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“Amazing place”
Review of Hapuku Lodge

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Hapuku Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cardiff, South Wales
Level Contributor
34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
Reviewed February 3, 2009

I apologise for this review being a little late. My husband and i stayed here for 2 nights in August during very inclement weather. We very nearly didn't get there as the weather was so atrocious and there were landslides everywhere. We were so pleased that we made it because it was gorgeous. We had a room in the main building which was warm, luxurious and the view was spectacular . I pod player in the room, filtered water, underfloor heating. It was so comforting after being on the road for hours driving in gusting winds and horizontal rain.
We were made to feel very welcome and decided to eat there both nights. The food was excellent and the wine list impressive. The manager couldn't do enough for us. He even found out that my husbnad loves cheese so went out of his way to find some interesting local cheeses for him the second night we were there.

There is a deer farm next to the lodge. Their "pet" deer ,Marie is very friendly and nosy. She will come up to you on the look out for food but as they are normally such shy animals it was quite endearing. We did not have any problems with smells or flies but I suppose that was due to the cold weather. Quite glad about that! Some consolation for being cold and wet most of the time.

Many of our compatriots were stranded at the lodge beacuse of the blocked roads. if you're going to be stranded anywhere then this is the place to be. The decor is tasteful and stylish the log fire is comforting and cosy. I would recommend this place to anyone as a haven in a mad world.

  • Liked — The comfort
  • Disliked — There wasn't anything to grumble about
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aranwen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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299 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Torbay
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2009

We loved this place from the second we arrived. Yes it is more expensive than some of the other local accommodation but what a treat to spend 5 nights in a tree house. But no ordinary tree house, it was so well designed and equipped, we loved it. The staff were so friendly and could not do enough to help us. Lee put together a 5 day itinery for us and for most things just charged to the room so we just had to pay for all our trips etc on check out.
The eveing meal was superb.
This is a must stay place.

  • Liked — The tree house
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Angelica1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2008

The lodge was infested with big blowflies throughout that weren't being dealt with, brought about by the deer farm on which it's located. This causes the whole place to smell of deer scatt!

There is no air conditioning and it was boiling hot (28 degrees plus).

My Queen room faced the mountains (so beautiful view) but also the deer enclosure which bore significant traces of where deer had been (literally) - as the day heated up, the smell pervaded my room.

At night (around 10pm) once the heat of the day had subsided !!! - the temperature, with the windows flung wide open all night, was just about bearable. However, sleep was made almost impossible by heavy goods vehicles pulling containers thundering down the road at the side of the property all night

No alternative accomodation or fan was offered.

At the very least, they could buy a chiller for the room, keep the windows and curtains closed durintg the day and spray for flies.

But should I have to say this to a lodge charging top dollar?

The management needs to think again. Perhaps the recession in the UK and the US will cause them to as bookings slow...

Stayed December 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank quentinLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
997 reviews
139 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 462 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2008

Rooms are extremely good, but our 'tree house' had a few problems that were inexcusable for a 5* - such as no curtains in one of the rooms (and to be told by the staff that the curtains were on order was just ridiculous bearing in mind how long Hapuku Lodge has been open)...and the fireplace not working...just not what you expect from a 5*...

The welcome was really good on arrival, but when we complained about the lack of curtains and non-working fireplace, we had to suggest a 'solution' to have our other party move to another room!...which was a shame as we all wanted to be together...

The food was AWFUL...don't bother eating in the restaurant...it is really poor.... the duck was chewy, the appetizer tasteless and the dessert too (the fish was average at best)... a brief listen in to various conversations around the restaurant (which was almost empty) did reveal other complaints... the hotel was full and only 3 other tables were eating in the restaurant - 2 seemed unhappy...

VERY unfortunate... but the view from the treehouse and the main room in the treehouse were both excellent...

We have eaten in top star restaurants all around the world and this didn't even come close to any *'s at all....totally mismatched to the best aspects of the property and the manager's response to us was "you have your own opinion" - he appeared to be young and inexperienced to be dealing with the problems here...I hope sometone turns this place around quickly - there's a huge missed opportunity here...

