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.
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.
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
- Taste local beer at Brew Craft Beer Pub
- Dine on Eat Street (which is exactly what it sounds like)
- Experience Maori culture at Te Pa Tu – The Gathering Place
- Look (but don’t touch!) at the Kuirau Park Mud Pools
- Walk through sulphur lakes at Sulphur Point
- Birdwatch at Hatupatu Scenic Point
Best places to stay in Rotorua Downtown
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Rotorua Downtown
Budget accommodation in Rotorua Downtown
Mid range accommodation in Rotorua Downtown
- BK’s Rotorua Motor Lodge
- Tasman Holiday Parks – Rotorua
- Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
- Rotorua City Homestay
Family Friendly accommodation in Rotorua Downtown
- Millennium Hotel Rotorua
- Quest Rotorua Central
- JetPark Hotel Rotorua
- Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Rotorua Downtown
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
- Pukaki Holiday Apartments
- Central City Studio
- Ambassador Thermal Motel
- Lakeside Living – Lake Rotorua Holiday Home
Family Friendly accommodation in Rotorua Lakefront
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
- ASURE Rotorua International Motor Inn
- Bella Vista Motel Rotorua
- Cleveland Thermal Motel
- Red Rock Thermal Motel – Mineral Pool
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
- Get pastries to go at Guidough’s bakery
- Walk (or check out the races) at Arawa Park Racecourse
- Go for Fish and Chips at Devon Sea Foods
- Stay (and enjoy the thermal baths) at the Terume Hot Spring Resort
Best places to stay in Glenholme
Budget accommodation in Glenholme
Mid range accommodation in Glenholme
- Rotorua Studio on Sumner
- Thermal Oak Motel
- Victorian Designs – Spacious Home in Rotorua Central
- Te Wahi Koa (The Happy Place)
Family Friendly accommodation in Glenholme
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Glenholme
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
- Grab a gorgeous breakfast at Ciabatta Café and Bakery
- Enjoy the Murray Linton Rose Garden
- Stay at an old-school motel on the Motel Mile
- Take a walk (and maybe catch some cricket!) at Puarenga 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
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
- Stay at the Blue Lake Holiday Park
- Be wowed by the Pohutu Geyser ( which is the largest in New Zealand!)
- Enjoy the view at the Blue and Green Lakes Lookout
- Soak in the Secret Spot Hot Tubs
- Visit the Te Puia cultural center
- Learn at the Whakarewarewa – The Living Maori Village
- Walk the bridges at the Redwoods Treewalk
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
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
- Rotorua Views B&B/Apartment
- Mountain Bike Vacation
- Amy’s Forest City Villa
- Otonga Cottage – Rotorua Holiday Home
Family Friendly accommodation in Pomare and Matipo Heights
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Pomare and Matipo Heights
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
- Go rafting down Tutea Falls
- Go on a waterfall walk
- Try your hand at trout fishing
- Kayak down the Kaituna river
- Go for a brew at the Okere Falls Craft Beer Garden
Best places to stay in Okere Falls & Mourea
Budget accommodation in Okere Falls & Mourea
Mid range accommodation in Okere Falls & Mourea
- Bellarosa B&B
- Blue Heron Lodge – Hamurana Holiday Home
- Absolute Lakefront Favourite
- Oak Lodge – Hamurana
Family Friendly accommodation in Okere Falls & Mourea
- VR Rotorua Lake Resort
- Ramada Resort By Wyndham Rotorua Marama
- Kuirau Chalet Villa 3-bedroom Twin Lake
- Relax in Okere Falls
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
- Go for a scenic hike at Kaharoa Gorge
- Visit the famous Hamurana Springs
- Do a family ropes course at the Adrenalin Forest Bay of Plenty
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
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
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
Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Rotorua
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Rotorua Downtown|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||Regal Palms Resort|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Novotel Rotorua Lakeside|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||Rydges Rotorua|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||ibis Rotorua|
|✨ Best Hostel||Rock Solid Backpackers Rotorua|
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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