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“lacking in communal space but excellent location”

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Milford Sound Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 10, 2012

We stayed here for two nights, in a four-bed room (two sets of bunks). The room was basic but not uncomfortable. The walls were rather thin. Most of the bedrooms are in a separate building to the amenities, joined by a covered walkway, so you did have to brave the ever-present sandflies even to go to the loo. The toilets and shower rooms did have a slightly unpleasant odour, but were fairly clean. I did have to queue more than once for both a loo and a shower, suggesting that there are not sufficient for the number of guests.

The kitchen was well-equipped, with plenty of pots and pans, crockery and cutlery, but was rather cramped and got very chaotic when lots of people were trying to cook. The dining area was fine, although a few more tables and chairs would have helped at peak periods. The lounge was nice with big squishy sofas, some tables and chairs, and a couple of pcs with paid internet access. Boardgames were available from reception, and we whiled away one wet afternoon playing monopoly in the lounge.

The lodge is a 25-30 walk/drive from the cruise terminal itself (there are shuttle buses from the lodge, but their times are a bit erratic, and we were made to feel guilty about using one since we had a car), with great views of the valley and river en route. There is a café/pub at the Sound, but no shop. The tiny store in the lodge did a few basics and was not horrendously expensive, but we were glad we’d brought our supplies with us. The lodge has parking, and you can camp in the grounds, but I’m not sure how pleasant that would be given the sandflies, and it looked pretty grim (no grassy pitches or shade, for example). The newish individual cabins by the river looked nice, and must have great views (from behind glass, as opposed to the sandfly-affected decks!), but they cost a packet. Maybe worth it if they are ensuite?!?

This was a good option for us as it meant we were able to take a 9am cruise of the Sound without an early start, and then relax for the rest of the day before heading back inland the next morning. No rushing around. And it was a reasonable price (about $100 per night). We’d probably stay again, purely on the basis of location, certainly not for the slightly inadequate communal facilities.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank TalbotTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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820 - 826 of 1,032 reviews

Reviewed April 26, 2012

Lucky we stayed in in the Lodge only for one night - this place reminds me more backpacker's hostel rather than a lodge, and don't get me wrong, I have nothing against hostels when I pay hostel's price not a hotel price. Room was tiny, the only furniture in it was a bed and maybe one chair, but the worse was the smell of damp and the darkness from the curtains. The heating works only at night and being switched off for the day. Common bathroom was clean but I still gave up with having a shower, common kitchen was packed with people cooking to my surprise fancy dinners, there is as well big common lounge and you can get bottle of wine at the reception should you wish to have a drink. Unfortunately there is not much choices in Milford Sounds so you have to take what is given. FYI bit further down form the Lodge, there is during day open cafe and pub open from 4.30pm where you can get some bar food and drinks.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank mytravelmind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

A nice room, however i feel it was Hugely overpriced at $255 a night, view was uninteresting and not private, we woke up opened the curtains and while having a coffee looking through the glass we had 10-15 people walk right across our balcony which was unromantic to say the least! For that price I expected to find maybe a small treat in the room, like some chocolates or wine, but not even a biscuit for the tea and coffee. Had friends stay in a double room, shared bathroom and would make that choice next time too. To top it off the 100Mb free wifi was N.A.

Stayed: April 2012
Thank Shane W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2012

bathrooms and kitchen and communal rooms ok for backpackers room itself had broken window with cardboard over it heating did not work there was mildew all over curtains and the room smelt and was very damp ,as a kiwi i was embarrassed to think this sort of room is being offered up to tourists or fellow countrymen the monopoly on accomodation is being abused and needs to be improved

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank tim s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2012

The title says it all, there is nowhere else to stay in Milford Sound, which is a little unfortunate, as there are a few things lacking about this accommodation. A few of the staff were outright grumpy and unhelpful (the others were lovely), there was NO heating in the rooms or in the actually lodge the following day and no apology for same - we had to locate staff to find little electric heaters for the rooms - and some staff didn't even offer our group that. It's basic and not cheap, kitchen appeared well equipped.

