Where to Stay in Akaroa hero image - a view over the beautiful Akaroa Harbour

Where to Stay in Akaroa: The Best B&Bs, Motels and Holiday Homes 

Heading to the beautiful coastal village of Akaroa for a weekend away? This article on where to stay in Akaroa will help you find the best accommodation options for an unforgettable trip. 

Once a French settlement, Akaroa is arguably one of the most charming coastal towns in New Zealand. Just 1,5-hour drive from Christchurch, it is a great, slightly off-the-beaten track destination for a weekend away. Akaroa is home to quaint historic sites, French-inspired dining and unique wildlife encounters. It is also a great base for exploring the many hiking trails in the area. 

Since Akaroa is quite small, you won’t find any major hotel chains there. However, there is a raft of B&Bs and holidays homes that are brimming with charm and character. From comfy motels with modern amenities to stately historic houses, there is something for everyone in Akaroa. 

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Where to Stay in Akaroa – Unique B&Bs and Holiday Homes 

When it comes to unique accommodation, New Zealand’s only French town doesn’t have a shortage of fantastic options. The hardest part is to actually choose where to stay. 

1. Blythcliffe 

The elegant Blythcliffe House in Akaroa

Blythcliffe is a historic B&B located just a stone’s throw from the picturesque Akaroa waterfront. Built in 1857, the charming house is listed as a Historic Place with Heritage New Zealand. No article on where to stay in Akaroa would be complete without it. 

Blythcliffe is a private home run by owners Lesley and John who will welcome you with open arms. The house has just three units on offer. All three are full of character and decorated with antique furnishings and art. 

The Rose Room and Willow Room are located on the first floor of the main house. They both have private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and tranquil views. The Willow Room boasts a gorgeous claw footed bath, while the Rose Room offers a private balcony. Both rooms have access to a shared sitting room that features tea and coffee making facilities and a balcony. 

If you would like to enjoy a bigger space, opt for the Stables. This self-contained unit is located in a converted stable building adjacent to the main house. The Stables offer a super king-sized bed, an open plan sitting and dining area and a fully equipped kitchen.  

Guests can also take advantage of Blythcliffe’s extensive grounds. Enjoy elegant gardens, a croquet lawn and a native forest complete with a stream that is home to eels.  

The jewel in Blythcliffe’s crown is its delicious home-cooked breakfast served in a period dining room. Enjoy freshly baked pastries, award-winning marmalade, Akaroa salmon, eggs from Blythcliffe’s own chickens and herbs from the organic garden.  

Blythcliffe is the perfect choice for those looking for a unique experience for their stay in Akaroa. As this is a boutique B&B, make sure to book your room in advance to avoid disappointment. 

2. Mill Cottage – Boutique Accommodation & Garden 

The comfy bedroom at Mill Cottage

Mill Cottage offers boutique stays in a secluded and tranquil corner of Akaroa. Built in 1852, this guest house is packed with charm and character and offers two different units to choose from.  

One is a romantic cottage complete with traditional furnishings, sumptuous fabrics, and rustic period features. Modern amenities include a kitchen, a private bathroom and luxurious toiletries and free Wi-Fi. In winter, light the log burner to enjoy a cosy atmosphere.  

The other unit is a garden room adjacent to the main house but with a private entrance. The room is more modern in style but still features delightful touches of the French country style. The room has a small fridge and tea and coffee making facilities, but not a kitchenette. Instead, guests can enjoy a light continental breakfast.  

The guest house boasts a gorgeous two-acre garden. Explore the many garden pathways, spot native birds, or simply relax in the idyllic setting during your stay. 

Mill Cottage is just a 15-minute walk from the cafes and shops of the Akaroa village. Guests can also take advantage of the free on-site parking.  

3. French Bay House 

The charming exterior of French Bay House

French Bay House is a charming boutique B&B set in the heart of the Akaroa village. The house was built in 1874 and boasts elegant architectural features inspired by Gothic stone cathedrals in Europe. 

