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“Should be finished before renting out” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Secret Motel

Southern Secret Motel
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Southern Secret Motel
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Papatowai, Owaka, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #58 of 68 Hotels in Southland Region
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Should be finished before renting out”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

We stayed at Lancewood Cottage the owner also owned the motels up the road. If we had seen the cottage before we stayed we would not have stayed. When we rang we asked if the cottage was fully self contained, we didn't feel he should have said yes if it wasn't quite finished. Just because all the equipment is in the cottage you should be informed it doesn't work before you arrive. We had traveled from Milford that day so did not want to look for something else at 5pm. I personally wouldn't stay here again. We had booked for 2 nights and asked for a refund after the first night but he refused.The bed was a double, I think! It was quite small and very soft so you ended up rolling towards the middle so I had a very sore back in the morning. The telly didn't work as he hadn't set up the dish as of yet. The washing machine didn't work as he hadn't plumbed it in as of yet. No curtain on the bathroom window I suppose that is okay if you are not into privacy. The kitchen curtain was very close to the stove and hung over the taps when you did the dishes. The shower head was rather small and rather high up. Heating was with a fan heater which was rather loud. The coffee table was nice but it took up quite a bit of the room. Too large for the room. Also he had made a new bench top which he said not to lean on as it wasn't finished, it was just sitting on top of the cupboard. He did give us some brochures which was nice of him but they smelled of petrol which wasn't so nice.

We did go for a walk around Papatowai which we enjoyed we even got up close with a seal which we hadn't seen until he let us know he was there. We visited Purakaunui Falls it was well worth the visit if in this area it would be one place I would recommend. We also visited Jack's Blowhole it's a nice walk and had some lovely views of the coastline, it is a bit of a hill walk thou. We also went to Curio Bay which we didn't think a lot of but in saying that it was raining quite hard so that may have been why.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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17 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    5
    5
    4
    2
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Shardlow, null, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We had been driving for 6 hours and my wife was not feeling too well, so we booked into this Motel out of neccessity really. If this had not been the case, we would not have stayed. The Host was very friendly, helpful and informative. However, the room we had left a lot to be desired. The electric kettle was so discoloured inside, we boiled water for a cup of tea in a saucepan and the dining table was badly stained. It was very cold on our arrival, but there was plenty of heating and electric blankets so no issue there. I guess for a nightly rate of $99, you shouldn't expect to much, but it was not for us. On a positive note, the surrounding birdsong is fantastic.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

A wonderful motel. Craig the owner couldn't not have done more. Room was clean with everything you need to make a meal. Large room and beds very comfortable. We stayed 2 nights and could have stayed longer, it was so nice. Lovely place

Room Tip: All rooms were beautiful. All very quiet.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed in Erewhon, the self-contained house, which I'm sure is fine in summer. Unfortunately we couldn't use the wood-fired potbelly stove as it needed some repairs, and the electric heaters were insufficient for the winter weather. We probably made the wrong choice and should have stayed in the motel units. Although old, everything was very clean.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bedford, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

We came to the catlins as a part of our honeymoon in NZ, and we were very pleased that we stayed in quirky Papantowai town.
The accommodation was very clean and well equipped, and we were allowed check in early, and had our choice of accommodation.
Our host was very genial and accomodating, and supplied us with all the information about local amenities we needed. He very kindly lent us the Lord of the Rings films to watch, which were part of an enormous film library he has. When we left having explored this beautiful area, we had gathered some fantastic memories.

Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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surrey
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 98 cities Reviews in 98 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2011

A very basic motel. Reasonably comfortable, with a functioning shower and kitchen. If you want to stay a night in the Catlins (which is essential if you really want to see something of the area) there is not a lot of choice. One night at the Southern Secret at $99 (Dec 2011) is a reasonable option.
Dinner at the Whistling Frog down the road is recommended. Good food, and an excellent choice of beer from the Invercargill Brewery and Emerson brands

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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La Verne, CA
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

We were driving across from Manapouri to Dunedin, hoping to enjoy a lovely view and make a quick stop at Slope Point. It began raining and we continued on our way. We stopped at Slope, even in the pouring rain. It was dark by the time we were done, we were soaked and we had no plans for where we were going to stay. It's a long, long story, but when we arrived at Southern Secret, we rejoiced. It was a godsend!

A beautiful place to stay even when you don't have to escape a bad storm. The rooms are lovely. The prices are reasonable and the location was beautiful. The owner was great to work with. I would LOVE to go back with more time and better weather.

Room Tip: They were all lovely!
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Secret Motel

Address: Papatowai, Owaka, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #58 of 68 Hotels in Southland Region
Number of rooms: 4

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