Best-Rated Retirement Villages

Compare Retirement Villages in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Bupa, Ryman Healthcare and Summerset were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Accommodation, Atmosphere, Facilities, Location and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Bupa

Bupa Retirement Villages are rated the best for customer satisfaction by NZ retirees and their families.

How we rate retirement villages

Our review compares retirement villages on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared retirement village providers before you go ahead and make an important lifestyle decision. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest friends and family members which retirement villages they think provide the best standards of living and value for money!

Canstar Blue surveyed 269 Kiwis who currently live in a retirement village, or pay for a retired relative to live in one, and asked them for their feedback on their choice of retirement villages.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their retirement villages from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall Satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a retirement village provider as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Accommodation: the quality of the village’s accommodation is of a high standard and perfectly suited to retirement living.
  • Atmosphere: the atmosphere of the retirement village is safe, tranquil, friendly and inviting.
  • Facilities: the village features quality facilities that provide a wide range of recreation options, and communal areas, such as gardens, are well maintained.
  • Location: the location of the retirement village is easily accessible, and close to shops and public transport.
  • Value for Money: the cost of living in the village, both in terms of property costs and ongoing fees, offers true value for money.

The winning retirement village provider is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The provider with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Bupa
  • Ryman Healthcare
  • Summerset

Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.

Best retirement villages in New Zealand

  1. Bupa
  2. Ryman Healthcare
  3. Summerset


Ratings Results

This is the first year that Bupa has topped our consumer ratings table and won Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers | Retirement Villages Award. And it does so in emphatic style, earning top 5-Star ratings across all categories. Congratulations to Bupa for being clearly the No.1 choice of retirement home for Kiwis in the prime of their lives!

Editor’s Notes

Bupa is a huge global health insurance and healthcare company. In New Zealand, it operates 36 retirement villages and 44 care homes across the motu that are home to over 5000 residents.

There are eight villages in the South Island, centered around Christchurch, Invercargill and Gore, while the rest are in the North Island, stretching from Whangarei to Wellington.

Accommodation options include apartments, serviced apartments and villas. Plus many also feature onsite care facilities.

Entertainment options and activities vary across the retirement villages. For more details of Bupa’s Canstar-Award winning villages, and to find one near you, click here.

Ryman Healthcare

Ratings Results

Earning a top 4-Star Rating for Overall Satisfaction, Ryman Healthcare earns one 5-Star rating, for Accommodation. It earns two further 4-Star Ratings for the Atmosphere of its retirement villages and the Value for Money it offers. In the Facilities and Location categories, it earns admirable 3-Star Ratings.

Editor’s Notes

Ryman Healthcare was founded in New Zealand in 1984. It operates 38 villages across New Zealand that are home to over 13,000 residents, and has a further nine villages either in the planning or construction stages.

Ryman Healthcare’s communities offer a mix of accommodation, including townhouses and apartments, and lifestyle options from independent to assisted living, plus rest-home and hospital-care options.

Ryman’s villages offer its Triple A (Ageless, Active, Aware) bespoke exercise program, which is available to all Ryman residents. There are also various village amenities, such as heated indoor swimming pools, gyms and bowling greens.

For more details of Ryman’s retirement villages, click here.


Ratings Results

Summerset rounds out our ratings, with a mix of both 4-Star and 3-Star ratings. For Overall Satisfaction it earns 3-Stars, which in Canstar Blue’s awards system is not an indication of displeasure. Rather it reveals that those in our survey are content with the level of satisfaction that Summerset delivers to its many residents.

Editor’s Notes

Summerset was founded in NZ in 1994 and opened its first retirement village in Wanganui in 1997. It now operates 36 retirement villages nationwide, with a further seven in planning or development.

Summerset retirement villages offer a variety of homes, all designed for people aged 70 and over. Choices include, villas, cottages and townhouses, apartments, serviced apartments and care centres.

Villages include most, if not all, the following facilities: bowling green, lounge, bar area, gym, workshop, cafe, hair salon, swimming pool and spa, library, games room and communal vegetable gardens. Plus there’s always a full calendar of events and activities to ensure residents can keep busy.

For more details of Summerset’s retirement villages, click here.

Other retirement village providers

Not all brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.

  • Arvida
  • Enliven
  • Heritage Lifecare
  • Metlifecare
  • Oceania
  • Sanderson Group


Editor’s Notes

Arvida won Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers | Retirement Villages Award in 2022. It has over 35 communities nationwide, offering a wide range of accommodation: villas and townhouses, apartments, serviced apartments, plus care rooms and suites in managed facilities.

