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“Best place we stayed in New Zealand!”

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Dolphin Lodge Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best place we stayed in New Zealand!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2014 via mobile

Reflecting back after a month of travels around New Zealand this was the best place we stayed. We have a private double. The manager is such a friendly woman and the place is always clean and inviting. Seemed a little cold at first but our room heated up with heater provided and hot bottles are available for free. Nice relaxed atmosphere with an amazing log fire to sit around in the evening!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sdp21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    59
    53
    16
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    4
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

Got off the bus in search of ahostel and saw a sign tucked away, so glad I did! Brilliant choice for the night, Left my bags on the bed in a beautiful clean dorm and headed back down to the city for a browse. Came back for my camera and went off on a lovely walk to the seal bay, and over the peninsula banks before dinner approached. Wonderful kitchen, with a cosy room to relax by a fire.
Plenty of hot water bottles to help yourself and the manager is kind, pleasant and always makes sure all her guests are enjoying themselves.
Asked if we had a nice sleep, lovely morning greeting, this is a perfect place to stay in kaikoura

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 28Skippy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whangaroa, New Zealand
Level Contributor
71 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2014 via mobile

Amazing view, great location, we stayed here as a family and was totally ok, all sorts of other ages from babies to older guests, was a nice place, big clean kitchen and nice outdoor space too. The room was nice, dorm I think, only one bunk, everyone slept great although I drew the short straw and had bottom bunk, it was just too cramped, like I was in a coffin, the top bunk seemed right in my face, and it was metal mesh underneath so when I got in and out all my hair got caught in it- ouch! There was clumps of other peoples hair too caught in it who must have had the same issue! Apart from that loved the stay here!

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Meg-NZmoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
162 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

This was my second experience of a Backpackers & quite enjoyed it...the very new owner was very nice & helpful...the 4 man dorm was clean & tidy. The spa was pleasant & clean! I enjoyed this kitchen, as it had everything we needed to make a evening meal & breakfast & the other guests were nice people. The location was great...5 minutes to the High street of Kaikoura...& a 10 minute walk for me to the Whale Station (my purpose for staying there). We also had parking outside the front of this venue. I would stay here again & would recommend. Also had some free WIFI via Zenbu, which i found important to stay in contact with family/friends in the UK!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2014

The dolphin lodge is located near the city center and coast (5 min walk). Rooms, kitchen and bathroom are all very tidy. It has a nice veranda with a great view and even a hot spa. Bikes are cheap to rent (5$ per day) and you get wifi vouchers for zenbu.

Very recommendable.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Christoph C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
92 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

we stayed there for 3 nights and felt very comfortable there.
we had a double room with bathroom, it was very clean.
the owner is very nice and checks that your ok and had a good time.
good location and really enjoyed our time there!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charlotte K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Level Contributor
240 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 389 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

This is an excellent location. It is about 5 minutes from the I-site but it is up a steep hill. This also means it is off of the main road so there is no road noise.

In general this backpacker was ok and if in the area I may stay here again. In summary it looks like it was fixed up about 20 years ago and nothing has been put back in the business. It is clean but a bit tired and old. For example, in the kitchen the refrigerator leaked for the 3 days we were there. The staff shoved a towel under the refrigerator and changed it each morning. On the 2 stoves, at least 1 burner did not work on each. The cooking tools (flippers, etc.) need replacement. Some of the pots have handles falling off. The hot tub looked very tired. I did not use.

The biggest advice I can give is do not book the twin room that is located outside of the main building. It is only a few feet from the main building. That is not a problem. The room is a converted garage. 2/3 of the garage space is this twin room and 1/3 of the space is the communal TV room. The TV room couches are old and filthy. It looks like your clothes may pick up stains if you sit on the couch. If someone is watching TV or talking in the TV room you can hear everything in the twin room.

Also, the door of the twin room is falling apart, it closes very loudly and would be very, very easy to break in. It faces to the west and when the sun is setting, the room gets extremely hot and you can’t use the room.

The dorm rooms are large, very bright and cheery. The doubles looked okay too. I would just avoid the outside twin room.

This hostel is a 10 minute walk to a small grocery store and a 30 minute walk to the large grocery store (New World).

I hope you find this review helpful and if you do, I would appreciate a helpful vote. Thanks!

Room Tip: Don't stay in the room that is not included in the main house. It is a converted garage and the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dolphin Lodge Backpackers

Property: Dolphin Lodge Backpackers
Address: 15 Deal Street, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 36 Speciality Lodging in Kaikoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Dolphin Lodge Backpackers 4*
Number of rooms: 7
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