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“We absolutely loved our stay here”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Awaroa Lodge

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Awaroa Lodge
Bay of Plenty
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“We absolutely loved our stay here”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2009

Abel Tasman National park is best experienced in the sunshine and even though we came here early winter we were blessed with incredible weather to heighten our enjoyable stay.
The owner of the lodge greeted us on arrival and was the consummate host for the length of our stay. We had an executive suite which was warm, large, looked very new actually, with an enormous and very comfortable bed.

We absolutely loved our stay here. The lodge has a beach atmosphere with sand on the paths around the lodge, enormous, newly planted organic garden and lovely outdoor dinning area overlooking the wetlands.

The lodge blended into the surroundings as you would expect a environmentally sensitive designed facility should. The beach access is a short walk away to the most pristine beach imaginable. Even though it was winter and cold I had to have a swim and it was glorious.

I really can't fault any aspect of our stay. The staff were attentive, helpful and friendly. The owners made a big impression. They were hands on with the running of the lodge and this attention made for a very personal experience for us.

We would like to have stayed much longer and plan to return soon.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank organicexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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348 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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English first
Christchurch
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2009

We only visited the restaurant, however it was a bit of a hike from the Doc track and really not worth it!

We stopped in during our three day trap for something hot at the restaurant after seeing a sign on the track celebrating the fact it was just five minutes walk to the restaurant (was more like half an hour).

The smell of raw sewage assaulted us for most of the journey to the restaurant; I can only assume their eco loo was out of order.

On arriving at the restaurant and perusing the few sagging muffins and meaty, egg based food products behind the counter, I asked if they had hot chips (hopping for something warm and vegetarian) I was quickly given a sarcastic reply, something like “this is a Eco Lodge, we don’t do chips”. I looked behind the bar to see bottles of PUMP water, beers from all around the world and other overpriced luxury packaged foods. We had asked to see the Menu but being mid afternoon both the lunch menu and the dinner menu were not available.

In town I would have walked straight out the door but with no other options, we settled on an eco beer and an eco biscuit….

It was interesting to talk to others sitting in the restaurant, one couple had walked in to stay but after finding the resort was perched on the edge of a swap with no view of the sea, rather a let down considering the kilometres of perfect beach in the Able Tasman, they decided to go back to their campervan!

On leaving the resort we and several other groups had difficulty finding our way back to the track. It seems they effort they took to attract travellers down the restaurant was not matched by their eagerness to help you get back to track. The friendly “No Trespassers” sign and the three or four huge containers of fruit fungicide spray sitting right next to the river on the way out of the settlement really summed up our visit.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marise R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2009

We stayed at Awaroa Lodge for two nights back in February, and we were immediately taken by the beauty of the location. Being city dwellers, the quiet, secluded location on a great beach was perfect!

Unfortunately, that where this love story ends. When we checked in, we were told that we had only one night. We asked three times, and they said we were not booked for the second night. Finally, I asked a different girl at the front desk, and she said, "yes, you're booked for two nights". They seemed very confused about the process and locating our records.

I found the dining/bar staff to be delightful, hardworking, and actually rushing around because they were so understaffed. I also found it incredibly unprofessional for the present owner to be chastising the staff openly in front of the guests during dinner. I'm glad I don't work for her.

Overall, it was simply ok, and considering the costs involved, it's not worth it. The problems with the front desk and watching the owner "beat" the staff was unpleasant at best.

If you do go, bring powerful bug spray, because we were eaten alive on the beach.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RonnieWoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2009

This is a beautiful location with some very good points. The beach is wonderful, as are the views. The surrounding National Park is a gem. But since our last visit one year ago new owners have taken over Awaroa Lodge.
On arrival, a quick read of the guest feedback book in reception revealed a list of complaints – overpriced, poor service, bad attitude etc. It’s surprising they leave this book for everyone to see!
At Awaroa guests either arrive by water taxi, light aircraft or helicopter. The Lodge arranges for your luggage to be transferred from your point of arrival to your room by quad bike with trailer. We were nearly run-over by this quad bike on a number of occasions and witnessed the driver being given a loud dressing-down by a manager in reception for nearly hitting guests. In spite of Awaroa having its own landing strip they don’t seem to have a system alerting the quad bike to guests arrival. Our suitcase was left in the rain waiting for transfer to our room.
Most of the food in the restaurant in the evening was very good, if overpriced. Breakfasts however are poor (and overpriced). Service is variable in the evening and poor at breakfast time with some very long delays. There is a buffet at breakfast and nothing gets topped-up until the dish is empty, they run out of items and you need to ask if you want them refilled. Apparently the cooked breakfasts (extra cost) are poor, we didn’t dare take the risk. You get the impression that the staff are overworked and underpaid. We witnessed numerous cock-ups with plates of food dropped, wrong meals brought, long delays at every stage.
Meals and drinks are expensive and they know they have a captive audience. It’s difficult to eat anywhere else so they milk the situation. My wife’s small tomato juice was $8 then they charged an extra $2.50 to add 2 drops of Worcestershire Sauce!
Everywhere there are signs reminding you ed how totally inaccessible the place is and therefore costs have to reflect this. But actually a short walk around the Arawoa Inlet (at low tide) and you find yourself at the end of a public road and in a car park. This is also accessible from the Lodge via boat at high tide.
Awaroa make a big deal of being ecologically minded, this at first seems impressive however everything this entails rather conveniently saves them money. Rooms do not feature a TV, radio or cd player, not even a bedside clock, apparently because they would spoil the peace and calm.
If they are so green and concerned about the environment, how come they have recently built a helipad annoying close to the accommodation so that a large and noisy helicopter can come and go many times each day offering expensive and obviously lucrative sight-seeing trips around Abel Tasman?
Internet access? Yes sir, no problem. That will be $8 for one hour access, another little money-making venture.
The rooms are kept clean enough but that’s about all you can say for room maintenance. Beds don’t get turned down (in fact no evening visit at all), rooms sometimes don’t get touched till 4pm. All the little details expected at lodges of this price are missing.
Bathrooms feature “eco liquid soap” dispensers instead of the upscale soap bars and shampoo which are normally offered in lodges of this price-bracket, sounds fine but inferior product to use and clearly cheaper for them.
They also make a lot of their organic garden which supposedly provides the delicious vegetables for the restaurant. This looks as though no-one has done a stroke of work in it since our last visit a year ago. Apparently the one and only gardener has been transferred to cleaning duties. It is overgrown, neglected, run-down and in a really sorry state. There is some evidence of a few vegetables, seemingly almost growing wild, being harvested more by luck than judgement. However, plenty of courgettes growing into marrows and other veg wasted due to inattention.
In addition to the main restaurant a new pizza restaurant has been built since our last visit. However this only lasted a few months before being closed and already the site looks a complete mess, with mis-spelled directions in chalk referring you to the other restaurant.
There are clearly issues with poor staff and also maintenance. A quick chat reveals how badly paid the employees are, why they all seem to be students or very young and on minimum wage.
We asked about the Lodge’s kayaks, although clearly on display we were told we couldn’t use them because there aren’t any life jackets. But it seemed in reality it was that they prefer to use outside contractors (with a commission?)
One evening I was expecting an important phone call so explained this to reception and told them where in the restaurant we were sitting. All evening my caller was told that they didn’t know where we were.
Rooms turn out to be noisy because anyone walking past on the wooden decks cannot be quiet and the windows need to be left open as there is no air-con or fans (more money saving). There are fly screens on the windows but ours had tears which had not been repaired – this rather destroys the purpose of a fly screen.
It would appear that the new owners have a huge task ahead.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Christopher B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
187 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 425 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2009

