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“Excellent hostel, lovely owners”
Review of Watson's Way Lodge

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Watson's Way Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 March 2011

We stayed here before leaving the South Island to spend a day cycling round the local wineries in Renwick. The hostel is lovely, our double ensuite room was clean and cosy, with a TV and DVD player. The kitchen is big and well equiped and the living area is great, with games and loads of info on what to do locally. You can hire DVDs too. The friendly owners rented us bikes for the day of visiting wineries too and recommended a few places to stop in. We loved it here and highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BexR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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121 - 127 of 144 reviews

Reviewed 27 February 2011

Great hostel with friendly and very helpful staff. The location is perfect: you can hire bikes and cycle a route taking in a dozen or so great wineries so you don't have to worry about taking the car. We stayed in a double ensuite room which was petite but charmingly decorated and a very reasonable price. They also have lots of other options and a shared use kitchen and laundry.

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank TheAdventurer1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2011

Helpful hosts. Relaxed spot and good facilities. Great location amidst the wineries. Enjoyed the hammocks in the garden.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Beijing888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2010

Though there is not much to do in Renwick outside going to wineries (and what's wrong with that?), I used this place as my last night on the South Island. The double room was fantastic value and the kitchen was big and clean. Great value here.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled solo
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Thank CaboSanAntonio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2010

This was probably the only backpacker's we stayed that required us to take off our shoes before entering the premise, all in a good way because that means the whole place is really clean! I'm not sure whether all the doubles rooms were of the same size, but ours was pretty small (both the head and foot of the bed poles were against opposing walls). Room heaters were on a 30-min timer, but the best part is our bed came with electric blankets - definitely handy during winter season! Another plus point was the room also came with towels and a full-length mirror.
If you have your own transport, I'd recommend Watson's Way instead of staying in Blenheim town. Renwick is only 15-min drive away from Blenheim, has less people and the best Fish & Chips in town at the Takeaway store next door to Watson's Way.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lush018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

We stayed here as part of our big backpacking trip around the Asia Pacific area, and enjoyed our stay.

We had a really nice double room with real furniture, a heater, TV and DVD player, and a romantic canopy net to drape over the bed. There was a large wet room bathroom/shower which looks wheelchair accessible. Nice touches like wine glasses in the room and a blow dryer in the bathroom.

There is a lovely garden with lots of outdoor tables, hammocks, a boule court, and even the use of an adjacent tennis court. You can park your campervan in the grounds if you are touring NZ that way. Nice kitchen and spacious lounge with TV. There is only one computer with the $2 coin payment plan for 20 or so minutes.

The most enjoyable aspect for us was the ability to rent bikes from Watson's Way for $15/day – a great way to see lots of wineries in the Marlborough area. For the record, wineries we really enjoyed included Isabel, Spy Valley, Wairau River and the understated but friendly Huia winery. There are bags attached to the back of the bike so that you can purchase bottles of wine and carry them with you.

The owners were very friendly, which seemed quite a contrast with the numerous rules posted everywhere in the hostel. While most hostels have little signs asking you to do your dishes and other courtesies, they are usually softened by making little jokes (eg, the hostel dog will eat any unlabeled food) or at least by predicating the request with the use of the word ‘please’. But not at Watson’s Way – who knows what sort of guests they have had to deal with in the past, but the rules are all in command form: “Wash your dishes”, “Take off your shoes”, and my favourite in the bathroom “Wash your hands”.

Also, the room we stayed in was connected to an adjacent room by only a thin door, through which we could hear every word and sigh of our next door neighbors. The insulation was so poor that we could even hear the neighbors unzipping their jackets through the door. This left us (and them) with zero privacy, something that we had specifically hoped for by booking a private double room. We did not want to be rude to the guests next door, so we could not watch TV or even a movie in the evening as we did not want to keep them awake.

We would stay again as it is so convenient for the vineyards, but would just save money and stay in a shared room as we had no privacy in the double room anyways.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Crickett28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2010

I don't give 5 stars very often but Watson's Way shines among hostels in the south island. What can I say that a 5 star rating doesn't already say...it was spotlessly clean, had a beautiful kitchen, an outdoor grill, it's in a great location for visiting wineries, they have fruit trees they let you pick and eat...we ended up staying an extra night because it was so nice in comparison to other hostels we have been in. My only negative is that the first room we had was a bit small but then we paid a little more and we got a huge room with a TV and a bunch of DVDs, which was a super splurge for us.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank sharibob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Watson's Way Lodge

Address: 56 High Street, Renwick 7204, New Zealand (Formerly Watson's Way Backpackers)
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Renwick
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Renwick
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Watson's Way Lodge Renwick, New Zealand - Marlborough

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