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“Wonderful spot for family getaway”

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Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Nelson
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful spot for family getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

Only 15 minutes across the bay from Picton to the magical, scenic and idyllic Lochmara Lodge. Nestled among lush green bush, bordering the emerald green sea that is the Marlborough Sounds - the approach from the water taxi will not disappoint. The friendly, warm and welcoming staff ensure we truly feltl like "guests" and also that we were well informed of the many sights and activities for the children. Our room was fairly spacious, well positioned for the incredible scenery, warm and functional. The land surrounding the lodge encompasses many points of natural and enhanced interest for the family, including a replica bush camp (crumpys camp), flying fox, kuni kuni pigs, eels, native parrots, massive rope swing, kayaks, hammocks and nature walks. The restaurant was superbly located and oozed atmosphere - however was too pricey for us - so we had to suffice with a couple of cold brews accompanied by a bowl of wedges - then cook a meal in our room. The menu did look amazing though - but would have been quite expensive for a family dinner. The price probably reflects the isolated location and cost of transporting goods etc. We were very impressed with all aspects of this lodge and will most definitely be returning again. Tot op off the wonderful weekend we had the privilege of getting up close with a pod of friendly dolphins on the return trip to Picton.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank rubybayNelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Thank you for the lovely review. Your guesses are absolutely right - we work hard to keep costs reasonable, but bringing most things in by boat does have a cost impact. We cook everything fresh and from scratch, even all the baking (no pre-made muffin mixes here!). We also use some of our own produce, for example, herbs, honey and eggs and fruit from our gardens. Awesome to hear that you felt welcome and your family had a good time exploring. :)
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196 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
403 reviews
122 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2013

Loved my Lochmara stay! A short water taxi ride from Picton (the skipper even stopped to show us some penguins along the way) we arrived to Lochmara and were greeted at the jetty and shown our room. We booked the cheapest option 'Sharewater Unit' for $90 and even though it is very small, I still felt like it was a bargain considering the surroundings and high standard of Lochmara overall and the free use of activities such as kayaks. The unit was clean and comfortable.
Exploring the grounds is fantastic, a beautiful bush walk with amazing views of the Marlborough Sounds but with interesting art everywhere then at night the glow worms light up the bush. Hammocks are everywhere throughout the bush which was perfect to lie back and watch the sun go down. Access to the Queen Charlotte Track lookout for 360 degree views of the Marlborough Sounds is well worth the 2hr walk - stunning.
I didn't use the outdoor bath or massage services or eat in the restaurant but I am definitely planning a trip back for more of a pamper day.
I think my experience was greatly enhanced by arriving on a Sunday night - as all the kids left!
Exceptional service, beautiful surroundings and lots of fun things to explore - overall an excellent experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa_WLG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Thanks Lisa! The Shearwater twins are our smallest and most inexpensive rooms - perfect for using as a base and exploring the area just as you describe. Thanks for the review and fantastic that you enjoyed your break with us. Keep an eye on our website/facebook page as we sometimes have pamper escape break packages for that promised next visit.
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Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

This was the last resort of 4 we stayed in on the QCT and although OK was probably our least favourite. It is a 4km walk from the main track and is otherwise accessible only by boat, a not inexpensive ride from Picton as I understand. The staff took longer than I would have expected to let us know which rooms we were allocated, and to be asked to wear wrist bands as guests in a resort is a bit rich. This I understand is so they can tell the guests from the day trippers. Paying for lumps of wifi data is a little annoying, I would prefer they bumped up the tariff by $5 a night . I am a big bloke and this was the only resort of the 4 where we had a double rather than queen size bed, a little bit squeezy! The restaurant staff were nice but not up to the standard of Ratahi or Mahana. It did have the best mussel dish that I had in the Sound ( and I did have a few!). To us the whole place felt a bit tired.

