destinations on the South Island?

New Zealand’s South Island is full of wonders that need to be seen to be believed. Some of the top destinations that should definitely be on your South Island bucket list include:

  • Queenstown
  • Christchurch
  • Fiordland National Park
  • Dunedin
  • Wānaka
  • Nelson
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Kaikōura
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Franz Josef Glacier

What is the difference between a luxury hotel and a luxury lodge?

A luxury hotel is a five-star and often costly hotel where you can expect premium treatment and conditions. While a luxury lodge also offers the highest-quality service and setting, these tend to include a more unique and comprehensive travel experience.

While staying at a luxury lodge in New Zealand’s South Island, you may have access to custom tours and adventures, guided itineraries, and a remote, inclusive environment.

Where are most of the hotels in New Zealand’s South Island?

You can find accommodation all over the South Island. Naturally, the majority of establishments will be located close to the most popular towns and cities, including Queenstown, which is known for its adventure sports, and the bustling city of Christchurch.

However, perhaps owing to the breathtaking beauty of the South Island’s rural areas, you can also find more remote hotels and lodges right across the island.

About The Author

Vanessa is an Australian-based freelance writer and editor with a BA in Creative Writing. She’s passionate about creating travel content that inspires her readers to take a leap of faith and power through their bucket lists. When she’s not writing (with her border collie asleep at her feet), she’s devouring books, exploring the world, or planning her next trip.

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Picture of Vanessa Elle

Vanessa Elle

Vanessa is an Australian-based freelance writer and editor with a BA in Creative Writing. She’s passionate about creating travel content that inspires her readers to take a leap of faith and power through their bucket lists.

When she’s not writing (with her border collie asleep at her feet), she’s devouring books, exploring the world, or planning her next trip.

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