Looking for top recommendations for great  places to stay in new zealand?

We know that trying to find recommendations for places to stay that will suit your travel needs is a
time consuming task. 
Let us introduce you to - EFRAIN & INGRID who have been traveling around New Zealand for  ten months and have stayed at over 50 Airbnbs, hotels, motels, bed and breakfast places, and have kindly offered to share their favorite places & recommendations. 
  • Is one of your main priorities in choosing places to stay, to be able to socialize and interact with your hosts and meet other guests?
  • Then here are some excellent recommendations for places to stay in New Zealand ! 

How do Efrain & Ingrid choose their accommodation?

They study traveler accommodation reviews. 

They love to meet people and their main priority are places where they will have the opportunity to socialise and interact with the kiwi hosts and other guests. In the reviews they are looking for comments that illustrate this. Other items of importance are

  • heating

  • a good wifi signal

  • comfortable bed

Sometimes they need to stop and do some work on their LA business and when that happens their accommodation acts as an office too and they like it be comfortable with a well-equipped kitchen and a great view.  A hot tub is a real bonus!

They budget between US $65 (NZ $100 approx) to US 150 (NZ $255)  per night. 

If these are your priorities for great places to stay then you will find some excellent  Recommendations  here!

Notes from Efrain & Ingrid-

  • We've stayed at over 50 AirBnBs, motels, hotels, etc. and here are some of our very favorite places.

  • Some of them are private and some are rooms in a bed & breakfast.

  • We are not making any money on these recommendations. We are just sharing the places and the people that have been exceptionally kind to us and would like to share that with you all, to get some of that local traffic moving.

  • Your experience might vary from ours of course, so be mindful of that.

  • We have nothing but great things to say about all the listings below.


PICTON- with seals & killer views!

Rob & Lou rent out this magnificent house at Waikaka Bay, overlooking the Picton harbor. You'll see the ferry coming in and out. Grab the binoculars and you'll spot seals hunting for their lunch.


The property has floor to ceiling windows and one of the most killer views we've had in all of the 40 plus Airbnbs we've stayed at in NZ. They leave tasty food items for making your own breakfast and Rob makes this tasty liqueur that they leave a nice sample of for you to try.


It's one of the most peaceful, beautiful places we've stayed at, so much so that we went around to stay a second time at Rob & Lou's Moonsound Pad.

MOONSOUND PAD https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/38440665

TASMAN- in the vineyards

Tasman in the Vineyards.
Tasman in the Vineyards 2
Making another batch of our world famous

What’s awesome about this place is that not only are you staying at a vineyard, but the owner built himself a bar to entertain his guests so you’ll get to walk from your bedroom to the bar and still be in the same place.


The owners of this Airbnb are pretty awesome to hang out with and you can pretty much drink all the Pinot you want without having to go out to buy more of it. We had such a blast staying at this cozy spot, right before you cross from Motueka to Takaka.


GOLDEN BAY- with the Weka looking for food donations

A beautiful green home- "Little Greenie, Ecohome"- with another killer view. Floor to ceiling windows will let you experience how crazy the tide changes are in NZ. You’ll get to see a beach disappear right in front of you as the sun starts to set and then be amazed by the huge size of the moon coming over the horizon.


The view from this place is just amazing and you’ll be greeted by a Weka that comes in evenings and morning to see if you have something to share, food-wise.


FAREWELL SPIT / Collingwood Area- in the Shanghai Room

Twin Waters Lodge
Twin Waters Lodge
The Shanghai Room -Farewell Spit

Mike and Trish own a quirky bed and breakfast with themed rooms- "Twin Waters Lodge". We stayed in the Shanghai themed room.


They'll invite you over for a nightcap glass of wine. If you get up early, Mike has a fancy espresso machine and makes a killer coffee. We spent the evening chatting about current world events and had a blast sharing our adventures by their fireplace.


Twin Waters Lodge   WEBSITE: https://www.twinwaters.nz/

30 Totara Avenue, Collingwood 7073, New Zealand  PHONE +64 3-524 8014


KAIKOURA- overlooking the ocean.

Sky Harbour, Kaikoura
Sky Harbour, Kaikoura 2

Craig rents one of the most beautiful homes we've stayed at in New Zealand. This is where we stayed for lockdown and what made us fall in love with NZ. It's at the top of My Fyffe road, overlooking the ocean.


You have 7 cows for neighbors that are friendly and a few of them like to get scratched behind their ears. You also happen to have a hiking trail steps from the house that takes you through a beautiful hike up the mountain.


