Bay of Islands is on the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The area consists of 144 islands where you can adventure around the subtropical micro-region. There are four charming towns in the Bay of Islands: Paihia, Opua, Russell, and Kerikeri.
When choosing a place to stay, you’ll have an endless supply of memorable lodging options that suit your budget and preferences.
I went ahead and put together a list of the best Bay of Islands accommodations you can find. Consider these the highlights of the area. From epic resorts to cozy lodges, I’ve got you covered! So, pack your bags, and let’s go find you the perfect place to stay.
Action-packed getaway or a serene stay, Jack’s Lookout is what memories are made of.
Positioned only 15 minutes from historic Kerikeri in the peaceful seaside neighborhood of Rangitane, this funky retro bach is one of the best Bay of Islands accommodation options and certainly one of the most unique. It has the perfect mix of scenery and seclusion while still being close enough to experience and explore the best gems of the Winterless North.
You’ll have an entire home and garden to relax in, surrounded by lush trees and an abundance of bird life – Tūī’s in the morning, Kererū in the afternoon, and Kiwi at night. The spacious lounge can comfortably host six and opens onto a large deck overlooking the stunning Kerikeri inlet, where you can wave at the boats sailing by and watch the birdlife swooping above and below.
A hidden pathway leads you below the canopy – roam the lower garden, wander the foreshore of the inlet, or even take a dip. You might be lucky enough to spot a kiwi at night, or you can always visit Aroha Island Eco Park a few minutes down the road to see their kiwi display.
If you’re looking to entertain the night away, the fully equipped kitchen and BBQ have you covered, with an eclectic selection of board games to amuse both young and young at heart. For winter stays, you’ll love snuggling up next to the cozy fire, browsing the bookshelf, or reminiscing to one of the vinyl tunes.
Parking is also available for your boat (if you are lucky enough to have one), with the Rangitane boat ramp just 300 meters away, should you wish to explore the Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary further. Or why not grab your fishing rod at high tide and head down to the garden to try your luck?
Whether you’re holidaying with friends, getting away with the family, or spending quality time with your loved one, or yourself, you will be sure to look back on Jack’s lookout with the fondest of memories.
If you want a luxurious experience in the Bay of Islands, then you need to book a villa at Eagles Nest. The award-winning retreat is just outside of Russell on a 75-acre estate that has its own private ridgeline. Take one step onto the property, and you’ll instantly fall in love with drop-dead gorgeous views of the Bay of Islands. To give you an idea of what type of stay you can expect, guests receive a bottle of champagne at arrival–don’t mind if I do!
Five stunning villas are available on the property, and each has a unique vibe. The modern, luxury units will take your breath away. No matter which villa you choose, you’ll have your own private infinity pool and jacuzzi, multiple bedrooms with open floorplans, a fully equipped kitchen, a minibar, and more. If you choose the premier villa, the Rahimoana, the rates include a Porsche Cayenne–yes, you read that correctly. During the Green Season, Eagles Nest offers three nights for the price of two! So, you might want to plan your trip accordingly.
When you’re ready to explore the islands, you can reserve a private helicopter excursion. There’s no need to drive to the pickup location because the helicopter will scoop you up right from the property. In fact, Eagles Nest will be the hub of several adventure activities such as sky diving, boat rides, and parasailing. It’s safe to say you’ll get the full-on Bay of Islands experience at this property.
All that exploring will make you hungry but don’t think you’ll be left to fend for yourself. Eagles Nest has on-site personal chefs that will take you on a culinary journey you’ll never forget! Of course, each villa has a kitchen, and you’re more than welcome to hit the local markets and cook up your meals.
I can’t recommend this property enough to honeymooners. However, it’s also a phenomenal option for anyone looking for a luxurious stay!
It’s hard to beat the location of Bounty Motel. The beautiful Paihia Beach is just 100 meters from the property. You can start each morning with a cup of coffee and a stroll on the beach–what else could you ask for? Since it’s right on the edge of town, fun shopping, restaurants, and bars are easily accessible. The owners are Kiwis themselves, so it would be a wise idea to get their recommendations.
