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“Home away from home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Albatross Backpacker Inn

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Albatross Backpacker Inn
1 Torquay Street, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Home away from home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2011

Ben and Katie, the owners of the Albratross,do a superb job of making their guests feel at home. They provide a kitchen stocked with all the things you need to make cooking easier. Twice a week they hold a BBQ. For a nominal sum you get a great meal.

Both the washrooms and the kitchen area are kept extremely clean.
Bikes are available for the short ride into town.
The lounge is well stocked with books and puzzles and provides a great atmosphere for meeting people.

The bedrooms are a little on the small size but this is inevitable given the historic nature of the building - a former post-office.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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146 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Longmont, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2011

I recently stayed at this hostel Feb 28th, 2011 in the "self contained" unit with 2 bedrooms and a bath. Our kitchen had a microwave, coffee hot pot, and a sink that dripped a constant flow of water. Which was surprising due to their claim being an eco friendly, environmentally conscious, hostel. Much to our disappointment there was no stove top or refrigerator. We were told we had all cooking facilities and would not need to use the kitchen. We also had tea and coffee and supposedly hot chocholate. This was nothing more than baking cocoa, which was disgusting to drink. The main kitchen was full of people and quite small. On a positive note, it was nice they offered herbs and tomatoes from their garden for those who wanted them. The unit has three futon beds, and mine was in the front bedroom on the street side. Upon climbing in for the night, I placed my head on the worn, flattened foul, sour, smelling pillow that immediately I threw on the floor. It wreaked of body odor!! My son slept in the living area on the futon and my friend in the other bedroom. Shortly after lights, out I heard bathroom noises on the other side of the paper thin wall next to my bed. Conversations were easily heard through the walls and the toliet flushing with the bathroom door opening and closing. I had very little sleep without a pillow, while listening to the activity in the adjacent bathroom which serviced the dorm next to my bedroom. After my morning electically operated shower in a small stall with a moldy plastic shower curtain, I was able to truly see the condition of my bed linens. At the foot of the bed, where one would sit, I observed a brown stain that appeared to be like a racing stripe. My bedspread was stained and filthy. There is nothing asthetically pleasing about the views either. The alley where the back bedroom peers out onto had a dirty queen mattress and trash cans. The main living area windoews are smack next to the clothes line leaving you with little privacy. The manager, Ben, was contacted about the linens and he was very disagreable. Before you shell out $150.00, check out other lodges in the area!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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albatr0ss, Owner at Albatross Backpacker Inn, responded to this review, March 19, 2011
Phew... Ok, let's start at the top.
The tap won't drip if it's fully turned off. Which, as we are environmentally conscious, we would appreciate.
This guest was informed of the facilities on booking.
Our hot chocolate is fair trade and organic and this is the first, and I would imagine only, complaint we've had about our complimentary hot chocolate!
The unit contains two rooms with a double bed in each and a sofa bed in the lounge for an extra person. This guest only booked for 2 people so the third person she mentions must have sneaked in after hours to avoid the extra charge.
The linen is cleaned daily and when this guest informed us of the "smelling pillow" her words were "you probably can't smell it now". As there is a total of 6 pillows in the unit, we doubt this guest slept without one. The "racing stripe" referred to was most certainly not present on arrival and this guest has clearly stated that she didn't discover it until the following morning. - After she used the bed.
As you can see from the photo that was kindly uploaded, there is no mold on the shower curtain.
The "alley" is the hostel carpark. The photo she maintains is the view from her window, is not.
As we are upgrading mattresses, the one she has photographed was airing for no more than half an hour during changeover.
It's a shame people feel the need to pick-a-part their own holidays in an attempt to receive a refund.
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Auckland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2011

What a lovely, warm, friendly hostel! My best stay in a backpackers ever! Ben and Katie are wonderful, helpful owners who go out of their way to ensure everyone is cared for. The place is spotless and full of beautiful artwork and musical instruments. We had an amazing sing-a-long session and they even taught me some ukulele! The rooms are clean and quiet and the kitchen is filled with everything you could need including free hot chocolate!
I highly recommend this hostel to everyone!!! Oh, and ask Katie to bake some chocolate brownies - they're INCREDIBLE! Missing this place already!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Netherlands
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2011

