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“AVOID AVOID AVOID” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Lemontree Backpackers

Lemontree Backpackers
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Lemontree Backpackers
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78 Main Street, Blenheim, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

As a traveler who has stayed in more hostels than i can remember, this one sticks out as being THE WORST PLACE I HAVE EVER STAYED!!!

This as you can see from the running theme of the reviews is due to the owners. The hostel itself is actually OK, rooms are fine, showers/toilets are fine, large outside communal area, large kitchen/communal area and a TV room, the only thing missing is a lounge area (the outside benches serve for this, but not an option in winter) - all of this i based on backpacker standards.

The story behind me going to the Lemontree is the same as many people who end up there... ran low on money mid travels, and being that this is a working hostel my friend and i went to stay there for work.

When you first arrive at the Lemontree you are expected to pay rent on a weekly basis, so first week being the day you arrive. On top of that you also are expected to give credit card details and pay a key deposit, this is not for a key to your room (the only lock is a keypad on the front door) but for a cupboard with individual cutlery plates etc. This is not for any reason other than keeping tabs on what is broke/lost and by who so they can charge for it.

The work i ended up with was vineyard work that i got myself not through the hostel and my friend was working nights in a wine factory, packaging the bottles. This was lucky as there was not a lot of work going round this hostel, during a 8 - 9 week stay here we witnessed a lot of travelers come and go without doing any work.

Everything seemed OK to begin with despite the bad reviews we had seen online, and quite a few locals had stories from previous backpackers having a bad time there, again mostly due to the owners.

They do not allow visitors into the hostel. An example of this is when a friend of ours drove over for the day from Nelson and wasn't allowed in.

Our time at the Lemontree ended abruptly, when we were asked to leave this came after a disagreement with the owners, some people may see this as my friends and i being in the wrong, and i'm not saying we were not at fault. One weekend when we had friends we had met there we went out for drinks and continued drinking when we got back. The owner Karen came out and asked us to turn the music off, i did so but she wanted to take my speakers away from me... which i straight up refused to allow, they were turned off at this point and were staying off.

Now even though there was a number of us still up and drinking at this point the blame seemed to land on my friend and i, but we feel we did the right thing the next morning which was to go and apologize. Karen accepted this, how-ever the other owner Andrew felt it more appropriate to threaten us in a few ways one being to break my speakers (property damage) and another was to take a BASEBALL BAT to us (grievous bodily harm), tongues were bit here as we didn't want to leave the hostel due to the high number of friend we had made living there.

So as far as we knew everything was OK, come rent day we paid our money for another weeks stay the the next day we are asked to leave! I made sure i left with a refund, but my friend was not so lucky he never revived a refund, this was due to drunken failure of bladder control one night... it happens, and i'm sure being that it is a hostel mattress which has served for 10+ years it has seen worse. They wanted to charge him $140 for this, but he took it upon himself to have it jet washed and dried. It was fine no stain, smell or anything.

Overall some of the best times i had in NZ were in Blenheim whilst staying here but i cannot stress enough that this was NOTHING to do with the Lemontree and everything to do with the amazing people i met there!

This is just my experience of the hostel, there are many more bad experiences i know of, many of which happened during my time there, but isn't my place to recap! I do not mean this review as any type of slander or maliciousness towards the hostel or owners but just a honest recap of my time spent in the Lemontree.

I'm sure from reading this review the owners can work out who has wrote it, to which all i have to say is that if you hate backpackers and love money that much... SELL YOUR BUSINESS!!

Room Tip: Book into any other hostel in town, work isn't too had to come by in the area providing your wil...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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8 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

not recommended as the owners don't like backpackers but wanne make money! Backpackers are the only reason to stay there. we havent had a job but if so your hostel contract is related to the work contract. Means quitting the accommodation equeals no job. please consider this, before booking a hostel there. and dont forget cameras in almost every room and owners observing you all the time! unfriendly staff as well! it sucks realy.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

I am realy disappointed. We stay in Lemon-tree for 2 and 1/2 weeks and over 1 1/2 without any work. Lemon-tree was overcrowded. Over 35 Persons for 3 shower, 3 sinks and 3 oven, just 2 tables in the kitchen and 3 tables outside (non covered (rain)).
We have sleppt in a tent and paid 180§ for 2 people. In a dorm, you have to pay 120-130$ each person. Some people sleept in the own car on the carpark for 180§ (2 people). NO RELARTION. The neighbor is very laud every day. Slepping is just possible with oropax.
The Owner is very unfriendly, just interested to make money. If you leave Lemon-tree, you lose your work, no matter you stay in Blenheim or not.

In Blenheim are others, good accommodation, lock on the "black board" in countdown.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
273 reviews 273 reviews
103 hotel reviews
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291 helpful votes 291 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

Myself and my girlfriend stayed at lemontree for around 2 weeks and the hostel itself is pretty good. Theres good kitchen facilities, a bit tv room and the bathroom area has plenty of toilets and showers so your not really having to wait that long for your turn.

The main bit of advice id give about staying there is relating to the work they offer through them. As with many working-hostels in Blenheim you can get work pretty easily on the local Vineyards. However, we were sent an email before arriving telling us that we could expect 13-15 dollars an hour and elborated greatly about that sort of work and mentioned very little about contract work, which when we arrived appeared to be the only type they had to offer.
The odd lucky person found a job themselves at a local factory and could atleast expect to be paid minimum wage, however with the vineyard contract work you have an extremely good chance of not even making minumum although the employers are due to pay you.

On top of this we heard alot of stuff about the owners who expect a bit too much from the people staying there and they make it pretty clear that they will have no problems throwing you out if you put a foot out of place.

We didnt have any particular troubles with them but didnt get a great vibe off them and would probably look elsewhere if we returned to Blenheim.

All i'd say really is if you work through them dont expect to work the hours you are told or to recieve the pay mentioned either.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lemontree Backpackers

Address: 78 Main Street, Blenheim, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Blenheim
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Blenheim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Under new management from 2013 ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lemontree Backpackers Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand

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