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“Great place near town” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
4.0 of 5 Motel   |   69 Williams Road, Paihia, New Zealand   |  
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Free Unlimited Wifi
Ranked #12 of 44 Hotels in Paihia
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great place near town”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

We had a one bedroom unit upstairs. Perfect for me and two kids. Can't recall staying in a better appointed motel - kitchen even has a small dishwasher! Paul (who used to run the Gaumont Cinema in Notting Hill Gate!) was super friendly and helpful. The motel has free wi-fi, and is a very short walk from the centre of Paihia. My kids reckoned it was their favourite of our New Zealand trip motels, wish we could have stayed for more than one night!

Room Tip: One bedroom units great value for the space/facilities
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rikki2000, Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
Thanks for the great review and it was a pleasure to meet all of your family.
Yes I have had a lot of experience in the accommodation and film industry throughout the world.
Gaumont Notting Hill Gate(now Coronet) in the early 70s to mid was a great place to be,my time with the Rank Organisation then,and the earlier days with Kerridge Odeon here in New Zealand.
As with a lot of guests that come through my accommodations the last lines of Casablanca are "(Louis) this is the start of a great friendship"This is the way I like to look at my guests.
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    68
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    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Halifax
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

IMPORTANT: My rating of "poor" reflects my experience of the small Queen room and may not generalize to the motel as a whole.

We stayed in a small Queen room at the Dolphin. The owner/manager was extremely gracious and we can't say enough good things about the service he provided.

This was one of the lower-priced motels we've stayed at in NZ (regular price: $80/night) and yet one of the most recently renovated. So, for all those motel-goers who want to spend less than $100 a night but complain about outdated furnishings, this might be your place! The room is nicely furnished, the bed is comfortable, the bathroom has been recently renovated and is spacious.

That said, the small Queen room was an awkward space that we found non-functional. There is a large closet to hang your clothes but it is placed behind a small table/chair set. There is no bedside table and so we had to pull a chair over to place books, eyeglasses, alarm clock. Short of completely unpacking, there is no place to put your clothes or belongings. We ended up having to pile our clothes up on the bathroom vanity to move them off the small table. There is much more 'elbow room' in the bathroom than in the main room.

The "kitchen" area has a microwave, kettle, and small fridge. But there are no cooking hobs or hot plate. The facilities are sufficient for a light breakfast but are not fully self-catering. There is a complete set of dishes but these are located in the cupboard under the BATHROOM vanity. And the only sink in the room is the bathroom sink - so this has to be used for filling your kettle and washing up any dishes.

We found this bathroom-as-kitchen arrangement off-putting and we elected to take all our meals out. Our perceived need to do so meant staying at the Dolphin ended up being more expensive than it might have been if we had self-catered.

The toilet flushed with tremendous enthusiasm and consistently soaked the seat and sent water splashing onto the surrounding floor. Ick. This needs to be repaired - I meant to say something to the owner but forgot.

We also found that the walls were VERY thin. There is a large family room right next door to the small Queen. If there are others staying in that room then, no matter how considerate they try to be, there is no way to avoid hearing them and possibly being disturbed by them.

The awkwardness of our room is likely specific to the small Queen room; my sense was that the other rooms probably had a better layout and might be more functional. But noise-through-the-walls is likely to be an issue throughout the building. If you're a light sleeper, this could be an issue.

The Dolphin is located on a quiet side street within easy walking distance to the waterfront. It does not have any views of the waterfront (or the price tag to go with them) but serves as a nice base for walking around.

There are no "extras" at the Dolphin. No pool, spa, laundry facilities, breakfast to make it stand out. But the owner/manager is great, the location is good, the room is well-furnished, and it is a very reasonable price both for what you get and for the area. The small Queen was not to our tastes - we would prefer a functional room with outdated decor to this small, modern room with awkward space. But others may be very happy in a different room or else going into the Queen room knowing that it is not fully self-catering and may suffer from noise issues.

