North Island

Best value Hamilton hotels for exploring New Zealand's Central North Island

From the Hamilton Gardens to the Waikato Stadium to the nearby historic town of Cambridge, the city is full of attractions that can’t be found anywhere else in New Zealand.

While some Kiwi’s may chuckle at ‘the Tron’ for its former reputation for car racing and bogans, Hamilton has since evolved into a sophisticated metropolis offering those moving out of busy Auckland with the ultimate dose of work-life balance.

Not only great for those residing permanently, but the city is also the perfect base for travellers keen on visiting some of the most amazing regional destinations. You’re just a hop, skip and a jump from the Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton (Matamata) and historic Cambridge—it is hard to believe you aren’t really in Middle Earth! Explore the Waikato River by bike or on foot, take flight in a hot air balloon or simply grab a cocktail at the Easy Tiger cocktail bar and chill.

Afterwards, however, you’ll need a place to rest your head. Helpfully, there’s something for all tastes, and budgets, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. So pack your bags and head to one of these Hamilton hotels to explore the best of Central North Island.

A Hamilton hotel that has it all


Situated on the banks of the Waikato River, Novotel Hamilton Tainui is the complete package. With so much on offer on-site, it will be hard to leave the hotel premises. Spend the day relaxing in the sauna or burn a few calories with a workout session in the on-site fitness centre. You won’t have to look far for dinner with the hotel offering a restaurant with a lounge where guests can unwind with an expertly mixed drink before digging into a scrumptious dinner.

For those interested in getting to know Maori culture, you’ll be situated walking distance from Waikato Museum. (the hotel is even named after the Tainui tribe, one of New Zealand’s biggest). The exhibitions and events tell New Zealand’s story from a regional and global perspective, including art, history, tangata whenua culture and science from touring exhibitions and the museum’s own collections.

Novotel Tainui Hamilton

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (2161 reviews)

Ideal for a group holiday


For those wanting a home-away-from-home, Quest Hamilton is the perfect option for you and your friends and is located within walking distance to Waikato Stadium, Sky City Hamilton, and Waikato Museum.

These serviced apartments are the perfect alternative to hotel rooms and will give your group more space to spread out in. The studio rooms are flooded with natural light, and provide a stylish, open-plan space to unwind and relax with apartment-controlled heating and air conditioning, a kitchenette with cooktop, ensuite bathrooms, laundry facilities and high-speed internet access.

Guests can also gain complimentary access to the off-site Les Mills gym. Ready to head out? Why not visit Nirvana Lounge to catch a brilliant Kiwi band like the Ritcher City Rebels or head to a footy match at the stadium? See you there with a can of Waikato draught!

Quest Hamilton

8.3 Very good (812 reviews)

Spend a night in an English caravan


Ever considered “Glamourvanning?” Not only does Villa Shakespeare boast beautiful cottages, but it also has luxurious English caravans suitable for two or four people, each having its own separate shower and toilet. These cute retro camper vans have been lovingly restored with a bay window seating area that converts into a double bed, an en-suite with separate shower and Wi-Fi. After a stay here, you’ll find yourself wondering if the camper van lifestyle is for you after all.

If you’re looking for something more conventional, the Hathaway self-contained cottage is situated in a quiet corner of the garden, behind the main villa. The cottage offers a queen-size bed and a desk for digital nomads. Make the most of mornings in this quiet corner of Hamilton with a morning coffee on your own private deck.

Villa Shakespeare


For a bunch of crazy animals


Close to Hamilton Zoo, Quantum Lodge Motor Inn is the ideal pick for stylish couples on a budget. This accommodation will please even the most discerning traveller. Tidy and sleek, with continental breakfast and a fitness centre available, the rooms are generous open-plan units furnished with either super king-size or twin queen-size beds. You can also book a larger unit with a separate bedroom and deluxe spa bath.

Set down your bags and head into Hamilton for a tasty meal at perhaps Gothenburg Restaurant (for relaxed global tapas, beer, wine, coffee & cocktails served in a light-filled, glass & steel space) or Chim Choo Ree (for delicious fine dining using local ingredients and specialties such as Parpadelle).

The next day, before exploring the beating heart of New Zealand and rolling hills of the countryside, be sure to check out the Southern White Rhino, Sumatran Tiger and Spider monkey at one of New Zealand’s best Zoos.

Quantum Lodge Motor Inn

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (20 reviews)

A historic bungalow turned Hamilton hotel


If a bit of pampering is what you’re looking for, look no further than gorgeous historic Blairgowrie House. This lovingly restored 1916 bungalow is situated on five acres of land and is only five minutes from the quaint town of Cambridge.

With three beautiful rooms—Silk Suite, Chocolate Suite and Tulip Suite—you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Tulip Suite is all class with an alfresco dining area and chandelier. The Chocolate Suite will suit couples seeking a well-appointed and spacious suite with French doors leading out onto a large private deck overlooking the countryside. Perfect for Mother/Daughter getaways, the Silk Suite is reminiscent of a Victorian Queen bed and a King single bed. Adjacent is your own private bathroom with an elegant claw foot bath, shower and toilet.

With continental breakfast included, Wi-Fi and laundry, you will be able to truly relax. If you want to see the real heartland of New Zealand, why not book an organic dairy tour, do a local Kayak on the Waikato river or if you’re feeling lazy, simply head for pizza at delicious Alpino Cucina e Vino and order a glass of vino rosso? Salute!

Blairgowrie House

9.0 Excellent (12 reviews)

A nifty and thrifty Hamilton hotel


If your main aim in Hamilton is to stay for an overnight conference or visit friends at Waikato University, Uni Motel is an excellent spot. In the heart of town, this budget-friendly yet cheerful home base is clean and tidy with ensuite bathrooms, comfy beds and friendly staff.

Close to plenty of Sunday brunch spots, you’ll be able to take a short stroll down to the marvellous 54-hectare Hamilton Gardens. Spend a day roaming through its enclosed gardens, open lawns, nursery, Hamilton East Cemetery, and don’t forget to make a picnic pit stop by the lake.

Uni Motel

7.8 Good (278 reviews)