Our stay at The Bay Lodge was a mixed bag. Parts were simply outstanding but other areas were somewhat lacking and unexpected following others excellent reviews.
First the good:
The setting looking over Golden Bay is stunning.
The pool area and spa pool were as wonderful as depicted on the website and the water temperature of both perfect for us with the pool still warm enough to swim in while still refreshing. Sitting in the spa on a star sprinkled night soaking up the atmosphere was simply wonderful.
The room was as depicted on the website, decorated beautifully although smaller than it looked on the website. Certainly adequate for a few nights stay however and the deck area off it with table and chairs and a deck lounger extended the space and we made good use of that area.
Now the not so good:
We found the main letdown to be in the varying levels of service we received. On arrival we were told to help ourselves to everything supplied in the room as it would be replenished daily. We thoroughly enjoyed the slices of cake and miniature cookies the first day and eagerly looked forward to what would be supplied the next day. What we got was a couple of plain round wine biscuits and nothing else. Really? Not a treat for us so they remained untouched and still nothing additional the next day. As well as this our supplied bottles of water and milk were not topped up and we subsequently had insufficient milk for our coffee in the morning. When they were both completely empty they were replaced.
On the positive side, a small decanter of port was sufficient for our time there and a glass each night was thoroughly enjoyed.
We turned on the underfloor heating in the bathroom our first night as the evenings were chilly. We left it on low the next morning knowing we were not going to be back until after dark and wanting to return to a warm floor. This was turned off when we returned and the floor was definitely chilly. Another unusual aspect was that the tiles continued outside the bathroom to the hallway where the tea and coffee facilities along with the fridge and plates, cutlery etc were but the floor was not heated here so you had to stand on a very cold floor to make your morning coffee etc. Very odd for a luxury lodge we felt.
We also found the privacy wasn't as great as expected. We could hear our neighbours through the wall talking at around 7am each morning which woke us up and the decks off the rooms are all right next to each other so certainly not private, although they are all separate.
Lastly while we found our hosts to be very helpful with information we found we had to go looking to get it and felt we were intruding when we did. They happily supplied a folder of information to take with us one day, trusting us to return it which was a lovely touch. We did expect more detailed information about what parts of the Abel Tasman Track we should focus on with our limited time available but we could only get very general descriptions out of them. Perhaps it was that English is not their first language (although they speak it very well) that limited the descriptive language we were after to help make our decisions.
So all in all, while we enjoyed many aspects of our stay here, I'm not sure we would return. Note, make sure you get supplies in Takaka, the camp store is your only option in Pohara and is very expensive and very limited in what they supply.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We invite you to share our haven of peace and tranquillity. Our elevated location offers you an all-day relaxation with native birdsong from the nearby nature reserve and unsurpassed sea views over the Bay. Laze on your private deck to soak up memorable sunsets or unwind in our outdoor spa under a blanket of stars... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Bay Lodge Pohara, Golden Bay