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“Day trippers damage the ambience of a great place”

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Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lochmara Bay
Germany
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Day trippers damage the ambience of a great place”
Reviewed 29 January 2013

We returned to Lochmara Lodge after our first stay 4 years ago. We booked the great Kakariki Chalet again. The chalet was fine as before, lots of space, nice and tasteful interior, large bathroom, and everything was very clean. After our 33km day hike from Mahana Lodge to Lochmara Lodge we were happy to find an excellent BBQ buffet at the restaurant in the evening, an amazing choice of vegetarian, excellent and delicious warm and cold salads, stuffed potatoes, pizza bread, desserts and so on. Vegetarian stacks were also prepared for us from the grill –great and recommended! We also had dinner the next evening which again was delicious. The grounds are a great spot in the Sounds, hammocks all around, Punga people watching you on the lodge’s tracks, and the glowworms not to be missed when night is falling.

What made us rate this place only 4 points instead of 5 how it could be is mainly the fact that meanwhile a lot of day trippers are coming to Lochmara Lodge between 9 am and 6 pm, mainly families with young children using Lochmara Lodge and its grounds as a large playground running around, screaming, leaving toys and toddlers everywhere, and changing the restaurant including the verandah into a mess. We had the strong impression that Lochmara Lodge is even trying to attract more day trippers to come here announcing this family fun on their website. They even have a parrot with clipped wings near the restaurant during daytime to entertain the kids and parents by letting the (speaking) bird pass from shoulder to shoulder for photo taking. “He is happy”, we were told when we asked at the reception how this fits together with their attitude for environmental care and animal protection.

This leaves some mixed feelings, although the grounds, the suite and the restaurant were really great.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TravelSiMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Harrogate, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 18 January 2013

when we arrived,exhausted from our manic NZ holiday we were overwhelmed with the service that Louise and Shayne provided adding a n additional night , lucky us, and a fishing charter whilst we stood in reception and ogled the beautiful artworks. The Japanese inspired bathhouse was a delight and the second afternoon of light rain did nothing to dampen our delight walking through the carved pungas (we found about 20). Service a delight, wonderful staff and great food (especially the blue cod and scallops we harvested ourselves). We will be back

Room Tip: bay views are 'really' special
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank K3Gub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, 9 March 2013
Thanks for the review. So pleased you had a good time - and didn't let the weather stop you. You get a different perspective of the bush in wet weather I reckon, and the changing colours of the Sounds. Hope to see you back one day.
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NZ
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2013

This was the second time I have stayed at Lochmara. Last time I gave it five stars, but it's actually improved since then. The rooms had been freshly painted since our last stay, and the bath house is wonderful. It still feels really warm and inviting, with every staff member we met seeming to really care that we were happy. We stayed in one of the family chalets this time, and the room was very attractive. But it’s the bushwalks and things to see that make the place special and not like anywhere else we have stayed. Crumpy’s Camp and the replica maori hut with the new carving outside were totally unexpected. The new eel feeding experience was good too – the guide was very informative and I have a whole new respect for eels. Food was absolutely excellent – I have written a separate review. We said it last time too - we'll definitely be back.

Room Tip: The cheaper rooms were good for us last time because we just wanted somewhere to sleep, but if you w...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank colnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Thanks for the review. We're really pleased you enjoyed your visit and we'll see you next time.
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Blenheim, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2012

Had our company staff Christmas function at Lochmara Lodge - just a 15min water taxi from Picton and you pull up at a jetty surrounded by native bush - a short walk to a small but very well appointed restaurant and bar - with stunning views over the sounds. We had a buffet meal which was first class with a selection of meats and fish as well as salads and veg - can recommend the steaks - the staff were very helpful and seem to enjoy their roles - getting involved with our xmas festivities. We will be back to sample to accommodation soon - but if its as good as the food - we will be very satisfied. And next time we hope to have more time to explore the lodge's other attractions which include a bush walk, arts centre, and wild life recovery centre. - The trip back to Picton on the boat in the dark was also exciting - glad the driver knew where he was going !!!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Brynkoru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lochmara, Marketing Manager at Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Thanks for the review. We're very pleased you had a great time and want to come back. The trip in the dark is always a cool experience for guests, especially if there is phosphoresence. Don't fret too much though, our skipper has done it one or two (thousand) times before, he knows the way by now :p
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F'burg
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2012