The lodge is in a fantastic location which is its main attraction. My main gripe with the place is not the expense, which I expected but the lack of details.
There is plenty of reading material in your room about how "eco" the place is but nothing to say that they supply beach towels! I only realised this when I saw somebody else ask. There are no decent coffee making facities in the room either. Also don't think that you can buy any supplies here. There is no shop as such and the front desk sells sun screen etc.
Food is very good but pricey and the pizza place they have is also very good.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bezi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, England
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2009

We chose Awaroa Lodge because it offered high quality accommodation in the middle of the Abel Tasman Park, which is apparently unique.
The location is fantastic - you arrive by water taxi which drops you off at the beach (unless you charter a plane), and it is immediately obvious that you are in the middle of nowhere, which is perfect.
The Lodge has a main building and huts in the forest as bedrooms. The main building is clean and modern - the huts are a little tired, but quite adequate.
It should have been a fantastic place to stay, but it wasn't. There is very little in the way of areas to sit and natter to fellow wilderness enthusiasts - the bar/lounge area is tiny. The dining room is a bit like an up market motorway cafe, although dinner was excellent all 4 nights. Breakfast was not very special. The staff were all great kids - delightful to chat to and very willing but inexperienced and completely unmanaged.
We had the feeling that under better management it could have been a really great place to stay, but it turned out to be a little disappointing. Rumours heard elsewhere on our travels in S Island suggest that the current management had only recently taken over and hadn't got it right yet.
It wasn't cheap, but bearing in mind the logistics (there aren't any), we falt that we couldn't complain about price.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Arbitratorjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
153 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2009

Awaroa Lodge, Nelson, New Zealand
Dec 08
We just returned from a 2-day stay at Awaroa Lodge. All in all, the rooms are clean but average, the food is good but rather pricey, transportation by boat only can be dicey, and the environment is very nice.

We knew that meals weren't included in the price. But, the cost for breakfast, dinner, wine was quite high.

The place was ok but it's not worth the 5-star prices.

  • Liked — Ambience for hiking the track.
  • Disliked — Isolated, food rather expensive, no sundries/snack store, difficult to get there
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Rogelio1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Awaroa Lodge

Property: Awaroa Lodge
Address: 11 Awaroa Bay, Abel Tasman National Park 7143, New Zealand (Formerly Awaroa Lodge)
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Nelson-Tasman Region > Abel Tasman National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Abel Tasman National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Awaroa Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awaroa Lodge in the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park has no direct road access so it is essential you arrange transport prior to your stay; our friendly Lodge team can assist you with options, pricing and bookings. Transport is available from Kaiteriteri, Marahau or Totaranui by sea shuttle or water taxi or from more or less anywhere else at the top of the south (or Wellington) by fixed wing plane or helicopter. Just minutes from the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, the lodge offers a remote and spectacular coastline with magnificent scenery, wildlife and native terrain in pristine condition. The lodge 's 26 rooms consist of standard, superior and family suites featuring an ensuite, bar fridge and tea and coffee making facilities, with views of picturesque wetlands and native forest. All guests are encouraged to appreciate the natural surroundings. We make this a little easier without the distractions of modern day life - no mobile phone coverage or in-room televisions make this the perfect place to totally get away! Enjoy the lodge's facilities including a cosy fireplace in the library, internet access, an organic garden , where our onsite restaurant and outdoor pizzeria source the freshest ingredients. Let our team at the activity desk arrange your guided tours. Explore the natural surroundings by tramping or sea kayaking or just laze on the golden sandy beaches of Awaroa Bay. Awaroa Lodge is the ultimate secluded getaway perfect for a romantic escape, family holiday or unique group experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Awaroa Hotel Abel Tasman National Park
Awaroa Hotel Nelson

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