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“Mixed Feelings”
Review of The Bay Lodge

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The Bay Lodge
Ranked #2 of 5 Pohara B&B and Inns
Reviewed 12 April 2014

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.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Kiwidreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonja V, Manager at The Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2014

Dear guests,
Thank you so much for your detailed review of our Lodge. It is our aspiration to offer all our guests an unforgettable stay and a unique impression of the Golden Bay nature and eco atmosphere. With lots of attention to detail we try to treat our guests as good as possible.

Welcoming cake, cookies, port and much more, are all part of that. We check all provisions on a daily base and where needed will fill up water, cookies, milk etc. We mention all guests that whatever is missing or needed, they are more than welcome to let us know. We will be pleased to help them out as so many of them mentioned in a review, on social media or in our guestbook.

Exactly this service is why guests are rating us so high. So please understand that we feel deeply sorry we couldn't offer this exceptional service to you both. We think that pricewise we offer a high standard service that impresses almost all of our guests. A remark on service is therfor something that really took us by surprise.

It's our aspiration as an Eco Lodge to minimize waste of any kind (food and energy wise) to a minimum. That underfloor heaters are switched off during the absence of our guests for many hours, we find a normal way of doing as north facing tiled ensuites stay warm (even too warm) til sunset and warm up very quick once guests switch them on again on arrival.

With a guest book of 26 pages of useful local information, itinerary suggestions for walks and attractions, a personalised Golden Bay map and a special made Golden Bay discovery book of 22 pages we think our information package is quite unique.

On top of that we created a semi-guided half day Abel Tasman tour exclusive for Lodge guests with very limited time. This allows them to explore the Park in a short but intensive way and this for a very economical price and a mininum fysical effort. For most of our guests this tour was much appreciated and was even highlighted as one of the best nature experiences in New Zealand. We feel so sorry for you both that this suggestion didn't take your attention.

We also arrange free transport to/from popular walking tracks and a free reservation service for local bus transports to the National Park.

Of course we need to know your intentions before we can help you out... If we don't hear or see our guests, we suggest that their privacy is important to them or that they prefer to explore the Bay in their own way without our local advise. Every tourist is different in this.

That there was rumour from neighboring guests is unfortunate out of our control and shouldn't have happened at 7.00am. All walls are sound proof insulated, but of course all guests have different attitudes. So sorry for this inconvenience.

We hope however that you enjoyed your stay and that the mixed feelings don't take over from the many good things our Lodge has on offer.

If privacy and space is really important to you, please book our Aroha or Alegria Suite. These Suites are slightly more expensive but with a 100% guranteed satisfaction when it comes to the points you mentioned.

We like to invite you for an other visit to convince you of our exceptional service and quality and therfor would like to offer you a special 30% discounted rate for your next visit to Pohara Beach.
A 100% satisfaction of all our guests is really our main aspiration as lodge managers, now and in the future!

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35 - 41 of 58 reviews

Reviewed 15 February 2014

Amazing stay. Owners give the best tips for the surroundings and are more than happy to assist with anything you can need. Room is cozy and modern. With a great pool and the best hot tub for enjoying the sunset. Don't miss it.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Carlos M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonja V, Eigenaar at The Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 February 2014

Thank you for taking the time in writing us a review. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us.

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Reviewed 6 February 2014

My girlfriend and me had booked two nights at The Bay Lodge. Lucky enough we could extend our stay for one more night! Sonja and Filip, the hosts in The Bay Lodge, were in their earlier life photographers. They have kept the eye for the perfection! It starts with the very nice interior design of the large room (we were in the Alegria Suite). Great breakfasts (specially the cooked breakfast served in the breakfast room - great for eyes and palate). Very nice and private situation of the rooms and beautiful view over the bay. Our hosts were very helpful with suggestions for trips in the surroundings. They even assisted us with the planning and organization for our next week travel through New Zealand with all details (they are also travel agents and organize trips for incomers). No question: if we ever travel again to New Zealand we will stay at this place!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Adrian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonja V, Eigenaar at The Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to write a review. Very much appreciated. It is also nice to hear that you enjoyed the rest of your trip around New Zealand. All the best and take care. Looking forward seeing you back in the future.

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Reviewed 16 January 2014

This was an amazing place to stay, fantastic spot overlooking Golden Bay, soaking in the hot tub as the sun sets each evening is a must do! Also swimming in the fabulous pool & sunbathing poolside. On top of this Filip & Sonja are wonderful & helpful hosts. We wished we had more time to stay longer, still so much we want to see & do in the Bay. Thoroughly recommended!

Room Tip: We were in the Adagio room, I would recommend either of the other two instead as this is the smalles...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NaomiBUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonja V, Eigenaar at The Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2014

We are glad you enjoyed our accommodation. Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review. Hope to see you back again if you want a little escape from the job.

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Reviewed 14 January 2014

Last week we stayed 3 nights in The Bay Lodge. It was just fantastic, the best B&B where we've been.
The hosts Filip and Sonja do everthing to make you're stay worthwhile. They inform you about things to do around there, the breakfast is great, de rooms are beautifull,... In other words, highly recommended!
Next time we visit New-Zealand, we sure go back to The Bay Lodge!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank 320LucyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonja V, Eigenaar at The Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2014

Many thanks for your lovely words. Very much appreciated. We also enjoyed your company and hope seeing you back one day if we are visiting Europe and the 'West Vlaonderen'.

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Reviewed 28 December 2013 via mobile

We stayed for four days over christmas and loved it! Sonja and Filip are great hosts, Sonja helped us a lot in finding the perfect activities during our stay. The room was very nice and clean (very nice decoration! :)), it has coffee/tea facilities, toaster and fridge, so we could make our own breakfast. We had the stone grill meal on Christmas day which was excellent, so you might want to try more of their meal selection. The pool and spa pool looked great - we preferred the beaches though, since the weather was so nice :). Make sure you book tours with them in advance, they have a great choice of very interesting tours to discover the area. We are really glad that we picked this special place for Christmas!

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank sakara333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonja V, Eigenaar at The Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 30 December 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. It is nice to hear that you enjoyed our lovely place. Yes, you were very lucky with the weather. And I stil remember both of us were making pictures of the beautiful sunset and nice coloured sky on Christmas eve. We hope the shock with cold and wintery Europe is not too big. Have a great start of the New Year.

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Reviewed 13 December 2013

We recently had the opportunity to spend 2 nights at the Bay Lodge on Golden Bay. It was terrific. Filip and Sonja have paid attention to every detail at their beautiful lodge and made us feel very comfortable in this wonderful setting. They assisted us with where to go and the main sites to take in during our too short of a visit. Without their guidance we could have missed some great places. It is rare these days where a place exceeds expectations but the Bay Lodge does just that. It is about a 4-5 hour drive from Picten but well worth it - the scenery is beautiful. we would highly recommend staying here if you are visiting the South Island of New Zealand!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonja V, Eigenaar at The Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2013

Great to hear that you enjoyed your stay at our place. Many thanks for the lovely words and positive review. Also once again thank you very much for the pictures you emailed us. It is a nice memento.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year ! And maybe we may see you back in 2015 if you are planning to come back to New Zealand.

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Additional Information about The Bay Lodge

Address: 36 Bay Vista Drive, Pohara 7183, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Nelson-Tasman Region > Golden Bay > Pohara
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Pohara
Price Range: £142 - £170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Bay Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 3
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

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