Room Tip: If you are doing the walk, try to get one of the lower rooms. You sacrifice some view, but save your...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dkreview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Thanks for the review and while the chef is delighted you rated his mussels, we're sorry the rest of your visit didn't stack up. I'm not sure if you're confusing some of your experience with somewhere else, as all our rooms have Queen beds, except the Shearwater Twins which have 2 singles. All in-house guests also get a free allocation of wi-fi (I think we might be the only place in the Sounds to do this). The wristbands though is definitely us, and we're looking at ways to improve this process, ensuring access to the wildlife and art experiences for all guests. Thanks for the feedback on this, and we hope you enjoyed your Marlborough experience overall.
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London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2013

A lovely place a short boat ride from Picton with a tranquil and isolated feel.
We stayed in one of the comfortable Weka Chalets, with a nice balcony with views down to the bay. The food was lovely (and plenty of it!), and the staff were always really friendly.
Our only very slight gripes would be having to pay for the water taxi to and from Picton (the only option apart from hiking in, unless you're lucky enough to own your own boat!), numerous school trips during the afternoons, and no free wifi (a little silly considering the overall cost). But those didn't spoil our overall experience, which was excellent.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank cmcdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Hi - thanks for the honest and thoughtful review. We're pleased you had a positive experience at Lochmara. We're always looking for ways to improve - for next season we'll definitely look at better ways to keep any school education visits separate from Lodge guests. We've also introduced a free wi-fi allocation for all in-house guests too. Sadly we can't make the water taxi free, but we have held the price for the last 3 seasons, and we're still one of the cheapest lodges to access by water in the Sounds. We'll do our best to keep it as low as we can. Hope you notice the improvements on your next visit :)
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Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2013

We were on an annual business trip to the South Island and a wedding anniversary fell on a Friday so decided to give ourselves a treat with a weekend getaway. Opted for Lochmara after reading many reviews of lodges in the Marlborough Sounds and feel that we made a good choice. We treated ourselves to the more expensive option of one the Kakariki Suites and were pleased we did. The views were wonderful from the room and with its own little balcony we were able to sit outside with a glass of wine and really relax.
The bush walks were varied - easy walking for us old (70+) folks and we enjoyed all the sculptures etc dotted around the place. None of these were actually awe inspiring (and some 30 seconds sprayed around would have made them look a little better) but they created an interest and we loved the 'punga people'. With bird feeding, huge eels, and other wild life wandering around there was plenty to look at.
The food in the restaurant was first class - can highly recommend the smoked (on site) poussin and the ribeye on smoked cheddar potatoes.
With no television but extremely comfortable beds and pillows we found this to be a really relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable way of spending a couple of days

Room Tip: If you can afford it the views from the rooms at the top of the site are to die for.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jo P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Thank you for the review and congratulations on your anniversary :) It really is relaxing at Lochmara at this time of year and we're pleased you got to enjoy it. Much of the outdoor art work at Lochmara has been created to be in a natural setting, to become part of the environment...but interesting to hear different takes on it. That's the beauty of art...its magic is in the audience's differing interpretations. If there were any pieces that touched you, email arts@lochmaralodge.co.nz - we have an artist in our community who compiles stories of Lochmara art and she would love to hear your interpretation I'm sure.
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Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Lovely room with a view of the sea, staff were helpful and friendly. Lots to do and see - including hammocks, animal feeding, free kayaks. Two problems - walls were thin and we could hear plumbing; pretty expensive for what you get...

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank weinyael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Thanks for your review. We do have rooms at a range of prices so hope there is something for varied budgets - we want to make the Sounds accessible and enjoyable for people as much as we can. All the activities, walks, kayaks, and everything else is available to everyone...no matter what room they stay in. Great to hear you enjoyed it all, thanks for the feedback!
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

A lovely secluded site. Good food with excellent service. The boat access only makes it a different place to visit. Some interesting animal conservation aspects & some charming paths through the site with unique art to spot as you go!
The stars from a hammock are amazing!

Room Tip: Boat access only makes it a different resort!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank john a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Thanks! We'd love to take credit for the stars...but mother nature probably deserves that one :)
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Additional Information about Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre

Property: Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre
Address: Queen Charlotte Sound, Lochmara Bay 7201, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Lochmara Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Great accommodation in 14 units & bay view chalets set on the tranquil shores of the Marlborough Sounds, a short cruise from Picton in our water taxi (Lochmara can easily arrange this for you, there are no roads to Lochmara). Explore the Wildlife Recovery & Art Centre, nature & sculpture trails, Queen Charlotte Track, art gallery, wildlife, free use of our kayaks, or relax on the beach, hammocks or Bath House spa. Licensed cafe/restaurant serving local and seasonal produce and local wines. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery And Arts Centre Hotel Picton

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