Home DestinationsAustralasia Gisborne’s Tatapouri Bay | a Review of the Zen Cabins

Gisborne’s Tatapouri Bay | a Review of the Zen Cabins

by kimberley

Just 20 minutes outside of Gisborne’s City centre lies Tatapouri Bay. Nestled between plush rolling green hills and the shores of the Pacific Ocean, this seafront accommodation offers a variety of stays suited to every budget. We recently stayed in their newer and more luxury offering, the Zen Cabins, which we completely fell in love with. Continue reading for our review of the Zen Cabins to find out why!

About Tatapouri Bay

Tatapouri Bay is actually first and foremost a campsite; a boutique one at that. With both powered and non-powered sites, it has all of the usual facilities which you would expect at a campground (e.g. shared toilets/showers and communal kitchen). However,  if camping isn’t your thing, they also offer Log Cabins, self-contained ‘Podlifes’, Glamping Tents and the Zen Cabins (which we stayed in). 

What really stands Tatapouri Bay out from other sites is its gorgeous location and small ‘luxurious’ touches. Gisborne boasts being the first place in the world to see the sunrise and Tatapouri Bay captures this perfectly. There is a cafe onsite selling various locally sourced goodies, a hot tub and sauna (at an extra cost and for glamping/cabin guests) and they even have morning yoga sessions every weekend. All located right next to the beach.

As soon as we arrived, we knew that this place was special.

The Zen Cabins

It was never our intention to stay in one of the Zen Cabins when we booked our trip to Tatapouri Bay. We had originally booked two nights in one of their Log Cabins; a short stopover as part of our roadtrip through the North Island. 

But, when we arrived on one glorious summers day in December, we decided to have a look around. With the sun beaming down on our delighted little faces, and as we listened to the lapping of waves, we spotted three cabins. These cabins were as close to the sea as you can get without, well, being in the sea. Magical images of waking up to this view, from the comfort of our bed, flooded our minds. It was love at first sight. 

We enquired about the availability and after learning that one was free, a staff member offered to show us around. We both knew that we were sold on the upgrade before even taking a step inside. 

The Space

Each Zen Cabin is self-contained, complete with a full kitchen (including a gas hob, oven, washing machine and high end appliances) and en-suite. Basically, an adorable tiny home with an incredibly smart design! They are designed to accommodate 2 people, with a (very comfy) queen size bed being the main feature of the space. However, the showstopper for us was the huge and very inviting window seat at the front. Additionally, there are also two chairs on the front deck outside to enjoy. 


The decor of each Zen Cabin is different, giving them their own unique personality. Ours had a rose gold theme with touches of pinks and creams, and gold metallic taps/bars for the kitchen and en-suite. The rattan furniture finished it off, giving the space a very relaxed and beachy vibe.


We were truly amazed at all of the little additions included in the Zen Cabin, both at the thoughtfulness and how it all fit in the space. A few of our highlights include the granola and honey, the beach hats, photo books/magazines and the womens’ toiletries in the en-suite. Kimberley particularly liked the pink hairdryer!

The Spa

Included with each Zen Cabin stay is one complimentary booking of the hot tub and the sauna. To take advantage of this, you must book a time slot with the team. The most obvious choice is to book either for sunrise or, in our case, for sunset. This really tops off a relaxing stay. 

Our Stay

We will emphasise that this was definitely a treat. That said, when we saw the opportunity it was a no-brainer. The Zen Cabin is the priciest option at Tatapouri Bay, but with good reason. It is a cosy and luxurious way to spend the night by the sea, with everything you could want or need nestled into a beautifully decorated little home. If you’re planning a relaxing trip to Gisborne and are looking to treat yourself, this is the just the spot for it.

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