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“Something different” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Donegal House

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Donegal House
Ranked #19 of 34 Kaikoura B&B and Inns
Taupo, New Zealand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Something different”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

With a stunning backdrop of the mountains and a lot of Irish settler history this promised to be a new experience. The restaurant area boasts an enormous open fire and the staff were really friendly and helpful. However, the rooms are in dire need of modernization - no internet and only very basic TV service - and the maintenance regime needs attention (items cracked or broken) and this made the experience a disappointing one.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RaymondH646
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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107 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    15
    39
    22
    11
    20
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014 via mobile

We were drawn here as it is one of the two free camping spots in Kaikoura. We were the only ones here as it was their dead season so we got to chose what channel to put on the big screen tv, sit in front of the roaring fire and drink lager while eating the roast which was delicious and great value for money. The barmaid was very friendly and kept the fire stoked for us. A good spot to spend the night while visiting Kaikoura and good if you want to be able to have a few drinks and walk 20 metres 'home' to your van without having to find a free camping spot in the dark.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Laura D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014

Its hard to believe you are in the southern hemisphere when you step into the bar at Donegal House. This place celebrates the families of Irish descent who settled in the Kaikoura area with lots of historical memorabilia and photographs throughout the bar and restaurant. Some doors have two door handles to add to your confusion especially after a few pints of Guiness. Set beneath the slopes of Mt Fyfe it is a gorgeous setting. Donegal House is only a short shuttle trip into the Kaikoura township with it's amenities including craft shops, restaurants, whale watching, diving with the dolphins, fishing trips, golf and numerous tracks for biking or walking. The units are clean and relatively modern. The restaurant meals are substantive fare rather than fine dining. Its the 'craic' and Irish music that attracts many. We went with a group of about 20 using Donegal House as our base. Prices are reasonable and like most places in the South Island of New Zealand the people are friendly and engaging..

Room Tip: Room numbers 30 and above are newer, have great views and are quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, New Zealand
Level Contributor
85 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2014

We really should have read the Tripadvisor reviews, we have passed this place before and the website and the marketing promise great things. None of which were apparent on our visit.
Lacking any welcome although we could hear people about. Our key was left on a chair with a nice note but the door to the room was left wide open at 8.15pm so it was reeling and full of bugs.

After 3mths travelling around NZ we have a good view of value for money and this was not. Based on the price and description, we were looking forward to getting into the room, we were bitterly disappointed. When I turned back the bed clothes, there were mould stains.

A real pity, would rather give positive reviews but we won't be going back, nor would we recommend.

Room Tip: The rooms appear to be very similar, all in a row, quite institutional.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AngelaFaye74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kaikoura hotels

Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

We stayed at Donegal house as we were invited to attend a wedding here and wanted to be close.

Rooms very shabby ,old ,in need of repair and maintenance. Outdated.

Expensive .Next time we would stay in Kaikoura.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Belinda62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
46 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

We stayed at Donegal House on a whim as we were driving back from Christchurch to Nelson and we were starting to get a bit tired.

The room had a back entrance from the parking lot with the main door looking out over the grounds towards the Kaikoura ranges. The room itself was pretty basic. Two queen-sized beds side-by-side, fridge and coffee-making supplies and a TV with the free-to-air channels.

The room was relatively clean, but there were a number of dead flies that had met their demise on the walls and ceiling that missed the attention of the cleaning staff.

All-in-all a decent stay, but for $160/nt, there are nicer rooms in Kaikoura.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike & Terri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2014

The views of the snow capped mountains from our window were great. However, the room itself was not good value for money. The staff seemed to be very rushed all the time, so were not able to display the friendly hospitality I had become accustomed to in NZ. The prices for the food were reasonable, but the drink prices were not.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rebecca F
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 #19 of 34 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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