The B&B features four king rooms with private bathrooms complete with a shower. All rooms are spacious and bright and have a luxurious feel thanks to the stylish furnishings and beautiful fabrics. Some rooms boast gorgeous views over the green hills surrounding Akaroa. 

Guests can enjoy a cooked or continental breakfast in the morning. The menu features the best of local produce, including the eggs from the French Bay House’s own chickens.  

When not exploring the surrounding area, relax in the shared lounge or in the gorgeous garden. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the native birds sing.  

French Bay House is within easy walking distance to the many eateries, quirky shops and activities of Akaroa. The owners, Tim and Jacqui are happy to assist with local tips and recommendations to help you make the most of your stay.  

4. Kotare Point Paradise 

The stunning view from the living area of Kotare Point Paradise

This aptly named contemporary holiday home offers luxury, tranquillity and incredible coastal views. Get away from it all at Kotare Point Paradise and enjoy that home away from home feeling.  

Overlooking the picturesque Takamatua Bay, the house offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms, perfect for a family or a group of friends. There is an open-plan kitchen and living area with panoramic views of the bay.  

Guests can relax on the sundeck or in the garden area. There is also a barbecue, and an outdoor dining area. There you can enjoy an alfresco meal with amazing coastal views. In addition, Kotare Point Paradise offers free Wi-Fi and on-site parking. 

Akaroa village is a 10-minute drive away from the house. If you prefer to be within walking distance of the town centre, this holiday home might not be the best option. However, if you don’t mind driving and are looking to completely unwind, Kotare Point Paradise is a great choice.  

5. The Boathouse 

The dining area at the Boathouse features a unique round window with gorgeous harbour views.

The Boathouse boasts a modern interior, incredible coastal views and a great location. With its cosy feel and privacy, this quaint holiday home is the perfect choice for a romantic couple’s getaway. 

The one-bedroom property has quirky architectural features and a neutral décor perfect for relaxation. It is decorated with comfy furnishings and artwork that create a welcoming feel. There is free Wi-Fi and on-site private parking. 

The property features a private bathroom complete with a shower. The small but perfectly kitchen has all the essentials for meal preparation including a fridge and a microwave. The best part is that guests can enjoy amazing views of French Bay right at the dining table or on the patio.  

The Boathouse is just a stone’s throw away from the Akaroa beach and harbour. There is a raft of great eateries, shops and walking trails withing walking distance from the property.   

6. Glenwood Akaroa Bush Retreat – Totara Hut 

The quirky Glenwood Akaroa Bush Retreat - Totara Hut surrounded by green hills and native bush.

If you are looking for the perfect escape from the daily grind, look no further than Glenwood Akaroa Bush Retreat. Surrounded by native bush, this retreat offers rustic charm and absolute tranquillity. 

Totara Hut is a small but perfectly formed self-contained studio that sleeps two. It features a kitchenette with a fridge and a microwave, a sitting area, and a private bathroom with a shower. There is also a covered deck with barbecue facilities and incredible views of the harbour.  

There is a network of private walkways in the nature reserve surrounding the property. These are only available for guests of the Glenwood Akaroa Bush Retreat. A map is provided to help you navigate the landscape.  

Guests can enjoy a light continental breakfast in the morning. The cafes, eateries and shops of Akaroa are not within walking distance of the hut. However, they are just a 10-minute drive away. There is free parking at the property.  

The Best Affordable Stays in Akaroa 

A trip to Akaroa doesn’t have to break the bank. Here is a list of affordable accommodation options perfect for a weekend away or a longer stay. 

7. La Rochelle Motel 

A patio area in one of the rooms at La Rochelle Motel in Akaroa

Located just a 10-minute walk from Akaroa’s main dining and shopping strip, La Rochelle Motel offers modern comforts and a picturesque setting. 

The motel offers a selection of en-suite units suitable for different needs. There are eight studio rooms perfect for solo travellers or couples. Those looking for more space can opt for the two-bedroom holiday apartments that can sleep up to four guests. All units feature a kitchenette and free Wi-Fi.  

La Rochelle Motel has its own native garden complete with a stream. Some rooms feature private balconies overlooking it. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening after a busy day of exploring the local area.  

