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“Spectacular” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hapuku Lodge

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Hapuku Lodge
4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   State Highway 1 At Station Road, RD 1, Kaikoura 7371, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Miami, Fl
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2007

WOW is all I can say. The treehouse was amazing. The view incredible. The bathroom and bath tub such a treat. Showering overlooking the olive trees was very special. Words really can't describe how beautiful this place is. We sat by our private fireplace at night looking up at the stars...very romantic. Our only regret is not staying longer. We stayed is some wonderful places in NZ and this one was by far our favorite.

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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184 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    147
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Los Angeles, CA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2007

We stayed one night at Hapuka over six months ago and we still talk about it. I'm not an easy guest, and of all the places we stayed in New Zealand, this was the absolute best. The only contender was Huka Lodge which cost about 5 times as much. We stayed in a fancy tree house with glass walls facing snow-capped mountains on side and the coast on the other. We were not there long but we loved every moment. I hope to get back some day soon.

  • Liked — The accomodations
  • Disliked — Not many restaurant options in the area
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2007

Who would've thought that tree houses could be this luxurious! Beautifully presented, luxurious, private and cosy. This is the ultimate treat for a romantic getaway. The bed was huge and comfy and there was a scandanavian log fire... absolute bliss, especially considering the bad weather. We could've holed up in there for weeks, but were forced to emerge for food occasionally.
We had mixed feelings about the food at the lodge. We felt that dinner was a little pricey for what we were getting (even by London standards). We could tell there was an ambitious chef by the overly complex dishes on the menu, but parts of the meal just felt like they were trying too hard to impress and not quite pulling it off, which left us a little dissatisfied. We would've preferred something simpler but better executed perhaps. We had a lovely meal in an organic restaurant in town which was better and cheaper the next night however. Breakfasts were nice but we weren't offered any cooked options. Service was generally good. The tree house itself did not disappoint one bit though and I'd definitely recommend them.

  • Liked — the tree house
  • Disliked — menus
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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North Carolina
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2007

Your experience of Hapuku may depend on your accomodations. In my usual frugality I asked our travel agent to book us into a lodge room. When we arrived a treehouse was available. After a tour we decided immediately to upgrade.

The lodge is a typical nice hotel. The treehouses are spectacular!

Admittedly, you must hike up two flights of stairs with your luggage. But when we reached our room we were stunned. On the west side of the room was a sitting area with a fireplace and a "greenhouse" facing the mountains. The main area had a most comfortable bed, minibar, fridge, and "entertainment center", which we never used.

Moving east you come to the plumbing. Slate floors, heated everywhere, including the loo. A large spa, and then a step down to the shower, surrounded on three sides by glass. The shower had multiple heads, and a door leading to a small deck with a view of the ocean. (One criticism: the deck needs a couple of chairs.)

My description does not do justice to the remarkable and memorable design. Stout beams, star painted ceiling... Suffice it to say this is the most romantic setting my wife and I have ever enjoyed.

Unlike a previous poster, we dined here each night, and the food was fine. I did skip the lobster, which had a ridiculous surcharge over the NZ$ 75 fixed price. The three course meals were well prepared.

The staff was a bit inconsistent. Bruce was wonderful. He had befriended an orphaned fawn, and brought her up to the guest areas to be fed. Time with the fawn was memorable. Bruce seemed to be there all the time, and he was very helpful. The rest of the staff was not quite up to his level of service.

Bottom line: if you are going to Kaikoura stay in a treehouse at Hapuku. It is worth it.

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
London, UK
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
84 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
230 helpful votes 230 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2007

We loved our 2-night stay in the Hapuku Lodge treehouse #1. We stayed
in the new double-bed treehouse and thought the views of the mountains, the sea and the deer were fantastic! The food in the restaurant was great, breakfast mix was also good and the service at all times was impeccable. In fact, the Hapuku Lodge treehouse was the accommodation highlight on our trip.

Nothing had been left to chance and the underfloor heating, spa bath, luxurious bath products, comfortable bed, DVD player, stylish furniture etc etc made this an amazing place to visit. We cannot comment about the rooms in the Lodge or the Olive House as they are different to the treehouses, but we loved our privacy, and high-class luxury and would definitely stay at Hapuku Lodge again if visiting the Kaikoura area.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2007

Stayed at the lodge in February for 2 nights and had a wonderful time. Our room in the lodge was twice the size of previous accomodation, a view over a field full of deer, and the most comfortable bed we have slept in for quite a while. What a peaceful location to recharge your batteries.

The breakfast was slightly disappointing in respect of the choice available, and on the 2nd day, when we arrived later for breakfast the choice was even more limited, but staff could not have been more helpful and replenished items as requested. No hot options but cereal, fruit, cheese, ham, muffins and danishes, plus a variety of breads available, so no chance of going hungry.

Whilst I agree with the previous reviewer that the NZD 75$ set menu is rather highly priced, our meal was fantastic, food was plentiful, hot and very well served and it was nice to enjoy a bottle of wine with the meal rather than having to drive into Kaikoura, as we had done the night before. Although if you do drive into Kaikoura and fancy a really nice fish restaurant try the Green Dolphin (located at the further point of the road past the pier) - food was fantastic and about NZD 100$ for 2.

We did notice that the dining room had not been cleaned between the evening meal and breakfast the next morning and therefore cannot give the hotel 'excellent' but other than this I believe in the saying you get what you pay for, and this hotel maybe more expensive but for us it was worth every penny for a great nights sleep and fantastic setting.

  • Liked — Large spacious rooms with a great view
  • Disliked — Dining room not cleaned between evening meal and breakfast
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton, VA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2007

The Lodge is well designed and enjoys a beautifull location, but appears to have fallen on hard times no doubt due to current management. The ceiling in our room had leaked and had not been repaired. As the Lodge is located about 15km from Kaikoura, we opted to eat in the dining room. It offered only a NZ$ 75 price fix menu which it turns out was grossly overpriced. When our main courses arrived, the meat was perched on an unidentifiable mound of starch and both meat and starch were cold. As bad as the food was, the service was worse. After waiting over half an hour for desert ( there were only two on the menu) and being ignored by the waiter, one of our party got up and left. It is hard to understand the poor service as on ly 20 dinners were served that evening with two wait staff.
The breakfast buffet which is included in the price was something you would expect in a low grade motel, not a luxury lodge. There were no hot dishes, only one pastry, two cheeses and three meats. There were no coffee cups out and when some cups were finally provided, the coffee pot was empty.

When criticized, management was very defensive and adverse to criticism which probably explains the poor performance and attitude of the wait staff. The Lodge is overpriced for the value provided, and if anyone chooses to stay there, avoid the food and drive into Kaikoura for dinner.

  • Liked — Good design, but no elevator
  • Disliked — Food and service were awfull
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hapuku Lodge

Address: State Highway 1 At Station Road, RD 1, Kaikoura 7371, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Kaikoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hapuku Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses is distinctive boutique luxury accommodation set on a deer farm and olive grove in one of the world's most beautiful locations, between the Kaikoura Mountains and the Pacific Coast of New Zealand's South Island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hapuku Hotel Kaikoura

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