I have stayed in 15 hostels and motels across 3 continents, and this is the best budget accommodation I've ever stayed at. Heck, it's even better than some cheap hotels.
The staff (especially the owner, Brett) are super friendly and helpful with the planning of our day, including recommendations for activities to do and down to details like places to grab a good meal/buy cheap groceries.
They're also a booking centre, so you can just go to the reception and they'll give the place a ring/book online. I was going to go paragliding, but one of the staff AQ called the place for me and was informed that the weather was bad. Then 2 hours later I ran into Brett at the computer room and he offered to call again to see if the weather permitted paragliding. He wasn't even the one who called earlier on, so I was very impressed by how he took note of what his guests needed or wanted.
The place itself is fantastic with sturdy bedframes (no shaking bunk beds!), non-saggy mattresses, and extra pillows and blankets to ensure a good night's sleep. There's also a free supply of tea and coffee and spices, the biggest and most well-stocked kitchen I've ever seen, an activity room with group activities at night to get to know other people if that's your fancy, free hairdryers, free wifi (extremely rare in NZ), free international phonecalls, free printing, plentiful power points in both the bedroom and common rooms...
The location itself is also perfectly situated at the heart of QT, but it's nice and quiet at night for sleeping.
It all sounded too good to be true on their website, but they provided everything they promised and more. I only regret that I had to check out and move on to the next city after 2 days of fantastic accom and sleep.
All my thanks to to owner and staff of AQ hostel for running such an amazing hostel and their hospitality!
(when we checked in, Brett showed us around the place and my friend asked him, slightly stunned after seeing all the facilities, 'How do you afford all these?'. And Brett answered, 'By being excellent'. Now that I'm basically gushing non-stop about the place, I understand how providing an excellent hostel has led to the success of the place.)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC