I stayed in a double room.
This hostel has the potential to be really lovely - it is in a nice building and has a pool and a jacuzzi. When I arrived I thought it could end up being the nicest hostel I had stayed at in NZ. My room was clean and nicely decorated, the kitchen looked modern and no dirtier than the average hostel and there are sufficient and clean showers.
However, issues before I arrived and issues that I noticed whilst staying actually made this my least favourite hostel in NZ.
When booking: when I asked how to get to the hostel the woman on the phone just said "oh, get the bus, they'll tell you". No bus number, no timetable, no bus stop name. Found a pamphlet at the ferry terminal and followed the instructions, hostel is a bit off the beaten track.
When arriving: was partially shown around but not told much important information - like how to get to the town, or the beach. No information available anywhere about what there is to do on Waiheke. Perfectly pleasant and told to "ask if I needed anything" but didn't see her again until the next evening and, although there seemed to be a lot of long term guests, it wasn't clear who worked there. After three days I still had no idea.
Room: has no chetain, meaning that if anyone goes onto the balcony (open access to all) they can see into the room.
Shower: only worked for about 1 minute. Then a cold trickle.
Noise: other guests made a lot of noise (or the walls are thinner than other places). I'm tolerant of noise and it did not bother me in other hostels when sharing a dorm but this was late and excessive. For example, someone extremely drunk (unable to walk) was wandering arousing shouting at 1.30, bumped into my bedroom door heavily, then started shouting aggressiveky off the balcony and then started having a loud argument with his girlfriend outside my bedroom door, which was all a bit frightening.
General attitude: one of the long term guests random started to insult me (totally out of the blue insulting my looks, insulting my country and city and even telling me i was cooking onions wrong and turning up the heat of the hob I was using without asking me. Weird) others seemed to have formed a friendship group of long term guests. As a lone short term guest I felt unwelcome - there were nothing set up to join in with even though the hostel was busy. There is also a menacing attitude about washing dishes (signs saying you will be thrown out and a security camera saying it is watching that you do the dishes...). Someone had nonetheless put away a glass the smelt so strongly of ouzo you could smell it from about 2 meters away!
Wifi does not work. In addition to the irritation of having to use prepaid wifi (no free Internet provided here, not even a low value voucher like in most other hostels) the wifi signal is not strong enough to be able to make a Skype voice call. I was able to do this in all other hostels I stayed at.
There is a cat and dogs here. Although The cat is cute the dogs growled and bit and fought each other really near me ( almost on me) for about 30 minutes until I moved. Their owner (does he work here? No idea) said "stop that" a couple of times but didn't actually stop them.
This place could be great if it was run professionally but seems to be designed for long term and really heavy drinking guests only.
If I was coming with a large group then it might be fun with the pool etc. but I would not return here alone or as a couple.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to our small social backpackers on the magical Waiheke Island, the island of sun, wine and fun! Only 35min from downtown Auckland. Waiheke is so close, yet so far removed from the rat race of Auckland City - come and see why Waiheke was voted one of the worlds top island destinations in the world by many travel magazines. The Hekerua Lodge Backpackers is centrally located secluded on an acre of stunning New Zealand native bush, only 5 minutes walk form Little Oneroa Beach and another 10 to the shops We cater specially for the international youth travel market, a place to meet new people, laugh and dance in paradise, so if you wish to socialize and have fun then the Hekerua Lodge Backpackers is the place for you!! We offer a chilled spot to get away from it all and immerse yourself in island and backpacker life. We have no TV so relax on any of our sun decks, take a dip in our rock pool or just wash it all away in our spa pool. Get involved with all our fun activities in the camp-ground including volleyball, cricket, beersbie and yoga! ... more less
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