Room Tip: If you book the small Queen room, be aware that it is a very tight and somewhat non-functional space...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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rikki2000, Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, November 3, 2012
Thank you for your elongated review.If you recall I honoured this booking after you cancelled the first one on the day you were due to arrive due to a family issue.Rather than you loose your money due to the no show policy I agreed to allow you to book a future date.The date you gave me later I only had the small Queen Unit in a peak period and different rate.
However I honoured the first rate at $80 night.Our small Queen Unit is just designed to provide the basic facilities for a reasonable price.We also spent a lot of money recently in refurbishing the room with Sky TV,fridge,microwave,and free WiFi.Yes I go out of my way to make peoples stay pleasurable and feel I tried my best to placate your booking,and good value.
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Auckland Central, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

Stayed for 2 nights in a 1 bedroom unit with 2 toddlers. Probably a little small for us! But was nice and clean, Paul was very helpful and was in a great location being within walking distance of the main Paihia town centre. If went back to Paihia would return to this motel. For a middle of the range motel, you couldn't complain about much!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
springfield9, Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Many thanks for your kind reply.I really try and look after people and make sure they enjoy there holiday.
Sounds like with some young toddlers a two bedroomed unit with more room would have been better.
We welcome children at any age,and the love seeing the dolphins on the cruises.
Incidentally we give a 10% on all single tours if booked with us.
Come as guests "leave as friends"
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Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

We stayed 2 nights a couple of weekends ago in a 2 bedroom family unit. The unit was well equipped and clean and tidy. The Manager Paul was very friendly and willing to assist with any questions and requests. It's in a great location, as it's off the main road but only a 3 minute walk to the shops, bars etc. Other family members were in the Family apartment, which was huge and even better equipped. I'd thoroughly recommend the Dolphin Motel in Paihia. My only advice for Paul is to buy a repeater or signal booster for his wi-fi! Hardly a gripe though!

Room Tip: The family apartment is a great option for a family wanting a bit more space. It's got a spa bat...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rikki2000, Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 21, 2012
Many thanks for your kind review.I put a lot of effort into ensuring our guests receive information and requests are dealt with promptly.Its all part of hospitality.
My motto is "arrive as guests leave as friends"
Your comments regarding wifi is quite relevant but its up to the major providers of the Telco companies to give us a better coverage.As it can be intermittent due to weather conditions and traffic congestion in the area.As least we provide it free.
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2012

Stayed with Paul at Dolphin Motel, and took a boat trip to discover real dophins too! Affordable and clean, handy to the shops and cafes, got to be a recommend!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rikki2000, Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 28, 2012
Many thanks for your review.Yes we take pride in being welcoming,affordable and to the standards of cleanliness that people expect.Its great that we are able to book people on the great Bay of Island attractions being only 100 metres to the Wharf in the heart of Paihia, and the Dune Rider trip to Cape Reinga.Our kiwi knowledge can also provide further assistance and help with tourism planning throughout New Zealand.
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Kent
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

had 2 nights here in March 2012. Cheap, very clean, modern, excellent facilities, good location, friendly staff, what's not to like?

Room Tip: all good, 2 floors.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rikki2000, Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, March 6, 2012
Many thanks for your kind review.It was a pleasure to have you.
Its great to have many different nationalities here and give them the Kiwi hospitality and the standard of accommodation that people demand at a reasonable price,plus discounted tours.
Paul
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Feilding, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

My wife and two kids stayed at Dolphin motel for 4 nights during our trip around the far north. We had booked over the internet so did not reallly know what to expect. We were very pleasantly suprised once we arrived. We stayed in one of the one bedroom units and were very happy with it.
Where the real point of difference come to other motels is the assistance and helpfulness of the on-site manager (Paul). He took it in his stride to organise on-forward accomodation, help us with trip options around the Bay of Isalnds and it could not have been a more enjoyable stay. I would recommend this motel to anyone who requires accomodation in Paihia.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rikki2000, Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Thanks very much for your awesome review.
Since taking over management since late April 2011 I pride myself in giving our visitors the best service,and giving as much information about the wonderful area and further afield to give them the "Kiwi Experience"
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Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Address: 69 Williams Road, Paihia, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Bay of Islands > Paihia
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Paihia
#12 Romantic Hotel in Paihia
#14 Family Hotel in Paihia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Dolphin Motel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Qualmarked 4 star. In the heart of Paihia only 100 metres from waterfront,shops. Wide range of accommodation from Small Queen Studio,King Studios,King Studio Spa, One Bedroom(sleeps 3-4),Two bedroom(sleeps 4) and Large Family units(Sleeps 2-7 people)with Spa Bath and BBQ. Kitchens, Sky TV 19 channels(including 3 Aussie), Free WiFi, laundry, 2 with Spa baths, knowledgeable Kiwi operators to help you with tours in the Bay of Islands and throughout New Zealand. Special packages arranged.BBQ also available.New Fast Wifi System.Free 1GB Daily.Great Discounts for Tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel Paihia, Bay Of Islands

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