We did like our tree house room, but don't eat here and don't expect this to be as good as other 5* accommodation...very disappointing given our other culinary and hotel experiences in New Zealand....and it was the most expensive by far...

P.S. Eat in The Galley Restaurant in Manganui (North Island), Te Whau Vineyard Cafe in Waiheke Island and Bouterey's in Richmond/Nelson (Abel Tasman area) - all are FANTASTIC... REALLY fantastic.... and breakfast at "Verve" in Auckland (Parnell district) is the best we have ever had!

  • Liked — Great location/room... views...
  • Disliked — No curtains, broken fireplace, seriously bad food....
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Geoff and Jenni G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2008

This is such a unique accomodation and the setting really is spectacluar. I loved being able to see the turquiose Pacific sea on one side of the treehouse and the snow capped mountains on the other side. We were staying in a lower branch treehouse which was very stylish indeed, with every mod-con you would expect from a high quality hotel. It was a short drive from the main centre of Kaikoura which was no problem for us having a hire car. The room was very comfortable and well equipped and luxurious. A lovely stay for 2 nights, we were able to totally relax and unwind here - perfect!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RinnaAdie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoover, Alabama
Level Contributor
109 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2008

My husband and I flew from Los Angeles to Blenheim and immediately rented a vehicle to begin our visit to New Zealand. When we arrived later in the day at the Hapuku Lodge, we were personally greeted, checked in, and shown to our room. The personal, friendly treatment started right away. Pleasantly, we booked the Queen room, but he upgraded it to the King room, without additional charge and without us asking. He took time out to show us everything about the room. The view was magnificent and the room was spotless. They had free, high-speed wireless internet access and an Ipod player in the room. The bathroom floors were heated, with a heated towel rack, and robes for comfort.

After resting a bit, we headed out to do some sightseeing. The young man at the front desk gave us some good advice on where to go for the best views in town. The directions were great and, wow, what a beautiful place to start the trip.

We intended to eat in Kaikoura that evening, but we had read in books and a magazine that the food was good at the Lodge. We decided to eat there that evening. When we went downstairs to eat, a fire had been started in the fireplace. The Lodge manager knew we were very tired from traveling. He made sure we had a cozy, comfortable environment with the fire, and made us a complimentary drink. We then moved to our personal table. My husband ordered a fish dish, Sole I ordered venison. We shared the best of both worlds. The appetizer, the main course, the dessert, and everything was absoultely delicious. My husband and I actually saw where they grew some of their own herbs, lettuce, etc. It was all seasoned to perfection. Eating there is a must! It was so nice to unwind in a peaceful environment, without having to get out and drive anywhere, and then retire to our room for the evening. The Lodge was very quiet and peaceful and is a place we certainly enjoyed.

It was a great way to begin our two-week trip to the South island of New Zealand. This lodge is fantastic!

  • Liked — The personal attention, quiet lodging, and the food!
  • Disliked — It is located about 4 miles from the town of Kaikoura, but the quality makes it worth it.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank baatraveler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2008

Found this place on the web and booked in for our wedding anniversary. We stayed for 3 days and it was amazing. The staff were very helpful and really made us feel welcome. The rooms were amazing and you could tell every detail had been looked at and considered down to the smallest. Very comfy beds, would have slept perfect if not for the outrageous Southerly storm the first night :) Drinks in the lounge before dinner was great to get to know other guests and staff. I will definitly go back every year!

  • Liked — The detail and care put in to everything and relaxing atmosphere
  • Disliked — The cost would discourage many people.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank amymairee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hapuku Lodge

Property: Hapuku Lodge
Address: State Highway 1 At Station Road, RD 1, Kaikoura 7371, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Kaikoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hapuku Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses is distinctive boutique luxury accommodation set on a deer farm and olive grove in one of the world's most beautiful locations, between the Kaikoura Mountains and the Pacific Coast of New Zealand's South Island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hapuku Hotel Kaikoura

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