National Park Ski Haus Hostel Review

National Park Ski Haus Hostel Review

Ski Haus

$62.00 per night – single/private room (BBH Posted $60, but they charged me more)
BBH – Yes
Wifi – Yes (50 MB free / day)
Visa/Credit Machine – Yes
December 28 – 30, 2015 (2 nights)
BBH Official Link
Ski Haus Official Site

My first impression was not good.  I arrived at 3:05 pm, and there was no one there at the front desk.  A sign said, ring bell, but no bell.  I then noticed a small written note saying, be back at 3:30 pm.

A couple arrived 2 minutes after me and said the same thing, “What bell?”  I then pointed out the note.  A few minutes goes by, and a new couple arrive.  Same question, same answer.

We all ended up waiting outside because the the place has a very musty smell to it.

When the girl arrived, she was very friendly and tried to check us all in quickly.  Because of this, I didn’t get a tour of the place, but I am OK with that.

My room is clean, but outdated and my door rattles every few minutes.  It is a little annoying.   Same musty smell, even with the windows open.

Common room is nice and large, the kitchen is a good size but messy, and a bit dirty.  Appears to have many showers, all separate and same with the toilets.

The first impression was just that, by the end of my stay I had completely changed my mind.  The people working at the front desk were great, and very friendly.  Always willing to help.

Price:
4/10 – BBH lists it at $60, and I was charged $62.  I also think it is way over priced.

Internet:
5/10 – Hosted by my favorite company, Zenbu.net.  You get 50 MB free per day, and 200 MB is $2, 500 MB is $5, and 1000 MB is $7.  It is slow and always drops.  They only have a wireless G connection in a hostel this big is ridiculous.

Atmosphere:
7/10 – I felt comfortable here, and enjoyed my evenings chatting with other travellers in the common room.  The desk people are also very friendly.

Showers:
8/10 – Clean and just enough room to shower.  They are only missing hangers on the wall for your towel/clothes.

Toilets:
8/10 – Very clean and plenty of stalls.  I did find the stalls hard to get in and out of, as the doors opened to the toilet, so you had to stand sideways beside the toilet.

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Rooms:
7/10 – Lots of room, very clean, several plugins, but there is that musty smell.  The bed I had was comfortable and it was quit after 11 pm.

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Kitchen:
9/10 – Average size with good seating.  It had everything you really need.

Hostel Reviews Overall Rating:
8 / 10

Final thoughts:
Ski Haus is a nice hostel, but a little over priced. The location is perfect for buses and train travellers, and I had no problems hitchhiking to the Mountains. However, if you want internet this is not the place.

I hope you enjoy my honest and open Ski Haus Hostel Reviews.

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Auckland Newton Lodge Hostel Review

Auckland Newton Lodge Hostel Review

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$49.00 per night – single/private room ($20.00 Key Deposit)
BBH – No
Wifi – Yes (Unlimited)
Visa/Credit Machine – Yes
December 28 – 28, 2015 (2 nights)
27 Cross Street, Newton, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand

My first impression of the Newton Lodge was not a good one, as the street they are located on appears to be in a dirty area.  Also, the street right above them is stripper lane.  I counted over 5 adult clubs within 3 minutes walk.

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However, inside the hostel is a different story.  It is clean, nice showers and toilets, but the rooms are a little small.  The beds are very basic, and not much better than sleeping on the ground.  The room did have a desk, which I liked.

The common room/kitchen I found a little small, but lots of seating and the TV is always on, if you want to sit back and relax.

One odd thing that happened, was at 11 pm at night, the fire alarm went off in the building and we were all evacuated.  No firetrucks arrived, but an older lady with keys did.  She came in and turned the alarms off.  The building is so old, I am sure this is bad wiring.

Price:
7/10 – Cheapest in Auckland, but you get what you pay for.  They also require a $20 key deposit, which I did not know about.

Internet:
9/10 – The speed was almost always above 50 KBS and reached 100 KBS often.  It was also unlimited and I had a decent connection from my room.  They also offered two PCs for people who needed them.

Atmosphere:
8/10 – The common room/kitchen always had people and I felt comfortable walking in and saying hi.

