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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Reborn as a bijou backpackers, this cleverly refitted old house has an enviable kitchen, comfortable lounge and a stylish landscaped yard (with pizza oven). It's a true home away from home.
The Beechtree, and its sister motel Miro next door, offer classy rooms at reasonable rates. The design is fresh and modern, with neutral-toned decor, large windows, ground-floor patios and upstairs balconies.
Judges Pool Motel
This older motel has tidy, spacious rooms with kitchenettes. All one-bedroom units have outdoor decks for relaxing beers, although the barbecue area is the best place to talk about the one that got away.
Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre
This rambling, lake-gazing complex encloses comfortable, well-furnished units with facilities including a spa pool and kids playground...
Welcome to paradise. One of the best hotels in NZ, Huka Lodge basks in accolades and a procession of famous guests, including at least three queens...
This enclave of luxury self-contained apartments might give you a hankering for ‘village’ life – which in Oreti’s case entails gazing at blissful lake views from the comfort of a rolled-arm leather couch...
Yha Taupo Backpacker
A good hostel with cosy communal areas and a sun-trap deck with barbecues, a barrel spa pool and an extensive DVD library. The kitchen space is a little limited, but they make up for it with guitar hire.
Tussock Grove Boutique Hotel
Cooking on holiday? No way, mister. In a town full of motels this small hotel fills a gap for those who just want a decent midrange room, perhaps with a mountain view.
Adventure Lodge & Motel
National Park Village
This place caters particularly to Tongariro Alpine crossers, offering accommodation and transfers, with all-inclusive packages available (two nights' accommodation, breakfasts, lunch, dinner, T-shirt and transport for $170 to $240)...
Taupo Debretts Spa Resort
More of a holiday park than a flashy resort, DeBretts offers everything from tent sites to motel-style units. It’s a five-minute drive from downtown, but it's well worth the hop for the indulgent thermal pools that share its home.
Asure Parklands Motorlodge
On SH1 but set back beyond an epic front lawn, Parklands offers a small but functional area for campervans and splay of well-presented units. There’s a swimming pool and play area for the kids.
Bella Vista Motel Taupo
The canine-adverse may find the owners' big docile dog a little offputting, but the units here are clean and comfortable, if a little bland. There's a communal barbecue at the rear of the complex.
The Powderhorn Chateau
Enjoying a long-standing reputation as the hub of activity during the ski season, the Powderhorn has a Swiss-chalet feel with woody interiors, slate floors and exposed rafters...
Catellis Of Taupo Motel & Conference Centre
The exterior is all hobbitish ’80s curves, sloping roofs and nipple-pink trim, but these orderly motel units have a fresh feel inside. In summer it’s worth paying the extra $5 for a garden studio.
Sportsmans Lodge Turangi
Backing on to the river, this lodge is a hidden bargain for trout-fishing folk unbothered by punctuation. All the rooms share the lounge and well-equipped kitchen. The self-contained cottage sleeps four.
The Hobbit Motorlodge
A leafy and quiet option halfway between the town and the Junction, the Hobbit has a backpacker wing, motel units and fancier suites. The bush-setting hot tub is a real bonus. There’s a children’s play area, too.
It's starting to look a little tired, but this Tudor-style motel has simple studios and larger family rooms, most with their own mineral pool. There’s a heated outdoor pool, a sauna, and a sandpit for the littlies.
Mountain View Motel
In this old, vaguely Tudor-styled motel, the no-nonsense rooms are clean, quiet and good value, with all necessary facilities, including a spa pool.
Anglers Paradise Motel
Looking like something out of Twin Peaks, this very old-fashioned motel sits in a 1-hectare leafy pocket where privacy prevails. It’s geared up for anglers, with guides happily arranged and a smokehouse on-site.
Right in the middle of town, the Alpine offers 40 beds in motor-lodgey rooms and a four-bedroom townhouse next door, great for families or groups. There’s also a fairly basic backpackers wing and an in-house restaurant.
Handy for skiers, this lodge is midway between the village and the Whakapapa turn-off. The restaurant has excellent views of Ruapehu, plus there’s a bar and comfy lounge...
A tasty trio is on offer here: modern studio apartments in a slate-fronted block on the main drag; three self-contained, three-bedroom townhouses by the Junction; or luxury B&B rooms somewhere between the other two. All are top options.