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“A decent stopover for the caves” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Glow Worm Motel

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Glow Worm Motel
1 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo Caves, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Berkswell, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“A decent stopover for the caves”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2010

We stayed here the night before our Black Water Rafting trip. Room was basic and a little dated, but clean and functional. Wouldn't stay for more than a night, but if you are visiting the caves the next day, it is ideal.

  • Stayed April 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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34 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    11
    8
    3
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11
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Utah
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2009

We stayed 2 nights at the beginning of a 3 week long trip. It was the perfect start to a great holiday. The host was very friendly and knowledgeable about the surrounding areas and was more than happy to share his knowledge and offer advice to us. The accommodations are very clean and comfortable. Great location for the Waitomo area.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Little Rock, AR
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2009

My husband and I traveled to NZ for the first time in March. We did a self-drive and Waitomo was our first stop out of Auckland. We were a little concerned due to the pictures on the motel's site, but my husband and I have travelled a lot in the US and overseas and know that nothing can really be that bad for just a couple of nights. But, we were pleasantly surprised when the owner took us to our room. It had a clean, well equipped kitchen, the bathroom was not cramped, and we had plenty of room to spread out. The owners gave us directions to the nearest grocery store and provided us with flashlights for our night trip out to the caves. They also gave us directions to some other local attractions and gave us tips on the best times to go. Just overall wonderful people. While it is true that the buildings and some of the furniture could be updated, we weren't stopping in Waitomo for luxury. We went for the Lost World and the caves. And my guess is that, if you are going to NZ for luxury, you probably aren't spedning the night in Waitomo. But, if you are going for outdoor adventure and to see NZ's beautiful countryside, then the Glowworm is a comfortable stop at a good value with pleasant hosts.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2009

My fiance and I stopped over in Waitomo for 1N during our self-drive tour. The Glowworm motel was extremely easy to find and accessible to the Waitomo Village, the centre for all the activities in the vincinty, as well as for onward journey to other towns/cities. It was a truly pleasant stay and we were happy with the comprehensive cooking facilities available within our unit, which was larger than expected. It was a homely feeling as we could park our car right outside our unit and we were treated very warmly by the owner. He gave really good recommendations on what to see, do, eat for our afternoon sightseeing. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and would recommend visitors stopping by the area to stay here.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Starkville, MS
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2009

Stumbled onto this motel as we were driving to Waitomo. We were very impressed by the knowledge and friendliness of the owner's daughter, who checked us in and advised us about the local caves (I might add she was bang on correct). The rooms were clean and well kept. The kitchen was stainless steel, clean and in excellent shape. The bed felt new and slept very well. We met the owner the next day and he was very friendly and interested. Can't comment on the swimming pool as we didnt use it but it sounded like the people there were having fun. I would rate it as above average in any case and as excellent considering the price. We were very positively impressed.

  • Liked — The people - owner and his family
  • Disliked — I didnt think to ask for the full breakfast that was offered
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winterpeg
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2009

We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Our two children enjoyed the swimming pool and the view of the ostriches next door. The owner is very accommodating. We found the place very clean, even though the buildings are of an older style. Unlike the previous reviewer, we did not have to pay in advance, but at time of booking, even though we had booked the hotel in Oct 2008. The beds were very comfortable and not sagging. The kitchen has all the amenities needed - just need to bring your food. The location to the caves is an easy 5-8 min via car. The value for the price is exceptional, especially considering the various other places that in Waitomo that are much more costly. Overall, definitely a place for families for a reasonable cost! Schönwetters from Canada.

  • Liked — friendly personnel
  • Disliked — couldn't stay longer
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tararua
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2008

I should have taken more notice of my first impressions. The reception/office was smelly and very untidy.

Thankfully, we only stayed the one night. Payment is in advance and we soon realised why.

In over forty years of World wide travel the three bedroomed cottage we booked has to be one of the dirtiest places. The exterior of the building was in dire need of renovation, at the very least water blasting and repainting.

