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“The place to be”

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Doolan's Country Retreat
Ranked #3 of 52 Rotorua B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The place to be”
Reviewed April 6, 2014

This is definitely the most memorable place we stayed during our 10 day trip in New Zealand. The scenery is just stunning and the rooms are all tastefully decorated. Christine is a wonder host and I cannot thank her more for the hospitality she has shown. My 4 year old son was sick on his way to Doolan's and he was vomiting for 3 days. I stayed behind with him while my family and friends went on with our scheduled activities. I very much enjoyed the tranquility during that 3 days and felt lucky I had chosen such a beautiful place to stay. I never get bored with the scenery (and Christine's offer of a glass of white surely helps!) and there is a lot of space to hang out and walk around. My son kept dirtying the beddings and gave a lot of extra work for her. Yet, she made us feel so much like home.
And star gazing at night was amazing. Christine could give you a guided tour on the galaxy also!
For a B&B, this is definitely the top notch. And it is one of the attraction for me to visit New Zealand again.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Winnie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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295 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 1, 2014

We don't normally stay at B & Bs but we will be doing more of it now. We just stayed one night but we wished it could have been longer. The room was gorgeous and the whole house is so homely and clean. Christine makes an amazing breakfast and gave us all the info we needed to plan our days excursions. We felt very welcome and relaxed. Waking up to see a rabbit and quails out the window against a beautiful valley view was a picture perfect way to start our day.

Room Tip: All of the rooms were equally nice, we were the only guests this night so we got to choose whatever...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AliceQ21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Doolans Country Retreat is a beautiful house with stunning views and a hostess that can't do enough for you. We were there at the time of the visit by the guests that have left a negative comment and I was the guest giving Christine a hand to serve breakfast. You feel so much part of the family that to offer some help is natural! The house is a joy with some wonderful paintings done by Christine and we look back on our visit with immense pleasure and would have no hesitation in recommending Doolans Country Retreat. Christine is able to give excellent advice on where to visit and looked after us excellently.
We feel the negative comments given by those guests that chose to leave after 1 night are totally unjustified and should be removed from Trip Advisor as they do reflect the comments in Christine's guest book or the other comments on this site..

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Norma B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2014

We stayed at Doolan's in September 2013 so this review is late but I really wanted to share our experience. Without a doubt, Christine's beautiful bed and breakfast is one of the nicest places we have stayed at. We arrived late afternoon on a wet and windy day, after a 12 hour flight from Singapore and 3 hour drive from Auckland. Christine was very welcoming (having even just emailed to see if we were ok as we were delayed) and it was such a pleasure to step into her warm and comfortable home. Kids were exhausted and it was already dark at 6pm so we did not go out for dinner - instead Christine suggested some local take aways and allowed us free reign of her kitchen and dining area. We booked two ensuite rooms: both of which were pristine, full of charm and very comfortable. We all slept like logs. Breakfast the next morning was delicious and we really liked the fact that Christine sat down with us and chatted, sharing tips about the local area, what to do, where to go etc. She was just great with our two young ones (2 and 4), allowing them to feed her fish, her donkeys (what a highlight!) and sit on her tractors! It was only when the sun came out that morning that we were able to see how gorgeous Doolans really was - the beautiful flowers, the landscaping and views to die for. We wish we could have stayed longer as one night was simply not enough. Christine sent us off on to our next stop with some lemons from her orchard. The kids are still talking about the donkeys now 6 months on and asking us when we are going back to "Aunty Christine's". Doolans may be a long way away from Singapore but it is certainly worth the trip. If you are planning on visiting Rotorua, don't stay in town, stay at Doolans- it really is a little slice of paradise. We will be back! Thank you so much Chrstine for getting our North Island holiday off to such a wonderful startT (Tim, Tara, Kate, Evangeline and Theodore).

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank c00kiemonsters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitianga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We arrived at Doolan's Country Retreat to a delightful driveway that lead to our accommodation for 2 Nights. Christine gave us a very warm welcome and showed us to our comfortable room, The Faintail, that had a Comfortable French Antique Queen Bed and well decorated room. Our Large Bathroom was separate and located nearby, but with comfortable bathrobes this was not a problem. We were showed the property which had numerous lounge areas looking out over beautiful gardens and Lake Rotorua in the distance. The Gardens were a delight to explore and Breakfast consisted of Cereals, Fresh Fruit, Bread and Preserves with the homemade Plum jam a real treat, with some delicious pancakes. We departed for a nights stay at Lake Tarawera and decided to return to Doolan's for an additional 2 nights as we like this place so much. Thank you Christine for making us feel so at home, it was a real treat indeed and we look forward to seeing you next time we are in New Zealand. Kind Regards Jenny and Frank Cozza - United Kingdom.

Room Tip: Take Time to walk around the Garden and make friends with the donkeys
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Frank C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 14, 2014

The most beautiful setting up a hill with most interesting house. Very close to town center and
attractions.
Christine is the most gracious host. You leave having the impression you made a close friend.
She has 3 donkeys that enjoy being fed by new guests.
Christine knows a lot about Maori culture and loves to share it with you.
I thank destiny that brought us here.

Room Tip: She has a beautiful family of quails living around the house and we stayed in the quail room. Beaut...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lucie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shelburne, Vermont
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Our stay at Doolan's was one of the highlights of our two week trip through New Zealand. Christine is a gracious and charming host. The people who wrote the negative review have little appreciation for staying in a beautiful private home. It's not a hotel, and that is the beauty of the Bed and Breakfast experience. It's the people you meet along the way in your travels that make it memorable. Christine sat outside with us telling us stories of the southern constellations while we photographed the night sky. She was knowledgeable and helpful with sightseeing advice, surprised us with a tray of appetizers and served a delicious breakfast. Her home and landscaping are simply beautiful. We would highly recommend a stay at Doonlan's.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Doolan's Country Retreat

Property: Doolan's Country Retreat
Address: 165 Dalbeth Road, Rotorua 3072, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Bay of Plenty Region > Rotorua District > Rotorua
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Rotorua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
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