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“Beautiful location but contrasting accommodations”

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Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Southern California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful location but contrasting accommodations”
Reviewed March 14, 2009

Lochmara Lodge is set in a very beautiful bay, which is accessible by water taxi. The restaurant food was superb and the staff was friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend staying in the family chalet, but NOT the Bayview Ensuite. The first night we stayed in the family chalet (#13) and the second night we moved to the Bayview Ensuite (#7), since the family chalet was not available both nights. The accommodations were completely different. The first room was one of the nicest places we stayed at—very large chalet with a beautiful deck overlooking the bay, nicely decorated with paintings by local artists. In stark contrast, the Bayview Ensuite was much smaller and dingier than a room at the Motel 6 and was poorly decorated. Even worse, the sewage system was located next to our Bayview Ensuite room and therefore the aroma was very strong when we opened the window. I would strongly advise against staying at the Bayview Ensuite--- it did not belong there and ruined the ambience of the place. However, I would recommend staying at the family chalet. While it was twice the price of the Bayview Ensuite, it was a much better value for your dollar –it had a spectacular view of the bay and more than four times the size of the Bayview Ensuite.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AvantgardeAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    110
    46
    27
    8
    6
See reviews for
39
100
8
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Shropshire, England
Level Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2009

Stayed here over Christmas with our 2 children. Apartment was pretty basic with small kitchen area but no cooking facilities or lounge but this was made up for by the fabulous location. Lots of wildlife - birds, alpacas, dog, fish - free use of kayaks to paddle around in - and lots of places to explore and escape. Hot tub for private hire and massage available. Cafe/restaurant provided for all meals - although provided limited options for 3 of us who are vegetarian.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Giddychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2009

Lochmara Lodge was absolutely the highlight of our holiday – and we didn’t even stay there! (We would have, but they were full!). Instead we stayed in our boat, and over the course of a few days, we tied up to the visitors mooring and had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Lochmara Cafe. Every single meal was divine – particularly the evening meal. The service was friendly and the atmosphere was great – everything was just top quality. We live in Wellington and often go to restaurants here in the city, and we would easily rate Lochmara Cafe up there with the best of them. Can’t wait to visit again! Loved the arts trail too!

  • Stayed January 2009
    • Location
Helpful?
Thank jasminerose09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2009

After two weeks touring the South Island we stayed at Lochmara to relax for two nights. we stayed in a luxury lodge whiich was spacious and nicely fitted out with fantastic views from the balcony, or even sat up in bed. the grounds are great to explore with trails past statues carvings and numerous hammocks to rest in along the way, with free kayaks to use as well, rope swings a semi open air spa pool to relax in. also feed the native birds in the breeding programme. You are tied to eating in the resteraunt but even though expensive the quality was excellent.
It is a great place to relax in the peace and quiet of the Marlborough sounds and only a twenty minute water taxi ride from Picton.
Would have been 5 stars but on one afternoon the resort was taken over by a private Xmas day out with a lot of loud shouting singing etc and took priority over the paying guests at the lodge, I know they've got to make the place pay but seems out of keeping with with the peace and tranquility of the resort.

  • Liked — Fantastic setting
  • Disliked — Xmas party
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Braniff58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2009

Reading the reviews about this place, I had high hopes, but was sorely disappointed. Our room was tiny and minimalist to a fault -- there was a single light bulb hanging above the bed, and the room smelled of mildew and sewage (they were apparently having a problem with the sewage system while we were there). That said, the view from our little shoebox was quite nice, and there were interested things on the grounds. We enjoyed looking at the glowworms, relaxing in the hammocks, and having a beer at the bar. The private hot tub was also neat. So, if you're looking for a nice hotel room, this is not the place for you, but this could be fun if you're looking for an interesting location as a whole.

  • Liked — The hot tub
  • Disliked — The smell
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank valifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2009

Beautiful place with gorgeous views of the bay and surrounding mountains. Very relaxing time. Especially loved all the sculptures and hammocks all over the property and kayaking in Lochmara Bay. Stayed in the luxury chalet for 2 days and wish we'd stayed longer.

But just a warning that the cafe is quite expensive - decent food but probably overpriced and with limited vegetarian options and slow service. We were surprised to find a fridge and plates etc in the room so you may want to consider bringing some wine and food with you if you are catching the water taxi to the lodge.

  • Liked — View
  • Disliked — Expensive cafe
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KALAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2008

This place is a bit of a paradox. As a hotel, the rooms are really just OK. I don't recommend the studio units, as they smell pretty bad. I don't know why, they just do. Go for a family chalet or equivalent if possible. The rates are reasonable considering the absolutely beautiful and remote setting. The grounds are a bit odd. There is a veritable maze of trails to walk on and you pass sculptures, tree people, sheep, pigs, chicken coops, caged possums, a collection of geckos (?), and, at night, glow worm caves. There are hammocks everywhere, although some of them are hard to get into with all the overgrown shrubbery. However, in my opinion the best thing about the place is the restaurant. The meals are absolutely amazing. They are expensive (especially compared to the room prices) and there's nowhere else to eat, so you don't have much of a choice but to fork out $30 per main. So, if you're not on a tight budget, don't mind basic digs for sleeping, and want an unforgettable setting and overall experience, this could be the perfect place.

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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