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“awful” 1 of 5 stars
Review of YHA Waitomo Juno Hall Backpackers

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YHA Waitomo Juno Hall Backpackers
600 Waitomo Caves Rd, Te Kuiti 3977, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
uk
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“awful”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

quite simply - DO NOT STAY HERE. The woman on reception was the only nice thing here. Unfortunately she works in a horrible place. We travelled for 10 weeks round NZ, this was the worst place we stayed. How it has 72% in the BBH book is beyond me.

It was not very clean, everything in the kitchen had to be washed before and after you used it.

The bathrooms weren't very nice, ants nests round the toilets, and no soap in the ladies, I had to go and wash my hands in the Mens.

The worst bit was the bedrooms, well the beds to be exact. The mattress (I don't know how they have the front to call it that) was awful. I could pinch it and feel my fingers through it. The bed was slatted, so we spent the night sleeping on slats. it was the most uncomfortable bed we've ever slept in. absolutely terrible.

we were supposed to stay for 2 nights, we got a refund on the 2nd!

The blackwater rafting co is very good for cave trips. We did the black labyrinth tour and it was fab.

There are other hostels in waitomo, I don't care how bad their reviews are, nowhere could be worse than this place.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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72 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Wellington
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

Having only briefly visited Waimoto prior to coming back for two days of caving, I booked Juno Hall online based on being a YHA Hostel. The pictures looked great, and by sheer coincidence the two caving companies I used were either side of Juno Hall which was great….but….

This building is a Lockwood – a type of building construction that involves using solid timber planks that lock into each other for internal walls. It looks great, but there are pitfalls. Because of all the bare wood and no wall cavities, noise does reverberate and Juno Hall is no exception.

I brought earplugs (lets be realistic, there’s no place like home when your sleeping!) but overnight noise is a problem. The first night I had an ensuite room, I could hear the people next to me talking but they must have gone to bed early because I slept soundly. The second night was a separate room sharing bathroom facilities and that was definitely worse – one of the other guests was Skyping through the night and her voice carried right through the place.

I guess I’m used to the footfalls and doors banging, because I didn’t notice that kind of noise as much, but it definitely is a problem – I was tired from caving, I wanted to sleep, but the overnight noise is very distracting if you get woken by it.

I’d agree with other reviews that the mattresses need replacing and the bathroom facilities need an upgrade (the shared bathroom facilities for men were two toilets, two sinks and one shower). Nothing in the place appeared to be new (the couches sagged even with no one sitting in them). The location (based on using Waitomo Adventures and The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co) was perfect, there was a nice veranda and a swimming pool, the people who run reception (other tourists who are on a work permit) are really nice, but this place needs dragging into the 21st century – remedial work to quiet the place down, new bathrooms and furniture.

Would I stay here again? I wish I could, but when you are caving you really need your sleep – so I’ll have to look for somewhere else next time I visit.

Room Tip: I don't think there is a good room - it depends on how quiet your neighbours are.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Altadena, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

While this was a good location the quality of the hostel was severely lacking. The mattress on the bed was so flat you could feel the rails through it. it was also uneven which resulted in my husband sleeping on the top bunk and me on the bottom. It was also exceptionally loud because there were campsites outside with those people coming in to use the shared bathrooms. We went to bed around 10:30 (because we had to be up at 7am for our cave tour) and it sounded like people wee clomping down the hallways for hours. The door to the outside would slam, them clomping down the hallway and talking. It may not have been very loud but the hostel obviously had no sound proofing whatsoever. I found it extremely difficult to fall asleep. The shared baths and kitchen facilities were ok, I have seen better. I would not stay here again simply because of the noise.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

Just come back from a couple of nights in Waitomo. Yes, Juno Hall is ideally located for rafting and a 10 minute walk into town, the setting's lovely... but wow, was it noisy! Bang, crash, wallop. Feet stomping, doors banging, people yakking... Would have got more sleep in a railway station. The problem's not the people though, it's the building. Walls are paper thin, doors don't have any softeners, floors are made of cheap chipboard. A few suggestions to the owners to improve the experience for weary travellers who need a good night's sleep after a hard day's caving/hiking/rafting:
1 (expensive) sound proof the walls + lay more solid floorboards
2 (mid-price) install anti-slam door closers in all the rooms
3 (cheap) put up a big "Please remove your shoes and leave them here" sign at the entrance
I hope the management will read this and do something because the Bangs & Crashes shouldn't detract from what is otherwise a really nice place - excessive noise is such a simple problem to resolve.

Room Tip: Not near the entrance / kitchen!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2011 via mobile

Bed was a bunk bed with a double at the bottom. Stayed for a night.

Kitchen to use, free parking on premises. Had to pay for wifi though. Location was 1km away from city centre however it was right next to Waitomo Adventures which I had signed up for

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nelson, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2011

Juno Hall backpackers is a pretty cool hostel with a homely feel to it. It is located right next to the original Waitomo Caves Blackwater Rafting company. It has a few farm animals running around too including a lovely little lamb called Lucy. We were glad to decided to stay here

Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2011

Loved the fire place. Great lounge and kitchen. Close to caves, down the road. Nearby supermarket in town. Charge for internet. Only one shower, and not very clean. Stayed in Dorm 7 which was not as well designed as the group area. The bunk beds did not have rails or ladders.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about YHA Waitomo Juno Hall Backpackers

Address: 600 Waitomo Caves Rd, Te Kuiti 3977, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Te Kuiti
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Te Kuiti
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waitomo has been entertaining guests for decades with its deep caverns, luminescent glowworms and dark waterways for generations. YHA Waitomo offers the perfect base to experience all this spectacular place has to offer. The hostel is situated on a farm and has stunning views and native forest as your backdrop. Relax in a hammock by our large swimming pool and unwind from the adrenalin activities on your doorstep. ... more   less 
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