With over twenty-five beautiful beaches to explore, a wealth of fascinating museums, and New Zealand’s most biodiverse scenery, Dunedin is an incredible spot.

The city is best known as the ‘Wildlife Capital’ of New Zealand, with some of the country’s most unique and abundant biodiversity and wildlife. It’s also famous for its heritage and colonial history. Dunedin is, in fact, New Zealand’s oldest city and still has many of its historic buildings.

With a colonial history under the control of Dutch, English, and Portuguese rule, Dunedin is packed with multicultural intrigue and an old-world feel. The city was once New Zealand’s most prosperous town, home to a gold rush population in the 1860s. Today, it has a more relaxing feel, similar to most New Zealand cities.

If you’re interested in exploring this gorgeous city for yourself, staying in one of the best motels in Dunedin will be able to keep your costs down. Motels are a convenient, comfortable, and affordable option for those visiting New Zealand.

Best Motel for Couples in Dunedin
Studio with Spa Bath at Dunedin Palms Motel
Best Motel for Couples in Dunedin

Studio with Spa Bath at Dunedin Palms Motel

  • > $$
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Bathroom with underfloor heating and spa tub
  • > In-room continental breakfast
Best Budget Motel in Dunedin
Studio Suite at Aria on Bank
Best Budget Motel in Dunedin

Studio Suite at Aria on Bank

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Family-sized room options, free parking, room service
  • > Across the road from the Dunedin Botanic Garden
Over-the-Top Luxury Motel in Dunedin
Executive King Studio at Beechwood Boutique Accommodation
Over-the-Top Luxury Motel in Dunedin

Executive King Studio at Beechwood Boutique Accommodation

  • > $$$$
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Private kitchenette and living room with city views
  • > Delicious breakfast served daily, tour desk, and laundry facilities on site

Staying in a Motel in Dunedin

Motels seem to have gained themselves an unfortunate reputation as cheap roadside rooms with no lobby and stuffy interiors. In reality, they are really just a more affordable and straightforward version of a hotel. 

While there are some motels that certainly do live up to the unpleasant reputation, the motels in Dunedin are attractively decorated and centrally located in the heart of the city center. 

Dunedin New Zealand

Motels are equipped with very similar amenities as hotels. Both kinds of accommodations provide a bedroom and an ensuite bathroom, a closet, personal work desk, and bedside tables, with lots of little home comforts.  

The main difference between a hotel and a motel is the services you will receive. While hotels offer extras like housekeeping, concierge, 24-hour reception, and facilities like common spas, fitness centers, lobby lounges, and on-site restaurants, you won’t find the same at budget motels.

Unlike hotels, which typically have a simple coffee machine, kettle, and mini-fridge, many of the best motels in Dunedin have a fully equipped kitchen or, at the very least, a basic kitchenette. 

What to Look For in a Motel in Dunedin

Motels are one of the more affordable and basic types of accommodation, but that doesn’t mean they lack comfort. Underneath the classic ‘Vacancy’ signs, you’ll find some beautiful motels with cozy rooms, modern facilities, and all the necessities for a short or long stay.

If you’re visiting New Zealand with family or a group of friends, you won’t have any trouble finding a spacious room with a sleeper couch or an apartment-sized motel room with multiple beds. Apartment motels are common in Dunedin, providing a private space for your children to sleep, a shared bathroom, and a shared living and kitchen space.

Location is essential when deciding on any accommodation, luckily many of the top motels in this city are located in central Dunedin. The main street, George Street, is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. Staying in this central area is an attractive option for all travelers, whether with your family, a significant other, or traveling solo.

Complimentary parking is a common amenity for motels in Dunedin. For those bringing along their own vehicle, it’ll be easy to park and head out to explore by car.

You’ll find the most extensive selection of motels listed on Booking.com, with a few options on Airbnb. You can filter your search according to precisely what you are looking for, and you won’t have difficulty finding the ideal place to stay in Dunedin. Motels are diverse and comfortable, ideal for all kinds of travelers.

The Top 15 Motels in Dunedin

From motels suitable for accessible travelers to those large enough for families and groups of friends, I’ve compiled a list of the fifteen best motels in Dunedin to make your accommodation search a bit easier.

Overall Best Value Motel in Dunedin – Bella Vista Motel Dunedin

Compact Studio at Bella Vista Motel Dunedin
  • $
  • 2 Guests
  • Dedicated workspace
  • Close to the Dunedin CBD

Bella Vista Motel is a comfortable accommodation with a dedicated workspace, private bathroom, and basic kitchenette right in the heart of Dunedin. Perfect for those looking to get some work done while exploring the town, the cozy space has everything you need for a relaxing stay.

Located in the heart of the city, it is just a short walk to Otago Museum, Olveston Historic Home, and Dunedin Botanic Gardens, some of the best places to visit.

The room that awaits you after your adventures features lots of plush furnishings and amenities for a restful night’s sleep. You won’t have to worry about bringing any essentials as the motel provides shampoo, soap, linens, and towels.

