20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson 🛎️ [2023]© The Honest Lawyer, Ascend Hotel Collection
20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson 🛎️ [2023]

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson 🛎️ [2023]

© The Honest Lawyer, Ascend Hotel Collection

Where to Find the Best Hotels and Alternative Accommodations in Nelson

We’re going to come right out and say it: Nelson is the best city for accommodation in New Zealand. It’s clear that their most luxurious hotels right down to the cheapest hostels in Nelson go the extra mile to win your business, whether it’s by creating a unique experience or dressing up motels to rival four-star hotels. You’ll find a real variety of accommodation in options in Nelson, so we’ve been sure to throw in a few motels and lodges in this list of the best hotels and places to stay in Nelson so you know what type of accommodation is available.

For more trip-planning success, be also sure to check out The Complete Guide to Nelson, as well as the 20 Best Things to Do in Nelson.

1. The Hotel Nelson – Cheap (But Good) Hotel in Nelson

The Hotel Nelson is a centrally-located hotel featuring free WiFi, free parking, a heated pool in summer, laundry service, business facilities, free gym access, and affordable rates (most of the time). The hotel offers a wide selection of studios for couples or solo travellers, units with a kitchenette and a large bathroom, and apartments for families with full kitchens, dining area/lounge and bathroom. What’s more, the hotel sits just above a popular restaurant with both guests and locals.

Check Hotel Nelson out:

The Hotel Nelson© The Hotel Nelson

2. Tides Hotel – Popular Hotel in Nelson City Centre

Situated on the banks of the Maitai River, Tides Hotel (formerly Trailways Hotel) has 47 stylishly-appointed rooms, a restaurant and an outdoor pool. Choose your room location, from the riverside to the poolside and enjoy fixings such as a luxurious spa shower/bath. Rooms range from entry-level studios for couples to luxurious executive suites with a kitchen and lounge. There’s also the option to indulge in gourmet cuisine at the on-site restaurant, The Tides Restaurant and Bar. What’s more, you’re just a gentle stroll alongside the river to the city centre eateries.

Check the Tides Hotel out:

Trailways Hotel Nelson© Trailways Hotel Nelson

3. Delorenzo Studio Apartments – Apartment Hotel in Nelson with a Pool

Delorenzo Studio Apartments provides excellent value that often exceeds expectations. This apartment motel in the heart of Nelson offers chic and modern decor across its 30 rooms, most of which feature a full kitchen, ensuite, spa baths and sometimes a balcony. There are apartment options for budgeting couples to families seeking plenty of space to relax. Communal facilities here include a heated swimming pool in summer, laundry service and business traveller services.

Check Delorenzo Studio Apartments out:

Delorenzo Studio Apartments© Delorenzo Studio Apartments

4. Quest Nelson – Upscale Apartment Hotel in Nelson City Centre

This apartment hotel in the city centre of Nelson boasts contemporary and comfortable apartments and studios. Quest Nelson provides stylish apartments for couples, business travellers and families with apartments having a sleek-looking kitchen, dining table and some with a private balcony. Keep your group entertained with the in-house movies and the DVD collection available, as well as find practical help with the laundry facilities and easy express check-out. This hotel also features in our 10 Best Family Accommodations in Nelson.

Check Quest Nelson out:

Quest Nelson© Quest Nelson

5. The Beachcomber Hotel & Conference Centre – Affordable Hotel at Tanunanui Beach

Located just a short stroll from Tahunanui Beach, The Beachcomber Hotel offers a range of well-appointed and affordable hotel rooms. Stay in one of their budget “Standard Studios”, upgrade to a kitchen in the “Kitchen Studio”, pamper yourself in the “Spa Studio”, simply enjoy more space in the “One-Bedroom Unit” or stay in one of the many other room types that the hotel offers. Guests also have access to an outdoor heated pool. See more recommendations like this in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Nelson.

Check The Beachcomber Hotel out:

The Beachcomber Hotel & Conference Centre© The Beachcomber Hotel & Conference Centre

6. The Honest Lawyer, Ascend Hotel Collection – Character Hotel on the Waterfront

Cloaked in old-world charm, The Honest Lawyer, Ascend Hotel Collection offers a unique boutique hotel in Nelson. Each hotel room is unique in its design, whether it’s exposed timber beams on the ceiling or an exposed brick ensuite. Only an on-site cottage has its own cooking facilities, while most will want to dine at the on-site English-inspired pub and restaurant with a beautiful beer garden to relax in summer and an inviting place by the fire with a mulled wine in winter.

