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“Good if you don't have a car.”
Review of Fish Tank Lodge

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Fish Tank Lodge
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Good if you don't have a car.”
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Located on the main strip of Kaikoura, The Fish Tank is very easy to find. (Opposite the i-site)
However, if you have a car there's no official parking. There is paid parking across the road (8am-6pm) or a grassy bank which we believed to belong to a neighbouring church.
We asked at reception and were told to park across the street but chance not paying as 'one of the machines hadn't worked for a year. ' Everyone else in the car park was paying ... not very helpful advice!

We had a choice of two double rooms on the ground floor, both were nice and spacious. There was a shared bathroom between the two.

Upstairs had a large common room with big couches and large dining table. This led out to a large sunny balcony.
The kitchen was an OK size and well equipped.

This upstairs area also had most of the dorms. Despite its size it became quite cramped and loud in the evening. Thankfully the noise didn't resonate downstairs.

This hostel is clean and comfortable but needs to find a resolution for car parking.

Room Tip: Downstairs has two doubles and one dorm, these are the quiet option.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014

Had a very pleasant stay. The hostel seems very new and therefore rooms & bath are pleasant & clean. Staff is very friendly and provides helpful information about the whale/dolphin/seal trips. Free wifi, also in the rooms. Kitchen, lounge, and sundeck are a nice & spacious.

Room Tip: 4 bed shared room downstairs has it's own little bathroom.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sabine Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
45 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014 via mobile

I normally only book BBH or YHA hostels as they normally come with a guarantee of a good place to stay. But this was a very busy few days for Kaikoura and everything was full, so went with the Fish Tank following the review in the Lonely Planet.

It needed to be good as it rained the whole time I was there except one day.

The positives do outweigh the negatives. The hostel is generally clean, with pretty decent beds and welcoming and friendly staff. Even better is the location, right at the bus stop and near to the action (such as there is in Kaikoura). The showers and toilets were kept clean, but the best feature is the comfy TV lounge and balcony.

Just a couple of negatives. Only 2 wash basins for the whole hostel? Come on!! The 4-bed dorm was pretty small, not really enough room for 3 people, let alone 4. Lastly the room had no window, but a skylight. However this had no shade, so you were woken by daylight at dawn.

Otherwise a fine, acceptable but not exceptional hostel.

Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank Lee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014

I can't find enough good things to stay about this place. Craig, one of the owners, checked myself and a few others in. His patience, good humour and clear explanations were helpful and I felt right at home immediately. Amazing location - directly across from the bus-stop, in the centre of town, 7 min walk from the Whalewatch. The lounge was very comfortable and everyone staying seemed friendly. It's not a party hostel, thankfully, people like to enjoy themselves but you will get a good night sleep. The beds are incredibly comfortable - very thick mattresses and lovely warm quilts. Shower was lovely and warm, bathrooms were very clean. The kitchen has a good amount of storage space for all guests. I was sharing a 4-bed female dorm and really liked the other guests. I think the place attracts the right sort of guests.

Room Tip: Probably downstairs is a little quieter.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Triona M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2014 via mobile

Stopped there on my trip in the South Island, after visiting many hostels. Booked this after reading the good reviews and was a bit disappointed.
Don't get me wrong, the place was fine, just not more than average.
The kitchen was decent, not a lot of seating there, and only 1 sink and 1 stove (with 4 flames).
The lounge was nice with a big TV and a nice deck.
Our private double room was ok, view to a rock, almost no sun and the mattress was pretty bed, very soft and springy.
The size of the room was decent (and we travel with 2 28" suitcases...)

Location was decent, just across the road from the sea and walking distance to coffee shops, restaurants and bars.

All in all ok, just don't expect too much :)

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank chibban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Voecklabruck, Austria
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014 via mobile

This hostel is located just next to the bus stop of Intercity/Naked Bus and to the i-Site. The owners and the staff in general are very nice and helpful. The vibe and atmosphere is very good and especially the lounge is soooo nice with an amazing view!! The beds are very comfy and all facilities are kept very clean as well. Definitely a place to go to enjoy lovely Kaikoura!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NadineM_88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, England
Level Contributor
122 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

This hostel is great with really helpful, friendly staff!
Fantastic location right in the centre of town with amazing views over the sea. The hostel has a big, well equipped kitchen; comfy living area & outside deck with BBQ.
Rooms are nice, clean and modern.
The best thing about this hostel though was the WiFi. It's the only place I've been in NZ where it was free, unlimited and fast! It was even fast enough to stream programmes!
It would've got 5 stars except for them hoovering at 9am and the kitchen closing at 10.30pm. But these are only minor things in the great scheme.
Stay here, you'll love it!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vikzstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fish Tank Lodge

Property: Fish Tank Lodge
Address: 86 West End, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 36 Speciality Lodging in Kaikoura
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Kaikoura with uninterrupted views of the ocean and mountains is the cosy Fish Tank Lodge. Beds are seriously comfortable with crisp clean linen already made up for you and the national buses stop right outside the front door. The kitchen is fully equipped and the lounge warm and cosy with some awesome artwork which is a must see! Feel right at home here with free tea and coffee and a warm kiwi welcome to Kaikoura. ... more   less 
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