We have stayed in hostels all over NZ and this is by far one of our favorites. Janine does a fantastic job maintaining a welcoming and spotless space. The hostel is in a beautiful, two-story house with hard-wood floors (you have to take your shoes off!) and tons of light throughout. Thanks to plenty of soundproofing doors, noise from common areas is kept to a minimum. The kitchen is especially inviting-- a rarity among hostels--and Janine is *constantly* through the kitchen, common areas, and bathrooms to ensure that they are spotless at all times. It's clear that she takes a lot of pride in the hostel, investing both money and time back into it. She also offers plenty of advice on things to do in the area (New Plymouth is great) and the location by the ocean-walkway is perfect. Our one gripe had to do with the bed and bedding: the mattress was extremely squishy and should be retired at this point (not at all uncommon in accommodations in NZ, I'm afraid), as should the sheets and duvets -- the stuff is just too worn. Other than that, a truly lovely place that tends to attract very nice guests. Jed, the resident cat, is adorable!