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“Best Backpacker ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel

Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel
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Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel
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39 Bell Street, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
1 review
“Best Backpacker ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012 via mobile

Bellodge is recomentable to eyeryone who intend to have a prime time in a great area.
The Backpacker is furnished very well for a comfortable stay.
The very friendly Owners, Rick and Sheree helps to find a Job temporal or long term and gives so much hand in traveller's life.
I've spend there 3 long term periods in defferent years and really always had there the yery best stay in New Zealand. It hurts, seeing bad ratings from vindictive backpackers who got problems with other guests and the Owners, because they've been selfish, careless and ignorated the rules. These ones are the only ones makeing other people's life had.
Keep on doing your way, Rick and Sheree, you're doing pretty well.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
RAMTauranga, Owner at Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, July 21, 2012
Thanks for the review and the support. We have always felt we are on the right track, and whilst we can strive to achieve a really happt place, sometimes it is very hard to do. Thanks for the support, we hope you will be back again in the future
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21 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012 via mobile

I have to say im shocked at some of the comments. when i stayed at bell lodge it felt like home from home. rick couldnt do more for us. i was with a group of 4 i was having problems with work and they both sorted it out for us. treat them with respect and thats how you will be treated. They both organised bbq nights and brought the working hostel together. this is not a party hostel but one that helps get work to fund your travelling to the party hostel.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
RAMTauranga, Owner at Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, July 21, 2012
Hi Travel Traci,

It was a pleasure having the four of you stay. We have always tried to help and do what we can for those staying. It is nice to have someone recognise our efforts. We do hope that the icy slip and bruised ego of Miss BB's is now all good and you are enjoying the rest of your travels together.
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, Auckland, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

I am righting this review nearly 3 months after leaving bell lodge for the simple reason that I wanted to put a balanced explanation of the events of bell lodge.

We arrived in a group of four people looking for promised Kiwi orchard work. In the 6 weeks we were there we managed just 9 days work after the promise was lots of work. On our arrival at the hostel the owners were pleasant and helpful, sadly that soon changed and they proceeded to make everyone’s life a misery. Having read through the posts on here what they did to us seems to be repeated over and over again.

On several occasions people were screamed and ranted at for laughing to loud, of sharing a beer outside at 9pm. One occasion in particular the hole hostel had chipped in five bucks to buy a bar-b-q which we had cooked and were just about to settle down and eat when Rick appeared obviously drunk and aggressive about 9.30 and told us that if we didn’t shut up we would have our Ipod docks taken away and be thrown out.

Plates were taken from the kitchen as they claimed they had not been washed but in fact still had food in cooked less than ten minutes before.

Of the group we were staying in the hostel with about 20-30 people left in one week due to the behaviour of the owners, 15+ of us ended up staying on a campsite outside of Tauranga to get away from them.

On our last night there Rick came out of their house obviously Drunk and started to threaten one lad over a box of food with his wife screaming and begging him to stop, he drove his car up and tried to block in this lad telling him that he could only get his car out at the cost of $150 dollars and that if he stepped in side to collect his food he would call the police on him.

The farmers who we worked for were well aware of the problems in bell lodge and where possible used other hostels as they found dealing with Rick and Shiree difficult as well

Having travelled the world and stayed in many hostels, backpackers and guesthouses I can honestly say I have never stayed anywhere as unpleasant and run by people more unsuited to running a hostel than Rick and Shiree. On a positive note we met some amazing people had spent many happy days on the beach avoiding the owner’s rants and tirades.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RAMTauranga, Owner at Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, May 30, 2012
Thanks for the comments, we appreciate your honesty. As always we are not in control of weather nor the contractors and we do advise people this on arrival. We do try to get the contractors to speak directly to guests to ensure they are aware of the situation. The times you mention are as it always seems a little different to the time I am getting out of bed to deal with the noise. And yes when 20 - 30 people are outside at 1 - 2 am drunk, laughing and talking it can appear to be loud.
We have always asked guests to party in town not at the Lodge. We should apologise for the incident with the car. It was not appropriate, yet neither was the lad being appropriate after checking out at 10.00am he kept coming back to the lodge to use the facilities.
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

If your dieing for a place to stay....go find a camp site because staying here isn't worht the head aches you will get. The owners of this place have no respect for anyone staying here. They treat everybody like children. They demanded (not asked) everybody to attend a stupid meeting where all Rick did was yell at everybody telling them that this was their house and they weren't even guest's in their home. He's the one who judges if your drunk (even after one mouthful) it's his call and if you don't like then get the hell out of their home. Shiree is always sticking her nose in your private buisness even when it doesnt belong there. Internet is nothing but a rip off.

