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Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Marlborough Sounds | Marlborough Sounds, Lochmara Bay 7201, New Zealand   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Tokyo
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Lovely”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

Stayed in the newest rooms on the higher grounds of the property

Pros:

- Lovely grounds
- Stunning views from around the area
- Very nice tracks
- Great food
- Very friendly staff

Contras:

- Internet comes with a fee

None

  • Stayed February 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
thanks for the review - and good news, there is now a free wireless internet allocation for all in-house guests. (I love being able to say things like that).
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    73
    32
    18
    3
    2
See reviews for
25
64
6
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Essex
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

First impression, wonderful, great location, remote and welcoming. Unfortunately there are a few cupboards at the back of the more impressive rooms that face the water, I got one of those. Beds pushed hard against the Walls so that neighbours heard you when your arm hit the wall during the night along with the snoring!

Breakfast did not come with coffee, tea or fruit juices (extras on our package). Also the set dinner menu had just 1 starter, ok if you love mussels (no other option if you don't) but they weren't available !? So when was the days menu produced?

Lots to do, fascinating walks and surprising observatory!

Asked for a massage but got told she didn't work Fridays, so chose the hot tub, but that needs a booking........? Only one was during dinner service.

Sad really this is a great location and has so much going for it

Room Tip: Get on on the front NOT at the rear
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thanks for the feedback, we're always sad when guests don't leave happy too. We have added more photos to our website for the Shearwater Twin units to manage expectations of these rooms. We only have two of them and they cater to budget travellers who want a base to sleep in while they explore and make the most of the facilities. We have also added the option to book a bath as an extra when making accommodation bookings so you don't miss out. We'll keep your comments to feed into our review processes.
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2012

This is a tricky review. Lochmara is such a lovely spot and a very unique and quirky place, that I'm loathe to give it an average review. On balance though, it reflects our stay.

We arrived on for the last night of our Queen Charlotte walk, meandering down through the pine forests above the resort and marveling at the wonderful sculptures. It really felt like an arty, hippie haven....lots of artwork everywhere, animal conservation and so on. It lived up to its reputation in that respect.

We arrived at the reception and the lady there was on the phone. We stood in front of her, panting away (it was hot and we were sweaty and thirsty from the hike), and she remained on the phone....for quite some time. I gave up and wandered outside to sit down. Eventually she finished sorting out her personal life and booked us in. First rule of hotel hospitality: welcome your guests. If you are on an important call, just pause and say "i'll be right with you" and then bring your call to an end as soon as possible (maybe even say "i'll call you back").

Not a great start. We went down to our room. It was a family one (unfortunately for us the resort was booked out and that was the only available room when we booked). We were on the ground floor of a block, sandwiched in between two rooms. Privacy was at a minimum and we had an extended family next door. from Europe, who spoke at super high decibels pretty much right outside our door. They tried to encroach on our space (no guesses for where they were from!) as well so we had to put some towels out on chairs. Annoying stuff.

The room was basic but fine. It was more like camping ground accommodation, although in a pretty location. The beds were hard and our room backed onto some lane way which was a bit smelly so we kept the bathroom window closed. It had a very noisy fridge and you could hear people moving around, opening doors, drains flushing and so on. It was not the most peaceful spot!

Nevertheless, the cafe was fabulous (reviewed separately) and we enjoyed the kayaks and small beach. It's a very busy place so if you're looking for a quiet, peaceful time, I wouldn't recommend it.

Overall, I wouldn't be going back except to drop into the cafe, which is well worth the visit. But if you're looking for a good value place to stay in the Sounds and you don't mind the basic and cramped accommodation, then it might be for you.

Room Tip: If you want any peace, choose the luxury rooms.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you for the very honest feedback. We took your comments on board immediately - our training says that the guest in front of you is always the priority, so we took on a little reminder training. Not helpful to you, but important for the future. We have also updated the information and images for the units, making it clear that while the chalets have shared or private balconies, the units have a shared courtyard. We hope you come back and give us another go one day - either in a chalet, or any time other than January and Easter (really, outside this period it's a much different experience - less family and more retreat!)
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London, UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2012 via mobile

A 15 minute water taxi ride from Picton, Lochmara Lodge is in a beautiful location in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. The lodge rooms are quite basic but certainly clean and comfortable enough and an ok price for what you get. The restaurant is as others have commented the only place to eat once you're at the lodge and it's on the pricier side but we found the quality of food and friendly service worth the cost. The lodge is a lovely place where you can tramp the QCS, make use of the free kayaks and paddle around the bays or just relax in the hammocks within the lodge grounds. We will probably stay there again if we ever come back to NZ.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Berkeley
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

Despite a day of bad weather we had a great stay at Lochmara Lodge. We were there 2 nights and found our room to be basic, but very clean and perfectly situated to watch the bay. We even had a small kitchen.

The food there was delicious. The meat and fish at dinner were top notch and the breakfasts were varied and satisfying. Having a drink at "Happy Hour" and taking it down to the beach was super relaxing.

We used the free kayaks to cruise around the bay every morning and saw rays, fish and seals. The hike up to the Queen Charlotte track was beautiful and the track well marked with spectacular views over the sound. The hikes on the Lochmara property are also worth doing and you will see the gardens, animals and birds.

The staff was very friendly and accommodating and when we had boisterous neighbors one night, they came over to ask them to quite down very quickly.

Even the boat ride to the lodge is fun and there is lots to see. This is the kind of place you can have fun even if you don't feel like hiking the track. We have already recommended it to our friends.

Room Tip: There are a few rooms close to the water that have amazing views
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Wingham, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2011

Afetr a long day of walking it was wonderful to be met by such friendly and helpful staff. Our room was large and clean and private, with an elevated balcony overlooking the bay.
The best surprise was the fabulous restaurant- not only were the menu choices interesting, but were beautifully prepared and presented, and the portions were generous.
Our day of rest was useful to enjoy paddling in the kayaks, admire the interesting artwork at Lochmara (can recommend the Mosaic Couch for comfort and views) and checking out the NZ animals.
A great place to spend a day of leisure.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, December 19, 2011
Hi - Thanks for the lovely review! It's always a pleasure for us to hear that someone had a great stay. Hope to see you back one day.
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2011

We stayed in the Luxury Chalet $255 per night. The lodge was in an amazing spot and we had a exellent view from our room! Clean rooms. We stayed for 3 nights and walked up to the hill lookout. Only real disappointment was the terriable bed we had in our room...definately not worth the price we paid. I even slept on the sofa bed without any blankets since neither my partner and I could sleep on the bed. I even told them the bed was 'worn out' and I wouldn't want to come back knowing I wasn't go to get any sleep again (they didn't seem that phased by this). So I won't be going back for this reason. (I even considered the floor!).

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre

Address: Marlborough Sounds | Marlborough Sounds, Lochmara Bay 7201, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Lochmara Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Great accommodation in 14 units & bay view chalets set on the tranquil shores of the Marlborough Sounds, a short cruise from Picton in our water taxi (Lochmara can easily arrange this for you, there are no roads to Lochmara). Explore the Wildlife Recovery & Art Centre, nature & sculpture trails, Queen Charlotte Track, art gallery, wildlife, free use of our kayaks, or relax on the beach, hammocks or Bath House spa. Licensed cafe/restaurant serving local and seasonal produce and local wines. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery And Arts Centre Hotel Picton

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