The first factor to think about when choosing where to stay in any town or city in New Zealand is how much you are willing to spend. The quality of the room is usually attributed to the price, although there is always accommodation that will leave you disappointed. There are many different types of places you can stay and below I will give a quick definition of each of the different types of places that you will come across throughout New Zealand.
Hotels - A hotel in New Zealand is generally the same as a hotel around the rest of the world. It will have a restaurant, bar, accommodation and various other facilities. A lot of hotels are multi-storied generally in cities where as in smaller towns a lot of hotels have a country style to them.
Motels - A motel in New Zealand may have as little as 3 motel units but can have more than 60 units, often the complex is owned or operated by a couple who live on-site. Most motel units have all the facilities that a hotel would have but watch out for places that do not supply linen. If the motel accommodation states it is serviced daily this means someone will come and clean your room. Self serviced often means that is cleaned by the user. Often motels are a cheaper accommodation option but you pay by the quality of the room and facilities available. A motel will not have restaurant facilities on site so remember to check where a place to eat will be if you aren’t prepared to cook.
Bed and Breakfast (B&B) - A bed and breakfast is similar in New Zealand as it is internationally. You will be entering somebody’s home and sharing their home facilities. Breakfast is usually included in the price of the room. Dinner can sometimes be arranged with your hosts. If you are looking for a private getaway then a B&B is not the way to go. If you are wanting to share your lives with your hosts then this would be an option for accommodation.
Holiday Parks - Also known as camping grounds are commonly found in smaller towns or rural areas around New Zealand. There are often caravan parks, campervans, tents and some have cabins. You have shared facilities like bathrooms, toilets and laundry. Often these cater for families having games rooms and playgrounds located on site. If you are into low cost camping type accommodation this is the way to go.
Backpackers - If you are on a budget and enjoy meeting other travelers then backpackers are the best place to stay. Expect to have other people in your room, so security may be an issue. Also expect to be sharing bathrooms, laundry and showers. These are a very popular way for young people to travel around and meet others with a similar view.
Holiday Homes - Are owned by private people from around New Zealand they are often known as baches or cribs, and in city centers known as apartments. These can be leased for a period that is decided upon, often having a minimum stay and are leased through a property manager. Again you pay for what you get but remember that most places you will have to give a spring clean to before leaving. And if you are moving into a place that has been occupied just before it, don’t expect a faultless clean.
When booking accommodation there are many things to look out for. There are many different booking websites that you can go through to book your accommodation. The best website that you can book at for most hotels, motels or other accommodation provider is their own website. You get a better look at all the rooms, often the best deals are on their own websites because there are no commissions paid to other websites, there are no fees associated with booking on their website. It is also a lot simpler to change a booking or cancel a booking if you book through the places own website, whereas if you book through another website you may have to pay a cancellation fee or administration fee to change a booking. Watch out for specials that are run on some of these booking mediums e.g. wotif.com as sometimes these companies buy a huge amount of rooms from a hotel themselves and then run specials for the guest, for example your second night is half price. It is always better to book ahead, especially if you are travelling between the months of November through to March. Often smaller towns are full up with accommodation. If you are prepared to barter with the owner of a complex be prepared to pay cash and offer them a reason to give you a discount. For example you are staying two nights. There are information and booking sites located around all parts of New Zealand often known as ISites. These places will book accommodation for you but often the accommodation provider will tack on to the rate of the room the accommodation that will be paid to the ISite, so it is better to go searching for accommodation yourself. A good way to do this is to get hold of an accommodation book that is located in any of these ISites, most shops or hotels and motels around the country. These have free phone numbers that make it possible to call free to these places to book you accommodation. Asking a place that you stayed for a night if they recommend anywhere is also a great way to get another place to stay (if you are happy with what they provided you of course) often motel and hotel operators have affiliations with other accommodation providers that are of a similar quality and cost. They only recommend you to people that they feel comfortable with as they often would like you as a return customer so would not recommend any accommodation that is not to a similar standard of themselves.
We would love to have you come and stay with us while you are in Greymouth and recommend you ask any questions that you have regarding your stay with us.
Some places we recommend are:
Auckland - Royal Park Lodge - http://www.royalpark.co.nz
Hanmer Springs - Hot Springs Motor Lodge - http://www.hotspringsmotorlodge.co.nz/