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“So Charming it Might be Worth a Room Upgrade”

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Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Russell
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix Arizona
Level Contributor
249 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“So Charming it Might be Worth a Room Upgrade”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We had such a lovely time at the Duke that we decided next time we would go for a room upgrade. We stayed in the house, in a room at the back. The bed was small but comfortable, the room was a bit cramped and so was the bathroom. What made our visit special wasn't the room, it was the great staff, historical feel of this remarkable old hotel, the waterfront location, access to the wharf and the fantastic restaurant. We loved the massive fig tree out front and overall small town feel of the community of Russell. We enjoyed perfect weather and got out before the cyclone. If you have time, walk around the town and hike up to Flagstaff Hill at dusk. Listen for kiwi! We heard them, but didn't catch a glimpse. Also, have dinner on the porch at the Duke. Very good wine list. And the food was perfect. We especially loved the Hapuka fish, the green lip mussels and tuna tartare. Check out the chef's specials from 3pm to 5pm. We got a great deal on a platter of meats, terrines and cheeses. Good wi-fi reception.

Room Tip: Spring for an upgraded seaview room or a bungalow unless you really, really don't care where you...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TravelVal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (407)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
shipley derbyshire
Level Contributor
349 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

The location of this hotel is stunning.Wonderful views of the Bay of Islands and perfect for the boat trips on offer.The ambience inside is lovely .Full of period features and old world charm.Rooms are spacious,well appointed,and clean.
Restaurant is very good with excellent fish dishes.
Take the Hole in the Rock Boat Tour and visit the Waitangi Treaty site.Both terrific.
For birdwatchers saw more species on the walk to Flagstaff Hill than in more exotic locations.
Sitting outside on the veranda was simply magical.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lorenzo01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey, England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

We were nearing the end of our three week holiday in New Zealand and were delighted to find that we had saved the best till last! Not only was the location stunning but the food was excellent (dinner on the front deck on all three nights), and the staff were welcoming and helpful at all times. We paid a little extra to have a room overlooking the bay and greatly enjoyed gazing out at the tranquil setting, watching the boats/ferries plying to and fro. We arranged a day tour of the islands called The Cream Trip with 'Fullers Great Sights', a company that had been in existence for 80 years and which delivered mail and provisions to residents on out-lying islands. Not only did this add to the interest of the tour, but the captain provided useful commentary as and when there was something to see. He had a knack of tracking down dolphins and we were so lucky to come across several pods, and to experience their leaping from the water to enjoy the foam created by the bow waves and at the stern. We also took a one-hour mini-bus tour of the area from at departure point just around the corner from the hotel. The knowledgeable driver pointed out many fascinating, historical buildings and interesting vistas that we would not have discovered on our own - a great insight into this delightful spot.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the bay at the front are slightly more expensive but the view is well worth it.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chapmen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2014

As we could not get into the Seaview rooms due to them being booked out we took the gamble of the bungalow and were so glad we did. You felt you had your own piece of paradise as you were completely separated from the hotel but just wondered next door for dinner and drinks, having your own courtyard meant you could sit and enjoy drinks without the closeness of others. The bungalow is more than spacious and comfortable for two. Our dinner was absolutely delightful as was the view from the deck. The weather was kind also and this just made this quaint and friendly township a joy to be in.

Room Tip: For privacy I would only book into the bungalow now having experienced it
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lynley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014

This was a perfect place to experience the charm of this lovely area during the quiet autumn off-season. The room was comfortable and clean, but next time I'd get the bay view, just so we could look out in the early morning and evening. Staff were all friendly and helpful, and there is much to do in the vicinity, on land and in the water.

Room Tip: Rooms to the south have a second-story roof-top area where you can sit out under the stars, but go f...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PoniAleka808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff
Level Contributor
73 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Stayed here during a four week tour of NZ in February.
It's a quaint, character hotel in a lovely waterfront location.
The outside dining area is an ideal spot to just sit, have a drink, read and relax.
Our evening meal was perfect and the continental breakfast of yoghurt, cold meats, cheeses, toast etc was more than adequate.
And.... to top it all we had a lovely Welsh waitress!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BTCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We have been to The Duke several times but have never stayed in the house. The experience was mixed. After requesting a dinner booking at the time of initial room booking and also when booking in, lo and behold when it came to seeking our table, alas no booking could be found. Just as well they were'nt too busy. The drinks waitperson was surley to say the least but that was outweighed by the effervescent waitress who was outstanding .
My wife and friends wife said their fish mains were outstanding. The blokes shared a shoulder of lamb _ undercooked and lacking imagination. All in all a marginal result and for the price disappointing

Room Tip: Get a harbour view room. Iconic NZ setting
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Duke of Marlborough Hotel

Property: Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Address: 35 The Strand, Russell 0255, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Bay of Islands > Russell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Russell
#1 Luxury Hotel in Russell
#2 Romantic Hotel in Russell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Duke of Marlborough Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Duke of Marlborough has been Refreshing Rascals and Reprobates since 1827 and holds New Zealand’s first liquor license. The Duke, as it is affectionately known is located on the waterfront in the picturesque village of Russell in the stunning Bay of Islands and is a great place to recharge the batteries, catch up with friends or simply enjoy the moment. With easy access to an exciting array of activities or sipping a glass of wine on our balcony there is plenty to see or do. There are three levels of accommodation our waterfront rooms with views across the water to Waitangi Treaty grounds and Paihia, bigger family rooms when you need extra space or our convenient standard rooms. All rooms have their own en-suites, Sky TV, wifi accessibility and tea and coffee making facilities. With an award winning chef and restaurant manager the restaurant at The Duke focuses on a menu packed with fresh seasonal Northland produce. The bar has an extensive list of New Zealand wines and beers – something for everyone to enjoy while watching the sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Duke Of Marlborough Russell
Duke Of Marlborough Hotel Russell, New Zealand - Bay Of Islands

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