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holiday home rentals on south island

Brisbane, Australia
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holiday home rentals on south island

we have just returned from a holiday on the south island of new zealand where we rented 3 holiday homes for one week each time - in Picton, Kaiteriteri and Hanmer Hot Springs.

Two were private rentals found on websites and one was through an agency.

We found that all rentals did not include bedding - sheets or towels - you are expected to bring your own. Kind of hard to do if you are travelling from overseas with luggage limits. The agency provided linen rental and also accepted credit card payment. For the private rentals one was expected to send payment overseas to a bank account. Sounded risky to me with no guarantees or receipts.

You are also expected to clean the house - vacuum, wash floors etc when you leave. However, the agency will do this - for an additional fee.

We found the houses were relatively clean except for the kitchens. Pots, fry pans, glasses etc had obviously not been washed properly & were just placed in the cupboards.

Besides being dirty,pots, fry pans etc were mostly 20-30 yr old castoffs, scratched teflon, worn out & in poor condition generally.

I think if New Zealanders want to list their properties to rent for overseas customers on the wwweb, standards of cleanliness should be adhered to & perhaps they should list with a professional agency.

I think they have a wonderful tourism opportunity but need to lift their professional standards to match the competion i.e. catered apts and motels, b&B's.

Queenstown, New...
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1. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

Are you saying all 3 houses were the same??

I have rented about 6 houses in Hanmer Springs over the years and never had any dirty ones. (and just in the process of hiring another)

Did you contact the manager about the dirty dishes when you arrived? If so I'm sure they would of done something about it.

The Hanmer Holiday Homes website does tell you to bring your own linen or it can be hired. It also explains about the cleaning.


Perhaps it would pay to read ALL the terms before you book in the future.

Rotorua New Zealand
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for Rotorua
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2. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

It sounds as if renting a holiday house/bach may not have been what you wanted. Motels supply linen and bedding and cabins at holiday parks also have linen available to hire.Perhaps a five star hotel may have suited your needs even better.

No doubt if professional standards are lifted to match motels, etc and agencies are brought into the picture, prices will need to be adjusted upwards.

Why not stay in a B & B next time? You will have someone to cook, clean and listen to your complaints.

Wellington, New...
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3. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

You probably rented baches which are generally houses used by NZ families as their own holiday accommodation but rented out when they are not using them. These baches are nearly always let where the expectation is that you take your own bedding and it would probably specify on their website when ""linen is included" and this would be the exception rather than the rule.

Unfortunately the fact that things were not properly washed is because the previous people who stayed there probably did not do that. If renting a holiday home or bach it is usual that you leave the house as you find it because the owners are not always living nearby and it is left on trust that cleaning is done for the next occupants.

Baches are a big part of the NZ culture and we accept that things are not perhaps always going to be up to a very high standard, but that is often the charm of being able to stay in someone else's holiday house. You don't need to be worrying too much about using their possessions, you can relax and just clean up when you go. Yes, pots and pans etc are often left in the bach from generation to generation and again, that's often the charm of not having to worry about new things.

Renting through an agency in the future is probably your best bet as linen will then be provided and cleaning done for a fee.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

yes, the agency managed home was indeed very clean as it was inspected by their staff prior to rental.

However overseas tourists paying $150 - $250.00 per night do have some expectations and may not find trying to cook with 20 to 30 year old kitchenware "charming". Overseas tourists may have different standards to kiwi standards of acceptability regarding cleanliness and furnishings quality of rental homes.

I would certainly recommend Hanmer Holiday Homes as being a very professionally run business.

I also noticed there were many holiday rental homes sitting empty in Hanmer. Yet the motels, caravan park cabins, hotel - were all full every night. People I spoke to in the pool were staying in Hanmer for multiple nights - perhaps someone could ask them why they wouldn't rent a holiday rental home?

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

We rented a holiday home through http://www.holidayhouses.co.nz. near Martinborough on the North Island just after Christmas.

It was comfortable with all we needed, including all linen and towels and immaculately clean. But we did ask plenty of questions before hand.

Maybe you were just unlucky.