The only good thing about this place are the other backpackers that I met. Most of us decided to leave all at once and move to another hostel together.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RAMTauranga, Owner at Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, May 25, 2012
Thanks for the comments. We are saddened that you feel this way Mr A Canadian. We needed to reset the limits of the behaviour within the lodge, the drunken goings on leading to damages throught the lodge, people who were not paying and the disgusting state guests were leaving the kitichen in.
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Kununurra, Australia
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

I stayed for a week at Bell Lodge. Originally my entire stay was booked to stay in a private room with ensuite in the backpackers quarters but given how noisy it was, I decided to move to a motel room.

The backpackers room had a DB, SB and small bedside table. The ensuite was quite large. The bed linen was fine and the bed comfortable. No bathroom towel (or even hand soap) is supplied. There was no room ventilation apart from opening a window, which didn’t have fly screens or any form of security – no go for a single female. The bathroom was quite large. The shower had poor water pressure/temperature. The backpacker rooms are arranged in a U-shape, with the communal TV room, dining area & kitchen, with laundry behind at the top of the ‘U’. In the middle was a nice paved area with some steps. Most of the backpackers are fruit pickers. I had full Next G mobile phone reception. You can buy wifi passes from reception.

The motel room was very spacious: QS bed with lounge, dining & small kitchenette with bar fridge. The bathroom was separate and had heated towel racks. A separate bed room had bunk beds. There was much less noise in the motel rooms, which are located adjacent to the backpackers quarters.

The managers are fantastic – hard working, very friendly & helpful. The location of the Bell Lodge is out of the way – best if you have a car with most things a good 5-10 minute drive away. There is not much in walking distance apart from a small deli and fish and chip shop.

Room Tip: if you want quiet, get a motel room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Tainan Taiwan
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

It is really sad to see the bad reviews about Bell Lodge, Sheree and Rick.
I came back here for visiting Sheree, Rick and a few friends who live in Tauranga in March 2011, that is my fourth time here, I was here, Bell Lodge, in 2007, 2008 and 2009, all together like over 15 months, the most fabulous time of my life I would say, met lots of good people here and earned the honor of Most Valuable Picker as a kiwi fruit picker in 2009 from Craig, who is still willing to offer me a work permit even I already left for 2 years, and I always stayed in the bunk room cause I just love it!
I really hated it that Rick took away most of cookers and dishes from the kitchen when people didn't do their dishes, come on people, if you want to be treated as an adult than start acting like one. I believe that there would have no rules needed if you could just manage yourself well as an adult.
I love Bell Lodge, Sheree and Rick, you guys are amazing, and I will keep going back if I can.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

When we first arrived and were greeted by Rick, one of the people that run the hostel, the place seemed nice and the owners seemed friendly, if a little eccentric. We were assured that work would be starting in the next week and were warned that it would be a little off and on to begin with. This was explained with an example of working 15 days in a row and then having 3 days with no work. We soon found out this was an extreme exaggeration.

We waited about 3 weeks before we got any work. In the first 2 weeks of this kiwi picking job we had 3 days work. That is all! I finally got a job that was guaranteed 5 days a week while my partner waited for work.

For the first few weeks we thought the owners were really nice, and even defended their quirks to other travelers who didn't like them. In the last 4 or 5 weeks of our stay we found that they have severe mood swings and Rick can get very shoutey and aggressive. They don't seem to like people and and definitely hate fun. On the few occasions that people have been up drinking, they have come down before 10pm and started shouting straight away, clearly not the best way to talk to people. They do not ask you nicely to keep the noise down, instead start shouting and swearing and threatening to call the police.
On our last night Rick actually took a beer out of a mans hand and smashed it on the ground, then called the police stating there were '18-20 teenagers threatening his life'.
Clearly we were all adults and not teenagers, and just having a drink, not being violent.

This was not the only incident that happened whilst staying here but we had to leave early the next morning as we couldn't stand Ricks anger and aggression any longer.

We stayed in a tent the whole 9 weeks we were there and only had minor problems with noise. There were a couple of occasions where I had to get up and ask people to be quiet but as soon as I asked, they would go inside so I rarely had any problems sleeping.

The cleanliness of the hostel was poor. The kitchen was always dirty. They had one backpacker to clean the kitchen and he didn't appear to have been given any cleaning equipment as he would just wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth, no cleaning fluid.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel

Address: 39 Bell Street, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Bay of Plenty Region > Tauranga
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Tauranga
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sheree & Rick, welcome you to Bell Lodge, a purpose built motel and backpackers. Situated in a quiet area 4km from the city. You have the choice of motel units, double or twin en-suite rooms or dorm rooms for 4-8 persons with free car parking. All units and rooms open onto covered decks. We can help you organize local activities such as dolphin swimming, surf lessons, sky diving and more. Come and join us at Bell Lodge in the sunny Bay of Plenty. ... more   less 

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