Showers:
9/10 – Several private stalls, with large showers.  Clean and nice to use.  I think so far, these were the nicest showers.

Toilets:
9/10 – Very clean and plenty of toilets.

Rooms:
6/10 – Small, but clean.  Beds are OK, not all that comfy.  Very loud at night, as people talked until 2 am and you could hear everything.

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Kitchen:
6/10 – Small and was always messy.  Lots of seating.

Hostel Reviews Overall Rating:
6.5 / 10

Final thoughts:
My first impression of Newton Lodge was bad, but a day later changed a bit.  It is close to downtown, about 15 minute walk up a crazy big hill.  Would I stay here again, maybe yes because of the price in Auckland and internet.

I hope you enjoy my honest and open Hostel Review of Auckland’s Newton Lodge.

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Kaitaia – Mainstreet Lodge Hostel Review 2

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Kaitaia Mainstreet Lodge BBH Hostel Reviews

$26.00 per night – single/private room
BBH – Yes
Wifi – Yes (500 MB free)
Visa/Credit Machine – Yes
December 19 – 26, 2015 (7 nights)
BBH Official Link
Mainstreet Lodge Site

After enjoying my first stay and the amazing price for a single room, I decided to book a week for over Christmas and do another Hostel Review of Mainstreet Lodge.  This ended up being a very good decision.

My stay during the week was pretty awesome, I met so many new people and we all had Christmas dinner together.  Below is a picture of the table setup by 2 very cute German girls.  The food  was cooked by Mario, another young German guy who was also staying at the Hostel, and the day was organized by a new friend of mine, Alex.  Yes, also German.

Christmas here was so much fun, the food was amazing.  I can’t say enough about how well I was treated by the travelers and hostel management.  Stay here if you can.

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Anyway, onto my review!

Price:
10/10 – By far the cheapest I have paid.

Internet:
6/10 – 50KB/S is the fastest I saw and often could not get on when it was busy. I also always knock off a point when someone uses Zenbu.net.

Atmosphere:
9.5/10 – Always feel comfortable here, even if you are shy.

Showers:
8.5/10 – Very clean, and always hot water.  Changing area is bit small but works, and drains are always partially plugged, but this is more the travelers fault, and not the hostels.  Everyone goes to the beach and then rinses the sand off in the shower.  I do know the owners are trying to find a way to resolve this.

Toilets:
9/10 – Very clean and even though there is only 3 stalls, there was always one open.  My only suggestion would be to use a broom once a week to wipe down the walls/ceiling of spiders.

Rooms:
10/10 – Lots of room, very clean, excellent natural lighting from the large bay windows, beds are very comfortable, I slept like a rock.
For me, a desk would have been nice, but then who travels to work on a computer all day, but me?

Kitchen:
9/10 – The kitchen has lots of cooking and seating area.  Tones of fridges and space for your stuff.  The only reason it is not a 10 for me is because of the flies, but again this is the travelers fault. Mainstreet Lodge cleans the kitchen every day, but some travelers obviously just started traveling the day after they stopped sucking their moms nipples for milk.  I saw people leave their own purchased food out open with a massive mess of crumbs and then later complain about the flies.  People/Travelers, don’t be lazy, clean up after yourselves!

My suggestion here for the hostel is to implement a $5.00 fine for anyone leaving a mess in the kitchen.  When I was there, it was obvious who it was, as the garbage left on the table had their name tagged on it.

Wifi:
6/10 – I think this is the only complaint I heard my entire week about the Mainstreet Lodge from other travelers.  The WiFi could be really good and really bad.  During the day I rarely could get more than 5 minutes before it stopped working, however, early in the morning or late at night, it was OK.

Hostel Reviews Overall Rating:
9 / 10

Final thoughts:
I love the people and Mainstreet Lodge Hostel.  Still one of my favorite places to stay and I would highly recommend it.

To find out more on how I got here, check out my other posting.
Kaitaia Blog

I hope you enjoy my honest and open Hostel Reviews.

