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“Great for architecture and character, but not vibe”

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Criterion Art Deco Backpackers
Reviewed 14 March 2012

We stayed here one night in a double room. If you like Art Deco and memorable hostels, this is a good one- it's beautiful. But the manager is not very friendly (a bit creepy to me when my husband wasn't with me, in fact), so that kind of dims the fun a bit.

Pluses:
- amazing Art Deco atmosphere in the Art Deco capital of the world
- free breakfast, a rarity in New Zealand
- free wi-fi, although it's SNAIL SLOW
- great in-town location
- sinks in the double rooms
- sort-of free parking (about 2 blocks away)

Minuses:
- unfriendly manager. He even told us "you can't stay an extra night, there's no room," when in fact HostelBookers.com showed a double vacancy. Not sure why we didn't measure up to his standards.
- unisex toilets//showers. Usually this isn't a problem, but they're next door to each other, making you ask WHY they aren't men's/women's. And more than 1 creepy guy hangs out while you shower.
- crappy wi-fi (though to be fair, all of NZ has this issue)
- no enforced quiet times- noisy backpackers yakked outside our room until 2am

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cool_jonez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 105 reviews

Reviewed 1 March 2012

The backpackers gives a unique place to stay. The building itself is stunning, a little bit of upkeep wouldn't hurt. But the building itself has character and charm. Its tall ceilings and open communal areas create a great environment for socialising and general relaxation. It has a wonderful central location, the balcony give you a chance to take in the quirky town from a different view.
The facilities are good and the free breakfast is a plus. For somewhere a little different to stay it is well worth considering the Cri.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank brittyc711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2012

we stayed here for 1 night. It is a lovely building, with great spacious communal areas.

The guy on reception was very unhelpful. They advertise parking, but it's a space in a car park a few streets away, you can't park out front, so we had to carry all our stuff which was a pain. He didn't explain this very well, then was quite miserable while checking us in.

The room was ok, could have been cleaner. We could hear the nightclub most of the night too, but we were in the centre of town, so you have to expect noise.

The whole building needs a bit of TLC. It looks a bit tired.

free breakfast is a winner though.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dreadheadUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed in the Criterion for two nights. It was fab staying in an Art Deco building, and I loved the big communal area upstairs with the high ceilings and being able to go out onto the balcony and look out over town. The kitchen was big and the fridges etc had plenty of space. They also offer free breakfast with cereal, toast and fruit which was great! We had a car and they managed to get us a free parking space about 5 minutes away. It was a little bit noisy at night, but I suppose that's to be expected when you're right in the centre. We had the window closed which made it really stuffy, but the room had a fan which definitely helped. All in allm definitely recommended.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Catherine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

Criterion backpackers guesthouse is located in the most photographed building of Napier town, as was stated in their advertisement. I can confirm it. The building is really remarkable and ideally situated on the central street, close to the ocean beach. Rooms were mostly small with shared facilities. Ours had a washbasin. On my opinion they need some refurbishment. Kitchen and dining room are spacious and still keep an interior design of 30-ties years of the 20th century. Hotel provides light self-service breakfast for their guests in the morning and in other time guests are free to use kitchen facilities for their own needs. In the same building downstairs is located a cafe-bar, owned I suppose by the same proprietor. Guests, seems, are supposed to come with their own towels, but when we`ve asked for for ourselves, we were provided by. I was satisfied by chosen accommodation in Napier and can recommend it to for backpackers, as well as for budget travelers wishing to stay in a centrally located inexpensive guesthouse.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Aleksandr550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2012

My main issue with this hostel was the lack of parking. Apparently they had free parking but it was full so was had to park about 1/2 mile away. The room was small, nothing great. Shared bathrooms were fine, clean enough. The free breakfast was toast and canned fruit. We went downstairs to a coffee shop instead.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank sln6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2012

I stayed at the Criterion Art Deco Backpackers with a friend last week and I was really surprised. That was the first hostel I've been to who offers a free breakfast and limited free wireless. Also it offers free local calls for their guests.
The rooms were nice and tidy. Also the bathrooms including the showers were clean.
The hostel is located close to the beach and directly in the main street with a lot of shopping opportunites, so it has a great location :)
The only thing that was not good, that they had no parking places available. We had to get up every morning at 7:30 to put money in the coin meter.
But anyway we extended our stay for another night.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kathrin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Criterion Art Deco Backpackers

Address: City Centre 48 Emerson Street, Napier 4110, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Hawke's Bay Region > Napier
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Napier
Price Range: £29 - £35 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24

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