First, be aware that Pentlands is a backpacker hostel, not a hotel - it's one of the BBH hostels. Not a problem, but don't expect B and B standards, or breakfast! We stayed at Pentlands at the end of a six-month stint in New Zealand. We've been to Auckland before and the Mount Eden hostels are the only ones I would stay in apart from City Garden. It's about a 30 minute walk into the city, there's a big supermarket 5 minutes away (although it's a good hill back up) and there are frequent buses in and back so the location is good. Also plenty of parking - we had a car to sell so needed this.
Pentlands is not as smart as the reception area appears; the big lounge has tatty smelly chairs and is very dark, but kitchen and showers are newly refurbished, although sadly the showers don't all have fans and the decoration may not last too long. The place is cleaned thoroughly in the morning and the kitchen and showers are done again last thing at night which is excellent. Kitchen storage and equipment are ok but as always could be better, and while the fridges are cleared often they do need to be a bit more ruthless with this.
We had double room 1 on the front and it was very quiet - there are many long-termers in the hostel and after some trouble there is no tolerance for late night noise, and we had uninterrrupted sleep for all the 10 nights of our stay. Anyone who has stayed in NZ's thin-walled buildings with youngsters will know how good this is! It was also noticeable that the other guests got friendlier the longer we stayed;
It was coming into winter but still occasionally nice enough to sit outside - trouble was that the decking area is also the smoking area and as all the travellers smoke like chimneys it was unusable for anyone who likes to breathe. Could do with a smoke-free area or at least having the smoking area away from the house as I was forever closing the door to keep the stink out. After a chilly first night we asked for and got a heater; it's an old building and leaks heat like a sieve, although as ever in NZ investment in thick curtains would pay dividends, no-one ever seems to do this!
The washing machines are expensive $4 and the outside drying area doesn't get much sun. Internet access is ok at $2 for half an hour, for longer stints you either need a laptop or to go into the city or to the library about 20 minutes away.
Owner and manager were very pleasant and helpful and ran a tight ship. Not the most characterful or comfortable of places, but could do a lot worse.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a family owned and operated hostel offering you clean, comfortable, affordable accommodation with a home away from home feel.This colonial homestead is set in spacious park-like grounds giving you a sense of peace within the hustle and bustle of the central city. Enjoy our hostel with it's friendly, relaxed atmosphere and close proximity to the bars, cafes and shops of vibrant Mt Eden Village. Pentlands Backpackers has recently enjoyed a fresh new look with extensive renovations completed in August 2012. ... more less