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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Little Earth Lodge
Set on a farm 4km from town and right next to Abbey Caves, Little Earth's standards are so high that most other hostels look shabby in comparison...
Striking architecture combines with up-to-the-minute decor in this hilltop B&B with expansive bay views. Of the three luxurious suites in the main building, two have their own outdoor spa...
The Duke Of Marlborough
Holding NZ's oldest pub license, the Duke boasts about 'serving rascals and reprobates since 1827', although the building has burnt down twice since then...
Opting for a breezy Spanish style (think stucco walls and terracotta tiles), this tidy motel has well-kept units set among palm trees and lawns. It's not quite Benidorm, but there is a swimming pool.
Opononi Lighthouse Motel
Scrupulously clean, this refurbished motel has very comfortable harbourside units, plus a communal barbecue, a spa pool, and a cutesy lighthouse and water feature in the front garden.
Decks Of Paihia
Architecturally impressive, this place offers light, modern bedrooms, granite bathrooms and a big deck with bay views. The elegant pool, set between house and bush, is irresistible.
Simple, clean rooms with high ceilings and good linen. Plus there’s a stash of bikes, racquets, kayaks and two barbecues for guests’ use, making this a sociable choice.
Doubtless Bay Lodge
A 10-minute walk from Coopers Beach, this hillside lodge offers motel-style privacy coupled with B&B-style friendliness and food. Rooms have cable TV and facilities for making a nice cuppa...
Wharepuke Subtropical Accommodation
Best known for its food and lush gardens, Wharepuke also rents five self-contained one-bedroom cottages hidden among the palms. They have the prefabricated look of holiday-park cabins but are a step up in terms of fixtures and space.
Sitting somewhere between a super-schmick motel and an apartment hotel, Lodge Bordeaux has tasteful units with stellar kitchens and bathrooms (most with spa baths), private balconies and access to excellent wine...
Bk's Pohutukawa Lodge
Just west of town, this straightforward, nicely furnished motel has 14 units with well-kept facilities and ample parking. Thoughtful extras include plunger coffee and ironing equipment.
Built in the 1930s by an oddball Scotsman with an Asian fetish, this lodge features pagoda-shaped roofs grafted onto wooden cottages...
Camp Waipu Cove
Taking up a fair chunk of beach, this is a large and comfortable camping ground with spotless facilities.
Orongo Bay Homestead
This wooden homestead (c 1860) was NZ’s first American consulate, located a discreet 4km from Russell’s rabble. Accommodation is by way of three stylishly plush rooms in the converted barn facing a chocolate-box lake...
Bed Of Roses
It's all petals and no thorns at this stylish B&B, furnished with French antiques, luxe linens and comfy beds. The house has an art-deco ambience and awesome views.
Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 Holiday Park
Sheltered by hills and overlooking the beach, this friendly complex has a great location, good facilities, free barbecues and kayaks for hire. They also offer dive fills and PADI diving instruction.
Admiral's View Lodge
This hillside lodge offers natty units with balconies just begging for a relaxed sunset gin and tonic. Some have spa baths and bay views.
Probably the only accommodation in NZ to have a Johnny Mnemonic pinball machine in the lounge room, this isn’t your average B&B. Enjoy valley views from the spa pool of this slick, gay-friendly establishment...
Mangonui Waterfront Apartments Motel
Sleeping two to eight people, these historic apartments on the Mangonui waterfront have loads of character, each one different but all with balconies, a sense of space and their own barbecue. Try to book 100-year-old Tahi.
Kerikeri Farm Hostel
Less a farm, more an orange grove, this quiet rural house 4km out of town sleeps only 12. It’s a homely place, with a sole chandelier adding a bit of bling to the cosy lounge.
Even the dorms at this excellent, large, purpose-built backpackers have attached bathrooms, bedding and lockers. Cow-print and red-leather couches make for a cool communal lounge. There are large balconies, a bar and free bicycles, movies and racquets.
Up the hill in Whangaroa, this friendly lodge has a sublime spa with a jaw-dropping view, hires out kayaks and motor boats, and will pick you up from Kaeo on SH10.