Accommodation in the Catlins can be tricky. There is little of it; much of it is fairly hidden and the and both quality and supply are variable. I had wanted to stay in the Salt Motel at Curio Bay, one of the loveliest bay on the Coast. It was full (it has only 2 bedrooms) and various other holiday parks (which shouldn't be underestimated) were also full. I'd read about this one and it was late so we ended up here.
When we eventually unpacked we found that the house was lovely. It is an old house that has been completely gutted and renovated. There is a full quality kitchen, a large lounge room with 3 modern lounges, dining table and chairs. There are 4 bedrooms, one with ensuite and a second bathroom. There is NO bath. There were electric blankets and lovely sheets. The house was very clean. There is also a laundry with modern machine and dryer. It has a deck and a modern garden with gravel and grass tussocks and off-road parking. Best of all is the view. While it is not the ocean the house is on an inlet and its outlook is stunning. Birdlife is wonderful and there is a short nature walk nearby. The view fills the room and is breathtaking - there are some shots on its website. This is quality accommodation and the bigger your group the better the value. Owners had also provided tourist material on the Catlins.
The big downside for me was the beautiful, modern central heating did not work and that house was COLD. The next door neighbour who is listed as a concierge but says he isn't told us that the diesel tank was empty. People DID try to help but it was a pain at 9.30 at night. .Someone (not sure of connection to house) did turn up with a very efficient bar heater which was much appreciated. Only other criticism was that unemptied bin and dirty, used soap in bathroom was a turn off. There is also no Sky TV despite having all the equipment for same. I also found the Maui van parked right next to the house disconcerting as its occupants could see right into the house. Apparently in NZ you can park anywhere rather than having to use designated camping areas.
My other quibble involved having to pay in CASH. There is no warning ANYWHERE that it is a cash only business. I mention this because the rate is $150 per night and there is NO ATM anywhere nearby. You either have the cash or you miss out. Booking involved using the telephone in the conservatory and meeting up with a lady who gave us the keys once we had paid. Paying cash also means that you have no comeback if something goes wrong. There is also no grocery shop. We were told that the only place to eat was the Niagra Falls Cafe and that we had to eat there by 7pm. Neither statement was true but we didn't know that. Actually Niagra Cafe turned out to be pretty nice with quality food and wine and a raft of animals for the kids to look at.. There are in fact shops etc at Tokanui. So, bring your own food, bring cash, check that the heating works and enjoy this place with its magic views.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.