Where to Find the Best Hotels and Alternative Accommodations on Stewart Island
Yes, even in the most off-the-beaten-track destination of New Zealand, on a far-flung third island that sits in the south of the country, you can find a hotel. The hotel here is something of a local legend, as the place where the island’s small population come to share a drink. Admittedly, it is also the only hotel on Stewart Island. Nevertheless, there are alternative accommodations which we also explore in this list of the best hotels and places to stay on Stewart Island!
For more travel advice, check out The Complete Guide to Stewart Island and the 20 Incredible Things to Do on Stewart Island.
1. South Sea Hotel – Stewart Island Accommodation in Oban
Not only is the South Sea Hotel the only official hotel on Stewart Island but it’s also the local pub. Upstairs of the waterfront hotel are the main hotel rooms in their traditional flare, reflecting the old-school New Zealand hotel style. They consist of a selection of double and twin rooms with shared bathrooms and breakfast-making facilities. It also has a communal lounge with excellent views of Halfmoon Bay. If you prefer more of your own space, however, then there are nine motel units adjacent to the main building, which include an ensuite bathroom and private breakfast-making facilities.
Check South Sea Hotel out:
2. Stewart Island Lodge – Boutique Accommodation on Stewart Island
Yes, already we have exhausted our list of hotels on Stewart Island, but one of the next best accommodations for frequent hotel-stayers is Stewart Island Lodge. Set among verdant native gardens with spectacular views of Halfmoon Bay, the lodge allows guests to absorb the views through large windows spilling onto a private balcony. There are six king/twin rooms, which include a continental breakfast in the rate. All of this is a mere stroll away from Oban. For more lodges like this, check out the 8 Best Boutique Accommodations & B&Bs on Stewart Island.
Check Stewart Island Lodge out:
3. Bay Motel – Stewart Island Accommodation with Spa Baths
Stewart Island is also home to a few motels, including the Bay Motel which is just a short walk from Oban town centre. Enjoy a bit of pampering in your studio or one-bedroom unit with a spa bath or stick to something more affordable in the basic studios, some with cooking facilities and some without for more of a hotel-like experience. There are double and twin set-ups available, as well as a two-bedroom apartment, while all units include free WiFi, electric blankets, an ensuite, radiator heating, tea, coffee and either a bay or bush view. Check out more motel options in the 6 Best Motels in Stewart Island.
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4. Stewart Island Backpackers – Cheap Accommodation on Stewart Island
Another type of accommodation to consider are backpacker hostels, such as Stewart Island Backpackers. As well as private double, twin and quad rooms, the hostel has a range of shared dorms and tent sites. Whatever room type you pick, you’ll have access to a well-equipped communal kitchen, as well as shared bathrooms, lounge and laundry facilities surrounding a sunny courtyard garden. See the rest of the island’s affordable accommodations in the 5 Best Budget Accommodations in Stewart Island.
Check Stewart Island Backpackers out:
- Stewart Island Backpackers on Booking.com
- Stewart Island Backpackers on HostelWorld
- Stewart Island Backpackers on Trip.com
5. Church Hill Boutique Lodge & Restaurant – Luxury Accommodation on Stewart Island
If you’re looking for something more upmarket, take a look at the Church Hill Boutique Lodge & Restaurant. This luxury lodge offers three standalone suites with private elevated balconies basking in their own unique view. All suites have full-glass frontage for soaking in the scenery and feature little luxuries like a coffee machine, home baking and more. One of the rooms even boasts a private wood-fired hot tub so you can soak under the stars. See more options like this in the 5 Best Luxury Accommodations on Stewart Island.
Check Church Hill Boutique Lodge & Restaurant out:
- Church Hill Boutique Lodge & Restaurant on Booking.com
- Church Hill Boutique Lodge & Restaurant on Trip.com
6. Kaka Retreat Motel – Family-Friendly Accommodation on Stewart Island
Nestled in native bush just a 5 to 10-minute walk from Oban town centre, Kaka Retreat Motel provides an idyllic stay for solo travellers, couples, groups and families. There are plenty of room options at this well-presented motel, including basic studios sleeping up to two or four and multi-bedroom cottages with all the essential facilities at your fingertips. Cottages have a well-equipped kitchenette, where you can enjoy dining in your open-plan lounge or out on your private verandah while watching the kaka. A complimentary shuttle to the motel is also included. See more family-friendly stays like this in the 7 Best Family Accommodations in Stewart Island.
Check Kaka Retreat Motel out:
7. Anchorstone – Self-Contained Accommodation at Horseshoe Bay
For an out-of-town stay, book yourself into one of the three hill-perched units of Anchorstone. This boutique accommodation is nestled in bush just a short drive from Oban, offering transfers and the option of a vehicle rental. The self-contained units each feature a super-king bed, kitchen, ensuite, TV and balcony with outdoor furniture for watching the sunset or stargazing.