Morrinsville N.Z.
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6. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

We are a big fan of renting private holiday accommodation and would not go back to motels. The websites tell you if linen is supplied so if you want linen then book one that provides it or buy some cheap sheets and towels at The Warehouse when you get to NZ and give to an op shop at the end of your trip.

If you do your homework and look carefully at the photos on the webpage you can usually work out the condition of the bach. The pricing of them also gives you an idea as well as they are usually in line with others in the same vacinity. The cheaper they are the older usually or they are not in quite as favourable spot.

Email the owners and ask questions about quietness etc.

The expectation is to leave them as you find them so if you do not want to clean them then offer to pay a cleaning fee or go to a motel or apartment. Some now add a one off cleaning fee onto the tariff.

We have never found dirty dishes and on the whole they are very clean with a few exceptions.

If the bach is not up to standard you can complain to the host of the website that it is listed on and they can take the listing off.

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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7. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

As a previous poster says, most of these homes (batches) would have been built or purchased for the owners personal use, not with the idea of renting them out. Usually an agency will approach the owner to secure letting rights, and pay the owner a percentage of the income. From the owners perspective they probably don't care if the property is rented or not, and their attitude will most likely be "If someone is prepared to pay $150 -$200 per night, fine, I'm prepared to take it", but they are not going to equip it any better than they require themselves.

It is correct that in most cases the cleaning is left to the departing tennant, and as an accommodation providor myself, I can tell you that peoples standards of cleanliness vary widely. We have some guests spend a week in an apartment, and it hardly needs cleaning at all; other times it can be an absolute bomb site after just one night. I imagine that if the latter were responsible for leaving a holiday home clean you would have cause for complaint.

People or agents renting holiday homes probably don't see themselves as being in the tourist industry. They are catering for a segment of the NZ population who find this a convenient way of having a holiday, and who know what to expect. No doubt if standards get below their tolerance level they will complain, as you did, and if enough people do so the owners will either decide to lift their game, and probably charge more, or they will decide it's not worth the trouble, and take the place off the market.

Without the internet you would never have found these places, so you are a part of the travel revolution. As explorers in new territory you will find some things which delight you, and some which disgust you, but for sure, you will be wiser for the experience.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

thank you vbc - yes finding your own accommodation on the internet can be a real challenge. I really enjoy having a site such as tripadvisor 'cause the truth is told by travellers who have actually rented accommodation or a car, etc &/or travelled to a particular area. Pictures don't always give the full storey. I would definitely only book thru an agency in the future for a holiday home in n.z. Hanmer Holiday Homes rentals were very professional & you could rent sheets, etc from them as well.

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9. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

most reputable holiday homes, websites / books will clearly set out what is available at a home and extra costs. Some are private holiday homes...or even a home vacated over summer to capture the peak season visitor. If it is with a web group then please let the bookpublisher and the owner know.

We used to rent our cottage and as we lived elsewhere relied on a neighbour to check the property after a hire...always had fantastic guests but without feedback we wouldnt be able to check on a cleaner if we employed one except on an irregular visit. Linen hire is an extra charge but is usually clearly stated as are rules on pets. Many backpackers, motor camps, have similar systems as this keeps costs lower for visitors. If we had to pay a cleaner every time then we would have to charge the same as a motel each night or even more given the size of a house in comparison to motel rooms.

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10. Re: holiday home rentals on south island

I have spent a number of nights in Baches and Holiday Homes around NZ and have found some real variations in the qualities as well as some real gems. I have just spent 4 nights in Crystal Cottage Queenstown (http://www.holidayhomes.co.nz/listing/7854), and I was delighted with the quality of the place. One of the wonderful aspect is the inclusion of spices for cooking and toys that are not availalbe at a hotel (If you use something up, replace it).

I have also stayed at some real dives of motels and caravan parks so I appreciate what I get at a Bach.

the only real problem I have had with using Baches so far has been the lack of adequate heating, especially in the North Island in winter.

Fan heaters are not safe and just do not cut it for a whole bach.

The cleaning is not that onerus if you are generally tidy.

I love the quaintness of baches and did a 3 week trip around the entire south island paying less than $80 per night for the family of 4 a couple of years ago.

My latest trip was a luxury one, with a little more spent on accomodation, But I still stayed at baches and had a ball