Bounty Motel offers spacious self-contained apartments and studios. Each unit has a kitchenette or kitchen, a shared patio, cozy beds, and views of the ocean or property garden. If you want to do a little outside cooking, there’s a BBQ facility that you can access upon request. For those who don’t feel like cooking, guests of the Bounty Motel can grab a $20 a la carte and buffet breakfast across the street at the Kingsgate hotel. When you stay in one of these rooms, you’ll feel like you have everything you need to enjoy your stay and more!
Don’t forget that if you book your tours at Bounty Motel to the must-see attractions in the area, you’ll get a nice little discount. When your trip sadly comes to an end, the property can hook you up with a shuttle service.
At the Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands, all your needs will be taken care of. The island-influenced facilities are tucked away on 4 acres of vibrant sub-tropical gardens. Staying on the property feels like having your own personal green oasis; however, you’re just next door to Paihia’s town center and beaches. Chances are you won’t want to leave the hotel, but if you do, great stores, restaurants, and walks are nearby.
The property sounds nice, but what about the accommodations? When you open up the door to your room, you’ll be welcomed by a spacious layout with plush mattresses and pillows. Each room has a sliding glass door that leads to a private patio where you can enjoy the views of the garden. Dog-friendly rooms are available, and your pup will even have its very own doggy bed. Just make sure to inform the staff before booking. Once you put your things down and plop onto the bed, you’ll know you made the right choice!
The Scenic Hotel has an excellent on-property restaurant and lounge bar. In the mornings, you can make your way down for a delicious breakfast that will get started for the day. At night, when you finish exploring the region, you can come on back for a top-notch dinner made with local seasonal ingredients. Don’t feel like you need to rush out of there because snacks, burgers, pizzas, and alcohol can be ordered from the bar until closing time–a nightcap, anyone?
Staying at this property and being so close to the action yet hidden away from the noise will be an experience you remember long after the trip is over.
If you want to stay as close to the water as possible, Sea Spray Suites is a no-brainer. It’s located on the renowned Te Ti Beach, and–in theory– you could get sprayed by the sea. At the facility, guests will have an unforgettable experience while truly feeling immersed in the Bay of Islands area.
You’ll have luxury bedroom suits to choose from designed for maximum comfort. Each suite has a kitchen facility, a semi-private patio, and more than enough room to spread out. Only the premium units have ocean views, but I can’t recommend them enough. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sight of water and sand. When you open your sliding door, you’ll be greeted by a refreshing sea breeze. But no matter which option you choose to stay in, you’ll be able to hear the gentle lapping of waves as you fall asleep.
At the main office, there are loads of activities to sign up for, such as kayaking and dolphin watching. If you want to stay on land, you’ll be just a quick walk to the historic Treaty House, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and Paihia town center. When planning a trip to the Bay of Islands, you can’t go wrong staying at Sea Spray Suites!
Hotel rooms are nice but having the convenience of a fully equipped apartment gives you a sense of control over your stay. At the Blue Pacific Apartments, you’ll be on a beachfront property with unmatched views of the ocean. With private beach access, you’re set to jet for swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking at the beach; or you can just kick back in the sand and enjoy the shining sun.
The luxury apartments have everything you need to have a comfortable stay. There are units with up to three bedrooms, and they make great accommodations for big groups or couples traveling with children. From your room, you’ll have one of the best possible views of the Bay of Islands. Each apartment comes with a deck to enjoy the scenery, and select options even have private Jacuzzis.
Blue Pacific Apartments is a great home base to hit all the attractions and tours in the area. Golfers will be happy to know that the Waitangi Golf Club is just 1 km away. Amazing dolphin and whale watching or island tours can be organized directly from reception. No matter what you choose to do, don’t forget to chow down on the continental breakfast before heading out for a day of adventure.
The Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel is the ultimate relaxation accommodation in the area. You can book luxury studios, suites, and apartments designed with comfort in mind. Don’t worry too much about which style of room you choose because each unit has a private patio looking over the bay, a spacious spa bath, and floor-to-ceiling windows–not too shabby!
