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Lochmara Lodge - Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre
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Reviews (215)
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Reviewed 9 January 2010

We had only one night here doing the Track but it seems plenty of people come here for a holiday and stay a week. It's a very good place. We had a 2 bed apartment. It had rained heavily the day we arrived so we were all a bit wet. The heater dried things off quickly. The beds were very comfortable. It wasn't the sort of apartment we could have lived in had we been staying longer, but that didn't matter. We had excellent food in the cafe both at dinner and breakfast. There is a very good communal feel. The staff are very good. Friendly, helpful and professional.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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Thank blah1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2010

Lochmara Lodge was a bit of a mixed bag for us. My husband, mother and I stayed for 2 nights in a family unit before hiking out to Anikiwa. The location is amazing, the restaurant fantastic (make sure you have the mussels), the beds super comfortable, and the staff helpful, but there are a few inconsistencies that would make this place a lot better.
Firstly, the "kitchenette" in the units consists of a fridge, sink and microwave. There is no hotplate provided. We had brought in supplies to make lunches and a pasta dinner one night to cut down on costs, but were forced to eat in the restaurant when we couldn't prepare our meals. Not altogether a bad thing, as the restaurant is great, but this can be quite expensive.
Secondly, we were in a ground floor unit, and both nights had to listen to stomping, yelling, and partying in the unit above us until well past midnight (despite banging on the ceiling). I'm not sure, but it seemed like this was staff members and not guests. I know staff need to let off steam after a long day at work, but maybe this should be done away from paying guests.
Thirdly, when you're spending close to $800 over 2 days on accommodation and meals, would it not be reasonable to throw in the cost of a water taxi, or at least include it in the accommdation cost? This adds quite a bit to the final invoice, at $25 per person, per trip.
And finally, while the staff were very helpful organising water taxis from Anikiwa back to Picton for us (after our hike), the "water taxi" they booked for us (Beachcomber Cruises) was actually a "fun cruise" and it took us 90 minutes to get back to Picton. Our other options were slightly more expensive, but if we had been told how much quicker we would have gotten to Picton, we would have gladly paid the extra money. Especially after a long hike.
So yes, I would recommend Lochmara Lodge, but do your research and be prepared to fork out a lot more than just the accommodation costs.

  • Stayed: December 2009
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Thank butterbuns3000
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 March 2010

Thanks for the feedback. We have looked into the noise - staff have a separate social area well away from all guest areas (up the back, behind the vege garden) so we're still trying to work this one out.
We appreciate the feedback on water taxis. We use our own direct service (15 mins) and we keep the price separate for those who have their own transport (boat, kayak, bike, or on foot). Very occasionally, we use another service and in future we will make sure that when using another service (e.g. Beachcomber) guests are aware of the timing.
in 2007, we closed the backpacker lodge and opened our newest accommodation (the chalets). Since this time, we aim to make it very clear that there are no cooking facilities available at Lochmara (except a fridge/microwave in some rooms and tea/coffee facilities). We have notified all the guidebook companies, and have it on our email signature and website. We're sorry the message didn't make it through to you, but we'll take the compliments on the food, thanks!

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Reviewed 6 January 2010

For the price that we had to pay we expected for more then pretty basic rooms with no kitchen area and no cooking facilities or lounge.You must eat in the local restaurant because there is no way to store and make your own food.In total the price for the room plus the water taxi plus the restaurant come to a very expensive night in a beautiful place.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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Thank yodn
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 March 2010

Hi - Thanks for the feedback. Since 2007 (when we closed our backpacker lodge) we have been trying very hard to ensure all guests are aware that we have no cooking facilities, only tea/coffee making and in some rooms a fridge/microwave (info on which is on the website, along with info on what rooms have sitting areas). It is on our website, our email signature and we have informed all the guidebooks. We do hope you enjoyed the facilities and your time in Marlborough all the same.

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Reviewed 4 January 2010

Lochmara Lodge was our last stop on our South Island trip, it was completely worth the money. Whilst the accommodation is very reasonably priced comapred to other lodges in the area, the cost of the water taxi and meals quickly increases the bill. Still - it didn't disappoint, we both found the place enchanting. The paths, art work, hammocks and the animals made it easy to spend leisurely time wandering around and just taking it in, not knowing what you'll find around each corner.

We stayed in a Standard Chalet, which was very comfortably sized and had a good kitchenette. The view was amazing, too good to close the curtains on, which made the shared balcony something we'd have liked to be private. One thing that was a drama for me was that the bed was super soft - not old and cheap soft, but new and designed to sink far into. I had a headache for the rest of our holiday in the North Island and needed physio treatment, I'm prone to neck problems so I might be just one in a hundred that found this to be an issue.

The restaurant was great, staff very friendly and food like you'd find in a top resort. As a hungrier than usual pregnant person, I was delighted that food was available to order all through the day. Comfy lounge next door to read the paper in - Lochmara Lodge was just a great place to holiday. My husband let me plan the entire trip and he thanked me for including this place in our holiday.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank lc_lang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2009

We visited in NZ's Spring '09, so the area was very quiet... we walked the Queen ChalotteTrack from Anakiwa to Lochmara (one day walking) and then stayed there for two nights.

The chef (a proper chef!!) cooked special meals for us fussy vegetarians. The owner talked about how he's built the place up over 16 years from just a small house.Staff were lovely.

Rooms - just beautiful, clean, modern, stylish - en suite, fridge, huge bed, great views and of course NO TV. Main building has a lovely lounge with open fire

Setting - fantastic with extensive grounds, with some animals, hammocks etc.

Cost - ended up at £400 for a couple for two nights ...bear in month once here you are cut off and can only eata nd drink in the restaurant (unless you taek a water taxi to Picton) . Water taxis - from £25 pp per 30min trip to Picton.

Lochmara is a wonderful place - the best hotel/lodge we've ever stayed in.

Bizarre - they have a pair of baths (like you'd have in your bathroom at home) in a room with views across the Marlborough Sounds

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank philtraveller
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 March 2010

Thanks!

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