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“Nice view and friendly staff”

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Hippo Lodge Backpackers
Reviewed August 6, 2013

I realy enjoyed my stay at Hippo Lodge. The staff was super friendly and all the facilities were nice and clean. The hill is kinda annoying but it's not that big of a deal. The view over Queenstown especially at night is just awesome. I had a great time and if I come back to Queenstown I'm gonna stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Dennis R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 - 65 of 115 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2013

We wanted to stay at the Hippo Lodge on one of our travels through Queenstown. One of us being a tetraplegic we called the Hippo Lodge in advance to make sure it was a suitable place to go. In the BBH brochure the hostel is marked as accessible and the lady on the phone reassured us it was not a problem to get around their facilities in a wheelchair.
When we arrived there we were simply shocked. The car park is so steep, it was impossible for my friend to get out of the car into the chair. When I told the owner that this is not exactly wheelchair friendly he tried to convince me that the room would be accessible after all. Besides that big step that leads into the room the shower had a step, the room was too small and looked more like a garden shed than a backpackers. We told the owner how unsuitable that place was and that it was far away from being accessible. His simple reply was that he had people in chairs staying there before but they were either athletes or had friends to help them getting around...speechless!
When we asked him to find us another place to stay for the night as his place was not what it had promised to be he didn't really bother. We told him how hard it was to find something at this time of the day (5pm) on a Friday. So he walked into his office and came back with a piece of paper showing us self contained apartments. Those weren't even open than, that guy simply entered 'disabled accommodation' into his google machine and printed the first page that popped up.
It was time for us to leave and find a wheelchair friendly place after all. Before we took off the owner tried to make clear that he did us a favour not charging us for the night as he had been holding that room for us.
We couldn't believe it.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Tanja H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
makutamonster, Manager at Hippo Lodge Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded July 17, 2013

Hi,
Thanks so much for your review. We are always looking for new ways to make improvements with our service and appreciate your feedback.

Over the years we have had numerous wheelchair bound travellers come and stay with us. They have enjoyed it here and have personally told me. One that stuck in my mind was an independent traveller, wheelchair bound, who was travelling the world, alone, and blogging about it. He was quite a fun spirit. I'm glad to have met him.

You mentioned quite a few points that upset you:
Our parking lot: Yes, part of our parking lot does go up at an angle. However, the whole parking lot is not angled with about half of it flat. It might have been more beneficial to park on one of the flat areas.

Shower with a step: Unfortunately for us (and this scathing review) you chose the wrong shower. The shower with the step is not the wheelchair accessible shower. The wheelchair accessible shower has a large swinging door opening to a wheelchair accessible toilet and a wheelchair accessible shower …with no step.

The Garden Shed of a room: I don’t really feel this is a productive point and am not sure how to respond.

However, we will take these points on board and strive to be more clear regarding our limitations with guests requiring wheelchair accessibility. We will also review our ability to serve those with physical limitations in a manner satisfactory to all.

We do empathise with you having had a difficult time at Hippo Lodge, though it was never our intention to mislead you or your friend. We will endeavour to be more clear with future guests. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.

Warm Regards,
Shana
Manager

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Reviewed May 29, 2013

First of all, the staff were probably the friendliest that we came across in New Zealand. They were incredibly helpful. Wonderful! The property itself is great too, albeit there was quite a hill to walk up. But once you get there, you don't want to leave and to be honest, being up the hill made for a great view, probably the best in the city.

If you're into running and exercise, Queenstown is of course a great place but honestly the Hippo has great running around it. There's some nice houses in the area.

Great place - forget the hill, the Hippo is worth it! :)

Room Tip: Best if you are in the house next to the campground, close to the road
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Iwenthere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

First of all there is the massive hill that completely put me off! Carrying a heavy backpack up one of the steepest hills I have walked is far from enjoyable! On a positive note, the longer you stay there, the easier it becomes! It is also an experience to try and walk up it when you have been out drinking in the town. It does provide some entertainment.

The rooms are quite nice inside. The bathrooms are a little worn and always seem to be damp. Fighting for mirror space was a problem when trying to get ready in the mornings too.