Best Budget Motel in Dunedin – Aria on Bank

Studio Suite at Aria on Bank
  • $
  • 2 Guests
  • Family-sized room options
  • Close to Dunedin Botanic Garden

Just steps from the Dunedin Botanic Garden, Aria on Bank is in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. You can easily get about to visit the must-see spots on foot, and enjoy everything Dunedin has to offer. Aria on Bank is one of the best motels in Dunedin for those on a budget, providing incredible value for money with comfortable, spacious, and modern rooms.

The motel has all kinds of rooms including those for families, couples, and solo travelers, each with a private bathroom, complimentary toiletries, a kitchenette with tea and coffee facilities, and a toaster. There is even free parking included in case you are heading to Dunedin with a car!

Best Motel for Couples in Dunedin – Dunedin Palms Motel

Studio with Spa Bath at Dunedin Palms Motel
  • $$
  • 2 Guests
  • Bathroom and spa tub
  • In-room continental breakfast 

Perfect for a romantic trip while sticking to a budget, Dunedin Palms Motel is a plush and deluxe space to spend quality time with your loved one. You can explore art galleries, restaurants, theatres, cathedrals, and gardens, all within walking distance of the property.

The rooms at the motel in Dunedin are spacious and comfortable, decorated with fresh white interiors and modern touches. Each room has either a kitchen or a kitchenette, and an ensuite bathroom with underfloor heating. For a relaxing morning in, order breakfast to your room and tuck into a tasty meal in bed – dreamy!

Another Great Motel for Couples in Dunedin – 315 Euro Motel

Studio Apartment at 315 Euro Motel and Serviced Apartments
  • $$
  • 2 Guests
  • Private balconies with city views
  • Tons of natural light

Another amazing motel in Dunedin for couples is 315 Euro Motel. It is a serviced apartment that will quickly feel like your own home away from home. Located on George Street, a vibrant cafe, retail, and art district of the city, you’ll be within walking distance of tons of attractions.

The rooms are basic yet comfortable, with modern furniture, pops of color and plenty of space. There is even a 2-bedroom option for those traveling in a larger group or with kids.

There are laundry services on site, and a shared outdoor terrace to enjoy some fresh air. For a central location and homey amenities, 315 Euro Motel is a fab option.

Best Motel for a Group of Friends in Dunedin – ASURE Adrian Motel

Two-Bedroom Apartment at ASURE Adrian Motel
  • $$
  • 5 Guests
  • Private kitchen and balcony
  • A short walk from St. Kilda Beach

Traveling with friends is easier when you have plenty of space to enjoy each other’s company.

Just a few hundred meters from the beautiful St Kilda Beach, ASURE Adrian Motel has a spacious apartment with two private bedrooms, a shared living space, a kitchen with a sleeper couch, and a private bathroom. 

You will also have access to the barbeque deck, free parking, and a speedy Wi-Fi connection! Guests can use laundry facilities, store luggage at the front desk, and even order a continental breakfast for a small additional fee. Its a great motel in Dunedin for getting away with friends.

Over-the-Top Luxury Motel in Dunedin – Beechwood Boutique

Executive King Studio at Beechwood Boutique Accommodation
  • $$$$
  • 2 Guests
  • Living room with city views
  • Delicious breakfast served daily

Beechwood Boutique is a bit different from the other motels in the area. It is set on one of the most desirable streets in the city, featuring modern interiors and stylish decorations. 

Each studio in the motel is self-catering with a full kitchen, comfortable living space, and a work desk ideal for digital nomads. Laundry facilities are available on-site, and guests can arrange tours through the tour desk! You can even order room service from a range of nearby restaurants directly to your room.

If you are looking for a bit more of a luxe stay while watching your budget, Beechwood Boutique is perfect!

Best Motel for Families in Dunedin – Longbourne Lodge Motel Mosgiel

Two-Bedroom Cottage at Longbourne Lodge Motel Mosgiel
  • $$$
  • 7 Guests
  • Fully self-contained cottage
  • Balcony with garden views

The private cottages at Longbourne Lodge Motel Mosgiel are the best for families traveling with young children. 

With homey interiors, a spacious kitchen, living area, and two private bedrooms, it is spacious enough for everyone to have their own space and room to gather together. Light up the BBQ and enjoy a meal on the patio surrounded by the sounds and sights of rural New Zealand. You can make unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

This Dunedin motel is located in the nearby town of Mosgiel, which is just a fifteen-minute drive from central Dunedin. The region is overflowing with lush parks and green spaces, perfect for letting the little ones run wild.

Best Motel in Dunedin for Backpackers – On Top Backpackers

Standard Double with Shared Bathroom at On Top Backpackers and Apartments
  • $$
  • 2 Guests 
  • A few minutes walk from The Octagon
  • Vintage cafe and billiard bar lounge

For those backpacking with friends or solo, On Top Backpackers one of the best hostels in Dunedin thats’s a great alternative to a motel for an even lower cost! It is located in the city center of Dunedin close to restaurants, cafes and shops, you can easily get about on foot saving even more cash on transportation.

You can select from dorm rooms and private suites, make use of convenient facilities like free Wi-Fi, and tuck into a complimentary continental breakfast served each day. Linens and towels are provided, and all the suites are well-heated for the winter months.

