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“Spacious and comfortable”

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Explorer Motel & Apartments
Ranked #12 of 23 Hotels in Te Anau
Certificate of Excellence
New Zealand
Level Contributor
74 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Spacious and comfortable”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We stayed here as a group of 5 in two rooms both before and after walking the Kepler track ( which I highly recommend as a one of Fiordlands "great walks") This motel suited our needs really well with a decent sized kitchen area and large living room with double and a single bed and enough space to sort out all our gear. We also stayed one night at the Kingsgate just down the road on the same trip. Perhaps a comparison of the two would be helpful; the Kingsgate is part of a chain and what you get there is a very standardised and quite small room that is furnished to a high standard with a fairly high spec bathroom and basic tea making facilities. It was also slightly cheaper than the Explorer. By contrast the Explorer is a "one of a kind" hotel and not quite as new, but provides a much larger living space, with parking directly next to your room, a functional kitchen, and outdoor area for kids to run around. If you are travelling with friends or family, have a reasonable amount of luggage or need space to swing a cat, the Explorer is ideal. It is also well run, immaculately clean, and the manager can arrange all sorts of tours etc...for you. Alternatively if you are travelling light, have high expectations about the quality of the furnishings etc...and don't mind a small room then maybe the Kingsgate is the place for you !

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Travelling-wilbur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Our room was clean and spacious. It's a bit outdated but the cleanliness and nice view from the room made up for it. The bed is comfortable and we slept well. That's all we were really looking for - a good night of sleep in a clean room.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank thegoldenapple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2013

The only saving grace was meeting MJ, the lovely owner.
Other than that, I had 2 nights of incredibly lousy sleep because the beds are circa 1975 and the minute you even sit on them, you sag into the floor. There is absolutely no back support. The room was quite dated. Needs a major overhaul. There was no in-room safe to put one's valuables while out and about. The drawers to put your clothes inside was broken. We stayed for 2 nights -- housekeeping forgot to replenish the toilet paper and the bath mat. In any case, without a good night's rest, in my opinion, everything else is just pointless. I am sorry to say I can not recommend this motel to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank bacmajag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Malvern, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

We booked this motel in March after reading the very positive reviews. We took into account that the owner had only recently taken it on (October 2012 apparently) and that it was an "improving" motel. We therefore thought that by the time we were due to stay in December, everything would be fine. We were wrong.

First the positives: Our "Superior Studio" was very spacious and had large french windows onto the lovely garden. The king sized bed was comfortable. The owner was friendly and was genuinely concerned that we were so disappointed with the standard of the room. She did show us another, but this was worse, as it was smaller and darker. She also left us a lovely note of apology and a box of chocolates. I am therefore, sorry for her sake that I have such negative things to say, but feel others should be warned.

So to the negatives: Although we were assured our room had been refurbished since she arrived, the decor was dingy and the furniture and fittings very old, tired, worn and scratched, apart from the TV. The TV had only 8 channels, one of which had no sound. There was no iron or ironing board in the room. We did not look for a hair dryer.

The kitchen area, although quite large, was VERY basically equipped. For example there were precisely two of everything - two plates, two bowls, two mugs, two glasses etc. There was a kettle, but no other kitchen equipment, such as is generally found in motels in New Zealand,

The "en suite" facilities were the worst I have ever seen in all of the many motels I have stayed in in New Zealand. The basin was in a small alcove, off either side of which were two doors, one leading to a toilet, the other to the shower. The shower had a curtain and a very slippery stainless steel tray, which was an accident waiting to happen, and was very dark and uninviting. The old plastic toilet seat was very wet, hopefully through being cleaned and not dried properly?? with a dirty mark on the hinge of the lid. There was a small window high up above the basin, which was slightly ajar and was operated by a very old, mucky piece of string. The whole area gave the appearance of being dirty. There were no toiletries or accessories.

There were also particles of something - glass? - all over the floor by the French doors, which were apparently due to the owner forgetting to hoover after the broken door handle had been fixed. She was very apologetic and saw to it while we were out.

The heaters were aged and both had long flexes, which had been bunched up and tied, giving rise to safety concerns, and the fuses were completely exposed on an old piece of wood high up by the door opposite the kitchen area.

For all this the owner was charging $170, although she readily volunteered to reduce this to $150 when she discovered our concerns. The published cost of $170 makes this the most expensive motel we have stayed in, either on this or our previous tour of New Zealand.

We stuck it for one night as we had had a long day driving and couldn't be bothered to search around for another motel. We had booked to stay a second night, following our visit to Milford Sound, but found this such an unpleasant experience, we cancelled the second booking and found another motel in the area.

This may be an "improving" hotel and we wish the owner well in her endeavours, but it has a long way to go before it meets even an acceptable standard, let alone an excellent and recommended one.

Room Tip: Wait until you can be sure all the rooms have been properly refurbished to an acceptable standard.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Caslondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MJ M, Owner at Explorer Motel & Apartments, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Thank you for the unfair comments and the time you spent to write the review.

