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“Some of the other reviews a bit unfair”

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Criterion Art Deco Backpackers
Ranked #12 of 34 Speciality Lodging in Napier
Reviewed 16 July 2012

OK, so I think this hostel is in definite need of refurbishment, but I think calling the manager "creepy" is a step too far. I was travelling on my own, but found the Manager friendly and approachable at all times. He answered all my questions and was polite. I did not find him creepy at all. The free breakfast was also good (museli, cereal, fruit and toast). The kitchen was spacious and well equiped, although some of the chopping boards etc need replacing and updating. There were also no hairdryers as they have been stolen, which was a bit of a downside in winter. The hostel is in a good location and the lounge is spacious and a good place to meet people. The TV room is also separate, which I prefer, especially for reading. There was a nice atmosphere here, if a little laddish at times (but aren't all hostels like this?). My mattress was sagging in the middle and also needs replacing, but the showers were quite clean. Compared to the excellent standard of other hostels in NZ, this place has a lot to live up to, so I probably wouldn't recommend it to others. I booked it because of the Lonely Planet "our pick" recommendation, but have learnt that these quickly go out of date and wouldn't trust them again. There were no maps available at the hostel, but go to the nearby iSite, they are excellent.

Room Tip: Maybe go for a private room if you can afford it and really want to stop here. Two nights is probabl...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Louise B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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72 - 78 of 107 reviews

Reviewed 26 June 2012

We arrived here at night - right from the time we pulled up in our car, we had a not so good feeling. I'm not sure if it was just the time when we were there, but the streets were pretty much barren except for some punk-looking people - it was unsettling. When went up the stairs and it took awhile to find the manager to check in. He was a little strange, as others have pointed out. I don't remember cleanliness being an issue, it was just a little creepy-feeling. Not very busy when we were there - only a few guests. We also ate in the bar downstairs and it was pretty much empty too. The outside is nice, but the inside is old - I kind of felt like I was in a haunted house, complete with creepy manager and cat (although we loved the cat - he was nice!)

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank trinitycherity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2012

We stayed two nights with friends in this nice looking place. Location is great and central! Rooms were tidy and atmosphere good. Free breakfast in the morning was definately a great plus!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Juho H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

We stayed here last week (mid March) and arrived late so possibly were given the worst room in the place (14). We had booked a private twin en-suite and were given what looked like a converted public toilet. 2 small beds, toughened frosted glass windows & a toilet & shower cubicle with a foot gap to the floor and the vacant/engaged latch on the door which you get in some public loos. It was very depressing more like a cell. The next day we asked to move and were given an outside double room (9) which was 100% better so the experience will depend on what room you get.
As other travellers have mentioned, there is a free pool table and unfortunately as there are no staff on duty at night, this was used until the early hours so was quite noisy.
The whole place could definitely do with a refurbish as it isn't that cheap compared with better backpackers we have visited around the rest of New Zealand. The free breakfast is a nice touch though and was regularly topped up. It is dead central and if I had to, would stay here again as long as we got there early to have a pick of rooms.

Room Tip: Ask for an outside room looking out to the street not to the interior.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank SaltsUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2012

If you like your backpacking with a bit of grunge thrown in - stay here. It is old school. Yes the building on the outside is art deco but on the inside it leaves a lot to be desired. There seems to be a penchant for noise late into the night with us being able to lie in our bed and hear the karoke from downstairs on one night and then the bar across the road on the other. Not the best place for great sleep. Good that there was a basin in the room. Good that there was a "continental" breakfast and then free pool but there is a lot of room to improve here. And a tip for those needing wifi - dont bother with the free wifi in the hostel - use the Napier free wifi if you can pick it up.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank kelllips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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 #12 of 34 Speciality Lodging in Napier
Price Range: £28 - £34 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24

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