Best Motel for a Weekend Trip to Dunedin – Amross Motel

Studio at Amross Motel
  • $$
  • 2 Guests
  • Balcony with street views
  • In North Dunedin

If you only have a weekend to spend in the city, you’ll want to base yourself right in the center of Dunedin on the famous George Street. Just walking distance to restaurants, cafes, and trendy bars, Amross Motel has comfortable suites that are overflowing with natural light – its a beautiful motel for a central getaway.

A great motel in Dunedin for quick visits, the rooms are entirely self-contained, with full kitchenettes, comfortable bedding, electric blankets, and an ensuite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. You can also make use of free parking, laundry facilities, and high-speed fiber-optic internet.

Best Motel in Dunedin for Long Stays – 538 Great King Motel

Penthouse Apartment at 538 Great King Motel
  • $$$
  • 4 Guests
  • Two-bedroom apartment
  • Seating area with city views

A longer stay in Dunedin means you’ll want to find a really cozy, homey spot to stay. 538 Great King Motel has a few incredible apartments and penthouses which are ideal for an extended stay.

In walking distance from the city center, you can get around on foot to find restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as some of the must-see hotspots.

All of the apartments have modern interiors, wooden floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city. Fitted with state-of-the-art cookware and appliances, you’ll feel right at home cooking your fave meals.

Guests can also make use of a peaceful garden, guest laundry facilities, and speedy WI-Fi.

Motel with the Most Epic Location in Dunedin – Alexis Motor Lodge

Studio with Spa Bath at Alexis Motor Lodge
  • $$
  • 2 Guests
  • Free parking
  • On famous George Street

Set on the city outskirts along one of the stretches of main road, Alexis Motor Lodge is a great motel in a super convenient location. You’ll be just a few minutes walk from the buzz of the city but also a short distance from the rolling hills of rural New Zealand.

The rooms are bright, spacious, and comfortable, fitted with cozy furnishing and convenient appliances like electric blankets and coffee and tea facilities.

On top of the basics, you’ll have your own spa bath in your en-suite bathroom to unwind after a day of exploring.

Most Beautiful Motel in Dunedin – Bluestone on George

Superior Twin Studio at Bluestone on George
  • $$$
  • 2 Guests
  • Well-manicured gardens
  • Overlooking the Otago Peninsula

Neutral interiors and carefully designed wallpapers make Bluestone on George one of the most aesthetically pleasing motels in Dunedin.

Top that with plush linens, ample natural light, and city views, and we have ourselves an easy winner as the most beautiful motel in the city. 

Designed like a house, the property sits on a hill overlooking the Otago Peninsula, and the city of Dunedin. Unlike other motels, this one has a guest lounge where you can get wine and snacks and mingle with other guests.

You can also order from a room service menu for breakfast, light snacks, and snack platters.

Best Motel in Dunedin for Solo Travelers – Commodore Motels

Studio at Commodore Motels and Apartments
  • $$
  • 1 Guest
  • Overlooking Dunedin Botanic Gardens
  • Living area and kitchenette

Who said solo travel couldn’t be super comfy? Commodore Motels is a perfect spot to set yourself up in Dunedin. It looks out over the botanic gardens, and is central for getting around the city on foot or by public transport.

The studio room has a mini living area and kitchenette, ideal if you want to prepare your own morning coffee.

It has a clean, modern style and everything you need for a relaxing stay. Commodore Motel is a safe and comfortable spot.

Best Motel in Dunedin for Honeymooners – Aurora on George

Executive Studio at Aurora on George
  • $$$
  • 2 Guests
  • On iconic George Street
  • Modern interiors

Aurora on George is a stylish, modern accommodation surrounded by greenery in the city center. Built around a lush garden, each room has views of beautiful greenery for a break from the city sights.

The rooms are designed with contemporary interiors and modern art, featuring pops of color and plush furniture. If you are looking for a moment of peace in the buzzing city, you can rest and unwind in your own room with your partner.

Super Accessible Motel in Dunedin – Gardens Motel

Large Studio with Wheelchair Access at Gardens Motel
  • $$
  • 2 Guests
  • BBQ facilities and free parking
  • Close to George Street shopping district

Visitors with mobility issues don’t need to miss out on great motels in Dunedin. Gardens Motel provides wheelchair-friendly accommodation just a short stroll from the iconic George Street shopping district. 

The rooms are spacious and well thought out for those who need a bit more accessibility. The bathrooms are wheelchair friendly with a wet room style shower. Also fitted with kitchen facilities and amenities to make you feel at home, Gardens Motel is an excellent base for a Dunedin adventure.

Don’t Forget Your Dunedin Travel Insurance

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Motels in Dunedin

New Zealand is known for being a super chill and laid-back place to visit, and Dunedin is a prime spot to bask in those exact vibes.

Besides beautiful beaches, parks, and exciting biodiversity, the city is a hotspot for history buffs, dotted with museums and heritage. Motels in Dunedin will base you right in the heart of the action without costing you an arm and a leg.

Before traveling from abroad, make sure you organize comprehensive travel insurance for your trip. I have no doubt you will engage in some adventurous activities here, and injury is always a possibility.

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!