You have come to visit the most beautiful place on earth and it is a pity that you have chosen to spend a lot of your time finding faults that were never there in the first place.

We ask readers of your review to take a moment and let us explain why you are so unfair.
We like to keep things tidy for guests, and have the iron and iron-board in a cupboard in the room and the hairdryer is in a drawer! You had come here to find faults and didn’t bother to look or ask.

The unit you stayed in had the required amount of kitchenware for two people. Had you any friends to invite for a visit we would have supplied the extra if required. As it says in your compendium, or had you bothered to ask, cooking facilities are available on request and we also have a fully stocked guest kitchen available.

We have never had an accident in our showers, and the size of the bathroom is typical for the age and style of the motel. Toiletries WERE supplied!! And our bathrooms are clean.

The filings by the door were aluminium. The previous guest had broken the handle and our repair person had just managed to install the new one before you arrived, and it slipped my mind to check for any filings - for which I apologised to you profusely!!!

The heaters are very adequate and keep the room warm on the coldest days (even in winter). The cords are bunched for your safety so you don’t trip over them and break your neck – they are not a safety hazard!!

The fuses are NOT exposed and are quite normal for the age of our motel and for New Zealand. You have noted that they are high up, which simply adds to the safety.

Te Anau is the most beautiful tourist resort in NZ and $170 is quite reasonable price for this time of year.

We do our utmost to improve and update all the time. Unfortunately our ‘dark’ furniture and décor didn’t appeal to you, and that surely is a matter of personal taste.

Your review is surely very unfair and the score you have bestowed upon us contradicts the previous 10 reviews who were very appreciative of having their holiday enhanced by our friendly staff and comfortable accommodation.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2013

This is my sixth night on the South Island and this is the first place the Free Internet has worked with no hassle, intermittency, or unadvertised surcharge. So bonus points off the bat. Also, the grounds of this place has both chickens and a trampoline, so double bonus.

We got upgraded to a nicer room than what we booked, and the room was quite spacious, with a deck. The room was charming in its layout, clean, and well-kept. The bed was fully comfortable. Very quiet. The owner is super-likable and was helpful about things in the area, and seems to be making a go of it with this motel. Only nitpicky downside we experienced is that my wife was looking for a hair-dryer in the morning and there wasn't one. We would stay here again if we spend another night in Te Anau.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Beckie_and_Jeremy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2013

We stayed at Explorers Motel and Apartments from the 21st - 22nd November . Upon arrival, we were greeted with a warm welcome by the motel owner, MJ . She was extremely friendly and she also gave us very good advise on our trip . The rooms were cozy and spacious and had a brand new TV , a CD player and a kitchen . The motel was located in the vicinity of Te Anau Town Centre and a 2 hour drive away from Milford Sound . Now ,we have returned home and we are looking forward to our next stay in Explorer Motel and Apartments.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aaron011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013

I was travelling around NZ with a disabled adult and an elderly mother, no mean feat in itself and after sampling various motels around the country I arrived at the Explorer Motel and met MJ. I must say she has been the most welcoming and helpful host we have had on our travels. I must admit I burst into tears as MJ was so kind to us. It was a peaceful stay of two nights and we had a ground floor room with 3 single beds in one room and a double bed in the lounge. The walk in shower with the railings was a great advantage in my situation. We took MJ's advice on where to eat in the town. Now I have returned home from the trip I have fond memories of my time in Te Anau and thanks MJ for being a part of them.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Sue R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MJ M, Owner at Explorer Motel & Apartments, responded to this review, November 25, 2013
Hi Sue Thank you for the lovely review. It was a pleasure to host you and be a smiling face at the end of a stressful day . :-) Was happy to amend the room to a ground floor room for you, and help you book your tours, advise on restaurants etc. Nothing beats local knowledge when booking trips etc - Hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday.
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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 Explorer Motel & Apartments

Property: Explorer Motel & Apartments
Address: Corner of Mokoroa and Cleddau Street, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park 9600, New Zealand (Formerly Comfort Inn)
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Fiordland National Park > Te Anau
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Te Anau
#12 Romantic Hotel in Te Anau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Explorer Motel & Apartments 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explorer Motel & Apartments offer warm spacious apartments with spectacular mountain & park views,free wifi and friendly service. All apartments are self contained with the choice of studios or one and two bedroom apartments. We can accommodate singles, couples, families, corporate travellers or small groups. We have a movie/games room & communal kitchen with an extensive range of equipment (i.e. rice cookers, woks & hotplates), as well as a laundry with washers and dryers for guests use. Explorer Motel & Apartments is set in a park like gardens with guest BBQ area, it is a great place for relaxing in the evenings, after a long day visiting Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound or Fiordland National Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Explorer Hotel Te Anau
Comfort Inn Te Anau
Explorer Motel & Apartments Te Anau, Fiordland National Park

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