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“Excellent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Manakau Lodge

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Manakau Lodge
Ranked #1 of 32 Kaikoura B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

Beautiful boutique b&b, open fire in the lounge and stunning mountain view from our room.
Room spotless and very comfortable, thanks to our host, Neil for making our stay so
enjoyable and the breakfasts are amazing, we would definitely come back!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManakauLodge, Owner at Manakau Lodge, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Thank you very much for posting such a nice review of your stay. I am delighted to know you enjoyed it and it would be great pleasure to see you again some time. Hopefully the rugby results didn't cast too long a shadow over the rest of your South Island trip! All good wishes to you both.
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2014

We stayed in Manakau Lodge for just one night when we arrived in NZ. Neil was a gracious and very accommodating host and it was a pleasure to stay in Manakau Lodge.

We stayed in early April and as it was out of season we were the only visitors. Neil had a beautiful roaring fire lit, upgraded our room to a deluxe room, offered us a choice of mountain view room or sea view, made us a cup of tea, and got up at ridiculous early o'clock to make us breakfast, offered excellent tips on restaurants and things to see in the area - the perfect host!

The lodge itself is beautiful, four rooms with a shared lounge and breakfast area. Our room was fabulously luxurious and my husband was gutted we were not staying longer! Our room was huge, and the bathroom incredible - huge bath and the biggest walk in shower I have ever seen! The in room ipad and bottled water was a lovely touch.

Breakfast was delicious and smoked salmon, eggs and granary bread. Home cooked, fresh for us along with as much orange juice and coffee as we could manage.

I would highly recommend Manakau Lodge, and I jealous of anyone getting to stay there! Can't wait for my next visit!

Room Tip: Mountatin view rooms are amazing.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JwithaJ_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManakauLodge, Owner at Manakau Lodge, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
My original reply to your review was inexplicably removed by TripAdvisor, so I am just re-posting again now to thank you very much for staying with us and for posting such a lovely review of your stay. All good wishes.
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Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

Kaikoura was my last stop on the South Island and oh my, what a place! Manakau Lodge is out of town but I have never seen a sky like I did there and the peacefulness that I found while there changed me from the inside. There are four rooms in the lodge ... a building separate from the hosts. Neal is the *perfect* host -- art, NZ, food, activities, and the uniqueness of this special place.

I was there for 3 days at the end of Feb - Mar and could've stayed 3 weeks! Kaikoura reminded me very much of Gatlinburg except by the ocean. My room faced the ocean and I got to wake to some beautiful sunrises. Neal had breakfast ready each morning based on your schedule and will prepare dinner for you as well -- wish I had taken advantage of this, but next time ! Now the rooms... How wonderful are the rooms! Bed is so comfy, the bath is luxury, the room is sizable, and the view. I was in NZ for almost 3 wks and this is the only place I didn't just plot the suitcase down and live out of. Sliding doors to my own outdoor space let me creep out in the middle of the night to see the stars, Milky Way, heavens, like I'd never seen before.

I cannot wait to return to this slice of Heaven on Earth....

Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank pibbleMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManakauLodge, Owner at Manakau Lodge, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
My original reply to your review was inexplicably removed by TripAdvisor and so I am re-posting now to thank you very much for your warm and generous review. I am so pleased to know that you enjoyed your stay so much. Our night sky is indeed wonderful here, and it is always a delight when our guests are able to see it and enjoy it as much as we do! Thank you for choosing us for your stay.
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Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2014

We scheduled 3 weeks in the South Island and Manakau Lodge was certainly one of the highlights! Our host, Neal, is a Renaissance man of the first order: champagne expert, chef, photographer and gracious host. There are only 4 rooms, each beautifully appointed, with an eye for luxury. The baths and shower were exquisite, as was the magnificent view of the mountains from our patio door. From our experience,we rated this a series of BESTS: best view, best bathroom, best shower and best hair dryer! Neal cooks a beautiful breakfast and we hated to leave. If you are near Kaikoura, don't miss this opportunity!

