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“Never going back” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel

Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel
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Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Never going back”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2011

When we first arrived and were greeted by Rick, one of the people that run the hostel, the place seemed nice and the owners seemed friendly, if a little eccentric. We were assured that work would be starting in the next week and were warned that it would be a little off and on to begin with. This was explained with an example of working 15 days in a row and then having 3 days with no work. We soon found out this was an extreme exaggeration.

We waited about 3 weeks before we got any work. In the first 2 weeks of this kiwi picking job we had 3 days work. That is all! I finally got a job that was guaranteed 5 days a week while my partner waited for work.

For the first few weeks we thought the owners were really nice, and even defended their quirks to other travelers who didn't like them. In the last 4 or 5 weeks of our stay we found that they have severe mood swings and Rick can get very shoutey and aggressive. They don't seem to like people and and definitely hate fun. On the few occasions that people have been up drinking, they have come down before 10pm and started shouting straight away, clearly not the best way to talk to people. They do not ask you nicely to keep the noise down, instead start shouting and swearing and threatening to call the police.
On our last night Rick actually took a beer out of a mans hand and smashed it on the ground, then called the police stating there were '18-20 teenagers threatening his life'.
Clearly we were all adults and not teenagers, and just having a drink, not being violent.

This was not the only incident that happened whilst staying here but we had to leave early the next morning as we couldn't stand Ricks anger and aggression any longer.

We stayed in a tent the whole 9 weeks we were there and only had minor problems with noise. There were a couple of occasions where I had to get up and ask people to be quiet but as soon as I asked, they would go inside so I rarely had any problems sleeping.

The cleanliness of the hostel was poor. The kitchen was always dirty. They had one backpacker to clean the kitchen and he didn't appear to have been given any cleaning equipment as he would just wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth, no cleaning fluid.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sam_fleming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    14
    4
    1
    7
    13
See reviews for
1
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14
3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cornwall
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2011

After travelling through New Zealand for a few months funds were running low and we needed some work. After some research we called the bell lodge and asked about seasonal work, mainly with the kiwi fruit. We were told that work was to start at the end of the week and they were just waiting for sugar levels to rise and then we would be out on the orchards earning 'verrrry good money'. This was a lie.
We stayed there for a total of 7 weeks and out of that did about 15 days work and we were one of the lucky ones. People literally sat around for weeks under the guise that work was right around the corner.
People don't work at bell lodge, essentially everybody pays out more than they earn, so I would strongly recommend against going to the lodge thinking that you will come out with any more money than you went in with.
The owners are incredibly unprofessional and create new 'rules' at the drop of a hat. While we were there they actually called the police while we were sat on the deck having a drink. There was no logical reason for this behavior as the police pointed out to the owner. The owner requested that the police send everybody to bed. Obviously this did not happen and the next morning 15 people checked out of the lodge.
Essentially the lodge should be advertised as a dry hostel, as the owner has actually been known to pour away bottles of guests beer and become very aggressive to guests he perceives as being under the influence.
Other issues concerning the lodge include the general shabbiness of the place, alongside with the fact that our room was cleaned once during 3 weeks. The kitchen is very under equipped with not enough knives or pots for all the guests that are staying. The common area is also very small, and it is quite away out of town.
The only good point about the lodge was that we met some great people!!!!
Over all I would not recommend the lodge, and hope that people listen to my advice, I wish somebody had told me!!!!

Room Tip: Don't go into the 8 bed dorm!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Helen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Tauranga hotels

NEVERLAND
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2011

They have been "helpful" in finding a job, but too bad for the timing.

We were assured that "in a week the job began" and we had to book a room soon. But we came here and we had to wait 3 weeks WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING, no revenue but only outputs.

(The Bell Lodge is really expensive .. talking to other people, we
realize that perhaps is one of the most expensive)

HOWEVER

After three weeks of waiting we started with the job …but
unfortunately only for a couple of days.
Then stops again, and again in fits and starts.

About the cleaning:
They cleaned the room only once (in 3 weeks)
In the kitchen there are very few tools, no one explains why and every time is a
competition to be the first to use pot.

The positive side:
We met a lot of people, and in the total despair of all we have become a
kind of family.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BABY009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wellington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2009

Nice place to stay met a lot of international travellers who were working here doing kiwi work

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank doghaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel

Property: Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel
Address: 39 Bell Street, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Bay of Plenty Region > Tauranga
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 44 Specialty Lodging in Tauranga
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sheree & Rick, welcome you to Bell Lodge, a purpose built motel and backpackers. Situated in a quiet area 4km from the city. You have the choice of motel units, double or twin en-suite rooms or dorm rooms for 4-8 persons with free car parking. All units and rooms open onto covered decks. We can help you organize local activities such as dolphin swimming, surf lessons, sky diving and more. Come and join us at Bell Lodge in the sunny Bay of Plenty. ... more   less 

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