Where to stay in Rotorua [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

Rotorua is a great destination for travellers from all walks of life. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to stay for a few days, a full-time traveller or just passing through, Rotorua has something for everyone.

One of the most popular attractions in Rotorua is Skyline Rotorua. Here you can take the luge ride which offers stunning aerial views of the city as you descend down the hill. It’s an adrenaline-filled experience that’ll leave your head spinning! For something more relaxing, there are plenty of activities such as hiking and geothermal hot pools.

Aerial view of big hot spring located in Kuirau Park in the city of Rotorua, New Zealand. Geothermal activity

When it comes to finding accommodation in Rotorua, this article will help you with a bunch of different options in a bunch of different areas. Hostels are particularly popular amongst budget travellers, while AirBnBs and hotels are favoured by those looking for more luxurious options.

Wherever you decide to stay during your time in Rotorua, make sure to do check out this article beforehand so that you can find a suitable place at the best price possible.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Rotorua

❤️ Best Area first timersRotorua Downtown
💸 Best Luxury HotelRegal Palms Resort
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesNovotel Rotorua Lakeside
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelRydges Rotorua
🛏️ Best Budget Hotelibis Rotorua
✨ Best HostelRock Solid Backpackers Rotorua

Looking for accommodation in Rotorua New Zealand? You’re not alone! Located in the Bay of Plenty region on New Zealand’s North Island, Rotorua is a favorite destination among tourists and locals alike.

There are so many options when choosing where to stay in Rotorua, because the city has so many areas that make it special. Rotorua is famous for its geothermic activity, which gives it some of its most distinctive tourist attractions- including geysers, bubbling hot mud pools, and thermal springs.

The Rotorua region also has 17 lakes, known as the Lakes of Rotorua, which also provide a ton of entertainment in the summer, with many options for water sports, fishing, swimming, and other activities.

Outside of the amazing nature here, the area is also very important to the native Māori culture. Many Māori legends and stories take place here, and it’s still one of the best places to go to in New Zealand to learn about Māori culture, history, and traditions.

Welcome to our guide on the best areas to stay in Rotorua, where we’ll show you how to optimise your time in this New Zealand dream destination.

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Rotorua CBD – Where to stay in Rotorua for first timers

Why stay in Rotorua CBD?

It’s worth noting that Rotorua is a region as well as a city, so if you are searching for accommodation in Rotorua, you could end up finding some things that are quite far from the the city itself (some of which we’ll talk about later!).

If you’d like to experience the city of Rotorua, make sure to look within the CBD, or central business district, a small but bustling area nestled in between the lake, the main road, and two of Rotorua’s lovely parks.

This area, also known as Rotorua Downtown, is hands-down the best place to stay in Rotorua for first-time visitors. Everything is walking distance and, while the area is small, it still packs a punch in terms of restaurants, nightlife, and shopping.

It’s also really easy to organise activities from this area because a lot of tour companies have offices here, and you’re located in a central spot to explore the whole region from. 

Things to do in Rotorua CBD

Best places to stay in Rotorua Downtown

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Rotorua Downtown

Budget accommodation in Rotorua Downtown

Mid range accommodation in Rotorua Downtown

Family Friendly accommodation in Rotorua Downtown

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Rotorua Downtown

Information/Tourist Centre in Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand

Rotorua Lakefront – Where to stay in Rotorua with family

Why stay in Rotorua Lakefront

Rotorua lakefront is a tiny area within the downtown, but it’s worth a special mention as one of the best places to stay in Rotorua if you’re visiting with kids.

While much of Rotorua is full of bustling nightlife, you’ll find a bit more peace and quiet by the lake, and there are some great budget-friendly, family-friendly places to stay.  

You’ll also find the most scenic playground in the entire world on the shores of Lake Rotorua. This is definitely a top contender when looking for the best accommodation in Rotorua NZ.

Things to do in Rotorua Lakefront

  • Watch the sunrise from the Rotorua Lakeside Jetty
  • Spend a few hours with your little ones at the Lakefront Playground
  • Watch seaplanes from the Rotorua Lakefront Boardwalk
  • Stay at the Lake Lodge B&B for a charming and cosy night’s sleep

Best places to stay in Rotorua Lakefront

Budget accommodation in Rotorua Lakefront

Mid range accommodation in Rotorua Lakefront

Family Friendly accommodation in Rotorua Lakefront

A hydroplane taking off from lake Rotorua towards sunset

Ohinemutu – Where to stay in Rotorua for Maori culture

Why stay in Ohinemutu

Ohinemutu is a small suburb located next to Rotorua’s downtown, which houses a living Maori village. It’s also where the original settlement of Rotorua was based.

