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“good location, good food, bad rooms”

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Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Reviewed 27 March 2011

I´ve stayed for two nights in a twin room. The transport with the watertaxi to the lodge and back was easy and well organized, upon arrival we got a small introduction to the place and meanwhile our luggage was transported to the room. Everybody was very friendly and the sevice was good.
Not so good was the room, as my twin room was just at the back of another room, accessible by a very dark aisle. The room itself was dark, as there were only two small windows with no sight. It looked like a cheap motel room, thin yellow painted walls and the bathroom was very small, also in the same colour. The shower was small, and made out of plastic, with just a curtain as a door. Not appealing at all, but the room was clean, at a reasonable size, and the beds were comfortable. The other rooms with seaview looked the same. I´ve bought two internetvouchers, each 60 minutes and 7 dollars, but both were finished after around half an hour, and I found out they have a megabyte restriction, but I got two new ones after complaining.
The restaurant: Not cheap, but delicious!!! Lunch is around 18 dollar, it´s huge and amazing. The dinner is around 35 dollar, but really haute cuisine, it´s worth the money. Breakfast in the morning is also delicious, I´d give five stars to the restaurant!
The area is nice, there are a lot of things to see, animals (birds, geckos, glowworms at night, alpacas, sheep, pigs..), and inbetween is a lot of art, big scluptures, and a lot of information is given about the plants and animals. You can use kayaks for free. Walking from the lodge up to the Queen Charlotte Track takes an hour, the path is well maintained.
I´ve talked to a few other guests, and they shared my opinion: The location and the restaurant are fabulous, but not the rooms.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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Thank sonne83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lochmara, Guest Relations Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2011

Thanks for the review, and for the info on the positives and highlights. Re the rooms - yes, the twin ensuite is our lowest priced room, and the units to which you were adjacent by your description, while offering better views, are similar. The chalets which are above the main Lodge building are newer and larger, with better views. However! ALL these rooms (and the chalets too) have been refreshed this winter: we do care about the feedback :-). The internet is hard for us as it is via satellite not phone line, hence we do need to pass on some of the costs, we keep campaigning for better service in the Sounds! Jon the chef says 'thanks' (he's a modest guy). Hope to see you again some time.

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145 - 151 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2011

the position of the Lochmara Lodge is excellent overlooking the sounds. The food is adequate but very expensive and as there is no where near to go to, one is obliged to eat there. There is a small fridge in the rooms and one could bring drinks etc.. to store there. The rooms have a lovely view but are tired looking. They charged $7 an hour for internet.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank maxinenewzealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2011

What can I say that hasn't been said before and more eloquently. Excellent value for money - if you expect more then go elsewhere and pay a lot more. Great location, the nature trail leading to hammock heaven was great fun. Do explore it in all its quirky detail

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank walkerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2011

We stayed here for one night in our three week trip round NZ. I was particularly looking forward to staying here. It is in a great location, but you pay for it. If you are travelling there from picton you will need to get there water taxi, however, be aware that this costs 55 NZD for a return trip per person- a nice suprise we got when settling our bill- it is not included in your room rate and they don't mention it until you check out- which was dissapppointing as you have no other way of getting there. However the food is excellent in the cafe, we had a great dinner and breakfast obviously this is in addition to you room rate. We also used the bath house which was a great novelty. Amke sure you are around at 1:30pm and you can go hand feed karakis (small green and red parrot type birds).
The service was ok but nothing special- having experienced great service elsewhere in NZ we were a little dissapointed. The staff in the cafe/restaurant were very good though.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank joperks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2011

I LOVED this place. I practically had to be pryed away with a crowbar.

Every meal I had was excellent. It's maybe a couple dollars on average more than what you might pay in town -- but you are in the middle of a bay on the sound -- so food/drink was actually less than I expected to pay. And considering the quality, I thought it was quite reasonable.

My bayview room was very nice and comfortable, even if I didn't have that great of a view (of all of the bayview rooms, I had the worst view).

The grounds are vast and comfortable. You can relax in a hammock next to a llama or the tiny pigs that roam the large fenced-in area. The entire resort is very well and tastefully done.

