My partner and I stayed here for a week in order to be a close distance to my friends who were getting married AND to be in a central position to go for day trips in the Waikato area.
I'm originally from the South Island and do not know the North Island at all so I wasn't sure where the best place was to stay. We chose the Astra Motor Lodge purely because of the photo of the owners and the photos of the rooms and by God did we strike gold!
We arrived late in the evening. Bronny and Steve were glad to see us. Steve was kind enough to blend some proper coffee grains for my partner's first cuppa the next morning. We had an apartment up off the ground, our own parking space and got to meet Alvin their feline who does ad hoc room inspections. In the dark the Astra Lodge was easy, thanks to the spiffy blue lights on the walls. The position of the lodge, just on the edge of Hamilton was perfect because we didn't have to navigate through city traffic for our day trips.
When we return to the North Island, we will definitely be staying at the Astra Lodge again AND recommending it to any of our friends who will travel to that area. The rooms were clean, the bathroom was fabulous! (will be borrowing THAT design!), the little kitchenette was great too. Bit hard to wash dishes with a microwave in your face BUT for two people, there isn't really that many dishes to wash anyway. It was a new building and everything worked! Nothing was missing or faulty or smelly. Kitchenette was definitely well stocked and it was a great place to stay.
Bronny and Steve know their stuff locally and always had good advice on where to go, what to do and where to eat. They were always happy to help or answer our questions with a smile. It was pretty good to be near two Hospitals too (by coincidence) and while the Astra Lodge is on a main road it was easy for us to go for an early morning walk daily and not get lost.
The Waikato River wasn't all that far away at all, plus there was a park that had an outdoor rollerskating rink(locked during our time here), outdoor basketball court and skateboarding space. On our second last day we walked right up to under the bridge and sat and watched ducks. A very peaceful and relaxing morning.
Another place to visit is the Hamilton Gardens. It's free and be prepared to be blown away, it's much bigger than you think! During our week in Hamilton we went to Papamoa and Cambridge twice, did a day trips to Rotorua and Hobbiton (awesome!).
The only mistake we made was flying from Auckland to Hamilton. The locals thought we were nuts; because the length of time we spent waiting at Auckland airport, we could've driven to Hamilton by then. Turns out it's a 15 min flight. D'oh! But we will factor that in for next time.
Many thanks to Bronny and Steve for giving two stressed out Sydney chicks a nice, clean, decent place to stay for a week. You two are naturals at this !! Thank you also for the birthday wine, we didn't drink it that night, but took it back to Australia with us. It will be consumed soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxurious New Motor Lodge located by Braemar Private Hospital and a few minutes walk to Waikato Hospital. CBD local restaurants and cafes are all within 5 mins in the car. Visit our beautiful gardens or enjoy a stroll around the lake. The 16 beautifully appointed apartment style rooms all with king and superking beds -(can be split into two singles). Sky Guest select with 50 channels plus in everyroom. Full kitchens. Double showers some with twin heads.Spa Baths, heat pump/air-conditioning in everyroom, Ultra fast broadband, wifi, guest laundry. Continental and cooked breakfasts available, with Gluten free options. Plenty of parking. ... more less
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