The interior followed the same trend.

The lounge carpet had to have been thirty years old and the lounge suite similar.

One of the high shelves in the kitchen had a caked layer of dirt 2-3 mm thick. All the flat surfaces were dirty and dusty. We inspected the bedding very carefully.

All this came as a complete surprise to the Owner/operator. If that had been my establishment I would have been appalled and offered the customer their money back.

A small sign outside offers "inspection welcomed". That should be rewritten to read, "inspection essential"

There are motel rooms available which we did not see but I would strongly advise against staying in their cottage until major renovations have been completed.

  • Liked — Closing the door and leaving
  • Disliked — The general por condition and uncleanliness.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisLord, Owner at Glow Worm Motel, responded to this review, January 19, 2013
I always thought these reviews were solely the voice of the traveller. However, recently, a recent social media adviser encouraged me to respond to this review which in his opinion was grossly unfair and misleading.

I'm not sure who got under Possum01's skin on the day he visited my motel, but I’m sure it wasn’t one of us. We had only recently purchased the motel and I was absent at the time because I have a daytime job.

It would have been nice if he had in fact spoken to the owner operator instead of the owner’s 16 year old daughter. Being the experienced traveller he claimed to be, I am astounded that Possum01 did not ask to speak to the management or be moved to another unit or express his concern IMMEDIATELY. My wife would have gone to great effort to help if asked. Instead the first our staff knew there might be a hint of dissatisfaction was as Possum01 was leaving when he passed a cryptic comment about us not knowing our opposition. We were new to the business and had no idea what he was talking about. The time to ask to be moved or for a refund is straight away; not the day after all the facilities have been used. Furthermore, if seeking a refund, an experienced traveller should have known to ask for the owner. My children do not have the delegated authority to issue refunds.

There are a few things in his review that are valid, but there is also a lot that is misleading.

While it is true that our 1940's cottage has dated axminster carpet in the floors, Possum01 omitted to say that all interior walls had been recently painted and the bathroom completely renovated. The old rustic “Kiwi Bach” style is part of the charm and character of the place and it is priced accordingly. If it were modern and new we would be able to more than double the price and still be competitive.

As can clearly be seen in his entrance photo, my repairs were under way with the new veranda timber waiting to be painted. It was certainly sturdy enough to take the weight of his adult son who seems to be very comfortable in the photograph.

Discussions had been with a builder about the spouting and facia board that Possum01 photographed just a few weeks earlier. The builder was onsite renovating bathrooms in two of our other units. His appraisal of the cottage is that it was very sound and the areas needing attention are cosmetic. The cottage exterior was the next priority after the interiors were completed. The rear walls had been in fact been sprayed with a preparation product only days before Possum01 visited.

As can be seen from OUR photo of the kitchen, the unpainted top shelf that Possum01 found to photograph is very high and a person would have to stand on the stove top to get the only interior shot he posted. It wasn’t painted because it was never intended to be used.

Dust is always very obvious and apparent on freshly painted surfaces such as window sills. Surrounded by trees as we are and with a prevailing westerly wind from the farm next door, this is unavoidable and sills are routinely dusted as part of the servicing.

The careful inspection of the bedding obviously found nothing or I'm sure Possum01 would have documented the findings. There is sometimes discoloration because of the minerals in the water from our underground spring, but our linen is steam pressed at 150°C before being used.

If travellers are looking for 5 star accommodation, then they should not stay here. However if you want to be warmly welcomed by our family, to stay on an historic site that has an ancient story, be given maps and torches so you can visit some of the wonderful natural attractions our district has to offer, we would be delighted to be your hosts.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Glow Worm Motel

Address: 1 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Waitomo Caves
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Affordable accommodation close to the world-famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. 9 fully self-contained ground-floor units, all with full kitchens, serviced daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Glowworm Hotel Waitomo Caves

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