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“A Perfect Place to Unwind with an Awesome Breakfast!”

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Vibrant Living Retreat & Day Spa
Ranked #4 of 15 Hanmer Springs B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 June 2013

Lindsay and Jo made us very welcome in this peaceful, attractive and very comfortable B & B, we stayed in the room with the spa bath, which added to the ambience, and romance of our stay
We appreciated having a selection of DVD's in our room to choose from.
The breakfast was wonderful, and we enjoyed chatting and getting to know our hosts during our meal, would definitely recommend and would love to return again.

Room Tip: Room with spa bath was great.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rebecca C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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82 - 88 of 118 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2013

It looks as though I am NOT the first to have a HORRIBLE, SCARY, UNCOMFORTABLE experience after seeing what another reviewer has written and with talking to other people regarding our stay at Albergo. We also spoke to a few friends who are locals in Hamner who informed us they had heard of this happening before. In view of coming to Hamner multiple times a year for the last 9 years I feel I am able to comment on how terrible this stay really was. We had made a booking via Agoda (which I have done for many years whilst traveling throughout the world) and booked into the 'studio double room with breakfast included'. On arrival, we were greeted by a lady who's first comments were there are 2 of you.. There’s only supposed to be one of you. We had paid $120NZD and as stated booked the studio double room. Turns out they charger per person (not standard practice in NZ,) whilst we tried to sort out this issue, the lady ordered us to pay another $40 and we could both stay. I did not feel happy about this and said that I wasn’t paying any more money and they should have been more upfront if they expect people to pay per person (this information had been in the small print of the booking (my mistake was not reading this) and I commented on how poor the service was that I was being offered (no wonder they were empty at the time). After much discussion the lady agreed to let us stay without an extra fee and took us to our room, at our room we were shocked as it was nothing like what we had been lead to believe it was. We were put in a basic double room (just enough room to walk round the edge) and were told the bathroom was down the hall way. In not too sure where the kitchenette went too.. (Very misleading advertising) The lady gave us the breakfast menu and asked us to indicate what we wanted and to leave the filled in menu by the door before we went out for the evening.
In the morning we arrived for breakfast and were greeted by the male owner. Who informed us that he wasn’t making us our breakfast, until we had gave him $40. I couldn’t believe how we were being treated and commented on how extortionately expensive it was for a breakfast. At this point he became increasingly aggressive towards me, I told him he was being unreasonable and yet again the service being provided was extremely poor. At this point as I went to leave he went to grab my arm in what I can only describe as an assaultive manner and slammed the door I was trying to leave out of shut preventing me from leaving. This experience was extremely frightening and unacceptable and I told him if he touched me, I would be reporting him to the police for assault and asked him to open the door. In his fit of rage he demanded that I leave immediately (thankfully we had already packed all our bags and put them in the car otherwise we would have lost all our possessions), as I began to walk out of the front door, the man owner went to slam the door shut and as I had not got out of the door quick enough he managed to hit the wooden door on my head which has left me with a lump on the back of my head.
After all of this, if it hadn’t been bad enough I’d like to add that the so called luxury accommodation is situated next to a big building site with diggers, trucks and dirt everywhere. This was the most appalling treatment I have ever received and would not wish anyone else have to experience this. I would AVOID staying here at all costs.
I’m sure the owners will have some excuses for their behaviors; however in no uncertain terms can this behavior EVER be justified!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Kstar1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lindsay D, Owner at Vibrant Living Retreat & Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 May 2013

This is entirely correct. The customer did not pay for 2 people and did book the cheapest room she described. We allowed them to stay and offered a private bathroom adjacent to their room.She refused to pay the full rate for 2 people which we consider theft She was given ample opportunity to settle the amount due, however she chose to berate us for her error and refusal to pay. We had no qualms in asking them to leave and refusing breakfast.

