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Raetihi Lodge
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Reviews (219)
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Reviewed February 12, 2013

We stayed at Raetihi lodge using a Grabone voucher so got really good value for the room. However, you need to consider the cost of getting there from Picton by boat ($170 NZD return pp) or float plane ($200 NZD return pp). Plus there are no restaurants or shops near by so you have to buy breakfast, lunch and dinner from them (which wasn't always a good thing).

So was it worth it? We think that it was just about given the whole experience.

Our trip started and ended being floan by Allister on his brilliant float plane. While expensive we definitely thought that it was worth the trip. It gives you an great perspective of Marlborough Sounds.

Raetihi Lodge itself is really lovely. The rooms are newly decorated. They're spacious and the sea view rooms has one of the best views that you'll ever have. The rest of the property is just as nice and the restaurant has possibly the best view of any restaurant that I've ever been in.

The food isn't cheap and is very hit and miss. Breakfast was lovely and definitely good value. Dinner was a different story. We had the seafood platter the first night and everything on the plate was over cooked. Very disappointing. The desserts were super tasty though. The second night I had the fillet steak. It was the toughest piece of steak I've ever eaten which is unbelievable for what is meant to be the most succulent cut. The reason? It had most definitely been plucked straight from the feezer and stuck in the microwave to defrost which cooked the outside and made it tough and kept the inside blue. That's how it came to the plate. I was very close to dropping the rating to 3 stars because of this.

However, the lodge manager, James, was probably the best host that we've ever had. He is a consumate professional but also very friendly. He reminded me of Basil Faulty only because he seems to do everything. Depsite spreading himself thing he's very good at everything. Overall, we loved our stay even though it was expensive.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank CarlEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand_Mercure_Nelson, Manager at Raetihi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Raetihi Lodge. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback and we appreciate your constructive feedback about the quality of the food during your stay so that we can address the issues mentioned. It is great to hear that you enjoyed your trip into the lodge with Allister and it is definitely a fantastic way to view the Sounds.
At Raetihi, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us. I have followed up your comments regarding the quality of the food with our chefs as we normally get great feedback about the quality of our food. We chose our suppliers to ensure that we can offer a quality product to our guests and due to your comments we following up with the supplier of our steak. We do try to keep our food prices at a reasonable level, even though our food costs are higher due to the location and transportation costs. We believe that we have achieved this given that our breakfast prices range from $14-$22, and our main meals at dinner range from $29-$36 which we believe is comparable to most restaurants that offer a high quality food. We do have our menu on our website so guests are welcome to have a look prior to arriving at the lodge and our chefs are very accommodating in dealing with any special dietary requirements. And of course as you noted, we have stunning views from our restaurant overlooking the sounds.
Once again, thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you back to the property in the future.

Sincerely,
James Whelan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

What a wonderful idyllic place. The lodge manager James and his staff made sure we enjoyed our stay. The food and the service are exceptional. The Cougar Taxi ride to the island and the small boat ride to the Lodge is something out of Swallows and Amazons. The scenery is outstanding, sky blue lakes, white sands and shell beaches.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank CaptainStarlight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand_Mercure_Nelson, Manager at Raetihi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2013

We very much appreciate your comments regarding your stay at Raetihi Lodge. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback, and thank you for your fantastic comments about our food and service.
I will share your comments with our team, and I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.
Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you back in the future.

Sincerely,
James Whelan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

A group of six of us did the Queen Charlotte walk in the stunning Marlborough Sounds over New Year and spent a night at Raetihi Lodge. It was a fabulous place to stay. The rooms are beautiful - open the sliding doors and you have a view of the Sounds. The food was just superb - thanks to a 21 year old female chef. All of us agreed we would like to have stayed much longer. The staff were excellent and I had a brilliant massage. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank KiwiDenise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand_Mercure_Nelson, Manager at Raetihi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2013

We very much appreciate your comments regarding your stay at Raetihi Lodge. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback, and thank you for your fantastic comments about our food and accommodation.
I will share your comments with our team, especially our chef Lana. I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.
Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you back in the future.

Sincerely,
James Whelan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2013

We stayed here for two nights and had a good time. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The room was adequate and clean. The bed was not very comfortable. We walked up to the Telegraph Point, some 461 metres above sea level and were rewarded with spectacular views of the Kenepuru Sound. Breakfasts and dinners were delicious. The only negative point would be to mention that Raetihi Lodge is so unbelievably remote (at the end of a very long unsealed track) that there is nothing more to do than eat and drink at the lodge and either go on a boat trip, swim, cycle or walk.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand_Mercure_Nelson, Manager at Raetihi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Raetihi Lodge. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback about the staff and our restaurant and we appreciate your constructive feedback about the quality of the bed in your room so that we can address the issues mentioned wherever possible.
At Raetihi, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us. I will share your comments with my team as it is always great to hear our efforts are appreciated.
Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the property in the future.

Sincerely,
James Whelan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We arrived after a slightly nauseating drive from Nelson and a quick water taxi ride to be met by James, an owner and as we found out, do-it-all worker :). We arrived a bit early, so we went for a short walk down a wonderful, quiet, tree-lined path. Back at the lodge, James took us to our room- first impressions: very roomy with good water view, but very boring rooms - no art or anything on the walls. A little local art would go a long way.
We loved the little fridge in the room, great for our bottle of wine & snacks, but there was really no where to put anything down. A small table & chairs would be good, there was definitely enough space in the room for it. Also the bathroom could use a shelf and a fan that turns off when you turn it off, not 5 minutes later.
One of the "tests" I use as to whether to return or not - the bed, and unfortunately this was a no-go: it was way to soft for mine and my husbands backs, and the pillows too mushy. Perhaps a choice of pillows?
We brought our own bikes, and as we found out, there is enough climbing and somewhat technical riding to get your heart rate up!. Going in the water for a swim, though calm, was cold -another heart racer in November!
The restaurant was very nice - good art on the walls, attentive (but not overly so) staff, and most of all good food and decent wine list. The one item I would have liked to see was a choice of New Zealand cheeses - a cheese board can be a wonderful finish to a meal or even a light meal in itself and NZ has some of the best cheeses going!
We took the mussel tour one afternoon, and were the only ones on the boat, so we had a chance to not only pick up some fresh-from-the-water mussels for that evenings dinner ( and a few oysters to eat immediately :) but also take a little extra time to learn about the history of the area. Well worth the time & $$.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank winegirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand_Mercure_Nelson, Manager at Raetihi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Raetihi Lodge. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback and we appreciate your constructive feedback about the room so that we can address the issues mentioned wherever possible.
At Raetihi, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us. We will take your comments regarding the bed, and bathroom shelving & extractor fan into consideration when planning future improvements to the property. We have just recently purchased new tables and chairs to go into our rooms and are just waiting on delivery which will hopefully be in the next couple of weeks. We are also sourcing artwork to go into our rooms, but given the nature of the property we want to ensure that we get the right artwork and are trying to source this from local artists to support the region. Given the size and number of items that we require for the Lodge, this does take a bit longer than buying readymade prints but we believe that it is worth the wait. We appreciate your comments about the cheese board and will be looking into the option of adding this onto our next menu.
Once again, thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you back to the property in the future.

Sincerely,
James Whelan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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