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“Warm friendly service, excellent location, and delightful bonus treats”

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The Villa Backpackers Lodge
Reviewed 10 October 2009

We used The Villa Backpackers as our base to walk the Queen Charlotte Track in the beautiful Marlbourough Sounds. We stayed here on the day prior to heading for the QC Track, and returned to stay another night on our return. As is the case for most accommodation in Picton, The Villa was more than happy to store our extra bags/luggage until our expected return.

Check-in formalities were friendly, and we were directed to our room in this charming character villa using an well drawn out map of the grounds. We were invited to use the heated spa pool in the outdoor communal area, and pleaded to not miss out on the complementary Apple Crumble served in the main dining room each night at 8pm.

The Crumble and ice cream were delicious, and an excellent way to bring out the travellers from their hiding places and encourage interaction between guests.

Beds were sufficiently clean, as were the kitchen and bathroom facilities.

We had an restful night's sleep before heading off early the following morning. As we were leaving before reception opened, we were told to leave our bags for storage in the room and these would then be relocated.

In the winter months The Villa provides free breakfast, which consisted (for us) of loaves of bread, butter, and jams. No complaints here - it was a no-nonsense breakfast which filled the hunger gaps and saved us the trouble of packing additional food for breakfast. This was yet another nice bonus touch.

On our return, our bags were safely retrieved, and we had another enjoyable night at The Villa, again enjoying the free Crumble and breakfast the following morning. All in all an excellent experience and we would highly recommend this hostel to any travellers to Picton.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank nzresident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 May 2009

The Villa is in a pretty enough couple of buildings, but we were disappointed with our room. We stayed for two nights at the end of November, in a double room in one of the adjoining buildings. The room itself was fine, and was handily next door to the bathroom and just over the way from one of the kitchens. However, it was perhaps too near the bathroom, as a large area of the carpet by the door (a couple of square foot) was sodden (according to the owner because the bathroom had recently flooded). We didn't notice at first as we literally dumped our bags on check in and headed out for the whole day and evening. It was only when we went to bed late that evening that we realised how damp it was, and how strong the musty smell was.

To give the staff and owner their dues though, as soon as we mentioned it the next morning they came to the room straight away armed with towels, fan heaters and air freshener. By the time we came back from a days hiking on the Queen Charlotte Track, the room was dry and smell-free!

The staff on reception were also very helpful in sorting out a couple of trips for us - a days hiking on the QCT is definitely recommended, as is hiking out to Snout Point. Picton itself is a pleasant little town, but things tend to wind up early. We were the only people in one of the locals at 8.30 one evening, and it didn't look like the staff were expecting anyone else through the door!

Picton wasn't originally on our itinerary, but we so glad we found the time to make it there, we had a great couple of days. Oh, and The Villa is located next door to a fantastic bakery - good for snacks to take on a days hiking!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jamesh77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2009

The villa is a backpackers with a lot of character. It does get a little crowded in peak season.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled solo
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Thank NadiaH84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2009

Travelling from Wellington to the South Island on the ferry you arrive at Picton first and we decided to stop over. The Villa which picks you up from the ferry terminal was the chosen destination. Its quiet but with nice extras such as an outdoor spa pool and a tv in every room. Sky TV was also available in the tv room. The kitchens were spotless and adequately stocked and all in all it was a very enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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1  Thank Newry82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2009

This hostel gave me and my friends an anti-climax to our holidays. We had high hopes for this hostel because we needed to spend 2 days here including Christmas Day because the Magicbus do not operate on Christmas Day. Originally, the receptionist, Joanne, was quite nice and friendly. However, we discovered that on the first night, the weather was freezing cold due to the rain although it is summer time, and there was no duvet provided in the room, only a thin piece of blanket. At this point of time, we have already been to Christchurch and Kaikoura. The hostels there still provided duvet even if it is summer time. We do not come from a cold country, so we are not used to the cold. It is not a crime for not providing duvet, we could always request for it. And that is exactly what we did for the second night. However, the staff whom we requested from was not very friendly (this is not Joanne). Her face was with a frown and she did not pass the duvet to my friend in a nice way. I know it was Christmas Day and it was pass office hours for the staff. But they did put up a notice that if we needed assistance we could ring the bell. It's not that we woke them up unreasonably, it was only in the evening, not yet late at night, and we just wanted a duvet for the cold night. That spoiled our Christmas Day and our holiday in Picton. The cold night, and unfriendly staff.

One more thing, we booked this hostel through Magicbus and I was there when the Magicbus personnel made the phone booking for me. I wanted a private room for me and my friends (3 of us in total). However, they only have quad rooms to accommodate us, if we want the whole room to ourselves, we will have to pay for the extra bed. That's reasonable and I was willing to pay, but then Rob from The Villa offered to charge us only for 3 beds. That was nice of him. However, on the day we checked in, we were told that we have to pay for the extra bed because it's Christmas and it's a peak season. I do not know whose decision is this. But I can understand that rationale. What made me unhappy is that we were told that we won't be charged for the extra bed in the first place. Why then was it changed on the day we arrived? They should have told me right from the start I would have willingly paid for it. That's like cheating. Acting nice and then turn back on their words.

But I will be fair, the hostel is not bad. Joanne was helpful in helping us book our activities. That's why I said it's an anti-climax. We had some good impression but was disappointed on the things above.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank yuki83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaPicton, Owner at The Villa Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2009

Christmas Day is never easy! Our staff officially have the day off, we try not to have any one check in and advertise that we have a minimal service as our staff love to have a Christmas celebration the same as our guests, they are human too.

Last Christmas started out not so busy and we did try to offer to meet guests needs as much as we could and remain economically viable. Each guest was offered Duvets and sheets on arrival.

Our staff are very disappointed that they are thought of as unfriendly, in their defense I can appreciate how hard it is to maintain a smile after being bombarded with 'stuff' all day long and into the night, after advertising the Villa wasn't completely open with full service. More than 30 people, some without bookings, were checked in on Christmas day ...just to give people somewhere to stay.

I know most of our guests appreciated what our staff put on for them that day to add some Christmas spirit to their stay.

Rob Burn
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2008

I loved the Villa. It's probably the nicest Backpacker hostel in New Zealand. Indeed, it's more like a nice B&B. My room was cosy and nicely decorated and the hostel is quiet and homely. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and can book excursions and advise on things to do (my advice - walk part or all of the Queen Charlotte track). There's a spa pool and a separate TV lounge, and the kitchen is clean and modern, if possibly on the small side. The communal areas are nice and contribute to the overall friendly atmosphere in the hostel. In winter there's a free breakfast and - best of all - free apple crumble in the evenings!! I highly recommend this hostel.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled solo
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1  Thank Mirumir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2008

We stayed there a few nights and we really enjoyed our stay. The hostel is cosy, clean, quiet. The kitchen is well-equipped, if a little busy at dinner time. There is a nice outdoor area where you can eat. The staff is friendly and helpful. The only downside is that some showers don't always have hot water. Overall, it is a good place for independent travellers.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank elo75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Villa Backpackers Lodge

Address: 34 Auckland Street, Picton 7220, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Picton
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Picton
Price Range: £28 - £42 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The Villa Backpackers Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
The Villa Backpackers Lodge Picton, New Zealand - Marlborough

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