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“Awful”

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Waitomo Big Bird Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #3 of 4 Otorohanga B&B and Inns
Reviewed 26 July 2014

We stayed for one night and we were happy we didn't book for longer. We arrived at 4 PM only to find nobody on the farm, doors were open, windows were open, beds were undone...we went back to town to get some food and came back around 5 PM, we saw the owner coming back. She was very friendly and showed us the bungalow where we were staying. This was a bit of a shock as the beds were not made, she said she was busy and was going to make them soon. Furniture was very old, doors and windows were open and it was very cold inside. We closed the doors and windows and put heater on...there was only one heated in the "living area" of the bungalow. Kitchen was tiny, the bathroom was even smaller, a tiny shower cubicle and a toilet with tiny washing basin, I never saw anything this small before. The dining area had a queen bed next to it and few very old looking arm chairs, the bedroom next door was behind a sliding door and had a queen and 3 singles. The bungalow had a weird smell and my daughters said it smelled of old furniture or old people.
The owner came and did the beds but it felt very strange someone coming and making your beds in front of you.
The next morning we had a breakfast delivered to our bungalow. It was described as home made continental...well, the jam was supermarket standard, fresh fruits were bananas and peaches from a tin put into a huge bowl and the homemade yogurt was in a huge 1 kg tub, plain white.There was not enough bread for all of us, 6 people, and I was pleased we had our own bread with us. Home made muesli was under the benchtop together with Rice Crispies, Coco Pops and some other cereals. We really wanted an ostrich omellette as stated on their website but apparently they had no eggs. We were really pleased we didn't pay any extra for the cooked breakfast.
We were supposed to feed the animals after breakfast but the lady said we had to go and feed them before as she was off to the town...only two of our children were interested and they came to feed the animals with me. The lady gave animal food to the other adults staying in other cottages but nothing to my daughters until I pointed that out.
It was quite an awful experience and we all agreed this was the worst accommodation in NZ and to be honest it was the worst I have ever stayed in. Do yourself a favour and stay somewhere else. I did not even take any photos of the rooms as I was in a state of shock what I saw.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Janulik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
waitomobigbird, Owner at Waitomo Big Bird Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2014

This review does not fairly represent who we are, what we have or what we do.
Grass-roots N.Z. Farming Reality
While it is reasonable to expect to be greeted on arrival and the cottage ready, the extenuating circumstances of unforseen demands made this impossible for that day. (Had we known, we would have hired someone to help).
It is unreasonable to apply 5 star professional hotel judgments to a Working Farm/Homestyle Petting Farm & B&B Farmstay experience. Winter July School holidays were unseasonably busy for this enthusiastic, hospitable multi-tasker! My side of the story.....
1. 18 people had checked out this morning - 12 from an extended family who sooo enjoyed & appreciated the unique animal experience - left at 11.45am abuzz!!
2. Amazingly 12-2pm all cleaning/bathrooms/kitchens & bedrooms were done (except for Bungalow beds - a 15 minute imposition)
3. 20 people arrived for the Petting Farm tours 2-4pm...........Farm cattle were then shifted.
4. 13 people including Janulik & family to arrive 4-5pm
A simple phone call when you first arrived would have been helpful !
5. Peaches WERE home-preserves from OUR tree, the tour in the morning is at 9.00am ( you chose 9.30am late breakfast) and as you separated yourselves from the rest, I assumed you and your daughter were uncomfortable hand-feeding the animals.
Some people living in gratitude look out a window and admire the vista - others are unable to see past a yoghurt container!

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70 - 76 of 128 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2014

We stayed for a night recently while passing through and I'm so glad we did! Ann was so welcoming when we arrived, and took us for a tour of the farm straight away. Our 2 little boys were enchanted by all the animals, especially our 2.5 year old. He was in heaven petting all the animals and talking to them. Ann made us feel right at home as she shared her beautiful home with us. She let our kids 'adopt' one of the horses Trigger for the night and set him up right outside the window of our accommodation.

We stayed in the bungalow which had enough room for myself, my husband and our 2 toddlers (one of whom slept in a port a cot provided). The bungalow was cosy and warmed up nicely with the heaters going. Lovely views of the farm land from all the windows. Provided with plenty of towels, blankets and pillows and even toiletries in the bathroom.

Kitchen stocked with a variety of cereals for breakfast plus Ann brought us up fresh home made bread, fruit salad and home made yoghurt and fresh orange juice for our breakfast which was included in the price of our accommodation. Delicious!

Pippy the dog became our little shadow and she is absolutely adorable. Such a placid and friendly dog who adored our 2 boys.

If we had of had more time we would have stayed another night as we all enjoyed ourselves so much. The perfect farm stay for our family holiday.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank kated28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Thoughtful, well-informed and helpful hosts. Most comfortable beds we experienced during our stay in New Zealand. Very clean and updated accommodations. Fresh local produce. The petting farm and feeding foray was a delightful and entertaining bonus.

