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“Perhaps the Basil Fawlty school of motel management?!”

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Linkwater Motel & Backpackers
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Linkwater
Reviewed March 18, 2011

This motel is modern, clean and set in a beautiful location. On arrival, Katerina (the co-owner) was very friendly and pleasant.

But being visited in our room at 9pm and being shouted at by her was not an experience we had been expecting.

We had made the mistake of believing what was written on the motel's website and advertising materials...

Our mistake: we had a confirmed booking with an online booking service from 10am that morning - we assumed that would mean we would have a room. We didn't realise that a confirmed booking at this motel wasn't really confirmed, at all.
Oops: by 4pm our booking hadn't been processed. I was repeatedly told I didn't have a booking, until I pointed out the print-out on the desk with my name on it. The last available family room was double-booked. The only reason we got it is because we got there first. We hope the other family was ok.

Our mistake: We booked a family room with a bath, as well as shower - as clearly stated (still there as of today) on the motel's website. This was really important for washing our toddler, who is scared of showers and was at risk of going mouldy, after a few days with just flannels!
Oops: there isn't a single bath in the entire complex.

Our mistake: We chose the motel partly for the bath and partly for the free internet access - as confirmed by their website and the online booking system.
Oops: No longer free, as of the day of our arrival. In fact, the most expensive I have found so far in New Zealand.

Our biggest mistake: emailing the booking company (once we had paid for the internet!), through whom we had made the reservation and asking them to update the bath / internet situation in their descriptions. They emailed the owners. This is what produced the previously friendly owner in our room, at 9pm, very angry with us for "getting the motel a black mark" that it "didn't deserve".

So accepting payment for rooms with facilities you don't provide is ok?

I've just checked today and their website still clearly lists the bath and the online booking system's description (as supplied by the motel) still mentions the internet as being free - over a week after we were yelled at for daring to mention it.

We received no apology and no offer of a discount, to make up for the errors in the facility descriptions.

Instead, we were asked to leave, because we had emailed the booking company.

We explained that we would rather stay, having already paid for our room, given that both our young children were already asleep and it wasn't going to be possible to find anywhere else at that late time of night, 30 minutes from the nearest town, with an early ferry to catch the next morning. We were really shaken by the experience.

We were shocked by the way this situation was handled.

From previous, glowing reviews, it would seem that people really like this motel when things go right. But there's absolutely no excuse for getting aggressive with customers who simply hope to enjoy the facilities that are advertised.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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13  Thank Clare2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 - 84 of 93 reviews

Reviewed March 11, 2011

This modern motel is in a wonderfully quiet position, with cows and mountains for neighbours, on the Queen Charlotte Drive west of Picton. Rooms are fairly standard for a middle-market New Zealand motel, and they are spotless and quiet. The new owners are extremely friendly and service-oriented, and we were made to feel very welcome when we arrived without a booking.

It is out in the wilds, so if you are looking for restaurants and pubs close by, it's not for you. But if you want peace and quiet, it's definitely your place. Every night before bed, I go for a walk (more of an amble) in the company of a cigar; one of my cigars takes about 30 minutes to smoke. I walked out of the motel on to the road outside and decided to find out how long I could walk up and down the central white line before a car moved me. I enjoyed the whole thirty minutes walking the white line - not a car in sight or earshot. Lovely!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank UKPeripatetic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2011

Katerina and Pat are wonderful hosts. Always time for you, nothing is too much trouble and a wealth of knowledge of the nearby area and beyond. The units are new, spacious, clean and tidy. Free cable internet connection in the room ensures that you are not behind in anything with your laptop. The free laundry facility and garden washing line area ensures that those womenfolk who like to wash clothes daily can do so. The situation is fantastic for exploring the nearby Sounds areas. Peace, quiet and nature is what you'll get. If you can't cope with wiggley road driving or you want a lot of razzamatazz, don't go. If you want the real thing then make it your top priority. This is the best value for money you will get anywhere in New Zealand.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank harryandval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
moutzy, Owner at Linkwater Motel & Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2011

Hi There
Thank you very much for your wonderful review on our small piece of paradise and our motel.

Both Pat and I hope that your trip ended well and that you are both in good health

Still waiting on our new curtains

We look forward to seeing you again

Cheers
Katerina & Pat

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2011

Myself my teenage son and our two homestay students from Brazil were very weary and stressed from the massive earthquake in our home city of Christchurch. We drove 30 minutes north of Picton and arrived at the motel with no previous booking. We were emotional and needing a clean and comfortable unit for the four of us to stay the owner made us feel very welcomed and assured us she would accommodate us all. The backpackers unit suited us perfectly, myself and my Brazilian girl had a twin room and my teenage son and my Brazilian boy had another twin room. The four of us had our own bathroom and shared the modern clean kitchen and living room with others. The beds were excellent so comfortable and clean. The bathroom was wonderful and spacious and spotless as well as the kitchen and dining area and living area. We were able to access the internet as well for free. I highly recommend staying here the owners are very friendly and make you feel very welcome.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank harrysmothernz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
moutzy, Owner at Linkwater Motel & Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2011

HI
Pat and I hope things weren't too bad when you got back to Christchurch and that your home stay students got away home OK

Things in CHCH dont look to good, but here is hoping you all get some sort of normality back soon

We hope to see you again

Thank you for your kind review and take care

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2011

We found this motel on the Internet and were more than pleasantly surprised when we got there. The motel is in a peaceful spot but has everything you could need with a lovely pub just down the road where they do the most excellent blue cod. Katerina and Pat were so welcoming and helpful we returned for our final night in south island. I can thoroughly recommend this motel for its excellent rooms, beautiful location and views. A real oasis.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank maggieliz21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2011

A good motel to do all kind of things in MarlboroughSounds.The room was very nice.The new owners had refurbished the room and it looked really nice.Because we had no receive on our cellphone,we could use the computer of the owner to reach our contacts in Holland.Also a good place to do your laundry(good washingmachine and not expensive)

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank paulhofstee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2011

This would have to be one of the better Motels we have ever stayed in for a family holiday.
The new owners are very welcoming and helpful.
Only one complaint, - The shower in the family unit needs a glass surround and door, sadly we had to use the lovely fluffy new towels to dry up the water that spilled out onto the floor. Plus the old owners said there was a bath in the family units on the web site, there was only a shower. (not current owners fault)
Location is just right, very close to beautiful bays and Picton.
Swimming pool is ideal for children, but a little too cold for adults.
A DVD player is needed in family units for those wet days, and maybe a few games that can be available from the office.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank SuzyWChristchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Linkwater Motel & Backpackers

Address: 1594 Queen Charlotte Drive | Rd1, Linkwater 7281, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Linkwater
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Linkwater
Price Range: $61 - $114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Linkwater Motel & Backpackers 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Linkwater motel offers rural country accommodation 21km from Picton. Free WIFI and off street parking as well as plenty of room to park boats and trailers is provided. Continental breakfast is available daily. The rooms range from self-contained studios and family units. All units have a kitchenette with a benchtop 2 hob stove for cooking. Linkwater Motel is 5km from the start of the Queen Charlotte Walk Track and the half way point for the Link Pathway Walk & Cycle Track. The Motel can book tickets for the interislander ferry as well as other local tours and nature activities, including scenic and mussel farm cruises, wine tours and nature walks. ... more   less 
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