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“Awesome views and very comfortable”

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Manapouri Motels & Holiday Park
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 March 2013

If you're looking for a modern, urban-style motel room with no character then you probably won't like this place. However, if you enjoy a more quaint and quirky style then you'll enjoy it. I stayed in one of the little chalet type things the night before a cruise to Doubtful Sound (a wonderful experience in itself) and found it comfortable and clean, with a small kitchenette - everything I needed for $90/night. The best thing, though, was the view from the big picture window looking out over Lake Manapouri - that was very specco and made it well worth it.

Room Tip: Definitely get a room overlooking the lake
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Trish C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 - 71 of 77 reviews

Reviewed 14 February 2013

We booked 2 nights here through the iSite in Wanaka, (without seeing it or reading any reviews), as we had decided to go on the Doubtful Sound Cruise. The iSite employee was told it was "retro" and so we agreed to stay for NZ$110 per night, for just 2 people. Our first impression was: retro or sad? We felt it was quirky, but also looks a little rundown. The Camp Shop where we had to go to get the key, felt like we stepped back in time, which can be fun. Our details were taken down with a pencil in a ledger - I have not seen that for a very long time! The owners were kind and friendly. We had had issues with a local petrol station (paying by credit card before getting petrol, and having $500 withheld, but that is another story!!). In reality the "chalet" looked tired when we stepped inside, as the black tubular futon was the first thing we saw and is very old looking. If we had not paid, we would have left and gone to Te Anua, where there are many more options. However, once we opened the windows to let the heat out, our stay at this motor park was comfortable, bed very good and everything was clean, and finally a decent size fridge!
The owners would be well advised to sell one of the old Morris Minors and getting a better lounge in the chalet, paint the dark wood panelling in a light colour, so it looks fresh retro.
And yes, a chair or bench on the verandah would make life even better - the old plastic chair does not cut it and could not be called "retro".
One question: why do no places in NZ have flyscreens on their windows? We did not dare to leave the windows open anywhere during our 13 days in NZ on the warm nights we experienced.
Manapouri does not have a lot of accommodation, and has a very nice attraction with the beautiful lake across from this motel: so improve the motel and more people will want to stay there, I say! Stunning place for a holiday, and so under-utilised as yet.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Virginie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2013

I agree with other reviewers on trip adviser, accommodation is dated and I did suggest to the owner,who by the way is 79 years old that she should provide small tables outside for an evening drink or meal.But she did have chairs outside.
The chalets are roomy and very clean and have everything you need,the Internet is very slow,but while I was there a man said he was putting an upgrade of Internet In to the area so it is not her fault.
The owner was so informative and helped us book trips on Doubtful Sound and they did pick us up outside the accommodation.
The view over the lake is second to none and we liked the owner and enjoyed our time at the Motel,she has a lot going on for all sorts of travellers with play areas,and washing facilities,and the collection of Morris Cars my husband really enjoyed.
We actually ended up staying 3 nights and there is a small beach opposite the motel and it seemed to have something the pristine places did not have,it would be even better if a few updates were done on the property.But we really enjoyed being in a much quieter spot than Te Anau

Room Tip: Choose a front lodge the views are spectacular
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nestcottage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2013

We had been recommended to stay at this unique place with its very own collection of aged Morris Minors, others old vehicles and pinball machines as well as whacky chalets and cabins in bright colours and a variety of shapes and sizes and we were not disappointed with its character, nor the superb view from chalet C. The decor and fittings are dated but really very comfortable and suit the place and we were able to heat our place quite well when the weather turned cold.
However, management really needs to do something about the all-pervading smell of rancid canola oil that spoilt our experience of this place. Frying in the chalets should be banned! The communal kitchen and dining area also smelled of old cooking oils.
Although there is (quite expensive) wi-fi the only place it worked was in the communal dining area and even then I had to hold my device close to a window and kept on having to log in.

Room Tip: Cabin C has fabulous lakeside views
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank SAFTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

Holiday park on the lake (stunning - the lake I mean) with a range of accommodation. A bit quirky and possibly weird but husband and I enjoyed our stay (one night). Opted for a two bedroom self contained chalet as only other available unit was right by entrance. All a bit dated but everything there you needed, bathroom and kitchen very clean. Beds were double and slumpy (think roll together plus) and luckily there were two as would have had a crap sleep otherwise - not ideal when you'd prefer to sleep with husband.
Owner is from San Fran (40 years a kiwi) and was friendly and helpful.
Suggest you check what you're getting before committing.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mcchan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2012

As we were booked on a cruise on Doubtful Sound we thought staying in Manapouri would be the sensible thing to do.

When we drove onto the site we thought the manakin in the top window of the shop was a little strange but on entering the office/shop it seemed all very in keeping with the ambience... It was a little like walking onto the set of A League of Gentlemen ("a local shop for local people"). We stupidly paid for two nights at $47 a night and were then shown the facilities which were dated and not particularly clean (the showers smelt of urine and you had to press a switch on the wall to activate the hot water for a maximum of 7 minutes!)

We drove around the site looking for somewhere nice to park up but it looked like something out of the 1950's with old cars (some with manakins in them) and dilapidated caravans and wooden units pretty much everywhere. We finally decided to park next to the children's play area where a couple of young children (8 year olds) were playing.

We walked down to the cafe next door where we ordered two coffees and chicken nuggets and chips for our two year old. I wish we hadn't bothered as the coffee was luke warm at best and the meal was very poor.

On returning to our camper van our two year old decided he wanted to play on the swings and slide and I had to rescue him from the two eight year olds who were still playing on the old and poor quality equipment and who tried to prevent my two year old from using the slide by hitting him with a 4ft long piece of wood! When I challenged these unsupervised German children they tried to hit me with the wood also, so short of being arrested for beating the hell out of two eight year olds we unplugged the electric and drove back to Te Anau where we had a lovely day/night at Lakeview Holiday Park (for $38) which was not only clean but also didn't have a manakin in sight!


I have never left a review on trip advisor before but felt moved to leave one on his place. It's a real shame that the owner of this place doesn't invest in improving the site as I'm sure he'd be repaid in custom if he did so.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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2  Thank DavidH1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2011

We stayed here over Easter, 2011, to have some quiet time out following a hectic two weeks with a tramping club in the Glenorchy area. Despite being a public holiday, and fairly busy, the place is well laid out and our unit was quiet and comfortable. We booked unit 'G', which, though not modern, and without the lake views of the other units available, was cheaper and away from the road. The owner/manager was very helpful, and provided information about places of interest in the area. She also booked a Doubtful Sound tour for us, which proved to be worth every penny of the $200 per person.

The elderly owners of this place are Morris Minor enthusiasts, and a huge collection of these vehicles can be seen on the site. A hotel cafe/restaurant is just 5 minutes walk away, though we had a long wait for service as they were very busy at the time.

For anyone wanting a quiet, peaceful time, 20 minutes drive away from the crowds of Te Anau, this is the place to stay.

Room Tip: Unit 'G' is tucked away from the road near the back of the site, is well appointed and cheap...
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Well-Weathered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Manapouri Motels & Holiday Park

Address: 86 Cathedral Drive, Manapouri 9643, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Manapouri
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Manapouri
Number of rooms: 33

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