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Whether you’re looking for budget family motels in Paihia or luxury retreats in Russell, there are no short of affordable and waterfront accommodations in Paihia and the Bay of Islands.

The most popular type of accommodation in Paihia is the budget-friendly 4-star hotels and motels. There are a whole lot of them along the main road of Paihia, and many are family-friendly. So depending on the itinerary and the activities you plan to do in Paihia, the location of your accommodation may be a very important factor in your travel planning.

In this post, you’ll find our top recommendations on accommodation in Paihia and Russell, ranging from budget waterfront hostels to award-winning luxury retreats to help you plan your memorable holiday in the Bay of Islands.

We’ll also share our family reviews on a couple of popular family accommodations in Paihia so you can visualize the standards of an economy motel/hotel.


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Where should I stay in the Bay of Islands?

Paihia Harbour Front Accommodation Things To Do Family Travel Guide

Most travellers stay in Paihia as a base to explore the Bay of Islands. There are budget hostels, family motels and 4-star hotels in Paihia, so if you prefer to be in the town centre where it’s vibrant with tourists, then Paihia is a good base.

However, some may prefer to stay in Russell or Kerikeri for a secluded getaway among nature, especially for families and the elderly. Russell is a small town that you can around on foot. There are boutique shops, restaurants and a museum for those who prefer a relaxing and slow-paced holiday.

Luxury Accommodation in Paihia

Let’s start with the luxury accommodation in Paihia. Paihia Beach Resort & Spa comes to mind as the most family-friendly luxury waterfront resort located a 10-minutes walk by the wharf where most cruises depart from. Paihia Beach Resort is away from the backpacker hub and budget motels but within walking distance to the main town centre where all the restaurants are. So if you’re looking for a comfortable stay in the Bay of Islands, Paihia Beach Resort & Spa is an excellent option.

The Waterfront Suites Paihia, like the name suggests, is another waterfront 5-star hotel in Paihia featuring luxury suites. If you’re looking for accommodation in Paihia that is self-catering and is fully equipped with a kitchen, then The Waterfront Suites Paihia is a great choice.

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Budget Accommodation in Paihia

If you’re looking to stay in Paihia for a period of time or are on a budget, our top recommendation would be Haka Lodge Bay of Islands. Although classified as a 4.5-star hostel, Haka Lodge offers private rooms with a communal kitchen that faces out to the water.

According to my adventurous mother who recently stayed at Haka Lodge, it was the best waterfront accommodation in Paihia that won’t break your bank. The site managers looked after the hostel so well that it was sparkly clean and very comfortable.

Economy Motels & Hotels

Most tourists would probably choose an economy motel or hotel as a base in Paihia. These accommodations in Paihia are affordable, and most of them have a central location. You can expect a basic but comfortable stay at these motels & hotels.

Here are a few top-rated recommendations in no particular order, and scroll down for our family reviews on two family motels in Paihia.

Bounty Motel

Our family has been to Paihia a number of times, and we stayed at Bounty Motel during one of our road trips from Auckland to Cape Reinga. Bounty Motel is just a tad bit far from Paihia Wharf and the town centre, but still within walking distance if you’re up for a stroll.

Like many other motels here in Paihia, there’s nothing fancy about Bounty Motel, but it provides an affordable and comfortable stay with the kids. Our family room had 3 single beds and a queen bed and we particularly enjoyed having separate space from the kids.

© Photos by Kida

Dolphin Motel Paihia

We stayed 2 nights at a budget family accommodation in Pahia – Dolphin Motel this weekend. We chose to stay at Dolphin Motel specifically for its last-minute availability, convenient location at an affordable price. There weren’t many facilities like a swimming pool or a games room at Dolphin Motel, but it did have Sky TV, and we enjoyed family movie nights cuddled up on the couch.

Other Recommendations by Guests

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Accommodation in Russell

The Bay of Islands holds some of the most luxury hotels and resorts on the North Island of New Zealand. Eagles Nest in Russell is a multi-award winning retreat sitting on its own private ridgeline, offering a spectacular view of the Bay of Islands from the heated infinity pool of your villa. There’s usually a minimum stay of 2 nights during peak season, and prices range from $2000 upwards per night.

The Duke of Marlborough

We’ve introduced The Duke of Marlborough in our post Top Things To Do in Paihia and the Bay of Islands as the first licensed bar, restaurant and hotel in New Zealand. Not only The Duke of Marlborough is a waterfront accommodation with exquisite rooms, but it’s also a historic landmark in New Zealand.

Wrapping up

I hope this post has given you a general idea of the types of accommodation in Paihia and Russell, and hopefully, you can choose a few that’s suitable for your next holiday in the Bay of Islands.

Of course, there are many many accommodation options in Paihia, Russell and even Kerikeri. We’ve provided some resources for you below. Choose your favourite hotel booking site/app, put in the dates of your trip and browse through the ones that fall into your budget with the best reviews.

Hope you have a wonderful trip to the Bay of Islands and as always, we’d love to hear about your trip!

Accommodation Booking Sites & Apps

Below is a list of hotel booking sites I personally use myself. You can find a range of family accommodation on these websites, from holiday parks to holiday homes, hotels to resorts.

*Some of these links are affiliate links. (full disclosure)
It doesn’t affect you in any way, but we may receive a small commission for bookings through our site.

Hot Tip

If you only travel occasionally, consider booking with the hotel directly. You might get a discount & better service.

However, if you’re a frequent traveller that stays at hotels often, we recommend sticking with one hotel booking site/app to reap the benefits of its loyalty program.

Hotel Booking Sites

hotels.com hotel booking
I use Hotels.com app to book hotels after browsing through hotel comparison sites. The loyalty program is my favourite and customer service has been excellent so far.
Trip.com hotel booking
Sometimes I find the best prices on Trip.com, so I use Trip as an alternative hotel booking app.
Agoda hotel booking
Agoda also offers some of the best prices around, and its rewards system is simple to use and is one of my go-to hotel booking apps.
Booking hotel booking
Occasionally, the hotel I’d like to book is only available on Booking.com. This site has the most complete list of accommodations.

Hotel Comparison Sites

trivago hotel comparison
Trivago is the first hotel comparison site I’ve used and still love today.
How to use Trivago & tips
google hotels comparison
Google Hotels is the most convenient to use for me as I use Google maps to bookmark the places I want to go.
How to plan a trip in 30 minutes

Holiday Homes

Vrbo holiday home hotel booking
Vrbo is a holiday home booking site. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you may be more familiar with the name Homeaway, which is now acquired by Vrbo.

New Zealand travels: use Bookabach.co.nz
Australia travels: use stayz.com.au
Airbnb holiday home hotel booking
I personally find Airbnb is getting more and more expensive with fees, so I don’t use it often anymore. However, Airbnb still remains one of the largest holiday home booking sites.

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