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“Don't do your laundry here!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dorset House Backpackers

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Dorset House Backpackers
4.5 of 5 Hostel   |   1 Dorset Street | PO Box 25350, Christchurch 8144, New Zealand   |  
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4th night FREE!
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Swindon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
82 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Don't do your laundry here!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

I stayed here for five nights. I found room 14 was a bit cramped. The beds were reasonably comfortable here and they did have some extension leads to allow you to charge phones and laptops. Each bed also had a lamp and bedside table next to it which was good.

Two negative things about this hostel are firstly the dryers in the laundry are completely useless. I paid $4 for an hour of dry at a high temperature and the clothes were still damp. A few people sharing my room experienced the same problems. I wouldn't bother using their laundry. Better to get to a place with machines that actually dry the clothes.

The kitchen isn't too great either. The one and only oven wasn't working when I got there, however they did get this fixed quickly, but two ovens would be good here. They also have a very messy bin system in a large drawer which I thought was a bit unhygienic and a waste of that space. More tea towels for drying are needed here too as they are always damp.

The lounge here is massive and could be split up a bit better. They have quite a few sofas, a large TV and a small pool table which is free to use.

Bathrooms were clean and the showers worked well with decent water pressure most of the time.

The location is ok, but when I arrived a demolition team were tearing down the house next to the hostel. There isn't a lot to do in Christchurch as a lot of the CBD is still a building site. A lot different to the Christchurch I stayed in back in 2010.

I would consider here again but would look at other options next time.

Room Tip: Try to get a room in the main house
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this review, April 18, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review.

We’re surprised to hear you found our Shared Room to be cramped, as we often receive feedback saying how spacious our Shared Rooms are. However, we appreciate that everyone has a different perception of space.

Thank you for your feedback in regards to our dryer - we will look into this. Please know we also have drying lines outside (which are free to use!).

Besides our oven we have two stoves, a microwave and a grill in the kitchen. As we are a small hostel we feel this is sufficient to make sure everyone can prepare their meals. It’s a shame that it broke down during your stay and we apologize for this, but we indeed tried to fix this as soon as possible (and did so in a timely manner). Please note that besides the tea towels on the kitchen bench and the ones hanging from the drawers we have more clean kitchen towels on the microwave and grill, just in case the others are wet (we generally leave a stack of about 15 to 20 clean tea towels out each day, which should be plenty).

If you could please let us know how you would suggest splitting up the lounge better that would be great. We are open to feedback and are always looking at ways to improve. If you could send your ideas to stay@dorset.co.nz that would be very much appreciated.

We’re a little surprised to see you did not rate our cleanliness very well, but you found our bathrooms to be clean. Were there any other areas in the hostel that were missed at all?

Christchurch is indeed still recovering from the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, which means there is a lot of construction and road works in the city. The building next to us was indeed torn down in a few days, but luckily they only work during office hours and not at night. We apologize for any vibrations you might have experienced during the day, but unfortunately these things our out of our control.

When you read the Lonely Planet you can see that there are still plenty of things to do in Christchurch. It’s probably just not as obvious as it might be in other cities.

Thank you for staying with us and thanks again for taking the time to leave us a review!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers
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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (21)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Brisbane
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

We like to walk and being so close to Hagley Park, while also an easy walk to the CBD, made this a great choice. For a Backpackers charge, you only expect a basic room, but it was perfectly clean and fine when we planned to be out seeing the sights. The kitchen was great, with plenty of crockery and cutlery available and 2 big fridges for labelled items. A huge lounge with free DVDs provided a good spot for the evenings 'in'. Staff were friendly and organised a shuttle from the airport for our very late arrival from Brisbane. Bathroom was right next to our room - convenient but walls pretty thin, so conscious when others using it - mind you I am a light sleeper. Very pleased we stayed here - $470 for 5 nights for 2. Great value.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this review, April 18, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re very glad you enjoyed your stay and especially our proximity to Hagley Park. Thank you also for your feedback in regards to our kitchen, staff, your room and our free DVD’s. It’s great to hear you experienced Dorset House to be of great value.

Thank you for staying with us and we hope you enjoy the rest of your travels!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers
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Queenstown, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014 via mobile

Dorset house is very tidy and quiet. I enjoyed my stay here very much. The lounge offers a nice place to chill out and there is a pool table! It's very easy to walk to the Canterbury museum where I caught nakedbus. Great security system is pretty cool. All facilities are well organized and work well . And the staff are lovely and helpful. I stay 2 nights here, feeling relaxed and easy. No doubt that I will stay here if I come back to Christchurch. If you just arrive in Christchurch, looking for a place to have a good rest and offer you useful information about this city, Dorset House won't let you down.

Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this review, April 13, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you for leaving us such a lovely review! We’re glad to hear you enjoyed your stay and you found our hostel to be homely. Your feedback in regards to our facilities, location and staff are also very much appreciated. We hope you enjoyed your trip through New Zealand and would love to see you again one day perhaps in the future!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers
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singapore
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

First place myself & my girlfriend stayed when we arrived in NZ & it was one of our favourites in the 4 months we were there. More pricey than most hostels, but worth the few extra dollars. Has a very homely feel & all the facilities were clean & maintained. The staff were helpful with any queries we had re the area also.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your first night in New Zealand with us – we’re honored to be one of your favorites! Thank you also for the feedback in regards to our facilities, cleanliness, homeliness and helpful staff.

Thanks for staying with us and we hope to see you again perhaps in the future!

