My two standbys are the windsor and the ymca. The Y is cheap, has a “burger place” for lunch and breakfast. The Y also serves an inexpensive breakfast and dinner in their dining room. It’s got lots of rooms and can be noisy at times. The bathrooms are like most inexpensive places in NZ- a shared bath down the the hall. In the Y’s case there are lots of individual bathrooms on each floor and they are kept very clean. Most are showers but I think each floor has at least one bathtub.
The windsor is a step up. A little more money but not much. The owners are very pleasant people and take very good care of the ice people who stay there. Breakfast is included and is a full cooked breakfast not just a continental.
The Y works best for the social crowd. It’s a multi floor hotel and it ends up housing a lot of ice people each year. It’s also across the street from the Arts Center and the Christchurch Gardens, two places you will undoubtably enjoy. It’s also close enough to the square to walk. It used to be on the bus route, but now you have to walk half a block.
The windsor is a little quieter and a lot more pleasant. A good place to sit in a lounge and read a book on a rainy day. It is a couple of blocks away from the Y and is still convienent to everything.
I’ve also stayed at Thomas’s. It’s nice because it has a kitchen to cook your own meals. It would be high on my list of cheap places, except that while we were there last year it had a number of odd characters staying there. I suspect it was being used as a halfway house of some type.