This place can be very nice, but when we were there is was too crowded. The kitchen is not designed for many people. The fridge is dirty, therefore we had to throw food away because chicken fluid from a top shelf was leaking in our bag. People were even cooking at midnight...or talking / playing guitar very loud! And because of the thin walls you can here everything. At night an alarm went off and the staff did not tell at check in that this for the fire brigade. Therefore a lot of people were awake and walking in the corridor. Because of the noise and the small bed i did not sleep well

  • Stayed January 2011, 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 1
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albatr0ss, Owner at Albatross Backpacker Inn, responded to this review, January 29, 2011
Our fridges are cleaned out daily. It is obviously beyond our control as to where other guests place their meat.
There are signs (8 in total) in all toilets and common rooms explaining the volunteer fire alarm. This alarm is not unique to Kaikoura and you'll probably come across it in most small NZ towns.
Our kitchen and lounge are open 24 hours for the convenience of all guests and as this is the height of summer, people will most certainly be socialising/playing music!
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Sweden
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2011

Good location in a former post office building. The hostel is nicely decorated in bright colours. It's clean and comfortable. Our double room was nice and clean, there should be some more things to hang clothes on however, but that's the only negative I have to say about the room.

The owners are helpful and nice, they can help with bookings etc. There are lots of space for just hanging out. There are four showers in a common room, and two toilets. The kitchen is a bit ill-planned and un-organized and gets quite crowded easily. Otherwise, it's perfectly fine.

One thing that was a bit disturbing was the cleaning times: kitchen and showers were supposed to be cleanded around 11 am and for about half an hour, but the kitchen was often cleaned around noon, which I found a bit annoying, since many people having lunch then....Just a small complaint, otherwise it's very good!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2010

Ben and Katie are the best. They know how to run a good hostel and they know how to cook!! The hostel itself is set out really well, it has a good communal area (no TV - which is a huge plus) and a good kitchen.
The rooms are tiny but clean. The room layout is odd, it must of been a really big room that they have divided up with plywood walls and then not painted. The sound proofing is not that great but saying that we were not disturbed by any loud people. The communal shower area is good and the showers themselves are really good.
There are free bikes, free cooking lessons when Ben and Katie cook and plenty of books and boardgames to keep you amused. There is even a little corner where you can go and paint pictures if you like.
Its the best choice in Kaikoura by far, but mainly due to the staff and the vibe.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2010

I had a brilliant 3 nights staying in this lovely hostel. The rooms were clean and quiet. The staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly. I was picked up as promised off the bus in town and made to feel at home with free coffee,tea and hot choc available in the spacious kitchen . There was also a most useful shelf of herbs/spices from the garden and sauces that guests'' had left behind which saved buying everything which i thought very useful. i really loved that they recycled absolutely everything too. Top spot to visit. definitely recommend this hostel and the dolphin swim which leaves from just around the corner which is much appreciated if you have a 5am swim!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Albatross Backpacker Inn

Address: 1 Torquay Street, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Kaikoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hostel with Soul! Characterful historic building filled with music, art, food and good company! Run by travelers for travelers, at The Albatross you'll find a warm, inviting place in which to unwind after your time on the road. What we offer you:- Spacious lounge filled with art by world travellers, musical instruments and plenty of space to relax.- Funky well-equipped kitchen with complimentary herbs, spices, cooking oil and Fairtrade Organic tea, coffee and hot chocolate.- Warm, comfortable rooms with heaters in each and fully made beds.- An Art Corner for creating masterpieces! - Guitars, ukuleles, hand drums and songbooks.- Loads of fun board games and well-stocked book exchange.- Regular group dinners, BBQs in summer and hot puddings by the log fire in winter.- Sunny garden with a gas BBQ, lots of tables and herbs & veggies for you to pick.- Free bikes. Cyclist specials and lockable bike storage.- Lots of good local info and advice, free guide book rental, onward travel booking. Come join us for our next Curry Night, a Jam Session or an epic round of "Kaikouropoly"! Ben and Katie look forward to welcoming you to The Albatross. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Albatross Backpacker Hotel Kaikoura

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