Check The Honest Lawyer, Ascend Hotel Collection out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© The Honest Lawyer, Ascend Hotel Collection

7. The Sails Nelson – Five-Star Accommodation in Nelson

You’re home away from home never looked this good! The Sails Nelson is one of your rare five-star motels in New Zealand – much more like a hotel – where the rating is evident in its design and features. While your self-contained apartment or studio comes complete with a stainless steel kitchen, the full-cooked breakfast and drinks menus are all too tempting. Other features of your room include Sleepyhead Elegance beds with featherbedding and feather mattress overlay, 65″ TV with streaming services, Italian tile bathrooms with a double spa and shower-over, espresso machines, and the list goes on. What’s more, The Sails has a central location, on-site parking and complimentary bike hire. See more motels like this in our 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Nelson.

Check The Sails out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© The Sails Nelson

8. Harbourside Lodge – Waterfront Accommodation in Nelson

Arguably, the Harbourside Lodge boasts some of the best views in the city. The motel offers rooms that compete with four-star hotels, all sleekly styled with thoughtful touches like house plants and some having private balconies to take in the marina views. While rooms have basic kitchenettes to enjoy your complimentary tea/coffee and biscuits and prepare simple meals, a complimentary continental breakfast is included in your stay. All in all, Harbourside Lodge provides affordable luxury in Nelson.

Check Harbourside Lodge out:

Harbourside Lodge© Harbourside Lodge

9. Century Park Motor Lodge – Upscale Motel Near Nelson City Centre

Spice things up a bit by staying at this five-star motel just a short stroll from the city centre. Century Park Motor Lodge is an ultra-modern motel providing rooms for couples, corporate travellers, groups or families. Each room is especially well-appointed, from the cosy array of throw pillows on the king bed to the spa baths featured in many ensuites. Each room also has a very stylish and practical kitchen. Combine your night in with entertainment from the free WiFi, TVs with streaming services and an iPod docking station. And the next morning, wake up to coffee from your room’s coffee pod machine on your private balcony/patio.

Check Century Park Motor Lodge out:

Century Park Motor Lodge© Century Park Motor Lodge

10. Grand Arden Monaco Nelson – Unique Hotel in Nelson

The Grand Arden Monaco Nelson is an experience in itself. Set in its own Victorian-style town with redbrick laneways and cobbled streets, the Grand Arden Monaco Nelson is certainly one of Nelson’s most unique hotels. While all of the rooms available are wrapped in character and charm, our favourites include the “Seaview Kings” with cute coved ceilings and full-tiled ensuites, as well as the “Seaview Apartments” with handmade tiles, timber joinery and an indulgent double spa bath. Either way, there are rooms for all styles of travellers. Whatever room you choose, you’ll have access to facilities such as the outdoor pool, gym, bike hire, hairdresser, jeweller and beauty salon.

Check the Grand Arden Monaco Nelson out:

10 Best Hotels in Nelson© Grand Arden Monaco Nelson

11. The Wheelhouse Inn – Holiday Homes in Nelson

Fantastic sea views, ultimate privacy and enough space for your group: what’s not to love about The Wheelhouse Inn holiday homes? The Wheelhouse Inn consists of five individual holiday homes elevated on bush-clad hills. Each home has all the essentials for a convenient stay with self-catering facilities, where you can enjoy meals in the lounge, dining area or deck/balcony. There are one and two-bedroom houses available. Needless to say, we also feature this accommodation in the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Nelson.

Check The Wheelhouse Inn out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© The Wheelhouse Inn

12. Ah House City B&B Nelson – Boutique B&B in Nelson City

Ideal for couples and solo travellers wishing to stay in the heart of the city, choose the boutique Ah House City B&B Nelson just one block behind Christ Church Cathedral. This character B&B offers a selection of self-contained B&B rooms and a garden apartment both with kitchenette facilities and breakfast included to enjoy ultimate convenience while in Nelson. The B&B rooms also feature a private deck with a barbecue to enjoy those famous sunny Nelson evenings among gorgeous gardens.

Check Ah House City B&B Nelson out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© Ah House City B&B Nelson

13. Palazzo Motor Lodge – Accommodation in Nelson with Spa Baths

One of Nelson’s most upscale motels, Palazzo Motor Lodge has irresistible decor and features suitable for even the most discerning traveller. The boutique accommodation boasts just 16 rooms kitted out with all the mod-cons including smart TVs with streaming services, espresso machines, full kitchen facilities with a dishwasher and sumptuous decor. There are plenty of options to upgrade to a room with a spacious corner spa bath or even opt for more space with separate bedrooms and 1 lounge/kitchen area – a true home away from home. For alternative motels, check out the 15 BEST Motels in Nelson.

Check Palazzo Motor Lodge out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© Palazzo Motor Lodge

14. Bridge Backpackers – Contemporary Hostel in Nelson

Another accommodation type to consider in Nelson is backpacker hostels, where Nelson’s strive to offer a more “flashpacker” experience. The Bridge Backpackers, for example, with its sleek minimalistic decor is one of the most stylish backpackers in Nelson. Common areas include a large kitchen with multiple hobs and ovens, so you’re not fighting for space, and a small gym where you can work it all off. All private rooms have ensuite bathrooms, while dorms and some private single rooms have shared bathrooms. For more awesome accommodations for backpackers and travellers on a budget, check out the 9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Nelson.