Guests can enjoy a game of pétanque or borrow the motel’s tennis gear. Akaroa beach is just a stone’s throw from La Rochelle. Fishing equipment is also available.  

La Rochelle Motel offers free on-site parking which is a great option considering that you do need a car to give the local area justice. 

8. Akaroa Village Inn

A large balcony with harbour views at Akaroa Village Inn

Akaroa Village Inn boasts an enviable waterfront location right in the heart of the Akaroa village. The Main Wharf where many wildlife spotting tours begin is just a stone’s throw from the Inn. 

There is a range of accommodation options on offer, from cosy studios to spacious three-bedroom villas. All units feature a private kitchenette, an en-suite bathroom and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms have gorgeous sea views and large balconies.  

If you’d like to take your stay to the next level, opt for the penthouse suite that boasts a large balcony with views overlooking the harbour and a jacuzzi. Or why not treat your loved one to a stay in a romantic suite featuring a four-poster bed and a spa bath for two? 

Akaroa Village Inn offers an outdoor pool area, perfect for a relaxing dip on a hot summer’s day. There are no eateries on site, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the Inn. Guests can also take advantage of the free on-site parking.  

9. Akaroa Waterfront Motels 

The waterfront area with sun loungers and other outdoor furniture at Akaroa Waterfront Motels

Enjoy an affordable stay right on the water’s edge of the harbour at Akaroa Waterfront Motels. With its modern comforts, gorgeous sea views and tranquil setting, the motel is a great choice for a relaxing stay in Akaroa. 

Akaroa Waterfront Motels has 24 self-contained units of different sizes. From comfy studios perfect for couples and solo travellers to three-bedroom apartments suitable for families and groups of friends, there is something for everyone.  

All units include a kitchenette, a living/dining area and a desk. Guests can also enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the property. To get the best views, opt for one of the 16 absolute waterfront units.  

Guests can enjoy the spacious lawn, barbecue facilities and picnic areas surrounding the motel. There are loungers and hammocks scattered around the complex, so if you don’t feel like doing much, you can simply spend the day relaxing at the motel. 

Akaroa Waterfront Motels also offers kayak equipment and bike for hire for those looking for a more active way to explore the area. Guests can also take advantage of a spa pool after a busy day of sightseeing (at extra cost). 

The motel is a five-minute walk from Akaroa’s bars, restaurants and shops. It also offers free parking on-site. 

10. Tresori Motor Lodge 

The Tresori Motor Lodge complex

Located right in the heart of the Akaroa village, Tresori Motor Lodge offers affordable stays with all the modern amenities you’ll need while being away from home. 

Tresori has 12 units ranging from cosy studios to two-bedroom apartments suitable for families. They are contemporary in style and have a comfy feel. All units have en-suite bathrooms, kitchenettes with tea and coffee making facilities as well as free Wi-Fi. 

If you would like to enjoy additional touches of luxury, book one of the Tresori suites. These boast 2-person spa baths perfect for a romantic night in. All units are serviced daily. Guests also have access to the shared laundry facilities. 

There is no on-site restaurant at Tresori Motor Lodge. However, there is a good selection of eateries within an easy walking distance from the complex. Akaroa’s Main Wharf is a short walk away too. Tresori guest can also take advantage of the free on-site parking. 

Tours and Experiences in Akaroa 

Here is a selection of the best organised tours in Akaroa to help you with plan a fantastic trip. My personal favourite is the dolphin swimming experience.  

Akaroa is home to the Hector’s Dolphin, the rarest and smallest marine dolphin in the world. Going for a swim in the open waters allows you to see them in their natural habitat. The dolphins are curious and sociable, so they swim up quite close to the swimmers. It’s a special treat to be so close to these incredible animals.  

However, there is plenty to do in Akaroa besides swimming with dolphins. Take a look at these fun tours: 

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully this article on where to stay in Akaroa has helped you find your perfect stay. For such a small place, there is a raft of unique options on offer. Once accommodation is sorted, it is time to start planning your Akaroa activities.  

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