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Kaitaia – Mainstreet Lodge

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Kaitaia Mainstreet Lodge BBH Hostel Review

$26.00 per night – single/private room
BBH – Yes
Wifi – Yes (500 MB free)
Visa/Credit Machine – Yes
December 12 – 14, 2015 (2 nights)
BBH Official Link
Mainstreet Lodge Site

When I arrived there were two girls at the front desk and they guessed who I was right away. They quickly checked me in and then gave me a walk through of the hostel, introducing me to anyone who we passed during our tour. At the end, the lady gave me a very nice explanation amount the Māori culture and about the cape. This information came in handy a few days later when I impressed a few young guys about my knowledge. Lol.

My first impression is was a good one. Nice people and a cool looking place. The hallway down the center is open and has a few trees and chairs for relaxing. Then there are picnic tables and a BBQ under a sheltered roof. After this area, there is a common room, with a large kitchen, and also a closed off room with leather sofas and big screen.

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My room was rather large, with nice shelving for my laptop, clothes, etc. I like that it is not a normal door, but a patio door. Nice and wide with lots of sunlight!

The showers are separate from the washrooms and are all private. Very clean! The ladies cleaned them every single day. I am picky and loved this.

One thing to mention is the washer/dryer are only $2 each. I have never seen them this cheap anywhere and they provided laundry soap.

The hostel is located about a 10 minute walk to Pak N Save, and liquor store is even closer. I liked the location. I had no problems hitchhiking as it is on the main drag.

I also liked this hostel because it was no overly busy, but had travellers from all over. I met a few rad people here and am going back for a second stay for a week during xmas.

Pros:
Clean, modern, private, inviting, friendly, wifi, good location, great price!

Cons:
The only con I can think of is the 500MB limit on internet, but I didn’t ask if this can be increased for longer stays.

Rating:
9 / 10

Final thoughts:
I would and am going back to this BBH Hostel. I enjoyed the location and all of the people.

To find out more on how I got here, check out my other posting.
Kaitaia Blog

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Paihia – Cap’n Bob’s Beach House

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$55.00 per night – single/private room
BBH – Yes
Wifi – Yes
Visa/Credit Machine – Yes
December 15, 2015 (1 nights)
BBH Official Link

When I arrived there was no one at the front desk, but there was instructions on how to use the intercom to call them. When I called I didn’t understand what the girl had said, however, 1 minute later she was there.

I didn’t get her name, but she was very friendly and first had me drop off my bags, and then I checked in. Paid and also got instructions on what is in the area. Very nice introduction for someone who has never been to Paihia before.

The room is clean, and small, with a single bed. A rack for hanging clothes, but that is it. For the price I was hoping for a little more.

On the main floor, there is a shared bathroom for guys and girls, with private shower stalls. Very clean and organized! Somewhat of a modern look. There is also a terrace with some chairs.

Upstairs is another small bathroom and a common room, with kitchen. Very clean, and modern looking. There is also a patio with lots of seating. This makes up for the small bedroom.

I never used this room and I was only here one night and was leaving early as well. I can see it being a nice place to mingle and or relax.

The hostel is about 6 minute walk to all the stores and bus stops. A nice beach right across the road as well.

Pros:
Clean, modern, wifi, good location.

Cons:
Price, and I prefer separate washrooms, for men and women, but that is my preference.

Rating:
8 / 10

Final thoughts:
Modern looking, and clean.
Front desk girl is very friendly and location is worth staying at. It was a better price than the other options in town.

To find out more on how I got here, check out my other posting.
Rob Kruis Travel Blog

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Russell – Ferry Landing

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$45.00 per night – single/private room
BBH – Yes
Wifi – Yes ($2.00 per stay)
Visa/Credit Machine – No
December 8 – 10, 2015 (3 nights)
BBH Official Link
Ferry Landing Hostel Site

When I arrive Andrea was right there to greet me. She immediately started a conversation and introduced me to everyone. There was no rush to check in, to pay, etc. Andrea makes you feel like you just arrived home.

The room is very clean and organized pretty much how I expected it. The washroom is a single shower and single toilet. The common room is open concept with kitchen.

Andrea has some food for purchase and I found her prices cheaper than buying it from the local grocery store.

Basically this hostel is a single floor house turned into a hostel. I like it. The owner makes it feel like a place you want to stay at.

