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“Gorgeous, historic lodge”
Review of Pen-y-bryn Lodge

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Pen-y-bryn Lodge
Ranked #3 of 27 Oamaru B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Bethesda, MD
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Gorgeous, historic lodge”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

Stayed here one night on a trip up the East Coast of NZ South Island. The hosts - the two James', who are American ex-pats - were engaging, informative and helpful, arranging premium seating tickets for the penguin viewing. We did not schedule dinner (our mistake) but had canapés and a glass of wine with them before dinner.

Breakfast - cold items, fresh croissants and eggs cooked to order - was excellent.

The lodge has been restored with loving attention to detail and is the common areas and guest rooms are exquisite.

If we had to do it again, rather than spending a night in Auckland, we would stay here two nights and have dinner at the lodge at least one of those nights. It would deb say to spend a half-day poking around Victorian Oamaru and another half-day traveling and walking around the cliffs on the coast.

Room Tip: Pricey but worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GTfromDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Glucksman, Owner at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Thank you for the review! Your comment about wishing you could stay longer with us is one we hear a lot, but more and more people are spending two or three nights here, giving them a chance not only to spend more time in our beautiful part of New Zealand, but also to dine with us once or twice, while also visiting some of our other outstanding restaurants. We hope to see you again sometime!
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139 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Marshfield, Wisconsin
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 December 2013

We had two lovely nights at Pen-y-bryn Lodge. James and James were perfect hosts with a wealth of information and ideas for site seeing in the area. They were both very interesting and had traveled extensively themselves. The breakfast was superb, with home made jams, baked goods, smoked salmon and much more. The house has been beautifully refurbished and is stunning, as are the grounds. The room was so comfortable with heated floor in the bathroom, WIFI throughout the house. James and James really seemed to enjoy having us there and that made it one of the best places I have stayed.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 646lee646
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Glucksman, Owner at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you so much for your review, and complimentary comments! We're glad that you enjoyed the new heated floors we installed this year in the Victoria and Elizabeth Rooms' bathrooms, and that you enjoyed your breakfasts with us so much!

Thanks to you, and all our other guests in 2013, for making this such a great year! We are looking forward to a busy 2014, and to visits by more wonderful guests like you, who also see Oamaru as a destination worth a few days. Thanks also for booking with our website, where you'll always find our best rates!
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013

We had a wonderful stay at Pen-y-bryn last weekend. The hosts are charming, urbane and go the extra mile to make guests feel welcome. They both took time to talk about the house and garden and their varied life experiences. They were fun!
The room was excellent and the attention to detail impressive. Small touches like replacing towels in the evening and the lavender toiletries were much appreciated. The dinner was a special experience with a beautifully cooked and served meal after a relaxing wine and canapes shortly after we arrived. The locally-produced produce (most from the garden) was delicious.
The house itself is the star of course - a beautifully maintained mansion that still manages to have the air of a family home ( a particularly gracious one!)
The whole experience was memorable and easily matches or surpasses any of the similar places we have stayed overseas.
Thoroughly recommended!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maureen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Glucksman, Owner at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
We are so pleased you enjoyed your time with us, and took the time to write us a review! It gives us tremendous pleasure to share this incredible house with our guests, and it means a great deal to us when our guests leave feeling like they have made new friends. We hope you will have a chance to return some day!
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Cromwell, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2013

Two nights in Pen-y-bryn have created very happy and memorable experiences for us. The welcome, detailed information, letter of introduction and unparalleled attention to detail all added to the most generous hospitable service ever. A classy, comfortable room with its crisp, white, embroidered linen, tea tray, delicious truffles, crystal jar of sweets, practical bathroom which included custom lavender toiletries provided an appetiser for a surreal stay. Breakfast was delightful with every possible condiment and a host whose service was second to none. With all foods grown, harvested and cooked on the premises, nothing could be fresher. The historical building is beautifully maintained and respected, nestled in private, expansive grounds which are manicured with pride. The owners/hosts of Pen-y-bryn were continually attentive and certainly displayed expertise which would be difficult to exceed anywhere. Thoroughly recommended!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Claire W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Glucksman, Owner at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, responded to this review, 26 October 2013
We are so glad you were able to spend two nights with us and enjoy both the lodge and the surrounding area. If you should ever be coming this way again, we would love to have the chance to welcome you back!
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Los Angeles, CA
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013

Our visit to Pen-y-Bryn Lodge was one of those fantastic finds that sometimes occur in the course of travel. We hadn't heard much about the lodge, other than it was a beautiful old home run by two fantastic hosts, both named James.

In fact, Pen-y-Bryn Lodge is a must see for those interested in gorgeous Victorian architecture (the lodge was (and still is) the grandest home in the region, more than 125 years after it was built!), superb gourmet cooking, and wonderful, friendly hosts.