It is a 1 hour walk -- and I mean WALK -- up to the QC track. The trail had been washed out in a couple of places and is still not for the faint-of-heart.

The only downside to this place is the noise during the day. It's such a great place to bring kids -- that people show up by the boatload -- and it simply isn't quiet during the day. There are dozens of hammocks scattered around the grounds, so you can escape the madness, but don't show up planning to spend your days by your room in peace or to the be only ones in line for the fantastic food/wine in the bar. Things start to clear out again in the late afternoon, but if 24/7 peace and quiet is a priority for you, I'd stay elsewhere, unfortunately. There are a couple other similar (but more expensive) resorts that seem to cater more to the adults-only crowd. I'd recommend hiking during the day to avoid the hoardes -- and return back to paradise just as they are all getting on their boats to leave.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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Thank nnsanci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2011

My husband and I happened on Lochmara by accident a couple of years ago when traveling around the upper South Island. We loved it so much we made sure to include it in our itinerary for our Dec/Jan 2010-11 holiday trip to New Zealand. Lochmara Lodge, simply put, is elegant, casual, exciting, relaxing and educational--all rolled up together. The chalet rooms are great--but don't expect big hotel amenities. No TV, no phone, small shower, no frou-frou toiletries--but they're clean, big, have a 'frig and microwave, and an absolutely breathtaking view of the sound.

One thing that attracted us to the lodge on our first NZ visit was the wildlife recovery program and the lodge’s ‘green’ practice. It’s immediately obvious upon arrival at Lochmara that they take sustainability serious. Cudos—keep up the good work!

The trails around the lodge are great--something different around every corner. We were pleased to see the Alpaca are still at Lochmara along some new additions--pigs and sheep (loved the little piglets!). There was some slight trail damage from all the rain, but it only added to the overall charm. The glowworms and phosphorescence are amazing. Loved walking through the little orchard!

The cafe is excellent. Pretty good beer and wine selection (wish there was more Chardonnay). Prices are a bit steep, but considering the remote location and quality of the food, worth every penny. Ella was great!

We loved all the artwork, including the computer circuit board light fixtures (great idea for recycling!)!

My husband and I spent many hours over wine discussing the work that must have gone into creating this wonderful place, and planning our next visit!

Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank jirwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2010

Not a peaceful place. We had the unfortunate experience of staying over New Year's. Our room was tiny and noisy. The buzz and exhaust of engine fumes were pervasive. the trail out to the Queen Charlotte was damaged due to rain, so no access to waterfall or the track.
the staff were pleasant, but it was a great disappointment. they suggested we hike to the hammocks for some quiet, but the weather was cool and we were resting our legs from previous hikes.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wvan57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lochmara, Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2011

Thank you for your review. We take all feedback very seriously and I have looked into the situation around your stay. As you mentioned, unseasonal storms closed roads and caused flooding throughout the country this new year's. We were let off lightly, and our access to the Queen Charlotte track is open again now. While it was closed we did offer FREE water transfers to and from the track for our guests, which I understand you accepted? Our own nature walks on our property were open throughout. In regards quiet, at this time of year we are a popular family choice and some noise from other guests at the beach and outdoors is unavoidable in our units. For peace at any time of year we recommend staying in a chalet, or visiting one of the 40+ hammocks tucked into quiet spots. I have looked into your feedback re boat noise and fumes and can’t find any reports of problems during your stay – if you could email us with further particulars of this so that we can follow up, that would be great.

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Additional Information about Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre

Address: Queen Charlotte Sound, Lochmara Bay 7201, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Lochmara Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Price Range: £43 - £207 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Great accommodation in 14 units & bay view chalets set on the tranquil shores of the Marlborough Sounds, a short cruise from Picton in our water taxi (Lochmara can easily arrange this for you, there are no roads to Lochmara). Explore the Wildlife Recovery & Art Centre, nature & sculpture trails, Queen Charlotte Track, art gallery, wildlife, free use of our kayaks, or relax on the beach, hammocks or Bath House spa. Licensed cafe/restaurant serving local and seasonal produce and local wines. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery And Arts Centre Hotel Picton

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