Accessible only by boat or on foot, Lochmara Lodge is a special treat. It is eco-tourism, artists' retreat and gallery, and hikers' rest all rolled up with gourmet restaurant and spa. A friendly pukeko wandered the grounds and a local troubadour entertained us at dinner. The innkeeper gave us a lift by boat to the end of the Queen Charlotte track so that we could day-hike back, but many people stopped over as part of a multi-day hike. My only complaints are small ones: the lack of a recycling bin in the room and a shower that sprayed water all over the bathroom.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank nanacake
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 review, 28 November 2012
Hi. Thanks so much for the lovely review and feedback! I hope you took the side track to the Lochmara lookout on your Queen Charlotte Track walk. Thanks for letting us know about the shower, we have it on our fix-list. Re the recycling bins - you're on holiday! We'll take care of that for you :) As long as you put food scraps in the marked bin (for feeding to the pigs), then we sort the recycling. Managing our waste is really important to us as it all either has to get used on the property (like cardboard for mulching and glass for crushing into sand) or get taken out by boat. We're going to do some info sheets explaining our sustainability measures for the guest info books, so thanks for the idea!
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Perth, Western Australia
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2012

We stayed at Lochmara on the last night of our five day walk on the Sound track. Walking in early October it is very early in the season and the places we had stayed were all quiet. When we arrived at Lochmara we thought this was going to be the exception, as walking down the hill we heard the kids yelling on the dock and in kayaks etc. Likewise the cafe was very busy when we walked in around 1.30pm but by mid afternoon everyone was gone and we realized that there was really only three or four groups staying overnight.

The reception welcome was efficient and friendly and we were shown our room quickly and then left alone. The room was lovely - stunning view from the balcony, lovely big windows and french doors and the best bathroom and shower. Water temperature fluctuates in the shower constantly though so you had to keep stepping in and out! Admittedly we booked the upgraded accommodation option and probably had one of the best rooms, but it certainly met our expectations.

The bar and restaurant were great - food was excellent at breakfast (recommend the smoked fish scrambled eggs) and dinner (the baked Brie is a must). John the chef/barman was very friendly and knowledgeable and put us onto the excellent Mahi Chardonnay and Pinot noir - also highly recommended. The staff were all very genuine and helpful, sorting out our total bill in the cafe before reception opened in the morning so we could get away early on our last day's walk.

The gardens are great, the sculptures, hammocks and animals really fun and would imagine this is a very busy and popular family destination during the height of the season. When we were there with few guests and no children it was especially enjoyable however...

Overall, Lochmara was a highlight of our walk and rated very highly for us in relation to our other excellent accommodations along the track. Thanks John!
David and Christine Gribble

Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank david102a
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 review, 28 November 2012
Thank you! And a special thanks from Jonathan Kari, the chef, and Brian at Mahi Wines too. You're absolutely right - whether you want family fun or retreat-relaxtion, pick your time to come. There's always a spot to get away from it all, but out busiest family times are in January and school holiday weekends. Even then, most of the families depart by about 4pm...and peace descends again ;-) It's always much quieter during the week too.
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Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
429 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 372 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2012

My daughter and I hiked in and stayed for two days one night. It was wonderful AGAIN. We did the feeding rounds of the animals and loved it. The animal talks on eels, pigs, birds were all very informative and enjoyable experiences. We indulged in the bathhouse. But the phosphoresence in the water was amazing. We splashed, and played off the end of the jetty for some time. And then went back for more. We kayaked, did the sculpture walk, lay in hammocks. Ate our crackers, cheese and drinks on the patio overlooking the water. A magical two days. Thank you.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nzp0ppy
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 review, 28 November 2012
You're very welcome, and thank you for both the lovely review and for taking the time to explore all there is at Lochmara. Next time, you'll be able to ride the new flying fox. Yee ha!
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Additional Information about Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £
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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