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“Poorest standard of Irish hospitality - DO NOT STAY HERE !”
Review of Donegal House

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Donegal House
Ranked #26 of 32 Kaikoura B&B and Inns
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Poorest standard of Irish hospitality - DO NOT STAY HERE !”
Reviewed 8 April 2014

The name of this hotel was what drew me having been to Donegal, Ireland and was sorely disappointed. Stayed on a Sunday night, a wedding was taking place, the wedding party was a drunken, noisy, unexcusable experience for the "other " 2 couples staying at this place. Having to complain to the manager at 12:30am - with the excuse that this wedding was booked 1 year ago, and our rooms were "muddled" inbetween the wedding party - absolutely not acceptable.. No sleep was had because of the noise of this wedding party.. The request to talk to the owner at checkout the next day ( making the request at 12:30am previously during the complaint ) was not honored which I found poor.. this establishment is comparable to a 1960's mom/pop strip motel - no quality of any sort.. and for NZ160 - absolutely highway robbery.. There is no reason to stay here, there are a lot better hotels/b & b's in the area that the owners would take better care of you. I plan trips for people and I like to stay at a place before I recommend, and this place is the pits. The waitresses at the restaurant were very nice - the food was decent, beer was good... but, if you aren't with a wedding party staying there, your importance is nil - If I was informed of a wedding party staying there, I would have stayed elsewhere. The pacing of a tuxedo clad, chain smoking wedding clown walking up and down the creaking,wooden deck most of the night was so inconsiderate. And the fools next to our room that my husband asked nicely to please keep it down only to have the man come out to ask my husband to step outside so "he" could take care of him ??? wth ?? Extremely poor management and concern for us and an elderly couple staying there. We were not important.. The laundry room is 1 washer/1dryer.. and both being used by the staff ??? so don't think there is a separate laundry to use for guests. Extremely poor establishment... Horrible.. after staying in 15 different places in New Zealand, including a hostel - this was a hole in the wall... no help on getting our money back either... continental breakfast was blah.. and a hot breakfast is an extra NZ 15.. not worth it either.... again, DO NOT STAY HERE.... HAVE DINNER, BUT DO NOT STAY HERE !!!!

Room Tip: Do not stay here.... there is not one good room.....
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank foursquares
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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English first
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

Would not recommend. Paper thin walls, noisy deck outside the rooms, poorly updated rooms, low water pressure in the shower, 3 tv channels, no Wife in the rooms, poor management response to noise issue. Good food at the restaurant but costly beer.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Dale W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kaikoura hotels

Farnham
Level 6 Contributor
602 reviews
137 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 250 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Stayed here two nights on the recommendation of a friend of a friend. Noticed on TA that the reviews were very mixed so we arrived with some trepidation. I can see why the reviews are mixed but we liked it. The place is very relaxed and everyone very friendly. It is situated 10 minutes from town and is very quiet with nothing to disturb your sleep. The room we had was basic but excellent. The shower was first class and everything worked fine. The view from our patio area was first class. The one thing that let it down was the food in the restaurant. It was just not good enough and we ate out on our second night. Breakfast was basic but perfectly adequate.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DDFarnham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belo Horizonte
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

We chose to stay in this hotel, partly because it was away from the many other hotels in the centre of the town (we generally prefer quieter places), however, this was a little further than was really desirable (about 10 min drive).
The hotel is set in lovely grounds and there is beautiful drive up to reception and with a pond and more gardens behind as well. However, this is where the beauty ends. On arrival, we entered through a door with the word 'reception' on it. Upon opening it we were confronted with a small hall with two bedroom corridors leading of it. We guessed correctly and took the righthand option which led us to the bar (and reception). I guess this cuts down on staff costs. When we got the key, we traipsed back up the corridor and along the other to our room.
Some of the rooms and decoration appear quite old although we stayed in what looked like the newer wing. The room was a reasonable size with 2 doors. The front door to the car park, and rear patio style door onto the garden and covered, but open fronted, deck connecting the rooms and doubling as a veranda.
Although there was plenty of car parking space, the spaces were not marked meaning that I couldn't park next to our front door. Not very nice in the rain and wind!
Given the location and its distance from town, we decided to eat in the pub/restaurant. The food was surprisingly good (our first proper meal in NZ after Australia - we later came to the conclusion that NZ cuisine is far superior to their neighbours!)
In conclusion, the hotel as quite a lot of history about it, but the decoration shows this only too well. It really could do with some refurbishment. Therefore, I would hesitate to recommend this to friends or family. It's not awful, but I would suggest there are better options around.

Room Tip: I suppose the newer rooms are better, but still not great
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank slatBH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Limerick, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2014

A bit out of the way from the township, this place has beautiful surroundings but rather tired looking. It has an Irish theme with the Irish music, only stay for an hour as the same C.D. will keep on playing and an open fire, lacks atmosphere and seems short of staff.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lynda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rockingham, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2013

I was recently on a 19 day rail, cruise and coach tour of New Zealand with Grand Pacific Tours. One of the places we stayed at was Donegal House in Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand. After spending most nights in hotels, it was a real treat to come to this serene place at the base of huge mountains and with beautiful gardens. The bar / restaurant has a decidedly Irish feel, which is unsurprising with a name like Donegal House. The staff are friendly and welcoming. The rooms are spacious and quiet and NO PHONE to disrupt your quiet time. It was like an Oasis from a busy day of touring to come to the quiet and serenity of Donegal House to feel fully rested and raring to go again the next day. I just wish we had more time here than just overnight. It was by far my favourite place we stayed at on our tour.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the restaurant are quieter.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lou_W_1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

I recently stayed at Donegal house for one night with my sister and a friend. Upon arrival we were greeted by the lady at reception (who was also working behind the bar). She was fairly formal and handed us our key.

I asked about the possibility of arranging a taxi the following morning, as I was swimming with dolphins very early. She was not very helpful and told me to call a taxi to find out. I was slightly taken aback but decided that she was simply busy and stressed.

A few minutes later I asked if I could borrow the reception phone to call the taxi company - she seemed to lighten up and was very helpful and accommodating - she dialled the taxi company number for me and also wrote down the number on a piece of paper.

The accommodation is comfortable enough and reasonably convenient, although beware that you will need to drive to get to the centre of Kaikoura - approx 8km away.

I'd stay again as it was reasonably priced and comfortable enough.

The accommodation also has an Irish pub as part of it - quite a lively place with karaoke. If you're not keen to drive elsewhere, this is your only food option. Food was average but atmosphere lively and seemed full of locals.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank SushR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Donegal House

Property: Donegal House
Address: Schoolhouse Road, Kaikoura 8280, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Kaikoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Donegal House 'The Little Irish Pub in the Country'. Steeped with history of the Boyd family who came from County Donegal, Ireland in 1865, with host Murray Boyd continuing the Irish hospitality. Offering 30 Ensuite rooms, Bar, Restaurant, Function facilities, Gardens & Lakes enjoy the warmth & humour that Donegal House is now famous for. You don't have to be Irish to appreciate the atmosphere & hospitality dispensed at this Kaikoura landmark. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Donegal House Hotel Kaikoura

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