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“Nice hostel slightly let down by the dorm”

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Taupo Urban Retreat
Ranked #19 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Taupo
Reviewed August 19, 2012

Reasonable value hostel, but noisy. Car parking available which seemed pretty secure. The guy on the desk gave us a four-bed dorm with bathroom for the two of us, which was very nice of him. Unfortunately the room had no natural light and little ventilation so it was smelly and stuffy. Probably would recommend a shared bathroom if there's one available instead of the ensuite dorm. There's a bar which seemed pretty lively but that's not the kind of holiday we were on.

Room Tip: Avoid the ensuite dorm
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Phil M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 - 158 of 207 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2012

This place was good! Friendly staff, good-sized double en suite room :) Room kept nice and warm, and clean, good atmosphere in the bar area, watched a bit of the Olympics and ate the Chilli for dinner they prepared for only $5! Good location, close to the lake and can take a walk to Huka Falls if you like walking! Hot springs not too far away too. Stayed on a Sunday night, but didn't hear any noise even though we were the closest room to the Bar!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ncrystal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

Absolute terrible hostel!! We stayed in a four bed dorm, which was miniscule, no space for more than two bags. Only one person could stand in the room at any one time as it was so cramped.

The bathrooms were for both men and women, which was a little offputting for my girlfriend. There were not cleaned very well and the shower cubicles were absolutely tiny.

We had an absolutely horrific night here as there was a girl in the room next door to us (another dorm) who was having the loudest sex we have ever heard. We thought she might actually break through the wall into our room. There are no words to describe how horrific this experience was, but my girlfriend thought it may have been Samantha from Sex and the City with a megaphone. One of the other people in our dorm put her ipod on and turned the volume up to full, but could still hear them. This ordeal lasted for quite some time, from about 12:00am to 1:30am We hoped someone from reception would tell them to shut up, but there was no one on reception that we could complain to about this. Numerous other guests were out in the hallway complaining and knocking on the door, but nothing helped the situation and the girl kept screaming aaaallllllll night long. We were really disturbed by it.

The kitchen is tiny and not very clean either with a great shortage of cutlery and dishware.

The place is full of immature partiers and overall it is absolutely terrible. You could not pay me to stay here again. Stay at Base, YHA or anywhere else!!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank kingciaran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

Great hostel, feels homey and welcoming. As others have said, the layout and common room make meeting people very easy and I made a lot of friends here, even though I only stayed 2 nights. The dorm rooms were very clean and the added storage drawers under the bunks were a great plus as was the highly efficient room heater for the cooler winter nights. Very central location as well. Overall a great place to stay!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank BananaMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

Taupo Urban Retreat is a friendly hostel with great staff! There is a bar with happy hour 7-8pm every day! It really is the cheapst place to drink in town. Saying that it is not too noisey to stop you sleeping well. The bar closes at 10.00 and the staff make sure its quiet so everyone gets a good night! Its a great atmosphere and its really easy to meet new people too, and if you fancy playing beer pong the guys at reception will make sure it happens for you.

They make a Chili meal every evening which is great if you dont fancy cooking for yourself! its a good feed!

There is a common area and a TV lounge with a massive range of movies to choose from! Its really close to Town, and the Lake, the staff will help you arrange any travel or activites you may want to do! And there is alot to choose from!

The staff are great and really friendly, and I loved it so much I jumped off the stray bus and extended my stay for weeks!

I would definately recommend this hostel to anyone going to Taupo!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Clearnden001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2012

We stayed at Urban retreat for two nights and it was lovely! The hostel has a great cosy atmosphere and a good layout for meeting people easily. The rooms are very clean and nicely decorated and there is a garden too which is cool! Awesome dvd list, great 1 hour free internet and a pretty cheap bar! The staff are really helpful and know a lot about the area and what you can do. The location is perfect, close to the lake front and also close to the bars and restuarants. I am definitely going to reccomend this hostel to fellow travellers!

Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Kim w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2012

Not the best hostel I've stayed in, but also not the worst.
The interior of the hostel is really nice, with a cosy common area, small kitchen and a good bar.
The atmosphere in the hostel is really good, especially at night when people gather around for a drink. Seems like the kind of place you can easily make friends. Lots of big groups from Stray and Feejee Experience coming in every week. In walking distance of restaurants, bars, supermarket and Lake Taupo. Got a really good plate of Chili Con Carne on the day of arrival!

But there's also a downside.. Even tough we are living in 2012, they still have no WIFI available. Which is a little annoying, but not a big deal if you have enough public computers available.. But there is only 2 computers for the whole hostel! They give you 60 minutes of free internet, which is a good thing, but also means everybody wants to use the internet and therefore the computers are never free. Little annoying when you need to book your bus, next hostel, want to skype with family or upload your skydive-photos.

There is a shared bathroom which didn't look very clean to me, and because the big groups are all leaving at the same time in the morning they can be very crowdy.

And last but not least, the 4 bed dorm I booked was so small that it could not fit 4 backpacks in there. Two of the guys in my room had to put one backpack on top of the other because there was simply no space to store them both. So not worth paying the extra money for the 4 bed dorm..

If you are looking for some friends to hang out with and like to have a nice bar in your hostel, this is honestly a good place to go. But the lack of Wifi, extremely small room and crowded, unclean bathrooms made me move to YHA after 2 nights.. Which I liked much better.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taupo Urban Retreat

Address: 65 Heuheu Street, Taupo 3330, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Taupo District > Taupo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Taupo
Price Range: $34 - $77 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Taupo Urban Retreat 2*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Taupo Urban Retreat - your home away from home! Free unlimited WIFI and computers, comfy beds and hot, high-pressure showers are a given here. With arguably the best location in Taupo we are just a couple of streets away from the busiest bars and restaurants and the shores of the stunning Great Lake Taupo - yet far enough away to get a good night’s sleep. Not to mention we are only minutes away from the bus stop and supermarkets, and there is plenty of free off-street parking available. At Urban we have a sociable yet chilled atmosphere, making it super easy to meet people. Enjoy our delicious chilli every night for only $5, or for $3 more get a cold beer or wine to wash it down. You can cook up a storm in our well-equipped kitchen with free oil and spices included. Help yourself to our free tea and coffee too! Mingle in our in-house guest bar with new friends, soak up some rays in our sunny garden courtyard, or snuggle up with a good book in your quiet dorm room if you’re all talked out. Keen for movie night? Hunker down in our cosy TV lounge and choose from our vast array of movie titles, we even have free popcorn! We’d love to help you make the most out of your stay in our beautiful region. Our friendly staff can help you book your activities including the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Skydiving, Bungy jumping, Jet boats or Rafting trips to name a few. We’ve been operating in Taupo for over ten years so we know all of the local hidden gems and the best travel tips. Whether you’re looking to spend or save we can help you fill your day! Still have energy to burn? We even have bikes for hire at reception so your adventure begins at our front door. If you are moving on, our awesome team can help you book your onwards travel – be warned you may find you never want to leave Taupo! ... more   less 
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