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“Mixed Feelings”
Review of GEMS Seaside Lodge

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GEMS Seaside Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 March 2013

A bit of a mixed review for this one. The Apartment itself was very nicely laid out, comfy bed and good views - I had a Studio Apartment. Not suitable for small children as the garden is not fenced in and there are steps to a river between the beach and apartments which is not ankle deep as described by the owner, more like 2ft deep. You can walk 5 mins up a path to where you can get on the beach without walking through the river, but beware of dog poo around the path and entrance to the beach.

There is a lack of a decent grocery shop nearby which is not mentioned in the description so without a car, self catering would be difficult. Even with a car, Kataia is not that close, about 14 km. Within walking distance, there is a small cafe, where the coffee machine was not working during my week, and a small takeaway which did not appeal.

The owner booked a trip for me up to Cape Reinga on a coach which was fab, picked up from doorstep and only $55. I did ask about boating/fishing but he advised it was expensive and no alternative such as beach fishing offered. The 4x4 trip was also a no-no as the company charge around $700 and do not take mixed parties so if there is only 1 or 2 of you, far too expensive.

I needed to get to a pharmacy and asked for a taxi number, there is only one taxi company and they did not answer the phone over a period of 4 hours calling. Take mosquito repellant and bite med with you!

Did not meet Pauls wife Jenny as she was away so maybe why I did not feel the overly warm welcome most of the other feedback mentions and why no offer of breakfast or evening meal and not a bbq in sight.

I went for a walk and swim leaving the patio door unlocked so I could get back in, to find on return the owner had been in and locked it which was then denied although the room had been cleaned.

All in all, Ahipara has a lovely beach..... maybe better for a 1/2 night stay and not the 4 I was there for.

Opportunities for improvements:

Additional condiments in the apartment such as oil, vinegar, sauces.
Fan in the absence of aircon
Mosquito coils/deterrents (although the owner says they don't have them)
wooden planking across the river
less dog poo
BBQ on patio
Description to include local amenities or lack of
Cleaner toilet in the apartment

Room Tip: all have views of beach
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Ollieworldwide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PaulandJenny, Owner at GEMS Seaside Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2013

Thanks for your comments. We are sorry you feel this way. We try very hard to meet our guests expectations. Paul and Jenny

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (198)
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116 - 122 of 198 reviews

Reviewed 2 March 2013

We were two couples, a party of four. The bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms gave us all the privacy and comfort we required, while the open plan living, well equipped kitchen and marvellous view enabled us to thoroughly enjoy time together and a couple of lovely "home" cooked meals. Then there was the beach, the birds, the sea and the hospitality of Paul and Jenny. Truly excellent! Thank You.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Service
Thank adelux_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Beautiful, well-designed apartment with clever design and uninterrupted views of the beach, sea, and sea-birds. And Jenny and Paul are great hosts, suggesting things to do and checking our day-trip arrangements (for a trip to Cape Reinga) with the tour operator. Thanks!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

We stayed for 8 nights in this heavenly spot and didn't want to leave. Apart from the amazing situation, views and sounds, this apartment had a big and comfy bed with bedlights and side tables both sides(most important for us seasoned travellers) and the apartment was very well equiped, and great value for money. Excellent non intrusive hosts. If you are in this region of NZ this is THE place to stay, we will be back!

Room Tip: Both apartments are excellent, depends on the size of your party
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wenfen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2013

I am reluctant to publish this review because I want to keep this 'Jewel in the Crown' a secret, but that seems too selfish so here goes. We have visited this place on four occasions over a period of time and it still makes your toes tingle when you survey the view. It has direct access to the beach and you can lie in bed and watch the waves crashing and birds calling. Paul and Jenny are superb hosts and they provide everything you need and are welcoming. The apartment is well maintained and comfortable with high quality fittings.

Room Tip: The lookout or penthouse affords the best views and although being a little more expensive than the...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Bernard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2013

I have stayed in many places and this was the absolute best. In my opinion the photos do not do it justice which is unusual in my experience. The hosts Jenny & Paul are friendly, helpful and unobtrusive. Right on the beach, sliding doors leading to the patio off the bedroom and lounge room. Fabulous outdoor setting and a view to die for. They have everything one could possibly want including real coffee, tea (even tea leaves and a tea pot) and none of those tasteless sachets. Superb decor, I could quite happily live here for the rest of my days. I stayed in the studio which has a separate large bedroom with an ensuite. I can not recommend this place highly enough.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
    • Service
Thank Debstar55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2013

We had been meaning to take our family to 90 Mile Beach and Cape Reinga and finally made the journey to the Far North in January. The beachfront accommodation was simply stunning. Jenny & Paul created a slice of heaven in this remote but stunning part of New Zealand. The views were to die for and the amenities were superb. We enjoyed the library of local books and guides and were very grateful for the advice to take a bus trip on the beach and to the Cape. We initially intended to take our own car but the local guide who collected us in the morning and dropped us back off at the lodge late afternoon, was superb. His local knowledge of the area was outstanding and the experience would simply not have been the same without his colorful anecdotes. On our return we got treated to home made Tuatua fritters by Jenny which were delicious. We highly recommend a visit to the Far North and stay at this beachfront retreat.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Laetitia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about GEMS Seaside Lodge

Address: 14 Kotare Street, Ahipara 0481, New Zealand (Formerly Ahipara Beachfront Accommodation)
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Ahipara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Ahipara
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
GEMS Seaside Lodge offers the discerning traveller exceptional lodgings in the jewel of Ahipara, at the base of the 90 Mile Beach. Begin your adventures to Cape Reinga, the Bay of Islands, the Hokianga, and other treasures of Northland, from here. However, there is actually a wealth of activity in Ahipara for you to enjoy. World class surfing at Shipwreck Bay, fabulous fishing (both chartered and surf casting), board paddling, horse-treking, 4 Wheel Driving and Sand Duning are just a few of the many activities available. For those who wish to enjoy a more leisurely experience, there is golf, beach walks, and visits to our very own award-winning vineyards. If you simply prefer rest and refreshment with book in hand, then absorb the beauty of this magnificent beach paradise, with crashing waves, beautiful birdlife, and stunning sunsets, from the comfort of your lodge, as part of your ‘seaside therapy’. ... more   less 

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