She also interacts with all of the guests to make them interact. This was my first hostel where I met everyone and made 5 new friends. 4 of whom, I still keep in contact with still.

The hostel location is about 5 km to Russell, but there is a ferry for 1 dollar that goes across the water to Opua where there is a diner and local store.

The view from the hostel is amazing. You will have to see it to know what I mean.

Pros:
Quit, clean, extremely friendly, relaxing, fast wifi, fun

Cons:
Not within walking distance to Russell, but not really a con. I easily hitched a ride within minutes each day.

Rating:
9.5 / 10

Final thoughts:
By far, one of the best stays I have ever had. Not just in a hostel.

If you are single and want to meet new travelers, this is the place to do it. If you want a relaxing time, or not, this is the place! I can’t say enough about Andrea’s hostel. I loved it here.

To find out more on how I got here, check out my other posting.
Russell and Trek

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Dargaville – Greenhouse Backpackers

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$40.00 per night – single/private room
BBH – Yes
Wifi – Yes ($5.00 for 200MB)
Visa/Credit Machine – Yes
December 6, 2015 (1 night)
Official BBH Link

When I arrive there is no one at the office window, but there is a buzzer, “Ring Me!”  It only takes a couple of seconds for the girl to arrive and great me.  I pay upfront, but she tells me there is no rush.

She then introduces me to everyone and shows me to my cabin.  I am very pleased.  It is private, and very clean.  Two single beds in the one I am renting.

The hostel itself is very clean, rather organized.  The common room has a lot of comfy chairs and two larger dining tables.  The showers and washrooms are separated between girls and guys, but the showers are not fully private.  You have to get undressed before entering the shower.  So if you are shy around other dudes, this might not be the most fun.  However, I found it easy to go early in the morning, when most are sleeping.

The only thing I did not like about this hostel was the showers.  The floors are rubber mats and I am unsure how clean they really are.  The rest of the hostel is great and I can’t see anyone not liking it here.

Dargaville is a cute little town with everything you would need.

Pros:
Quit, clean, friendly, relaxing, good WiFi (only in common room)

Cons:
Internet is expensive, shower floors are not my type, buses only run on weekdays.

Rating:
7 / 10

Final thoughts:
I think this is a hostel worth checking out.  Not sure if I would stay more than a night though.

To find out more on how I got here, check out my other posting.
My trip to Dargaville and xmas parade.

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Ruawai – Travellers Lodge

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$23.00 per night – single/private room
BBH Member – Yes
December 3 – 5, 2015 (2 nights)
BBH Official Link

When I arrive I met the door was open and no one was here. A signed read, “Choose a room, come across the street to gas bar and meet owners”. However, I had the number and called. The owner answered and came right over.

A very nice lady arrived in a minute and told me showed me a room and the basic layout. When I asked her where and when do I pay? She replied. “Anytime, it doesn’t matter”. She also let me know, if I wanted to pay by credit card, I could do so at the gas bar. This was nice, as I wanted to save my cash for emergencies.

The entire hostel was empty and from the guest list, isn’t that active, maybe 5-7 visitors per week. I liked this because I wanted a break from the city and people. I noticed the majority of travelers here are from France or Germany. Why so little Canadians?

The hostel itself is clean, very quit, other than the dog barking across the road. The owners are super nice and helpful. There are two toilets, two sinks, 1 tub, and 1 shower. Not all together.

There is a large gathering room, with several chairs and sofas, a kitchen and dining room with a table for 6. (Fridge, Stove, etc). All you need if you want to cook.

Outside there is a picnic table and a few chairs. I preferred to sit in the family room with the French doors open.

The rooms are smaller, but comfy, and mine had a desk. Perfect for myself!

Pros:
Quit, clean, friendly, cheap, relaxing.

Cons:
No internet, hard to get to without car, No TV, and not a lot to see, very basic town with limited scenery.

Rating:
7 / 10 (Would be a 6, but price bumps it up)

Final thoughts:
If you want a cheap place to stay for a night, this is it.
If you want a place to catch up on sleep, or to relax and read a book, this is it.

To find out more on how I got here, check out my other blog posting.
Traveling from Auckland to Ruawai

Common Room
Common Room
Common Room
Common Room

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