Vacation is all about relaxing, right? Well, this hotel has professional beauty and massage therapists ready to help you destress and unwind. When you’re ready for a mid-day nap, head out to the magnificent saltwater pool. There, you’ll find high-quality outdoor day beds that make it nearly impossible not to say, ahh, that’s nice!
Bay of Islands is home to some must-visit eateries, but Glasshouse Kitchen and Bar at the Paihia Beach Resort is so good it will keep you coming back for more. The menu includes outstanding cuisines from South Asia, the Middle East, and New Zealand. Each dish is prepared with the finest ingredient in the area, and the staff encourages guests to be adventurous and taste everything the kitchen has to offer.
Don’t miss out on one of the best Bay of the Islands accommodations!
For a wonderful accommodation experience, book your stay at the Chalet Romantica! Up in the hills of Paihia, the premise is a haven for spotting native birds. The owners of the chalet even have a little hobby farm where their pet goats roam along the landscape. Your stay there will feel somewhere between a homestay and a nature getaway.
You’ll have your choice between charming suites and a special cottage. Wherever you end up, every room has a view of the enchanting hills or ocean. The friendly layouts of the accommodation options will feel like a home away from home. If you’re traveling as a couple or with the whole family, each person will have their own space to recharge.
Chalet Romantica has some awesome amenities for you to enjoy. Take a dip in the heated indoor pool or grab a drink and soak in the hot tub–bathrobes and towels are available. The on-site library is a tranquil spot for anyone looking for the perfect reading nook. If you and your travel companions are in the mood for some good old fashion competition, go play a few rounds of table tennis.
At the chalet, there are tour booking services available, and you’ll be in the perfect location to easily hit the area’s main attractions!
Do you want to get away from it all and experience one of the most soothing spots in the area? Well, then, head on over to the Te Awa Lodge. It’s set on two acres of hilly pastures where the Waitangi River gently flows by, and surely one of the best Bay of Islands accommodation options possible. As soon as you step onto the property, you’ll feel the weight lift off your shoulders, and that light feeling will be carried with you for the totality of your stay.
Each accommodation option, which ranges from a riverside cottage to spacious suites, are north facing with views of the river. You’ll have all the peace and privacy you could ever hope for from a lodge hidden away in nature. The beds are comfy and come with electric blankets to snuggle up in. Guests who want a bit more warmth in the cooler months can request heaters.
Every morning you stay at the lodge, the owners provide you with an outstanding continental breakfast made with local ingredients. If you have dietary restrictions, let them know because they are flexible to your needs! Feel free to do some cooking yourself at the shared BBQ facility. There is no shortage of beautiful spots to dine outside.
The lodge is a delightful place to spend your trip, and you’re guaranteed to feel refreshed by the end of it!
Final Thoughts On The Best Bay of Islands Accommodation Options
Bay of Islands brings in thousands of world travelers each year for a reason. The gorgeous scenery, amazing activities, and delicious food make for an adventure you’ll always remember. It is easily one of the top things to do in Northland and cannot be missed off any road trip while in the Far North.
If you choose from this list of the best Bay of Islands accommodations, you can sleep easy knowing you made a great decision.
So, what are you waiting for? There’s a whole region waiting to be explored!
Staying Connected While Travelling
In today's increasingly connected world, staying online while traveling has become essential for a seamless experience. That's where eSIMs come into play, revolutionizing the way we access mobile networks during our global adventures. Say goodbye to hunting down local SIM cards at the airport; eSIMs provide instant activation the moment you land, sparing you the fortune usually spent on international roaming and allowing you to genuinely travel like a local (without getting hopelessly lost!).
With eSIMs, tasks like restaurant recommendations and reservations, up-to-the-minute public transport instructions, checking opening hours, and accessing further information become a breeze. And, of course, sharing your journey on social media is easier than ever. To stay connected wherever you roam, consider using either Airalo or Holafly. Airalo boasts the most extensive range of destinations worldwide, offering smaller data bundles tailored to your needs, while Holafly provides unlimited data packages and fantastic EU data deals.
So why wait? Embrace the future of travel connectivity with eSIMs and make your next journey effortlessly smooth.
Further Things To Consider Before Any Adventure
Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!
Many budget travelers (including me) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more general travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!