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“Loved it! Amazing staff that really do care about the backpacker”

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Dorset House Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 April 2014

I really enjoyed my entire stay in Dorset House. Great location, great staff, clean room, shower/toilet and kitchen, affordable price and it has all facilities you would need for a comfortable stay.

The first good point I have to point out is the staff. All of the staff worked really hard every single day to keep the backpacker clean, tidy, organized and in place. They cleaned cleaned and cleaned even the kitchen. Now, in my entire stay in NZ for a month, I've stayed in many backpackers and I didn't see many staff that actually cleaned the kitchen (cos after all that's the users' (aka guests) responsibilities, right?). But Dorset was an exception. The staff wiped the tables, washed dirty plates that were left by some selfish guests and put the clean ones away into cabinets, emptied the bins etc....so they really do love the backpackers and try all their best to make the place clean for all guests.

The management was great too because things always seemed to be in place. They could help you with bookings, giving out useful recommendations, store your luggage safely...all you need to do is ask.

If you arrive afterhours, they would leave an envelope with your name, key and door code outside. Don't worry...they would never mix up or miss you. As long as you advise them your time of arrival or call them asap if your plan change, then they will always have your key ready for you outside. Again, this shows great care and management from the staff. If the weather was really bad, you might need to scour around the floor or front door area as the envelope might drop or blown away by the wind. That's exactly what happened to me...

I arrived Christchurch really late...at 12AM midnight. I was very worried about the key. What if the key was not there or they forgot about me etc? Where would I sleep?
I was tired, cold, all wet as the weather on that day was appalling! Heavy rain, strong wind...it's a storm that caused Christchurch massive floods and destroyed all the work in progress of repairing the city from the earthquake.

I arrived Dorset, looked at the door...no envelope! Panic started sinking in...OMG! But then I calmed myself down, looked around the floor and there it was. The envelope was blown away by the wind and all wet and covered by leaves! I was so happy when I saw my name. Turned out I was not the only arrived late...as there's another envelope as well.

I got in. The place was warm, felt so welcoming and they also gave me a map so I could find my room. There's no lift, so you have to lift up your own luggage. I got into my room and the lights and heater were on! I didn't expect that at all! It was such a nice service that the staff even thought about me and knew that night would be so cold and I would be needing some warmth. Again, it's such a great care and service from the staff!

My room was the double room no 2. Very comfy, good bed, it had a tv, a small cupboard and lots of hooks to hang my wet jackets and clothes. I slept very well in my entire stay as this was not a loud place which was a big big plus. So I was very impressed and so glad that I chose this place.

Toilets/showers were always clean. Hot water was more than enough. In fact, it was so hot you need to set the right temp and be careful, don't burn yourself. :-)
The lounge room was big. There's tv, pool table, books and dvds. Kitchen was big enough to do your cooking. It would get very busy though during dinner time as everybody would be cooking. There's also washing machine and dryer.

The location was great! It's close walk to the museum, the park and about 25mins walk to Restart Mall. All was good walk and exercise.

Having said all these good things, I do have to point out one bad point. The free wifi was not reliable. It didn't connect for me at all, so I had to use my own internet.

It's really sad that Christchurch was hit by the devastating earthquake. The city is pretty much devastated and hence, every where you go you will see construction works. That's why I do not recommend driving in Christchurch at the moment because traffic was really really bad when I was there. I could sort of picture how the city looked like before and hopefully it would go back to its former state soon.

I will definitely recommend Dorset House to ppl who visit Christchurch

Room Tip: My double room no 2 is great!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Poikime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2014

Hi there,

Thank you so much for your elaborate feedback – we really appreciate you took the time to leave us a review. We are glad to hear you have enjoyed your stay! We’re currently also changing our internet provider, which will take another 3 weeks to get everything installed, but this should hopefully be an improvement for future guests.

Thank you for staying with us and we hope to see you again perhaps in the future!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers

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Reviewed 22 April 2014

cant argue with the location, perfect with a nice garden area
staff were great
upstairs kitchen and dining table (just the 1 indoors the rest were outside) was adequate
double room in the annex was cramped, ie no walking space down either side of the bed
cannot fault the cleanliness but the shower was cold (although invigorating it would have been better with hot water)
pricey for a backpackers though especially taking into account the lack of facilities in the city due to the Re start building work (not the fault of the backpackers of course)
has limited off street parking
for a few dollars more there are very good motels on Bealey Avenue that could be worth looking at if you want more room

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank chris c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re glad to hear you have enjoyed your stay with us (and especially our location).

