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“Great place to relax in the country” 5 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
Hamilton, New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great place to relax in the country”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed today NEW

Every YHA or associate YHA ever stayed in New Zealand or overseas has always been of a high standard, so was not a surprise that this was not an exception. What did stand out was the attitude of staff to difficult situations. Was surprising at how they treated a person that looked and acted like he had just come out of a psychiatric ward. He received the same good treatment as any other paying guest. The manager did draw the line and tell the guy to pull up pants when they got a too low giving people a view they would rather not have. Even after he wet his bed during the night, he was still allowed to stay again after everyone though he had checked out and moved on. In my case being an idiot who left his drink bottle in Rotorua and needed a replacement in a hurry. The manager just found an old steel one he had lying around that he insisted it not be returned, which did come in handy.

An unusual feature of this hostel was the friendly animals. The place is located on a farm in the nearby paddocks were lambs, calves, pigs, horses, a goat and a deer. The deer did come with a warning to get out if it acted aggressively. In the hostel itself there was a friendly cat and a well behaved small dog, that owner likes guests to take for a walk.

The location is relatively handy to the two adventure tour operators who are neighbours next door and up the road. The glowworms cave is a short walk up the road. Although Intercity and Naked Bus both do pickups and drop offs, management can arrange pick up and drop offs. A drop off was required because bookings on the Intercity pass did not allow a pick up at the YHA.

Even though the YHA was located in the country and relatively safe, security was still quite good. There were deadbolts on all the bedrooms and security cameras in the common areas and the driveway. The deadbolts were however a little tricky to open from the outside. There was also a locked storage room and management could look after bags for the day.

Overall the bathrooms were well done. The showers were quite good with good pressure and even temperate, and extraction fans. What was annoying was the choice of materials used in the showers. In my opinion medium density fibre (MDF) has no place in wet areas. The MDF doors had suffered water damage and several were warped and difficult to close. One door the handle was almost completely useless when trying to open the door. The male toilets did have a slight lingering smell of urine. There were plenty of sinks with mirrors above for shaving. Cleanliness was of a high standard, but there was still a little visible mold in the showers.

Kitchen and dining area were large and well equipped. Good selection of cookware, crockery and cutlery, and plenty of fridge space. Two sinks and two stoves made it less likely to have to wait to use something.

The lounge has a TV with Freeview and a wide selection of DVDs. There were comfortable sofas, but why watch movies when you are in country and just sit back and relax on the deck and admire the countryside.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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
England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I don't really understand why this place doesn't have better reviews. My room was very clean, looked very cosy and the bed was comfortable. The staff were friendly and the "boss" drove me to the bus stop on the day I was leaving. The lounge has got books and movies that you can borrow (if you want the hobbit ones or the LOTR ones you will have to ask the staff, they have got them hidden because they are the only movies everyone seems to be watching over there). Maybe it is not the best YHA I have ever stayed it, but I would stay again if I got the chance.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stockholm, Sweden
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We rented a powered site for our campervan for 1 night. WiFi was unfortunately not included but cost 4 dollars per 24 hrs. Kitchen was good and communal area cosy with fireplace, tables, sofas and tv with DVDs. Drinking your own alcohol is ok. But the great thing about the place is the animals! Baby piglets, goat, cat and other animals that likes to socialize. Would come here again.

Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gothenburg, Sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

You would think that $17 for a campsite right next to a (surprisingly) busy road would at least get you WiFi, but no - that's another $5. I've stayed at a lot of campsites all over NZ during the last weeks and this is actually the one I enjoyed the least, due to the combination of price and location. I see no reason not to drive out of Waitomo to a nice and free (or $6) site instead - the closest one being Mangaoweka reserve, just 15 min away. I get that it's a hostel as well, but that extra money for a shower and a pretty small combined kitchen and common room is simply not worth it.

Stayed November 2014, traveled solo
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014 via mobile

Highlights include... Stephanie (SO friendly, warm and fun), cleanliness of the rooms/sheets, huge kitchen area for multiple parties to be cooking easily at once (three stoves, clean utensils/pots/towels, and lots of counter space), overall clean, cozy and inviting atmosphere.

They also had farm animals on site so we could pet the adorable lambs :)

We would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed November 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Florianopolis, SC
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

We stayed at the Private Double Room, and wow, that could easily fit 4 people (single bed and double bed with a bunk on top). Bathroom was super clean and had soap, toothpast and towels, room was well lit and had a power plug. Maybe the mattress in the double bed could be slightly better (felt a bilt inclined to one side), but for a 1-night stay it was great.
The cutest thing were all the animals around. The pigs greeted us when we arrived by car - and I actually played with a lovely piglet - the little lambs were all over the reception and a ginger cat was constant companyin the common areas. The staff in this hostel were all funny and nice, and let us feed some of the animals. Some reviews say it´s isolated, but I don´t think ot´s an issue of the hostel, but of the city... Everything is far and there are no stores or groceries around, so come prepared!
This hostel is also across the road from Black Water rafting, so if you booked anything with them, it´s a handy place to stay. Would surely stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overpelt, Belgium
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

I arrived in Waitomo 3 days ago after leaving Rotorua in the early morning. I hadn't had any breakfast and figured I could buy groceries in Waitomo on arrival.

I found out that Waitomo has exactly 1 shop, and it is closed for a very long time because they just started renovating it. So please do yourself a favour and buy groceries BEFORE you get to Waitomo. It is isolated and the nearest shop is a ten minute drive away. There is no way you can get there on foot.

That said, I was very pleased by the way I was treated by the Juno Hall staff (Dave and Emily).
I was grumpy for not having any food and Dave offered me a free ride to the nearest shop.
He even gave me a free ice cream on the way back.

The hostel has some lambs and pigs in the field next to it. Dave takes good care of them and I was allowed to feed the pigs, and feed the little lambs with a milk bottle.

It was a very nice backpacker experience.
In the evening you can sit down with fellow backpackers and watch DVD's together.
I recommend "the descent" which is a horror movie about people going caving and end getting murdered by monsters in the cave. Perfect movie before you kick off your caving adventure :-)

The hostel is small but that allows you to get to know the others better. I enjoyed it

The kitchen is clean and so are the showers. I was happy with my room.

Little side note. Juno Hall is not owned by YHA, meaning that internet is not free for members.
It's $5 for 24 hours for YHA members.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
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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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