This is one of the best places to stay in Rotorua if you’re fascinated by the native culture of Aotearoa (as the Maori call New Zealand). You’ll be staying right in the middle of important Maori buildings like churches and meeting houses, so it’s a very unique cultural experience.

There aren’t many accommodation options here, but the options are generally homestays, giving you an even better glimpse into native life here.

Things to do in Ohinemutu

  • Experience a blend of Maori and modern New Zealand culture at St Faith’s church and Te Ao Marama hall
  • Grab coffee with a view at Third Place Cafe
  • Stay at the rustic Lake House Hotel
  • Take a walk along the Utuhina Stream

Best places to stay in Ohinemutu

Budget accommodation in Ohinemutu

Mid range accommodation in Ohinemutu

Family Friendly accommodation in Ohinemutu

statue at Wharenui or Maori meeting house, Tamatekapua Marae, Ohinemutu, Te Arawa tribe, Rotorua, Rotorua District, New Zealand.

Glenholme – Where to stay in Rotorua like a local

Why stay in Glenholme

Glenholme is the best area to stay in Rotorua to take advantage of all the fun that the CBD has to offer, at a calmer pace.

This suburb located just south of the downtown is still only a 30 minute walk to the lakefront, but that little bit of distance makes it a bit less expensive- and a lot more local!

Glenholme has great cafes and bakeries, as well as having some of the best Rotorua accommodation (many of which have their own thermal pools).

Its location also puts you directly in between the food and nightlife options of downtown, and the amazing nature attractions of Whakarewarewa directly to the south.

Things to do in Glenholme

Best places to stay in Glenholme

Budget accommodation in Glenholme

Mid range accommodation in Glenholme

Family Friendly accommodation in Glenholme

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Glenholme

The vintage house in Rotorua city, New Zealand

Fenton Park – Where to stay in Rotorua on a budget

Why stay in Fenton Park

Fenton Park is right next to Glenholme, and has a very similar local vibe, but likely  the most cost-effective place to stay near to downtown Rotorua.

It’s home to “motel mile”, Rotorua’s main strip of motels, so there’s a large assortment of accommodation options. There are also nice cafes in this area, as well as easy access to some really nice parks and gardens.

Things to do in Fenton Park

Best places to stay in Fenton Park

Budget accommodation in Fenton Park

Mid range accommodation in Fenton Park

Family Friendly accommodation in Fenton Park

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Fenton Park

Aerial view of Rotorua city at sunset

Whakarewarewa – Where to stay in Rotorua for Geothermal Adventures

Why stay in Whakarewarewa

Whakarewarewa is a sprawling area located to the south of Rotorua’s CBD, and it’s the closest place to the city center to really appreciate the scale of the geothermal activity in this area.

Its home to Te Puia, a Maori cultural center within a geothermal preserve that also offers a craft center, as well as a living Maori village that you can buy tickets to explore.

There are multiple geysers around the park, as well as hot springs and paths for mountain biking. It stretches all the way down to two of Rotorua’s most famous lakes, Tikitapu and Rotokakahi, or the blue and green lakes.

This area isn’t home to many of the hotels in Rotorua, but the accommodation options it does have are really special. The true draw here is the access to all that amazing nature – while still being close to the main city attractions.

Things to do in Whakarewarewa

Best places to stay in Whakarewarewa

Budget accommodation in Whakarewarewa

Mid range accommodation in Whakarewarewa

Family Friendly accommodation in Whakarewarewa

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Whakarewarewa

Whakarewarewa Geyser at Te Pui thermal park in geothermal valley of Rotorua New Zealand

Pomare and Matipo Heights – Where to stay in Rotorua for nature lovers

Why stay in Pomare & Matipo Heights

Pomare and Matipo Heights are definitely a bit more off the beaten track than the places we’ve covered so far, but they’re a great option if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.

This area is located up on the hills to the Southwest of Rotorua, and offers lovely views towards the city and the lake.

It’s also the last stop before you get out into the Ngongotahā Valley, which borders the city. You’ll find some of the most unique accommodations in Rotorua here.

Things to do in Pomare & Matipo Heights

  • Watch the Rugby at the Rotorua International Stadium
  • Golf at the Springfield Golf Club
  • Enjoy a scenic walk to the lakefront

Best places to stay in Pomare and Matipo Heights

Budget accommodation in Pomare and Matipo Heights

Mid range accommodation in Pomare and Matipo Heights

Family Friendly accommodation in Pomare and Matipo Heights

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Pomare and Matipo Heights

Hot Springs in the centre of Maori village in Rotorua in New Zealand

Okere Falls & Mourea – Where to stay in Rotorua for Waterfalls

Why stay in Okere Falls and Mourea

On the other side of the lake from the city of Roturua, Okere Falls feels like a world away from the small city, although its only a short 30 minute drive away.