Please note that our kitchen has two dining tables (one when you come in and one next to the fridges – seating about 10 people comfortably). When it’s a nice day there are indeed 3 more tables on our outdoor deck that guests can use.

We are sorry to hear that your shower was cold, as this shouldn’t happen. The more people use hot water at the same time the harder it is for the showers, but if you could please let me know which shower it was we can double check this – just to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with the shower (you could email stay@dorset.co.nz).

Our Small Double Rooms are indeed smaller than our Standard Double Rooms. They all do have space at one side of the bed and the end of the bed and they also have hooks to hang up any belongings. If you would prefer a bit more space in the room the Standard Double Rooms are indeed a better choice.

Thank you for staying with us and we hope you enjoy the rest of your travels!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers

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Reviewed 15 April 2014

I stayed here for five nights. I found room 14 was a bit cramped. The beds were reasonably comfortable here and they did have some extension leads to allow you to charge phones and laptops. Each bed also had a lamp and bedside table next to it which was good.

Two negative things about this hostel are firstly the dryers in the laundry are completely useless. I paid $4 for an hour of dry at a high temperature and the clothes were still damp. A few people sharing my room experienced the same problems. I wouldn't bother using their laundry. Better to get to a place with machines that actually dry the clothes.

The kitchen isn't too great either. The one and only oven wasn't working when I got there, however they did get this fixed quickly, but two ovens would be good here. They also have a very messy bin system in a large drawer which I thought was a bit unhygienic and a waste of that space. More tea towels for drying are needed here too as they are always damp.

The lounge here is massive and could be split up a bit better. They have quite a few sofas, a large TV and a small pool table which is free to use.

Bathrooms were clean and the showers worked well with decent water pressure most of the time.

The location is ok, but when I arrived a demolition team were tearing down the house next to the hostel. There isn't a lot to do in Christchurch as a lot of the CBD is still a building site. A lot different to the Christchurch I stayed in back in 2010.

I would consider here again but would look at other options next time.

Room Tip: Try to get a room in the main house
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank thejournalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review.

We’re surprised to hear you found our Shared Room to be cramped, as we often receive feedback saying how spacious our Shared Rooms are. However, we appreciate that everyone has a different perception of space.

Thank you for your feedback in regards to our dryer - we will look into this. Please know we also have drying lines outside (which are free to use!).

Besides our oven we have two stoves, a microwave and a grill in the kitchen. As we are a small hostel we feel this is sufficient to make sure everyone can prepare their meals. It’s a shame that it broke down during your stay and we apologize for this, but we indeed tried to fix this as soon as possible (and did so in a timely manner). Please note that besides the tea towels on the kitchen bench and the ones hanging from the drawers we have more clean kitchen towels on the microwave and grill, just in case the others are wet (we generally leave a stack of about 15 to 20 clean tea towels out each day, which should be plenty).

If you could please let us know how you would suggest splitting up the lounge better that would be great. We are open to feedback and are always looking at ways to improve. If you could send your ideas to stay@dorset.co.nz that would be very much appreciated.

We’re a little surprised to see you did not rate our cleanliness very well, but you found our bathrooms to be clean. Were there any other areas in the hostel that were missed at all?

Christchurch is indeed still recovering from the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, which means there is a lot of construction and road works in the city. The building next to us was indeed torn down in a few days, but luckily they only work during office hours and not at night. We apologize for any vibrations you might have experienced during the day, but unfortunately these things our out of our control.

When you read the Lonely Planet you can see that there are still plenty of things to do in Christchurch. It’s probably just not as obvious as it might be in other cities.

Thank you for staying with us and thanks again for taking the time to leave us a review!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers

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Reviewed 14 April 2014

We like to walk and being so close to Hagley Park, while also an easy walk to the CBD, made this a great choice. For a Backpackers charge, you only expect a basic room, but it was perfectly clean and fine when we planned to be out seeing the sights. The kitchen was great, with plenty of crockery and cutlery available and 2 big fridges for labelled items. A huge lounge with free DVDs provided a good spot for the evenings 'in'. Staff were friendly and organised a shuttle from the airport for our very late arrival from Brisbane. Bathroom was right next to our room - convenient but walls pretty thin, so conscious when others using it - mind you I am a light sleeper. Very pleased we stayed here - $470 for 5 nights for 2. Great value.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank DHTragic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re very glad you enjoyed your stay and especially our proximity to Hagley Park. Thank you also for your feedback in regards to our kitchen, staff, your room and our free DVD’s. It’s great to hear you experienced Dorset House to be of great value.