Every now and then Craig will have a bonfire by his house, walking distance from your rental, where you can enjoy pounding down some Speights, talking about life and he might even drag you out to go Duck hunting or fishing if you stay long enough.


ST ARNAUD-NZ history & knowledge shared

Helen manages a beautiful home near St Arnaud. She also happens to be very knowledgeable about the history of New Zealand and it's many sites. She's well traveled and has some amazing stories about her times with the Department of Conservation and New Zealand in general.


We spent hours by the fireplace drinking port made by her neighbor and sharing tips of traveling in New Zealand. She also makes a tasty cooked-to-order breakfast.

Wairau Pass B&b/Homestay   WEBSITE: http://wairau-pass-bb.southislandnz.net/en/

St Arnaud 7072, New Zealand   PHONE +64 3-521 1148


SPRINGFIELD - Hobbit house near Arthur's Pass

This young couple went all-out building this Hobbit hole themed house on their lifestyle farm-The Raven's Nest Bed & second Breakfast Farmstead

It's got a lot of details and shows that a lot of love went into building this place.


There are sheep and alpaca paddocks, horses, a veggie & herb garden, and a lovely lookout at the back of the property. 


You'll get to feed the baby & adult sheep right as you check-in and be treated by an amazing breakfast the next day filled with local and seasonal goodies and their own free range eggs. 


TEKAPO-right across from the Church of the Good Shepherd

If you’re going to see the Church of the Good Shepperd, why not stay at the house directly across from it? This house (Mary Mac's ~ Parkbrae Estate) has a direct view of the Church and the beautiful surrounding areas.


Walking distance to the nearby restaurant/pub. You can’t beat that!


QUEENSTOWN- with stunning views & great breakfast

Breakfast at Tiffanys , Queenstown

Breakfast at Tiffany's is run by a German lady named Peggy. We spent a lot of time staying at Peggy's place because not only does it have one of the most beautiful views you'll get at a B&B, but because Peggy makes a delicious breakfast to go with that million dollar view of her place.


Peggy is a blast to have a chat with. We have so many pictures of crimson red skies shining in through our bedroom window in the mornings from our time staying at Peggy's.

Breakfast at Tiffany's  WEBSITE: http://breakfast-at-tiffanys-bb.queenstown-great-hotels.com/en/ 

16 Golden Terrace, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand   PHONE +64 27 815 2919


Breakfast at Tiffanys, Queenstown

MANAPOURI / TE ANAU with the alpacas

What else can we say? You'll be handed over food to feed a lot of furry funny Alpacas as soon as you park your car. After a day's worth of hiking, you can relax in the outdoor private spa, drinking wine, staring at the stars and planning the next day's adventure.


The next morning, if you're up early enough, you can walk the whole farm and feed the dozens of Alpacas. They have names for all of them, I remember one was named after the hot hip shaking Shakira 


Kepler Mountain View Alpacas

130 Hillside-Manapouri Road, Manapouri 9679, New Zealand

PH: +64 3-249 6685


Website: https://www.kmv.co.nz/

STEWART ISLAND -everything you need.

This man, Ulrike, owns one of the most beautiful homes we've seen in NZ.- Jensen Bay House. He's a retired German minister who has more stories to tell than I could even remember counting. The rooms are beautiful, the man is a magnificent cook so you'll be treated to a fine breakfast the next morning.


His son, Rakiura, runs the water taxi to Ulva island so you have everything you need in one stay. Kakas will be coming by to visit you at this house.


STEWART ISLAND -one of our favourite Airbnbs in all of New Zealand 

This is another one of the most amazing houses we've stayed at in NZ- Inlet House. It's overlooking Ulva island, it has floor to ceiling windows on all rooms and it's just pure magic.


It's worth every cent to stay at this magical house. 


You feel like you're living in the forest and you'll be visited by Kakas both mornings and evenings.


Just make sure to find out what you can feed these beautiful birds. Human food is no good for them. This is one of our favorite AirBnBs in all of NZ.



TAUPO- with yoga & coffee!

Coffee after the Yoga class in Taupo.jpg
Taupo-Enid's place.

Enid has a nice cozy guesthouse -"Fern Cottage"-that’s fully equipped with an outdoor hot tub. We quickly became friends. 

She took us to her yoga class where the ladies were super nice to us, invited us for coffee right after, and well, we repaid the favor by inviting them over for mojitos that we made for Enid and her husband. A delightful couple to meet that have also traveled the world quite a bit.