Check Bridge Backpackers out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© Bridge Backpackers

15. Parautane Lodge – Romantic Out-of-Town Lodge Near Nelson

Far enough from the hustle and bustle yet close enough for convenience, Parautane Lodge offers a tranquil out-of-town retreat 20 minutes from Nelson. Each spacious suite of this B&B benefits from direct access to an expansive deck or spa pool with uninterrupted views of the coast and Kaikoura Mountains in the distance. You’ll also be able to kickstart your day with a very generous continental and/or cooked breakfast of your choice, including waffles, French toast, omelettes, eggs benedict or something light. For more couple-centric stays, take a look at the 10 Most Romantic Accommodations in Nelson.

Check Parautane Lodge out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© Parautane Lodge

16. Joya Garden & Villa Studios – Eco-Stay in Nelson

A boho vibe that you’ll totally love (or not – if so, scroll on), Joya Garden & Villa Studios boasts an intriguing property of organic gardens, ponds and vibrant interiors. Stay in one of the studios of the glass-roofed log cottage which are fully self-contained and private or opt for one of the rooms of the main house including the “Villa Room” with a private balcony and breathtaking views across Nelson city and beyond. While guests staying in the main house get an exemplary breakfast included, it’s recommended that those in the self-catering suites also choose the optional organic breakfast at least once!

Check Joya Garden & Villa Studios out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© Joya Garden & Villa Studios

17. Chelsea Park Motor Lodge – Pet-Friendly Accommodation in Nelson

Chelsea Park Motor Lodge ticks all of the boxes: central location, free WiFi, Sky TV, kitchen facilities in each room and a room to suit everybody. Choose from studio rooms, upgrade to a one-bedroom spa room, find something to fit the whole family in one of the family rooms, experience ease in one of the accessible rooms, or bring your beloved pooch along to one of the pet-friendly rooms. Either way, you’ll enjoy the homely decor and get to make use of the other facilities, such as a barbecue area, laundry, continental or cooked breakfasts, on-site parking and more.

Check Chelsea Park Motor Lodge out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© Chelsea Park Motor Lodge

18. Tahuna Beach Holiday Park & Motel – Holiday Park at Tahunanui Beach

Slip into holiday mode on Tahunanui Beach at the Tahuna Beach Holiday Park and Motel. While the holiday park offers a wealth of camping facilities and basic cabins, you can upgrade to one of the motel accommodations with studios, multi-bedrooms, ensuites and kitchen facilities. The holiday park is an excellent option especially for budgeting families thanks to the children’s playground, large open spaces, mini-golf and outdoor gigs in summer.

Check Tahuna Beach Holiday Park out:

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Nelson© Tahuna Beach Holiday Park & Motel

19. The Rutherford Hotel – A Heritage Hotel – Self-Catering Hotel in Nelson

A hotel that provides comfortable rooms and all of the hotel services you could hope for, The Rutherford Hotel is a top choice in Nelson. Rooms are simple yet stylish ensuring a comfortable stay for couples, friendship groups, families and corporate travellers. The “Premium Rooms” are an easy go-to with all of the expected hotel amenities, while the “Deluxe Suite” provides more space in the lounge, kitchen and separate bedroom. Inter-connecting rooms are available and a popular option for families. As for the facilities, guests can enjoy free WiFi, dry-cleaning, babysitting services, bicycle hire, an outdoor pool and a health centre with a gym and sauna. Plus, you’re practically spoiled for choice when it comes to food thanks to the four food and beverage outlets in the hotel.

Check the Rutherford Hotel out:

Rutherford Hotel Nelson - A Heritage Hotel© Rutherford Hotel Nelson - A Heritage Hotel

20. Boutique Hotel Warwick House – Historical Hotel in Nelson

Last but not least, the Boutique Hotel Warwick House is a great way to celebrate a special occasion. The historical castle features impressive architecture, a graceful ambience and characterful guest rooms. Warwick House, situated a short walk along the riverside from the city centre, has six rooms each with its unique charms, from the Victorian Gothic archways in “The Bayview Room” to the clawfoot bath in “The Tower Suite”. Breakfast is served in the grand ballroom, while guests can also enjoy time soaking in the Nelson sun in the glorious gardens, under the wide veranda and the viewing deck. For more recommendations like this, see the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Nelson.

Check Boutique Hotel Warwick House out:

Boutique Hotel Warwick House© Boutique Hotel Warwick House

More About Hotels in Nelson

That’s it for our list of the top hotels in Nelson but by no means the end of our travel tips! Check out these following guides for more experiences and stays in Nelson.

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Nelson.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

Was this article useful?