I probably had a particuarly bad experience at this hostel due to a very disrespectful individual who thought it was okay to start using my (expensive) make up whilst I was out socialising. I came back to find her in the bathroom with my make up sprawled around her. She continued to irriate me at night too by sneaking in random people who were not paying guests to Hippo Lodge. I was advised that there had been other complaints about her too, but in my opinion the situation was not dealt with fast enough, especially as Hippo Lodge advertises itself as a family friendly hostel. My partner and I chose it as it was supposed to be quiet which we desired due to early morning shifts.

In this case I am afraid the bad outways the good.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank EmilyR89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

The shared room was small, but the ablutions (bi-sex) were very close. The kitchen was somewhat further. Parking was very, very limited on site and on the street. Access to my room required a steep climb on external steps and was a real burden when carting luggage. On the positive side, as the hostel was fairly high up a hill it meant the remaining (optional) walk up to the top of the hill on a track was less arduous. The walk to the top (above The Basket of Dreams) provided spectacular views. I would stay at this hostel again.

Room Tip: Avoid the top storey rooms if you don't want a steep climb.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank 497ChrisB497
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

I had no idea where to stay in Queenstown. I grabbed a few flyers from other previous hostel and just decided to head to the Hippo Lodge as the others down town were not a steep climb away and probably quite full. It was actually a good decision to crawl up the steep hill with my elephant on my back :) My room at the upper floor has had an awesome view onto the lake. It was a 4 bed dorm with one bunk bed and two single bed. The kitchen upstairs unfortunately just has one oven, so it can be quite unhandy for a big number of people. I liked the old fashion design of the house, that labyrinth inside the building and the different floors which were having a view onto the lake or the mountains. The kitchen wasn’t that clean but the rooms were clean. The staff was friendly and happy to help. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to explore the beautiful city, I actually liked Queenstown more than Wanaka. There was free wifi for the first 20mbs but then you’ll have to pay.

Happy travels :)

Room Tip: Ask for a room with view towards the lake in the upper house of the two buildings.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank biggiboss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
makutamonster, Manager at Hippo Lodge Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Hi Biggiboss,

Thanks again for venturing up the hill with the big elephant on your back ha ha. We do rue that hill, but honestly without it, we wouldn't have the great views! We have a few dorm rooms that have the views, but even if you don't get one, our lounges open up to the sights of the glorious Lake Wakatipu. This means that while you are cooking or eating, you'll be able to enjoy the bountiful beauty that is Queenstown. Also, our BBQ area has great views too!! Don't get me started! ;)

Thanks for your review and recommendations, we'll look into the kitchen and what we can do to improve your cooking experience while here. :)

Hope you had a lovely trip and enjoyed your travels,
Warm Regards,
Shana

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Reviewed April 24, 2013

When I came into town, I had a list of possible backpackers. The first place I called was Hippo Lodge. Shana answered the phone, and there was something about her presence and what was offered that had me not call any others, follow my intuition and look for the place. I was not to be disappointed. Shana was extremely helpful. The price was quite reasonable and the views were splendid.

This place is not for the fainthearted as some climbing is involved going back and forth from downtown, but even an old guy like me could do it.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank CalBraz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
makutamonster, Manager at Hippo Lodge Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Hi Cal Braz,
I remember you!! If I remember correctly, you picked us, because your pet dog and I share the same name! I'm glad you followed your intuition and I'm glad you had a good stay while with us.

I hope you had a safe trip back home and thank you for the kind review.

Have a lovely day and hope to see you next time you venture to NZ,
Warmest Regards,
Shana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hippo Lodge Backpackers

Address: 4 Anderson Heights, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Queenstown
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #50 of 93 Specialty Lodging in Queenstown
Price Range: $23 - $67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden away on Queenstown hill our elevated site offers stunning lake and mountain views over Queenstown- and just minutes away from town, bars and food! Our backpacker hostel caters for travellers looking for a relaxing experience. We are the warmest, cosiest and friendliest hostel around. Comfy beds are made up with fresh linen in centrally heated rooms to keep you toasty. Facilities include an outside barbeque area, 24hr internet, cheap wireless (FREE wifi voucher upon checkin), dvds, and coin-op laundry. Tramping? Use our secure storage area for your excess stuff. Winter sports? Use our locked drying room for your gear and our centrally heated rooms to warm your toes after a day off piste! Enjoy making new friends over a hot cup of free tea or coffee. We are family friendly! We are Queenstown's best kept secret! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hippo Lodge Backpackers Hotel Queenstown

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