Room Tip: Request a view of the mountains.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank SDrakeford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManakauLodge, Owner at Manakau Lodge, responded to this review, 28 March 2014
What a pleasure it was to meet you and to have you stay with us, and a great shame you could not have stayed longer. I have no doubt we would have enjoyed some lively conversation!

Thank you posting such a warm review. It is always hugely rewarding to know that guests have enjoyed their stay with us so much, and we appreciate you taking the trouble to share your experience in such a complimentary and indeed very flattering way. I'm not sure when we might get to visit Dallas but I will certainly keep your card in case the opportunity presents itself! All good wishes for the remainder of your trip.
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Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
223 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2014

There is no doubting that the rooms are of a very high standard. We were upgraded to a deluxe room which was beautifully appointed with a stunning, contemporary bathroom. The 'ipad' and complimentary bottled water are good touches. However the mattress (admittedly a matter of personal preference) was way too soft for me and gave me back and neck ache after both of our two nights. My other disappointment was the absence of tea making facilities in the room. To be fair, the owner, when we asked about this, offered to make tea whilst he was preparing breakfast but who really wants to get dressed and leave the room to ask for tea when on holiday?
We chose to have dinner on our first night after a 10 hour drive. This was good enough but definitely more 'pub grub' than the "fine dining experience" advertised. The starter of a salmon pate was served in a ramekin straight from the fridge and was, therefore, too cold to appreciate the flavours. The main course of fish in a wine sauce with vegetables undoubtedly came mostly via a microwave which we heard (being the sole diners) 'pinging' repeatedly from the kitchen. The rasberry creme brulee which followed was very good, though.
Breakfast on the first day was disappointing too. The menu proudly advertises "freshly squeezed orange juice" (it certainly was not) followed by "fruit yoghurt with toasted muesli" - neither of which were offered. The smoked salmon with scrambled eggs were good but after these I was looking forward to the advertised "salad of seasonal fruits and berries". Once again this neither appeared nor was offered and so we requested the full breakfast for the second day which I felt appeared a little begrudgingly.
The lodge is quite remote and somewhat austere looking from the outside which, in my view, could be said of the atmosphere within. Our stay was not unenjoyable but just lacking in the genuine and warm hospitality experienced elsewhere in New Zealand. The quality of the room alone befitted the $300 per night room rate which is expensive for Kaikoura. The stay was certainly no culinary highlight either.
Overall, rather disappointing.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManakauLodge, Owner at Manakau Lodge, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
We were very disappointed to read this review, which for the most part seems to be at odds with every other one ever written about us. You list a number of complaints, not one of which was mentioned to me during the course of your two night stay, and so I am disappointed to learn that we failed to meet your expectations.

I have responded to the various issues you have raised by email, but there are two points in particular which I would like to address in this public forum, primarily for the benefit of other readers, who I am sure would not wish to be in any way misled by your comments.

Your assertion that the main course of your dinner “undoubtedly came mostly via a microwave” is not only completely false, but highly disparaging. Every dish we serve here (including the fresh blue cod which I bought in specially for you, as you did not want to eat from our normal menu) is prepared by me from scratch, using the highest quality ingredients available, cooked and served in a conventional manner. I occasionally use my microwave/combination oven for softening butter and for steaming delicate vegetables. You made no complaint about any aspect of your dinner at the time it was served to you, despite my asking you at each course whether everything was satisfactory. Indeed, at the end of it, you were most effusive in your praise, and so I am astonished to see that the “excellent dinner” for which you graciously thanked me at the time should now be described by you in a derogatory way as “pub grub”.

As far as breakfast is concerned, we ask our guests to place their orders for breakfast before retiring. We do this because many guests have bookings for morning excursions and require breakfast to be served at a specific time, sometimes as early as 6am. Some of the items on our menu must also be prepared in advance of the service, examples being our freshly-baked croissants and pastries, and fresh fruits. Having only four rooms, it is not practical for us to operate a hotel-style buffet breakfast, nor to have all of our menu items available, ready and prepared, on demand, whether consumed or not.