Room Tip: A variety of room sizes to accommodate any size group.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Dennis W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We found this place very last minute and although we only stayed one night, it was a very lovely experience. We got the smaller cottage, which was almost ready when we got there but no problems as we 'checked in' and were going down to do the night walk in the glowworm cave anyway, which Ann suggested (fantastic suggestion). Me and my brother however stayed in one of the homestead rooms which was clean and cosy, while the cottage only suited 2-3, my parents had an equally nice stay, although the water in the shower went cold. The breakfast in the morning was yummy, a lot more then I expected and the homemade yogurt and jam was delicious! The animals were adorable and the tour was great, for a family that loves alpacas, llamas and cats, this was the best. I would recommend this place to everyone, especially animal lovers and families with kids however old, also for people who like a relaxed and very welcoming stay.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Alicia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

My family (me, hubby and our four years old boy) stayed for two nights during Easter. I first asked for the Chalet, thinking that this would give us more privacy. Ann replied that the chalets were fully booked but the queen/ensuite room in the homestead with a single bed was available. I quickly booked it.

The homestead room that we stayed was clean and tidy and it actually had the privacy that we sought for as it had a separate entrance. Although I only asked for a queen/ensuite room, there was an additional single bed for my boy, which was very thoughtful. My boy was very happy to meet Pippy the Collie and the “L” cat family who were extremely friendly. My boy played with them whenever we were in the apartment - it’s actually nice to stay in the homestead room!

The next morning, we had the mini farm tour which was a nice addition to our stay. I would recommend this place for those who want to try farm stay in New Zealand. Bear in mind that this is a farm, those who are planning to stay should not have unreasonable expectation on the room amenities. The room that we stayed in was absolutely neat, tidy and warm and yes, it didn’t come with anything fancy but this was really not needed. The price was reasonable with yummy homemade breakfast.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank lorettaho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

From the moment we arrived Ann and Ross were so welcoming, my 8 year old daughter was in heaven playing with the sweetest kittens, meeting all the farm animals and having an interactive guided tour. The accommodation is cosy and homely, a true farm experience. In the morning my daughter didn't even want to leave and go to the caves. We are defiantly going to come back again and again. If you are looking for absolute enjoyment for your kids, some relaxing time out for yourself, or a great rural kiwi experience this is your place, the hosts will go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and well looked after. The only problem was that we only stayed one night.... 3 would have been wonderful!

Room Tip: We had booked to be in a chalet, but were able to change to being in the house, it was nice and warm...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank nikkizr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

From the reviews and pictures we were looking forward to staying at Big Bird, on arrival our room was not ready. Hosts were very friendly, but the accommodation was AWFUL, everything was dirty, didn't even want to get into the dirty bed, such a disappointment as we don't get away often. Definitely do NOT recommend.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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2  Thank Jodiekimt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
waitomobigbird, Owner at Waitomo Big Bird Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2014

Accommodation Missmatch! Normally, the room would be available at mid-day, but due to a weeks stormy, wet, damp & cold weather and the full house for the Easter period; plus extra families enjoying the Petting Farm - 2pm was reasonable.
We can assure you every room has clean linen, fresh towels and duvees, carpet & drapes are cleaned regularly. Both the people who stayed before and after left super-positive comments in the guest book. In fact, the other people staying on the same day enthusiastically enjoyed the farm and animals and 2 days in a row, families came back after checkout in the afternoon for more animal time saying "What a great place - We'll be back!" Planned upgrades will add value to accommodation beginning next week with painting & new carpet.

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Additional Information about Waitomo Big Bird Bed & Breakfast

Address: 17 Waitomo Caves Road | Rd 7, Otorohanga 3977, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Otorohanga
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Otorohanga
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waitomo Big Bird B&B & Petting Farm is an "Animal-Lovers Paradise" with over 50 pettable animals of 15 varieties. Our theme is Large Birds & Miniature animals and we have a fibreglass Giant 4.3mtr extinct Moa Mascot and "Charlie" the tiny Miniature Bull who is one of the smallest bulls in the world. We have self-contained cottages and Farmstay rooms in the homestead and welcome all size groups. Prices are $55 per adult, $25 child (5-12yrs), $20 (1-4yrs) and $30 teens. (Mini-horse rides for under 30kg) Self-contained $10 extra. Bungalow (sleeps 6) Chalet (3) Studio (4) Homestead (Queen/ensuite + single) (Family queen + 2 singles) Twin (2 singles.) Prices include: Continental breakfast, Free Ostrich/Emu & Miniature animal tour, FREE WIFI. Parking. We welcome guests to a working farm/home environment with a family atmosphere. If you enjoy animals - this IS the place for you! ... more   less 

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