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“Great hostel, Bizarre staff!`”

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Happy Apple Backpackers
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great hostel, Bizarre staff!`”
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We stayed at Happy Apple for a few days when working the orchards this summer. The hostel itself is great - very clean, great rooms, great kitchen! The outside space is absolutely fantastic too with a common area, plenty of garden tables, ball games and a spa. Add to that a great music and DVD collection!

The staff, on the other hand, were not so exceptional. Despite being perfectly welcoming and polite on arrival, their demeanor throughout the rest of our stay left a lot to be desired. We found Bill very pleasant, but when asking Janet for directions to the library we were very abruptly told to walk to town and find it ourselves. Following this, when we asked for a number for a local bus we were given the local phone directly and again told to find it ourselves or "Google" it (funny considering the internet had been knocked out by a storm and the owners were perfectly aware of this).

With a "no noise, no alcohol after 10pm" rule - it seems the owners perhaps wanted to buy a holiday park but got a backpackers instead, and don't understand the culture of backpackers. We work hard picking fruit in the day and want to relax and enjoy ourselves in the evening...not be told that it's past our bed time.

Great hostel but the staff could do with lightening up a little.

Room Tip: The double's are fantastic and great value at $150 a week!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gazatkins2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Janet G, Owner at Happy Apple Backpackers, responded to this review, 14 April 2013
Delighted you enjoyed our great outdoor facilities, Happy Apple is an awesome place to be. It is regrettable that you were not the only guest, then we would both be able to devote all our time to you and you could party all night without having to consider the needs of any other guest. Our policy of quiet after 10pm is in consideration to all guest and pivotal to our business of selling beds. People come here to sleep and while our great facilities are here for the enjoyment of guests, late night parties take place off the premises.
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2013 via mobile

This hostel is decent value for a budget stay. Lovely garden area, ok bathrooms although heavily used so at times not so clean and room was small but totally adequate. Kitchen was very crowded but everything pretty much worked. Very much a place for orchard workers rather than holiday makers. Staff were ok - not rude but also pretty hands off so didn't see much of them. OK place to stay

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Jenny G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Janet G, Owner at Happy Apple Backpackers, responded to this review, 24 March 2013
Thanks for your feedback Jenny, hope your stay in Motueka was great and glad to know you were able to relax in our garden. We appreciate you taking your time to help by providing valuable feedback. We are aware of the limitations of the kitchen when there are many people and obviously need to monitor the bathrooms more frquently during peak times. Fortunately for guests the peak time is only for a few weeks during the picking season and for the rest of the year you can cook, chat and enjoy being in the kitchen with friends. Hope you can return someday.
Janet
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Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
109 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2012

We really enjoyed our stay at Happy Apple, the room has enough space for two ppl, the bed was supercomfy, and a rare thing in NZ: the walls of made of solid stone, so the noise left outside. The patio are was very good for resting, the staff were very nice and welcoming.

Off street parking is available.

The kitchen is well equipped, however it is a very small for such an amount of people. You have to wait for everything: pens, stove, sink, etc. Not a big issue, but please be prepared for this, and start you dinner 30 mins earlier.. :)

As this is an Eco lodge, also be prepared for quick showers, as the hot water will switch off after 3-5 mins, and you will have to wait another 2 mins to have hot water again.

Oh, and hot tub is a must try! :)

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TomDiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Janet G, Owner at Happy Apple Backpackers, responded to this review, 28 December 2012
Thank you for visiting Happy Apple Backpackers and thanks also for your comments, we appreciate your feedback and hope you had a wonderful time in our country. Haere ra
Janet and Bill
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Oamaru
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2012

We spent a very comfortable night in the "honeymoon suite" . A large well decorated room with own bathroom. This was our first experience at staying at a backpackers and we felt right at home. Janet and Bill are caring hosts and seemed to have a great report with their guests.
There was a happy atmosphere amongst the others staying there.

The Happy Apple is clean and well maintained. The covered patio and outdoor areas are great. The location is not too far from town with access to great walking and biking locally.

Would be happy to stay again

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Vibez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 26 June 2012

Clean, open, friendly. Real nice big sunny patio and a great bubbling warm outdoor spa. Owners were very helpful and friendly and it's very cheap. Best deal you will find.

  • Stayed May 2012
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Helpful?
Thank Irandi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Janet G, Owner at Happy Apple Backpackers, responded to this review, 16 July 2012
Delighted you enjoyed your time here at the Happy Apple and long may you have happy memories of Motueka and the magnificent Abel Tasman National Park. Thanks for the positive response. Haere Ra Janet
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Level Contributor
50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2012

I can say this is the worst ever backpackers that I stayed in NZ..

Small kitchen for 30-40 people sharing; 5 mins hot water shower, if you want more hot water, please wait for 2 mins and it will be reset for another 5mins, bathroom light will blackout! laundry 3 dollar, wifi connection is poor..

Actually this is a hostel for seasonal worker that work in the packhouse, at the morning about 6am and evening after work is the peak period in kitchen, please Q if you want to wash your stuffs, and there got no enough space to fit 20-30 people at the same time, book your table before start cooking!

Location is far from town centre about 3 km, still walking distance but you have to spend 30mins to reach there, for return you need to spend at least 1 hour.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Joeeu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Janet G, Owner at Happy Apple Backpackers, responded to this review, 16 July 2012
We are sorry to hear your experience here was not good, but thank you for your candid response.
During late summer, when fruit ripens, Motueka is a very busy town. Every backpacker in town is full as travellers come here and earn extra money while enjoying life in this beautiful region. At this time we are doing our best to support the local orchardists' need to get the fruit picked, while providing a pleasant, happy short term home for everyone. And during February, March and April the Happy Apple is a very busy place. We generally inform travellers of the situation ie best times to use the kitchen, short showers etc, and totally understand if they decide to upgrade to a private room. We apologise for not explaining the situation more clearly.
The good news is for the other nine months of the year Happy Apple Backpackers is quiet, warm and peaceful.
We are an eco hostel and advocate for the great outdoors. We promote energy saving practices so that future generations may live happily on a healthy planet. Hence the a 5 minute restriction on showers and timers on lights. We also provide free push bikes for guests.
Once again thanks for your comments.
"Whatungarongaro te tangata toi tu whenua". As man disappears from sight, the land remains. Janet and Bill
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Travellers are raving about these Motueka hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

We had a bumpy start to our night's stay as I had been quite ill on the way to the hostel. When we got there, there was some confusion at reception as to whether we had confirmed the double room, even though we had emails stating the room was confirmed. The lady at the front desk was flustered, and implied it was our fault that the room had been given away, and offered us a three person bunk room instead. She then told me we weren't going to be charged for three persons (!!!) and said quite strictly that there was only 5 minutes of hot water in the shower. Not a particularly welcoming start. To be fair, we were only passing through and did not have time to stay to use the other facilities, but even if we were to return to the area, I'd be somewhat reluctant to try this again.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 27thstring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Happy Apple Backpackers

Property: Happy Apple Backpackers
Address: 500 High Street, Motueka 7120, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Nelson-Tasman Region > Motueka
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Motueka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Happy Apple Backpackers 2*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Happy Apple Backpackers Motueka, New Zealand - Nelson-Tasman

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