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“Great people, great place, GREAT dinner”

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Observation Rock Lodge
Wellington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great people, great place, GREAT dinner”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed here during our recent trip to Southland. Despite the stormy weather we managed to get a flight over and were glad that we did. We were greeted by Phil on arrival who gave us a thorough tour of the Island with some great photo ops. Highlights of the night include the hot tub amidst the rain and wind and the stunning four course dinner. Annett is an amazing cook who aptly catered to my girlfriend's lacto-vegetarian diet. Thanks for the great time guys - we hope to be back someday :)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
237 reviews
171 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Near the end of our stay we were asked if Observation Rock Lodge had met our expectations and what could be improved. We couldn't come up with any problems or improvements needed. My only comment was that it's on the expensive side, at least for what we would usually pay. I booked here knowing the prices so it wasn't a complaint - but at the same time I figured I wouldn't end up giving a 5 star rating just because of the cost... but I was wrong!

The setting - like being amongst a little forest on one side of the main building, and on the other side it's more like flaxes, ferns, grasses, and shrub sized things, in order to get a view over Patterson Inlet. Sitting at breakfast you get to look out to the plants and the inlet.

Food - Goodness me, Annette puts together massive and tasty spreads, think of it as a buffet where you can have some of everything but you've got no chance of finishing everything. I hope Annette and Phil enjoy the leftovers as I'd hate to think they get discarded. On the last morning we were leaving early and my partner doesn't eat much early in the day, so Annette suggested that breakfast be downsized (it was still plenty!) and instead the night before our nibbles option (originally planned to be one serving shared between the two of us) for one turned into so many yummy things that the two of us couldn't finish it.

Bathroom - We staying in the main bedroom of lodge. Being in the ensuite bathroom was like being in the middle of a forest because of the big window. My partner didn't want to leave the toilet as she was enjoying seeing the trees and plants just outside the window! The shower is nice and big.

Bedroom - The bed felt lovely. It is oriented so you can leave the curtain open and look through the sliding doors and see the trees and the sky. There are electric blankets, and a small heater that we thought might not be enough to warm the room, but due to good insulation in the building it was enough to get rid of the cold. A downside is that there's not much room to hang jackets/coats in the room.

Hot tub - One night we used the outdoor hot tub; this option is not cheap and the tub seems fairly basic. However again we were very happy - the tub is filled with fresh water for each use, it gets moved to a nice spot with a view out to the water, and it held the heat very well. It starts around 40.5 or 41 degrees which is just nice (I'm not into really hot tubs/pools) and after about an hour it still would have been 39. We choose to use it at a time that the daylight was starting to drift away. It seemed as the sky got a bit darker, the Kaka started being quite active in the air, coming quite close at times before settling in the trees as darkness got very close.

Speaking of Kaka, there is at least one that comes to sit just outside the kitchen window to be hand fed a few peanuts. Of course he is not over-fed and isn't given anything bad for him (it might be a 'her' I don't know!) and he'll try coming back for more a bit later but he's got to wait until the next day :-)

Phil picked us up and dropped us back at the Stewart Island flights building - the lodge is up a hill a bit and with luggage you need someone to drive you, however when going out for a walk into town it is not difficult to make your way back up the hill on foot.

Thanks for looking after us, we had a very relaxing weekend :-)

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank glennomeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia
1 review
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Stewart Island is definitely a place to hear solitude. We had a lovely stay at Observation Rock Lodge. We enjoyed most the fabulous surprise meals and cleanliness of the home. Annett's food portions were a little over the top, but presentation and quality of the meals was fabulous.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Bobbie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punakaiki, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 28, 2013

Smitten by endless views, sunrises, sunsets, bird life galore & fabulous hospitality, I'd like to say Observation Rock Lodge is the perfect place to stay! Annett & Phil are great hosts, Annett not only is an amazing cook but takes pride in artistic presentation..delicious food with a delightful table setting. Phil had great input into coordinating my Stewart Island tramping trip to making it a successful & interesting venture for the time I had available...Started with the Rakiura track, then got across to Mason Bay where I enjoyed utter remoteness and had the most incredible Kiwi encounter. Speaking of birds...hand-feeding Kaka at Observation Rock Lodge was something else...you have to experience it...how 3 of them can sit on you at the same time!! and 3 others watching from the roof ;-) ...how gentle they are! ...how hungry! ...how stunningly colourful! ...how they can hold a peanut in one claw and elegantly eat it! Thank you, Annett & Phil, I'll be back ;-)

Room Tip: Both lodge rooms have great views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed February 19, 2013

If you are looking for a secluded, relaxed and unique place to stay with amazing views and sunsets just outside the door to your room, this is the one. Quite centrally located, only minutes away from golden bay, where the ferry for ulva island departs from, rooms with lovely decor and very helpful hosts. Stewart island is a haven to discover...

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Tanja C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
1 review
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Stewart Island is a very peaceful place, but Observation Rock Lodge felt to me like paradise on earth. My room was spacious and luxurious, with its own bathroom and access to the veranda. I had some wonderful chats with Annett and Phil, who are some of the nicest people I've ever met. They did an amazing job, building something very special and unique. On my last day they took me kayaking on the ocean - I highly recommend that!
If you like staying at a fantastic place and still being close to nature, this is the place to go!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Ina W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

What a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Phil and Annett are the consummate hosts, allowing for the privacy we wanted but being available to attend to our needs and give advice or just have a yarn. The cottage is rustic but comfy, cheerful, warm and quiet except when it was time to hand feed the demanding Kaka birds! What a delight. Phil and Annett were knowledgeable about the island's history and attractions and yes we would love to come back again. We missed out on seeing the Kiwis so now we have an excuse to return.

Room Tip: The cottage is rustic and quaint - if you want something state of the art then this may not be the a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Leeanne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Observation Rock Lodge

Property: Observation Rock Lodge
Address: 7 Leonard Street | Oban, Stewart Island 9846, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Stewart Island
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Stewart Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded island hideaway, fully catered, luxurious wellness retreat - newly opened!Soak up panoramic Paterson Inlet views, stunning sunsets and the hot tub under the stars.Relax while delighting in gourmet meals and service at your stylish, spacious lodge.Private park like gardens and luxuriant native bush setting with prolific birdlife visiting.Private decks, outdoor hot tub, sauna.Courtesy shuttle.Free wireless internet.Close to village, perfect access to walks.Guided activities and sea kayaking options.Perfect for celebrating special events. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Observation Rock Lodge Stewart Island, South Island

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