Contrary to your second assertion, we have never “advertised” that fruits and berries will follow any particular dish. Fruits are just one of around ten different breakfast items from which guests are invited to choose. You were shown the breakfast menu, you ordered smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and this was duly served at the time of your choosing the following morning. After this, as is customary, I asked you if you might like anything else, and other than a basket of toast, you declined.

Had you requested fruit, it would have been prepared and served to you. You did not request any, and so I did not prepare any. The following day you did, and I did.

You have clearly gone to considerable lengths to write and publish a detailed account of this issue, which you have highlighted as a service failure on our part. Yet despite the disappointment which it evidently caused, and despite the fact that you were (rightly or wrongly) expecting fruit to be served automatically, you were apparently not prepared to do what was surely the obvious thing at the time, which was simply to ask me for the fruit you wanted. It is regrettable that in your haste to fault and to criticise us, it does not seem to have occurred to you that there might just have been an easily-rectified, minor misunderstanding about this issue, on your part.

Misunderstandings aside, having offered you a complimentary room upgrade, prepared a special dinner menu for you, given you two successful restaurant recommendations, and provided you with a bottle of premium sauvignon blanc free of charge (something which you perhaps inadvertently omitted to mention in your very detailed review), I am not quite sure what more I might have done for you to merit a review score for service better than “poor” - a rating which no other guest has ever given us.

Nevertheless, on a positive note, I am pleased to know that, apart from your back and neck ache, you enjoyed the comfort and amenities of your room and bathroom.

Thank you for taking the trouble to post your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2014

My wife and I stayed here February 2014 and had a most wonderful experience. Our host Neil Protheroe was very friendly and helpful. The accommodation was excellent in every aspect and our meals matched this standard.. The location is very peaceful, mountains on one side and views to the ocean on the other. It is also ideal for Kaikoura`s activities.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManakauLodge, Owner at Manakau Lodge, responded to this review, 25 March 2014
Thank you for your kind compliments. It was a great pleasure to meet you and to have you stay with us, and we are delighted that you enjoyed your experience so much. A memorable conversation of coincidences about the small world we live in will remain long in the memory! Best wishes to you both.
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Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2014 via mobile

We recently spent three nights in Kaikoura at Manakau Lodge and thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. It is located in beautiful countryside a pleasant 10 minute drive from town and the owner Neil is the perfect host. We had dinner at the lodge and both were amongst the very best meals we had in New Zealand.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dcroberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManakauLodge, Owner at Manakau Lodge, responded to this review, 25 March 2014
It was a great pleasure meeting you and having you stay with us for a relaxing three days, and I know that in addition to your enjoyment of the Lodge, your activities and excursions were also a great success, so all in all, we are delighted to have been a part of your memorable Kaikoura experience. Thank you for taking the trouble to post such a complimentary review. I do hope the reminder of your visit to New Zealand was equally enjoyable. With best wishes.
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Additional Information about Manakau Lodge

Property: Manakau Lodge
Address: 198b Parsons Road, Kaikoura 7371, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Kaikoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Manakau Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in beautiful mountain surroundings just ten minutes from Kaikoura, Manakau Lodge is a luxury rural retreat, offering the discerning traveller the finest in country lodge accommodation and hospitality. Our guests' comfort is our number one priority. A great night's sleep awaits in our specially-chosen, super-comfortable beds, with fine cotton linens and beautiful, luxurious woollen bed blankets. King size beds are the standard in our two Lodge Rooms, and our slightly larger Deluxe Rooms feature super-king beds, which can also be converted to twin singles on request. Furnishings in the guest lounge and bedrooms are hand-made from New Zealand rimu, a native timber prized for its warm tones and rich natural beauty. Each room also comes with a pair of deep-cushioned armchairs, a 32-inch LCD television with satellite Freeview and Apple(R) TV, a writing desk with an ergonomic chair, and the most luxurious modern bathroom, with heated floor, warm towels, and a superb walk-in monsoon shower. Both Deluxe Rooms also have the added indulgence of a deep, free-standing bath. ... more   less 
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