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8. Glendaruel Bed and Breakfast – Stewart Island B&B Near Golden Bay
With the village of Oban on one side and the Paterson Inlet with Ulva Island on the other, Glendaruel Bed and Breakfast is well-positioned to make the most of Stewart Island’s highlights. Not only that but the position nearby the famous Observation Rock indicates the lush bush surroundings and just how good the views are. The interiors, which include a queen, twin and single room, are a charming mix of the old and the new. Although there are limited cooking facilities, you can make use of the barbecue, enjoy meals arranged with your host and indulge in an included breakfast each day.
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9. Ponga B&B – Cheapest B&B on Stewart Island
One of the more homely bed and breakfasts on Stewart Island, Ponga B&B features just two guest rooms. Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of day visitors yet close enough to town to enjoy its conveniences, this B&B accommodation is among a bush-clad residential street where, admittedly, the most commonly seen residents are the local kaka. The B&B is more affordable than most on Stewart Island, which also offers a generous continental breakfast each morning. Note that bathrooms are shared.
Check Ponga B&B out:
10. Kererū House – Four-Bedroom Holiday Home on Stewart Island
Centrally located in Oban, Kererū House is a four-bedroom holiday home just a two-minute walk from Oban’s shops, restaurants and ferry terminal. There’s room for up to 12 guests to stay, as the home features two modern bathrooms, an open-plan lounge and kitchen, and an outside deck with a barbecue. With central heating, you’ll keep warm in winter, while additional facilities, like a washing machine, tea and coffee, and a TV, make your stay almost too easy. If a holiday home sounds more like your style, check out the 12 Best Holiday Homes on Stewart Island.
Check Kererū House out:
11. Sails Ashore Lodge – Luxury Lodge on Stewart Island
Sails Ashore Lodge is not only an upmarket B&B on the quiet streets of Oban but an activity provider offering small-group driving tours of Stewart Island and guided tours of Ulva Island. There are just two rooms available at this lodge, each tastefully-presented with an ensuite boasting underfloor heating and a paua shell trim. Your room also has hot drink-making facilities accompanied by homebaked treats, while a continental breakfast is provided each morning at a time that suits you. See more couple-centric stays like this in the 10 Most Romantic Accommodations on Stewart Island.
Check Sails Ashore Lodge out:
12. Kowhai Lane Lodge – B&B Accommodation in Oban
From the same hosts as Sails Ashore Lodge, Kowhai Lane Lodge offers a more casual lodge at the other end of town. The lodge consists of four well-presented double rooms with a private bathroom each, as well as a one-bedroom apartment ideal for a longer stay with private cooking facilities. Guests are welcome to relax in the homely living and dining area, spruce something up in the communal kitchen, and explore the landscaped gardens.
Check Kowhai Lane Lodge out:
13. Argyle Apartments – Contemporary Holiday Home on Stewart Island
Sleek, stylish and so close to town, Argyle Apartments is an irresistible prospect! The views of Halfmoon Bay and Oban are absorbed through the large ranch slider windows of the holiday home’s open-plan lounge and kitchen, which is well-equipped with a full oven. There’s also one spacious bathroom with a shower and two bedrooms; one with a double bed and the other with two singles, ideal for a family or group of four.
Check Argyle Apartments out:
14. Bunkers Backpackers – Summer Hostel on Stewart Island
A homely backpacker hostel practically located in the centre of Oban, Bunkers Backpackers provides affordable accommodation in the summer season. There are private double and twin rooms available, as well as small dorm rooms sleeping three to four people. Spruce up something for dinner in the cosy kitchen to share with fellow backpackers at this friendly hostel. All rooms have shared bathroom facilities. For more hostels, especially when you get back to the mainland, check out the 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Invercargill & Stewart Island.
Check Bunkers Backpackers out:
15. Jensen Bay House – Eco-Stay on Stewart Island
Finally, discover the private hideaway of Jensen Bay House with its striking contemporary architecture surrounded by nature. There are two lodge rooms to choose from; either the more luxurious “Above-and-overall” room with a four-poster bed or the more affordable “Firmly-grounded” room. The architecture is thought-provoking inside and out, with the lounge boasting European features like a French pyramid fireplace, as well as a sauna and a sun-drenched conservatory. What’s more, the lodge is fully off-the-grid with solar-photovoltaic electric, solar-heat generating system, wind generator, freshwater facility and clay-wall heating system.
More About Hotels and Places to Stay on Stewart Island
That’s it for our list of the best hotels and places to stay on Stewart Island. For more tips to help plan the perfect island excursion, check out the following guides:
- 20 Best Things to Do on Stewart Island
- 16 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Stewart Island
- 10 Best Things to Do in Rakiura National Park
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Stewart Island.