Bed Bugs. Thats all I really have to say.
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Bed Bugs. Thats all I really have to say.
We recently spent 3 nights in Cactus Jacks. First of all if you're allergic to cats watch out here as Cactus is a cat (Jack is a pet bird, caged out front!). If you arrive to Rotorua by bus you will be dropped off at Tourism Rotorua and its just a couple of minutes walk to the hostel from here. Don't be put off by the small reception area. The hostel has plenty of space for all its guests and lots of nooks to throw yourself in to chill. The owners-Joe and Sheryl, are so so nice-really friendly at all times, and a good laugh.
We stayed in room 34, a double off the courtyard area. The bed was extremely comfy. The kind that when you test it after throwing off your luggage you will have difficulty getting up! There are plenty of hooks and shelves and a little dressing table too. Now if you're someone that like spacious rooms this won't be for you. The rooms are small- all of them- but they are comfortable. There are rooms inside the main building and then some that surround the courtyard area. Those surrounding the courtyard did seem bigger so perhaps request one of these when booking. The only draw back is you'll have to go outside in order to get to the bathroom, which might be a pain if it rains. On the topic of bathrooms, there are several- inside and out- so you never have to wait to go. Similarly with showers.
The whole hostel is based on a Wild West kinda theme. For example the room that houses the vending machine and pool table is called the Saloon and the courtyard bit has a great porch swing chair. There is also a hot pool/tub which is great to chill in. The tv room had a good dvd player and vcr and a good collection of movies. I found it great to chill there as there was rarely many prople in it. They only have 3 channels though (although many hostels in NZ only have TV1, Two and TV3). The kitchen was very clean and had plenty of everything, including a couple of fridge-freezers. There is only one table (seats around 6) in the kitchen, but the ajoining room has more seating, along with 2 internet computers (coin run-around $6 an hour). Soup and scones are served free every evening around 6 in the kitchen. We arrived on a Friday and the scones and soup were fresh and delicious, but we found that it was the leftovers of theis that were served the next couple of days so they weren't as good- but still free!
All in all this hostel had lots of character, friendly staff and comfortable beds. It is definitely worth staying here simply for the effort to be different the owners have put in. A gem of a hostel.
(Oh if you're planning a trip to Rotorua I recommend doing the Tamaki Maori Village concert and hangi. I thought it would be touristy nonsense but it was really great fun. The food was amazing and the whole night was thoroughly enjoyable. It costs about $85 for the whole lot but you can literally eat until you burst and everything was really well organised. Another good trip is to go via the shuttle bus from Tourism Rotorua to the Thermal Wonderland. It costs about $10 for the bus and $25 to enter the park. The driver narrates you're trip with interesting info and you also get to visist Lady Knox Geyser and the Mudpools. Well worth a visit.)
If you are visiting Rotorua, this is the place to stay. The owners are possibly the nicest people in the world, and while I was there they even cooked fresh scones for us few times a week!
There is a relaxed, sociable atmoshere, easy to meet people. Thermally heated hot tub, pool table, TV and videos, large kitchen etc etc...... And Cactus the Kitten!!
Good rates, town centre location, walking distance to Lake Rotorua.
Thumbs up all the way!!
One of the best kept secrets of NZ, mine hosts; Joe and Sheryl are amazing, nothing seems to be any trouble to them. They will do anything to make your stay that little more homely. Its not unusual for Joe to wash up and do your laundry for you with out asking. Sherly's comprehension of the Japanese, Chinese and German language is to say the least "brilliant",roll on my next holidays. My most memorable evening would have to be the "WILD WEST" night, Joe's lassoing tricks are breath taking. What talent a man of his age has. I will be seeing you again.
ps. the rooms where a bit dusty.