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Review of Criterion Hotel

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Criterion Hotel
Ranked #8 of 28 Oamaru B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 12, 2012

Beautiful historic pub. We stayed in the ensuite room. The host Peter is attentive without being overbearing, pretty much leaves you alone unless you need something, and then they can't jump high enough. Beautifully kept, immaculately clean. Can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Andria-chch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 - 67 of 70 reviews

Reviewed February 9, 2012

What a delightful hotel! We had a cozy twin room (smallish, but perfectly adequate) with shared bath facilities, but they were "shared" only in the sense that they were available to the other rooms. There were two full, entirely private baths -- once you're inside and lock the door, you have it completely to yourself for total privacy, just as you would in your own home. The decor is very homey and authentic to the era, and the building itself is stunning, on a smaller and more human scale, but still a terrific example of Victorian architecture. The bar area is friendly and welcoming, as is your host, Peter. It's in the heart of the historic district, so it's just a short walk to lots of other great old buildings that have been turned into cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, etc. I'm really looking forward to my next visit there, and will be sure to book my room in advance.

Room Tip: I didn't see one single room that I wouldn't have been happy with. They do have one or two...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LemmonHerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2011

We had booked this B&B months in advance as part of our itinerary for the Rugby World Cup and tour of South Island. On arrival we found it closed up and a notice stuck to the door stating the hotel was not open on Tuesdays and a number to ring. The owner turned up in about 15 minutes to let us in. Not impressed, an email stating they were closed on Tuesdays in the winter season would have helped. However, if you like twee Victoriana then this is for you. The room and bathroom were OK but it all felt as if the place hadn't been open for a while. We were the only guests but to be fair we were staying at the end of the NZ winter. We stayed 2 nights although there is not enough to see and do in Oamaru for that length of time. Would recommend Fat Sally's bar and restaurant in the main street for something to do in the evening.

Room Tip: Ask for the en suite.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SusieABedfordUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2011

We had the only en-suite room which we liked. The pub downstairs is noisy but it closed at 11pm the day we stayed (can't tell if this is normal). Owner was friendly, he told us currently he had no chef and therefore we could not eat at the pub. Breakfast was OK but it also proved that he is in bad need of a chef...

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank terbang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2010

The Criterion Hotel in Oamuru is one of the most interesting hotels I've ever stayed at. It is authentically Victorian, located upstairs from a corner pub that is frequented by men who look like they walked straight out of a Dickens novel. The host almost slept through breakfast because of a late night at the pub, which he also owns and where he apparently imbibes. The photos on the walls, memorabilia, furnishings, and extremely high ceilings were a source of wonderment. The rooms are small, basic, and clean. Only one of them is ensuite, but this presented no problem because the others share two good-size bathrooms.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank DBOrinda_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2010

Hotel is situated on the edge of town near the Victorian Themed Area.

This hotel has only one en-suite room.
The Victorian theme is good.
Booked three nights Bed & Breakfast.
No breakfast on second/third mornings, charged for same
Mine Host had a good party night before, with his friends!!!
Bar is frequented by locals who 'like a good drink'!!!!!!
When they leave the bar closes.
The penguins were good though!.
Overall not the best experience.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank GardenCityToptec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2009

We called into the Criterion Hotel on spec. It sounded good, but the rates quoted in the September 2008 edition of the Lonely Planet were pricey. For a nice change, the rooms were cheaper than expected. Rather than $180 per night, a double was $130 and a single $70, including a hot cooked breakfast in the "snug" - a nice old-fashioned dining room in this superb heritage pub.

Upstairs, there's one room with an ensuite (maybe it's the one that's $180) and five or six with shared facilities. All have been lovingly restored.

If you've sworn off rooms with shared facilities, make an exception for the Criterion. The rooms are small but beautifully decorated, the shared bathrooms are spotless and there's a well-stocked guest kitchen and a stylish and spacious sitting room overlooking the corner. Some rooms have sea views, but we chose two on the street side since the double was slightly larger. As it turned out, we were the only guests so we had the run of the place. (There was a young English couple who'd snapped up the room with the ensuite, but we only saw them at breakfast.)

Peter and Mandi are warm, welcoming hosts, the bar downstairs is friendly, and the beers and bar meals are great value. Can't recommend it too highly.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SeriousFrolic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Criterion Hotel

Address: 3 Tyne Street | Harbour Side, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Oamaru
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Oamaru
Price Range: $65 - $120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8

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