Arvida Retirement Villages also offer a great range of facilities, including: gyms, pools, spas and fitness centres; health and beauty salons, games and hobby rooms, bars, dance floors, movie theatres, as well as games rooms, minigolf and workshops and gardens.

There are also plenty of groups and clubs to enjoy, plus vans, electric vehicles and eBikes for residents to use.

For more details of Arvida’s retirement villages, click here.


Editor’s Notes

Enliven is part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central (PSC), which has supported people and communities in New Zealand since 1909.

Enliven, along with six other regional Presbyterian Support organisations, is one of New Zealand’s largest health and social service providers. It operates nine retirement villages, featuring villas, townhouses and apartments, across Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Wellington and Wairarapa.

For more details of Eliven’s retirement villages, click here.

Heritage Lifecare

Editor’s Notes

Heritage Lifecare operates 20 retirement villages across the country, spanning from Auckland to Invercargill. Its villages offer accommodation including units, villas and townhouses for independent living, backed by the peace of mind that care is on hand if needed.

Each village offers a range of facilities and activities, from social gatherings and outings to physical activities, including bowls, plus health therapy sessions, such as hydrotherapy, pet therapy and pamper sessions.

For more details of Heritage Lifecare’s retirement villages, click here.


Editor’s Notes

Metlifecare, the winner of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers | Retirement Villages Award in 2021, has 29 villages offering independent living across the country, with more in the development stage.

Each of the villages has its own features and unique character, and offers a choice of accommodation style, including villas and apartments, plus a range of communal facilities, such as heated swimming and spa pools, beauty salons, cafes, restaurants, bowling greens and libraries.

For more details of Metlifecare’s retirement villages, click here.


Editor’s Notes

Oceania operates 45 retirement villages from Auckland down to Christchurch. Accommodation includes villas, apartments and care suites.

Villages offer a range of programs and facilities to help keep residents’ minds and bodies active, as well as flexible community spaces, designed for residents to gather, connect and relax.

Oceania villages also offer a seamless transition to clinical care and aged-care living.

For more details of Oceania’s retirement villages, click here.

Sanderson Group

Editor’s Notes

Sanderson operates two high-end retirement villages: Matamata Country Club and the Tamahere Country Club, both in the Waikato. It is also currently building Omokoroa Country Club in the Bay of Plenty.

The Tamahere Country Club features architecturally designed villas and apartments with an on-site clubhouse, health spa, and plans for a care unit.

Matamata Country Club has 132 high-quality homes, and when fully complete will feature a rest home, hospital and dementia care facility. Resident facilities will include a clubhouse and a health spa, with a pool, gym, sauna.

For more details of Sanderson’s retirement villages, click here.


Choosing the Right Retirement Village for You

Due to the property ownership structures in place in retirement villages, and the ongoing costs residents pay for the many amenities and care packages on offer, living in a retirement community has never been cheap.

However, as Canstar Blue’s latest research shows, cost is not a major concern for those enjoying the benefits of retirement village life. The majority of people in our survey (60%) don’t feel that the costs are too expensive, and just 22% rate Value for Money as their biggest concern when it comes to rating their satisfaction with their retirement village provider.

Indeed, it’s the atmosphere of village life that’s the most important feature: well over a third of survey respondents (36%) say it’s the key feature driving their satisfaction with their village provider. This rates well above the Accommodation (24%) and Value for Money (22%) on offer from providers.

As our survey proves, it’s the village vibe that counts, much more than the bricks and mortar and the facilities on offer. Here’s the full rundown of what those in our survey say are the main things they consider when rating their choice of retirement villages:

  • Atmosphere: 36%
  • Accommodation: 24%
  • Value for Money: 22%
  • Facilities: 16%
  • Location: 2%

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

Key statistics

Retirement accommodation is beneficial to quality of life: 58%

Retirement accommodation is a positive option for older people: 56%

Financial structures of retirement accommodation should be more transparent: 46%

Believe retirement care is too expensive: 40%

Worry about the cost of retirement care eating into family’s inheritance: 31%

Have concerns about care levels in retirement accommodation: 29%

Intend for more family members/themselves to go into retirement accommodation: 20%

Think assisted living and aged care facilities are an important part of retirement villages: 16%

Feel guilt for accommodating an older relative in retirement accommodation: 4%




Canstar Blue surveyed 5000 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who currently reside in, or pay for a retired relative to live in, a retirement village. In this case, 269 New Zealanders. Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

The past winners from Canstar Blue’s Retirement Village ratings:

  • 2022: Arvida
  • 2021: Metlife Care

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