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Reviewed 21 April 2013

This B & B personifies great Kiwi hospitality. We stayed in the 3-bed cottage in the grounds which for our family of 5 was perfect. There was nothing too pristine that we had to worry about with our children. I think the main rooms and the 2 bed Alpine Villa are rather more plush, but for us the cottage was a little home away from home over the Easter break.
Lindsay and Jo are the most delightful hosts, even to the extent of hiding a load of easter eggs in a treasure hunt for the kids around the cottage, and giving them eggs on Easter Sunday morning at breakfast. The breakfasts are absolutely fabulous, the best I've ever had at a B & B, and better than many excellent NZ cafes.
The Albergo is close to town - a leisurely and flat 15 minute walk (or 3 minutes by car) and we even walked home from dinner in Hanmer, with a torch, and it was lovely on a crisp evening. Not having been to Hanmer for more than 30 years I was surprised at what a great little place it's become with some super restaurants and heaps of outdoor activities. Discovering the Albergo was one of the unexpected delights too!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank 40Kiwiclaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lindsay and Joh... D, Owner at Vibrant Living Retreat & Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2013

Hey you guys. Thanks so much it was wonderful to have you with us and we enjoyed your company immensley. You have a great family and so pleased you could enjoy Hanmer and all it has to offer. Look forward to seeing you again sometime. Our very best wishes to you all.

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Reviewed 9 April 2013

We stayed here for one night on a short break over Easter. Really enjoyed it - spa, large bathroom, clean, great breakfast and friendly dog! Hosts friendly and very helpful when we had a problem with a booking elsewhere in Hanmer. Would stay there again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank standoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2013

Fabulous hospitality, amazing breakfast, great hosts. We stayed in the room with the spa bath, which was hugely comfortable, with heaps of room and doors opening to an outside seating area where we could enjoy the sunshine. It was a bit of luxury on our bike trip around the north of the South Island and we will definitely return.

Room Tip: Ring and ask and the hosts will be happy to advise :-)
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2013

We stopped in the Alpine Villa at the Albergo Hanmer from 20 February for 5 nights.

The Albergo is situated a short two minute car journey from the town in a nice secluded spot. So you have the benefit of the seclusion that the Albergo gives you but also have easy access to the facilities in Hanmer itself.

The hosts Jo & Linz, are a lovely couple who could not have been more friendly, welcoming and helpful nothing was too much for them.

The two course breakfast was fantastic, amazing choice and presented so beautifully. It set you up for the day.

The Alpine Villa in which we stayed was excellent, full kitchen with everything you need for self catering, a bathroom with views to die for, a bedroom with the largest bed we have ever slept in plus a home cinema system with a great sound system.

Outside we had our own decking and large private spa which we used every night, fantastic.
The views from the Villa in every direction of the mountains surrounding Hanmer were just amazing

This is the second time we have stayed at the Albergo if we ever manage to get back to New Zealand again we will definitely be visiting it for a third time.

Room Tip: We stopped in the Alpine Villa which was great
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank SueJim126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lindsay and Joh... D, Owner at Vibrant Living Retreat & Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2013

Thanks guys. It was lovely to have you back and share so much time with yoy both. Sorry for the delay in reply but time does fly. Let us hope it flies fast enough to have you back here sometime. Fond memories of you both and what a wonderful week it was when you were with us with a house full of friendly guests, chatty brreakfasts and jazz being played by some of them. Take care. Warmest Linz n Jo

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Reviewed 17 January 2013

We spent two nights at this lovely place. Everything (rooms, bathroom etc) are very good. But the best is the hospitality of the kind couple that makes the stay special. The first night we could use their kitchen to make up our own food. Afterwards we were spending the evening together in the living room, making music....It was a fabulous evening we wont forget.... In the morning you get a wonderful breakfast, everything made fresh and with love for details....

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 419Marcel78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vibrant Living Retreat & Day Spa

Address: 88 Rippingale Road, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand (Formerly Albergo Hanmer Lodge & Alpine Villas)
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Hanmer Springs
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Hanmer Springs
Price Range: £111 - £187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Vibrant Living Retreat & Day Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A place where magic happens .! Legendary 3-course delicious and nutritious breakfasts! This contemporary lodge is embraced by peace, views, & all day sun. The courtyard with lavenders & soothing waterfall is a unique feature. You can enjoy Vibrant Living Retreat famous 3 course breakfast, freshly made smoothies, healthier cooked breakfasts, homemade breads, offering over 10 great choices. Choose from super-king lodge suites or Spa Suite, 3 bedroom Peaceful cottage, Alpine Villa or go self-contained. Other facilities and activities in-lodge is our Day Spa Mountain View Massage and Yoga classes.Vibrant Living Retreat is the perfect place to come to unwind, relax , explore and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. ... more   less 
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