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Dunstan House
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Reviews (96)
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All reviewsotago rail trailhistoric hotelold world charmstayed herethe main househistory lessonhoneymoon suitecopious amountsupstairs verandacold meatsinteresting talkhuge roombeautiful buildingcentral otagohelpful hostsfantastic breakfastgold mining town
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78 - 83 of 96 reviews
Reviewed 28 February 2014

We booked a night in this property at the start of the Otago Central Rail Trail based on the fact it is a beautiful heritage building that sounded wonderful. Photos of the building get plenty of exposure in tourism publicity for the Otago region.
We wanted to stay in a charming old building and were prepared to pay a premium for the experience. Dunstan House is not cheap but reasonable for a property as described on the website.
We booked an ensuite room and were looking forward to our stay.
The first indication that ourexperience might not be what we anticipated was at check-in. The hostess told us we were welcome to 'come over' and use the downstairs lounge in the house. Huh? I thought we were staying here. Wrong.
Our room was out the back past the garage. The room was one of two that appeared to be converted from an attached outbuilding. It adjoined the kitchen and was accessed via an overgrown garden area - the "private courtyard" referred to on the website. The "hill view" was best enjoyed from the bathroom window - a lack of privacy and somewhere to sit made trying to see the view from the room impractical.
The room itself was simply not good enough for the tariff charged. The furnishing was basic, the room was hot and stuffy with a pedestal fan the only cooling provided, it wasn't enough.
The TV was a tiny, old unit mounted high up near the ceiling in the corner. If you wanted to spend the evening at home watching the tele you would be severely disappointed.
The furnishing and decor were poor.
As for using the lounge in the main house well this is where our second major problem surfaced.
Paying a premium price for a sub-standard room was bad enough but it turned out that there was a group of 15 staying the same night. We were the only other booking.They took up all the main house and the other rooms out the back and had their social function that night in the lounge area - not much chance of us using the lounge that night. We would have been lucky to find a seat.
The next morning, as we were the only guests not in the group we were subjected to the group briefing on the day ahead while we ate our breakfast. The briefing came after we were asked to move tables, "that one is set up for only one person" said our host before directing us to a table that had me sitting in the open (draughty) doorway.
The breakfast, continental only, was fine but a charm offensive by the host during breakfast does not make up for serious shortcomings here.
Bottom line is we paid a premium price for a substandard room that was not in the heritage area of the hotel while feeling very much the odd ones out in an otherwise group booking.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank hazza55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maree D, Owner at Dunstan House, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2014

We have noted points raised in your review however we wish to clarify the 'major' factor. You state your preference was to stay in a premier heritage room and you were prepared to pay for this. Had you booked directly with us or communicated this preference on arrival, we would have ensured your expectation was met as our premier Suite room was available. You chose to book through a local operator whom you clearly instructed to arrange "standard rooms" for your visit to Central Otago. The price for your Ensuited room was the same price as all the "Standard Share Bathroom" bedrooms in the heritage house. The room allocated to you was requested by the operator who also would have booked a premier room on your behalf if instructed.
February is peak season and suggest you visit in the shoulder months if you prefer to be on your own and to avoid groups of friends enjoying our communal areas.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

Wonderful old time hotel, modernised without losing the charm of the era in which it was built. It was a delight staying here. While the house does not provide dinner or lunch, breakfast is available. Options aplenty to eat at night.

Room Tip: Some rooms face street (quiet) with balcony, other face mountains at the back.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Denise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

An absolute gem of a property, in a magnificent part of the world, run by the most charming and hospitable couple. The rooms were perfect. The whole place evokes nostalgia for a bygone era that you can't help but long for whilst staying in this gorgeous town. I've already recommended to friends, and will definitely visit again. Thanks Maree and John!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lucypiper2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2014

This is a little gem of a place to stay in Clyde,an old gold-mining town.We hadn't booked and luckily there was a room for us.Maree met us and showed us to a charming suite with access to a wrap-around balcony.All decorated with artifacts from a by-gone era and nice little touches like a cut-glass decanter of port in our room.Maree and John really helped us with our onward plans,giving us an amazing itinery which was spot-on.Lovely breakfast in the morning with fresh and cooked fruits of the region etc. Would def. stay again.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gabalotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

What a charming place to stay. We were part of a cycle tour group that stated at this beautiful old hotel. The owners were charming people. The rooms and whole place had such character and old world charm. Breakfast was yum! Modern bathroom facilities but some adapted like the old copper toilet cisterns about three metres above the toilet and a shower set over an old bath in a unique way. Definitely recommend this as a place toasty when inClyde.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
Thank KimT11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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