It’s famous for bush walks, white-water rafting, microbreweries, and – of course- for its spectacular waterfalls! If you like a rush, you can even white water raft down the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world (which is over 21 feet tall).

There’s not a ton of accommodation in this area, and the accommodation you will find nearby is in the small area of Mourea.

Nestled in between Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti, this small settlement on a strip of land is home to a few nice hotels with beautiful lake views, and puts you right in the middle of all the attractions the lakes have to offer.

Things to do in Okere Falls and Mourea

Best places to stay in Okere Falls & Mourea

Budget accommodation in Okere Falls & Mourea

Mid range accommodation in Okere Falls & Mourea

Family Friendly accommodation in Okere Falls & Mourea

okere falls near rotorua on the north island of nz

Hamurana – Where to stay in Rotorua for Hot Springs

Why stay in Hamurana

Hamurana is a settlement just 15 km north of Roturua, perched on the edge of the lake. It’s renowned for the beautiful Hamurana Springs, a nature preserve with  multicolored natural springs.

You can stroll through impressive redwood trees on wooden walkways and look at the incredible colors of the springs beneath you. This area also includes the impressive Kaharoa Gorge, and puts you very close to further-out attractions.

This area is amazing if you’re looking for nature right next to the city, as it’s only a 20 minute drive from Rotorua CBD, and you’ll find some very cute lodging here including homestays and lakefront cabins.

Things to do in Hamurana

Best places to stay in Hamurana

Budget accommodation in Hamurana

Mid range accommodation in Hamurana

Family Friendly accommodation in Hamurana

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Hamurana

scenic forest near Hamurana Springs, Rotorua, New Zealand

Kawaha Point – Where to stay in Rotorua near the beach

Why stay in Kawaha Point

While Rotorua may not have white sand beaches, it does have areas that put you right on the lake to experience that waterfront bliss – and Kawaha Point is just one of those places.

Located north of the CBD, this area is full of charming lake hotels that take advantage of the beautiful views from this unique point.

Book a beautiful nature lodge, walk along the lakefront, and enjoy this chilled-out area- while being less than a 10 minute drive from all the fun of downtown Rotorua.

Things to do in Kawaha Point

  • Visit the Mitai Maori village to see one of their many cultural performances
  • Learn about New Zealand’s national bird at the National Kiwi Hatchery in Rainbow Springs Nature Park
  • Interact with art exhibits at the 3D Trick Art Gallery
  • Have fun at Skyline Rotorua with zip-lining and luge rides! (the luges are super fun!!!)

Best places to stay in Kawaha Point

Budget accommodation in Kawaha Point

Mid range accommodation in Kawaha Point

Family Friendly accommodation in Kawaha Point

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Kawaha Point

Romantic scene at a pier looking out upon Lake Rotorua at sunrise

Rotorua Regional Airport – Where to stay before an early flight

Why stay near Rotorua Airport

Rotorua Airport isn’t too far from the downtown, but every minute can count for a very early flight, so booking to stay near the airport is often a good idea. In the case of Rotorua Regional Airport, the area near the airport actually has some really nice lakeside spots!

Book to make your morning flight experience a breeze, and you’ll get a chance to have a different view of the beautiful lake. Being a little bit out of town, this is also one of the areas where you’ll find the most affordable options when booking accommodation in Rotorua.

Best places to stay in Rotorua Regional Airport

Budget accommodation in Rotorua Regional Airport

Mid range accommodation in Rotorua Regional Airport

Family Friendly accommodation in Rotorua Regional Airport

White and black Air New zealand planes parked on tarmac

Final Thoughts: best hotels in rotorua

Rotorua is an amazing place to visit, and with the great selection of accommodation options available it can be difficult to choose where to stay.

The wide range of experiences and unique perspectives available at each lodging means there will always be something special for everyone who visits Rotorua.

So, if you’re looking for a place that offers the best of both worlds – comfort and adventure – you won’t regret booking your stay in Rotorua.

Whether it’s exploring the geothermal wonders, discovering local Māori culture, or indulging in some of New Zealand’s finest culinary delights, Rotorua has something for everyone.

Don’t wait! Book your stay today and make sure you get the perfect hotel in this incredible destination.

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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