Warm regards,
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, dc
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

First, it's worth noting that Dorset House is well located, clean, and has good common space. But the internet system is terrible. We needed to do some travel planning, and just couldn't. They give you a 100 mb coupon each day, but a few photo uploads and that's gone. You can buy more (at $10 per gig) but it craps out, and we often had times
when our data would expire even though the device was turned off. It made an otherwise pleasant stay sort of annoying. Also, the small doubles are REALLY small with no shelves, hooks, etc. Fine if you don't mind stepping over a pile of stuff all the time, but otherwise... we expected better for $90+/night.

Stayed March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re glad to hear you found our hostel to have a good location, to be clean and well maintained.

However, we’re sorry to hear internet did not work well for you. We indeed include 100mb free WiFi per person per night and we double this to 200mb free WiFi when guests have booked direct (i.e. on our own website). We also sell more internet at $2.00 per 100mb. The Zenbu vouchers state $10.00 on the voucher, as this is a standard Zenbu template which we can unfortunately not change.

It is unfortunate you did not come to see reception as we could have explained the price of extra internet and we also would have been more than happy to help book any activities or hostels for you (or look up any information you may need). Alternatively, if these options would not have been satisfactory we could’ve directed you to the library, which is only a 5 minute walk from us and has free internet. In case you would have needed internet late at night the Burger King (only a 2 minute walk from us) would also have had free WiFi. We do try to make our guests aware of all these possibilities with our ‘general info folder’ that we keep at reception, but you may have missed this.

We are sorry to hear the internet was not up to your standards and we will investigate alternative providers that may be able to offer us more internet.

Thank you for staying with us and we hope you enjoy the rest of your travels.

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers
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Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

I loved my stay here. I paid a little extra for the luxury of a 4 share room with single beds instead of bunks. The cost difference was negligible and it was worth it for the extra comfort. Clean crisp linen, high ceilings and a high standard of cleanliness. There was a real mix of ages here from young to old, and even some families with young children. It made for a very friendly atmosphere and it was easy to get chatting to people - I was travelling alone so this really enhanced my stay. The kitchen was a good size and well equipped with large wooden tables and a sunny outdoor terrace. The front path was lined with lots of flowers and there was a pleasant back garden also full of flowers. Showers were modern with glass doors and plenty of hot water. The staff were friendly and helpful when I had any questions. It was a 15 minute walk from the coach stop. Perfect, would go back tomorrow.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 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.
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Hi There,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review. We indeed attract a wide range of ages, which we believe improves the friendly atmosphere. Thank you also for your feedback in regards to our cleanliness, location, showers and garden. We are glad to hear you loved your stay here at Dorset House.

Thank you for staying with us and we hope to see you again in the future!

Hilde
Manager
Dorset House Backpackers
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

Indeed, at $41 a night for a dorm room, it certainly hurts the wallet but not without good reason, so unless you are a party-going and/or student backpacker on a seriously tight budget, please read on.

First things first, the dorm rooms are not exactly dorm rooms and feel more like the spare room in a family country house. Bright, airy with high ceilings and not a bunk bed in sight. My huge room had two single beds and a double which, was in fact intended for a single person. Myself and another left it for the third person as we were not sure whether we were allowed to choose the double. There are plenty of plug sockets, shelves and hooks on the walls, there was a TV and even electric blankets for the winter months. After my month of largely sleeping in top bunks, this was a real pleasure and the bed was so comfortable that it was actually tough to get up in the morning.

The multiple shower rooms/toilets are all in good repair and provide sufficient space to take some time to comfortably shower and get yourself ready for the day ahead (some places can get a little cramped). Hand wash and hand towels are provided as well which I liked and the showers themselves get steaming hot...lovely!

I have never seen a kitchen with as many condiments as this one...albeit there does appear to be an significant oversupply of salt. Regardless, it was nice to be able to season my rather bland concoctions with some herbs, spices, soy sauce and even some Lea & Perrins. It is a well organised kitchen with plenty of storage space and quite a healthy selection of free food when I arrived, I gather because of the clientele. The Lounge/TV room is also well equipped and rather large so provides a decent place to relax on rainy days, since there are some nice little outdoor areas to chill in if the sun is out.

The staff were very friendly and helpful and the hostel seems to run very smoothly and whilst it is a little further north of the town centre, it is still easily walkable in no time at all. All in all, if you can afford to stay here, are sticking around for a while and want to be comfortable, it should certainly be on your list of potential sleeps.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 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.
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed sleeping in a single bed rather than a bunk bed. Dorset House indeed does not have any bunk beds, which can be a luxury if you’ve slept in bunk beds during your travels. Thanks also for your feedback in regards to our kitchen, lounge, bathrooms and staff. We’re glad to hear you’ve found all these facilities comfortable and our staff to be friendly and helpful.

We hope you enjoy the rest of your travels!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dorset House Backpackers

Address: 1 Dorset Street | PO Box 25350, Christchurch 8144, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Christchurch
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 89 Specialty Lodging in Christchurch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Dorset House Backpackers 4.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly located central city, boutique hostel in historic 1871 home, in a lovely quiet garden setting and next to beautiful Hagley Park. You will find everything needed including a guest lounge with pool table, internet, WiFi, DVD's, cable, kitchen, balcony, guest laundry and free off-street parking. A selection of single, double and twin rooms are available, with fully made beds. Enjoy a stroll to Cathedral Square, or indulge in cafes & shopping on Victoria St. ... more   less 
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