The nearby town of Oamaru is a fun and funky town dotted with Victorian architecture, art galleries, fine restaurants and ..... PENGUINS!

The blue penguin colony is an attraction not to be missed, as each evening the penguins return from the sea to nest on the shore. There is a comfortable grandstand from which to view these insanely cute creatures return to their homes.

Pen-y-Bryn Lodge is surely worth a few nights for those exploring New Zealand's South Island.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank johnatsong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Glucksman, Owner at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, responded to this review, 13 October 2013
It's so nice to know that you were pleasantly surprised by your visit to Pen-y-bryn! We so often hear that people knew little about us before they arrived, but that Pen-y-bryn and Oamaru turned out to be a highlight of their visit to New Zealand. There is a lot going on in Oamaru, with new stops, restaurants and attractions opening just about every week, so without a doubt more people will eventually hear about this lovely town and come to see it for themselves. We're just glad that you made the time to visit with us and left happy that you did so. We hope you'll be back!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Smooth attention to detail and process to ensure all goes well. Special touches that will remain in our memory. Proudly introducing us to the best of what Oamaru can offer...our hosts rewrote my view of what is the best of the "Mainland". The territory of James II - The formal garden was a delight; the vegetable garden sets the standard for what I will aspire to. The territory of James I - Dining was a culinary adventure - full of surprises - the type I like...with personal involvement/creativity/design/study...fantastic. We will absolutely return again and again to the understated natural luxury which is Pen-y-bryn.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RalphJGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Glucksman, Owner at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, responded to this review, 13 October 2013
Thank you Ralph for your very kind words, and for taking the time to write a review. We were very happy to have the chance to welcome you to Pen-y-bryn, and hope we can look forward to a repeat visit sometime soon. You'll always be welcome!
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Wellington, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2013

What a wonderful treat we had this week as guests at Pen-y-bryn Luxury Lodge in Oamaru.
The beautiful and historical estate is a real gem. Elegant rooms with beautiful wood panels, precious antique pieces from different parts of the world decorate this amazing building.
A warm fireplace is light every night before dinner…delicious canapés
transported us to North Africa followed by a delicious dinner using local products and delivered by the Chef James finishing with arancello liqueur made at the lodge.
Breakfast was even more surprising with fresh croissants equal to the best French patisserie, bagels bombs accompanied by salmon marinated in a rare tea infusion, lodge made jams galore. If you love food Pen-y-bryn is a must in your itinerary in the South Island.
But…wait there is more: if you are like me - a food explorer and also a keen gardener - you need to come here.
The varieties of bulbs, roses (around 100) and bushes are amazing…a joy to the eyes.
The white cherry trees were in full blossom. James the Gardner has done an amazing job taking care of this historic garden…the colours, the shapes, the balance of plants is exquisite. James also created a fantastic vegetable garden - planting vegetables that I never knew...of course James the first (the Chef) has fantastic fresh lodge grown ingredients to create his delicious dishes.
Oamaru was a surprise with the Victorian streets, elegant building testimonial of what Oamaru once was…and the Blue Penguins colony is an overwhelming experience.
Thank you so much James and James we had a great time and a fantastic wedding anniversary that we will never forget…including the NZ SteamPunk town and of course the adoption of Penny the Penguin from Pen-y-bryn.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GaiaTripudio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Glucksman, Owner at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, responded to this review, 1 October 2013
Thank you for your very effusive review! We are thrilled to have guests who appreciate the efforts that we go to to make a stay with us something special, whether it be the little treats we prepare in the kitchen, or the ones that await visitors in the garden or the lodge buildings themselves. We also are very happy that you enjoyed the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, and your complimentary "penguin adoption"!

We hope to have the chance to treat you to more little gems on a future visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pen-y-bryn Lodge

Property: Pen-y-bryn Lodge
Address: 41 Towey Street, Oamaru 9401, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Oamaru
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in Oamaru
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Pen-y-bryn Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A heritage mansion built in 1889 and converted into a luxury lodge, Pen-y-bryn provides up to ten guests with the utmost in comfort and service, along with gourmet meals. Come enjoy our manicured gardens, vintage billiard room, and epicurean dining, all within view of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains. As of September 2013, our new Qualmark rating is "New Zealand Luxury Lodge", denoting the exceptional facilities and services that our guests can expect to enjoy while staying with us. In October 2015 our three rooms in the Oamaru stone annex building (the Park, Nest and Garden Rooms) will reopen as much larger mini-suites, with satellite television, Nespresso machines and sitting area, as well as larger bathrooms with both shower and bathtubs in each. These rooms will also be equipped with splittable super-king beds that can be split into twin king singles upon request, and a sofabed should a third person wish to share the room (third person at an extra cost). ... more   less 
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