Thank you for staying with us and we hope you enjoy the rest of your travels!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers

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Reviewed 10 April 2014

Dorset house is very tidy and quiet. I enjoyed my stay here very much. The lounge offers a nice place to chill out and there is a pool table! It's very easy to walk to the Canterbury museum where I caught nakedbus. Great security system is pretty cool. All facilities are well organized and work well . And the staff are lovely and helpful. I stay 2 nights here, feeling relaxed and easy. No doubt that I will stay here if I come back to Christchurch. If you just arrive in Christchurch, looking for a place to have a good rest and offer you useful information about this city, Dorset House won't let you down.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
Thank Heaven Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for leaving us such a lovely review! We’re glad to hear you enjoyed your stay and you found our hostel to be homely. Your feedback in regards to our facilities, location and staff are also very much appreciated. We hope you enjoyed your trip through New Zealand and would love to see you again one day perhaps in the future!

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers

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Reviewed 8 April 2014 via mobile

First place myself & my girlfriend stayed when we arrived in NZ & it was one of our favourites in the 4 months we were there. More pricey than most hostels, but worth the few extra dollars. Has a very homely feel & all the facilities were clean & maintained. The staff were helpful with any queries we had re the area also.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank lufctrippers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your first night in New Zealand with us – we’re honored to be one of your favorites! Thank you also for the feedback in regards to our facilities, cleanliness, homeliness and helpful staff.

Thanks for staying with us and we hope to see you again perhaps in the future!

Warm regards,
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers

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Reviewed 29 March 2014 via mobile

First, it's worth noting that Dorset House is well located, clean, and has good common space. But the internet system is terrible. We needed to do some travel planning, and just couldn't. They give you a 100 mb coupon each day, but a few photo uploads and that's gone. You can buy more (at $10 per gig) but it craps out, and we often had times
when our data would expire even though the device was turned off. It made an otherwise pleasant stay sort of annoying. Also, the small doubles are REALLY small with no shelves, hooks, etc. Fine if you don't mind stepping over a pile of stuff all the time, but otherwise... we expected better for $90+/night.

Stayed: March 2014
Thank the_voyageurs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DorsetHouseChch, Manager at Dorset House Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re glad to hear you found our hostel to have a good location, to be clean and well maintained.

However, we’re sorry to hear internet did not work well for you. We indeed include 100mb free WiFi per person per night and we double this to 200mb free WiFi when guests have booked direct (i.e. on our own website). We also sell more internet at $2.00 per 100mb. The Zenbu vouchers state $10.00 on the voucher, as this is a standard Zenbu template which we can unfortunately not change.

It is unfortunate you did not come to see reception as we could have explained the price of extra internet and we also would have been more than happy to help book any activities or hostels for you (or look up any information you may need). Alternatively, if these options would not have been satisfactory we could’ve directed you to the library, which is only a 5 minute walk from us and has free internet. In case you would have needed internet late at night the Burger King (only a 2 minute walk from us) would also have had free WiFi. We do try to make our guests aware of all these possibilities with our ‘general info folder’ that we keep at reception, but you may have missed this.

We are sorry to hear the internet was not up to your standards and we will investigate alternative providers that may be able to offer us more internet.

Thank you for staying with us and we hope you enjoy the rest of your travels.

Warm regards
Hilde
Dorset House Backpackers

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Additional Information about Dorset House Backpackers

Address: 1 Dorset Street | PO Box 25350, Christchurch 8144, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Christchurch
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 111 Speciality Lodging in Christchurch
Price Range: £17 - £46 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dorset House Backpackers 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly located central city, boutique hostel in historic 1871 home, in a lovely quiet garden setting and next to beautiful Hagley Park. You will find everything needed including a guest lounge with pool table, internet, WiFi, DVD's, cable, kitchen, balcony, guest laundry and free off-street parking. A selection of single, double and twin rooms are available, with fully made beds. Enjoy a stroll to Cathedral Square, or indulge in cafes & shopping on Victoria St. ... more   less 
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