WHANGANUI- near the  meeting place for the Tongariro Guides

This is a perfect home rental for a family. Owhango Ski Hut


There’s a pool table, a well-equipped kitchen and a hot tub in the property.


A short drive from where you meet the guides for the Tongariro hike (if you’re doing the snow guided hike).



If you are doing the Tongariro snow hike in the snow, the best guide you can find is Kenny. He is the only Maori guide on the mountain, is a hell a fun guide to do the pass with and explains all the Maori folklore about Tongariro.


He also likes to sing in Maori along the way and cheers you up when you’re so out of this world tired. In the 6 months we’ve been traveling NZ, the hike with Kenny as our guide is one of our favorite moments in NZ so far.


ROTORUA- stylish & comfy

This was a pretty stylish house that’s great for groups.

It’s got a pretty good bar, a well equipped kitchen and a hell of a comfy living room if you’re traveling in a group to Rotorua.


NEW PLYMOUTH-the pool table, the dart board & the large TV!

Our favorite part about this listing is the pool table, the dartboard, and the large TV. We love to play pool so we really enjoyed staying here and just shooting pool for the rest of the night. Super comfortable space and I’d recommend it for a family.


This is one of Ingrid’s favorite places due to the tasteful decoration and the overall vibes of this cozy home. It a pretty charming flat with a very comfy bed and a well-stocked, well-equipped kitchen. Another gem in New Plymouth.


MARTINBOROUGH-with bar hopping!

Martinborough spa pool
Making our world famous mojitos (or so w

We were lucky enough to arrive here just in time for a Wednesday night with the locals. Diane owns a few AirBnBs in Martinborough with a spa bath and outdoor hot tubs.


What was cool about this stay was to meet Diane and her daughter. We all got along immediately and were invited to go bar hopping on Wednesday when the locals bar-hop around town. We actually ended up taking the party back to the house and enjoyed hanging out with Diane and her friends. A highly recommended stay!


CAPE PALLISER- breathtaking views & beautiful sunsets

We found a really cozy spot called Waimeha Camping Village, in Cape Palliser. They have some cozy cabins and a really neat general area where we shot pool till 1 am.


If you live in Wellington and you haven't been down to this area, let me tell you it's pure damn magic! Breathtaking views, beautiful sunset and super remote with barely anyone around. Can't recommend it enough.


Waimeha Camping Village, 2805 Cape Palliser Road, Cape Palliser 5772. PHONE: +64 27 566 4596 https://maps.app.goo.gl/Rb5cDtugKX3sqftt7

WEBSITE: https://waimehacamping.co.nz

about EFRAIN & INGRID..........

Efrain and Ingrid are originally from Puerto Rico and have been living and running a motor home business in LA for the past eight years. Ingrid had always wanted to visit New Zealand so Efrain surprised her with a two week trip to New Zealand at Christmas and they arrived. They  were having a great time when the coronavirus hit New Zealand and their flights home were cancelled.


They were in Kaikoura when the Level 4 lockdown happened and decided to volunteer in the community while they were there. They spent their time delivering groceries to the elderly and struck up a great friendship with 91 year old  Nat and she became their adopted granny.

See "Puerto Rican couple 'adopt' a granny while stuck in Kaikōura during lockdown."

Efrain & Ingrid fell in love with Kaikoura too and hope to get back there again when they finish their top to bottom New Zealand trip.

 FAMOUS MOJITO RECIPE!  Efrain & Ingrid have become well known around New Zealand for their delicious Mojito cocktails.

You can find their recipe here!                                                                                                                                      

  • Thanks a lot for sharing your recommendations Efrain & Ingrid.

  • We really appreciate your help in making those difficult decisions about where to stay in New Zealand. 


By the way, we found Efrain and Ingrid's recommendations on New Zealand Travel Tips ​.  We're sure you'll find other useful recommendations there too for your New Zealand travels. 

Fresh Mojito


INSTA- Unique Places to Stay NZ.jpg
South Island, New Zealand- Road Trip.jpg
TWITTER- Travel Experts New Zealand.jpg
INSTA_ Amazing Experiences NZ.jpg
North  Island, New Zealand- Road Trip (1

If you've found this article useful, please support our website by:-


Pinning to Pinterest   -   Click on the "SAVE" button

or Sharing on Facebook​                                                   Or Tweet on Twitter 



Top Recommendations Pin 1.jpg
Pin 2 .jpg