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“One of New Zealand's less appealing backpacker hostels”

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Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers
Reviewed 27 January 2011

We've stayed in a number of backpacker hostels over the last 3 months, so we have a reasonably good benchmark for quality by now.

The check-in was fine and the staff were warm and friendly. My girlfriend and I were assigned the room called "the Glade" - all very picturesque sounding. The Glade was actually a stand-alone prefab - possibly a converted shed or garage. Actually, not bad inside, but the main problem was that the nearest toilet and shower was a good 30-45 second walk away across a garden and, depending on the route, through the TV lounge. Not ideal at all, especially at night in the rain. The room would also be absolutely freezing on a cold night, as it seemed to have limited insulation and only a small plug-in electric fire (not a particularly environmentally friendly heating option either).

The lounges were comfortable, the showers and toilets ok'ish (not by any means the best we've seen) but the communal kitchen really let the place down - we were staying on a busy night, which didn't help, but the kitchen and eating area was way too small for the number of users, and it is only cleaned once, in mid-morning, which meant that by evening meal time it was pretty rank. (And by breakfast, obviously, even worse...)

On balance, if we went back to Te Anau we'd look hard for alternative budget accomodation before rebooking.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 January 2011

Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers in the peaceful town of Te Anau, overlooks the lake of the same name (the largest on the South Island). Friendly staff, large dorms, great big kitchen and good communal areas.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank HannahCharnock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2010

I've stayed here a few times (by myself and with friends), in various rooms. I enjoyed staying in one of the smaller 4 bed dorms (routeburn, greenstone..etc) when i was by myself. The rooms are spacious for four people, lots of space to put your stuff, desk, balcony with nice couches to sit outside and enjoy the view. If you stay in one of these rooms you have to use the shared kitchen (pretty decent and clean/tidy..etc) which is good if you want to be social.

If you stay in one of the rooms with your own kitchen, they are nice if you are a group of friends, it feels like your own hotel!, but for half the price! The communal TV area was pretty small, and hard to relax as its right by the dining area. Staff was super friendly (a friendly south american girl). Good location. Internet available. Kind of annoying that reception closes pretty early, especially if you need to use the internet and haven't pre-purchased your voucher. But not a biggie.

Would recommend this place. They also had alot of useful flyers/information about the tracks in the area, and other touristy stuff.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled solo
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Thank hools007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2010

Despite Lakefront Backpackers' central location in easy walking distance to anything of interest in Te Anau, I cannot recommend it as it fails in all other areas important to budget travelers.

The property (several buildings) is rather run-down. My partner and I stayed in a 4-bed dorm in a cottage-style building that had 2 very old kitchens, 2 bathrooms and 2 toilets. Rooms and facilities not exactly clean and everything looked quite neglected. The place could need an overhaul, and some proper locks on the doors, too.

Our room was spacious enough, beds were massive wooden bunks but mattresses were quite bad and the bed linen really smelled. The light in one of the bathrooms didn’t work. The kitchen were not very well equipped, but the state of them (old, in need of renovation), the smell of the building and the dirt didn’t really make us want to cook and eat there anyway. The furniture in the living area of the cottage was shabby and old.

Reception wasn’t particularly interested in providing us with a nice stay either, totally disinterested in any form of conversation or making travelers feel welcome.

I cannot recommend this place to anyone. Lakefront Backpackers needs a general overhaul and also needs to replace rickety old windows and makeshift locks on external doors. Although on the cheaper side of hostel accommodation in Te Anau, it still fails to provide value for money, which says it all about what a stay there is really worth.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank ChristinaHegele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2010

Though location of the hostel is good, I recommend to never stay here (Te Anau has many more backpackers, so avoid this one):

- Very unclean room: We saw mice in our room (Room #2), found mouse poo and then traps that had been set up !
- Bad sleeping: The matress is a mega soft sandwich
- non-helpful/cooperative management: When we told the reception in the morning (as they leave at 7.30 pm) about the mice they would not at all want to refund us or make advances in any way.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank atw2010ole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2010

I stayed here with a friend for just 1 night whilst travelling around New Zealand. The weather was awful so we cut our driving short and pulled up to this hostel to see if there were any vacancies for the night. The location is gorgeous, right in front of the lake (figures really!), although the fog was so bad we couldn't see it even from our window! There was a nice balcony which would've been perfect for brighter days.

We found the hostel really, really quiet and peaceful. It was perfect for the night but we couldn't help but feel the 'cliquey' vibe you can get at some hostels - it wasn't the most sociable of places. Nonetheless. the communal facilities were clean and perfectly adequate. The whole place was quite old fashioned but it added to the vibe rather than making it look outdated.

We stayed in a shared dorm room and had one of those bunks with a larger bed on the bottom. We were shattered from our day and I must have had the best sleep EVER, so comfortable! Bathroom was clean, cleaner was polite, nothing to complain about at all. Judging by past reviews, very underrated I think. Very chilled hotel for a gorgeous, chilled area.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank muirmuir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2010

OK hostel with very unhappy manager. Not friendly or helpfull. Have to pay for towles. Easy walk to small town.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank cjd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers

Address: 48 - 50 Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park 9600, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Fiordland National Park > Te Anau
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Te Anau
Price Range: £17 - £46 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers is the only backpackers located on the lakefront, a stones throw from Lake Te Anau. Located just 300 metres walk from the Glowworm Caves and the top of the Te Anau town Centre.At Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers you will find a well maintained, clean and warm backpackers accommodation lodge to base yourself whilst you explore the Fiords, Tracks, Caves, Lakes and Scenery of Fiordland National Park.We provide ensuites, double, single, twin, quad and share rooms all with fresh linen and duvets on the beds. Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers is only a few minutes walk to the Te Anau village centre where you will find a good selection of supermarkets, cafes, bars, Restaurants and shops. ... more   less 
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