As someone might have said "Big Smiles make Short Miles" - after four days walking the Milford Track a smile and a welcome (and some heating!) would have gone a long way!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank TravelingGirl69x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2012

Thank you for placing your review, we welcome all feedback on our Lodge. As you have unfortunately discovered, we have recently had a problem with our boiler system which heats our rooms, which we now have fixed and is operational again. I am disappointed that alternative heating wasn't thought to be offered to guests, given it is April and not the warmest. Similarly, I agree that after a long walk you deserve to be treated well and am extremely disappointed that your experience with our staff was less than satisfactory. I can only promise that we will be looking into this as this is not the experience we want guests to have. Your Milford experience should be wonderful from start to finish - including warmth and welcomes! Thank you again for letting us know. We can't continue to improve without it.

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Reviewed April 17, 2012

I agree with some of the other reviewers, the kitchen is way too small and too busy. Come dinner time, we struggled to cook instant noodles there, and had to take them back to our room to eat as the dining room and lounge was full too. Too many young backpackers. The ladies bathroom stank, and was dirty. You can't control the water pressure (set at very low), but understandable as it's in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps if the chalets were available, it'd be better. We stayed in the double room, and could hear the people next door sneezing and snoring throughout the night! Not to mention every time someone walks by the decked corridor, it makes very loud thumping noise. For $85 dollars, I expected to get more. We thought we'd give the lodge a go to experience Milford Sound, but it's not worth it. It's not that beautiful. I should've stayed at Te Anau.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Roniani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 20, 2012

The owners and management of Milford Sound Lodge are listening to your comments about our guest facilities, specifically the guest kitchen. Milford Sound is a special place for visitors and often the high point of their travels. And we never want to let anyone down on their Milford experience.

So we would like to let you know that this year we are upgrading all communal areas and working to beautify our grounds. We will be improving the size and functionality of our guest kitchen, upgrading our reception area to create a more welcoming experience on arrival and freshening up our bathrooms and guest lounge.

Milford Sound can be a logistically challenging location to complete work. But, if we can make it happen, we will also be upgrading some or all of our Double/Twin and Quad rooms. And chip sealing the gravel around the Lodge to allow for landscaping and gardens, so we can blend right in with our beautiful surrounding native bush.

Funds are always limited, but we invest in improving the Lodge every year and have invested in a full time maintenance person so we can keep our Lodge in top shape.

We really appreciate all your feedback and would like to hear from you if you have ideas for improving our facilities. We have created a page on our website that will keep you up to date with our plans and progress. Please us the ‘contact us’ form on the page to send us your ideas. In the meantime we will make sure we do the things we can do for our guests on a daily basis. That is: provide you with a wonderfully clean and hospitable experience in one of the world’s most spectacular locations, even if our guest kitchen is a little cosy for now. Thank you.

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Reviewed April 14, 2012

The overall impression is that MSL is abusing its virtual monopoly on accomodation at the Sound (which is magnificent) to offer extremely limited value. Jupke (manager) tried hard to rectify the situation, but her assistant was surly and added to the impression MSL does not care about clients.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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1  Thank chrishwhelan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Milford Sound Lodge

Address: State Highway 94, Milford Sound 9640, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Milford Sound
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Milford Sound
Price Range: $13 - $177 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is simply not possible to fully experience Milford Sound in a day trip... Stay in Milford to enjoy its pure beauty after the day tripping crowds leave and before they arrive. Just 5 minutes drive from Milford Sound cruise boats, Milford Sound Lodge is ideally located. With picture perfect views of the Cleddau River and surrounding mountains, activity bookings on site, and a cafe and a shop, you won’t find a better base for your time in Fiordland. Choose accommodation that suits your needs – from award winning Premium Chalets to cosy Backpacking Rooms and Rainforest Campervan Sites – and let our friendly staff help you make the most of your time in this World Heritage site.There is so much to do: boat cruises, kayaking, walking and sightseeing, or relaxing and soaking in the beauty of your surroundings. You won’t regret treating yourself to an overnight stay in Milford Sound. Pre booking is essential Nov - April and year round for our Chalets. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Milford Sound Hotel Milford Sound

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