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“Nice place - questionable rooms”

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Happy Apple Backpackers
Reviewed 31 December 2013

I stayed here for two nights.

The hostel itself is quite nice. Receptionist was a lovely woman who couldnt do enough. There is a large kitchen area which has all the supplies you need and is kept clean. There is also a social lounge and a few outdoor seating areas. It seemed like a place of activity with a nice vibe of lots of travellers coming and going.

The rooms however were quesitonable. I stayed in a 3 bed dorm which you would normally fit one bed into. Therefore not leaving much space for bags etc. It also aseemd a lot of the people there were long term so they had laid claim to all the available space on the floor. If you are goping to have long termers in your hostel, house them seperately from other guests...there is nothing worse than walking into a hostel room that has been lived in for months.

Otherwise one of the best places i have stayed in new Zealand.

Room Tip: Ask for a large room with no long term people!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Alex M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 - 49 of 68 reviews

Reviewed 20 November 2013

This is the most difficult review I have attempted to write mainly because this backpacker became something like my second home after the two and a bit months I stayed there from Dec 2012 with friends then again from end of November 2013 as a couple for two weeks. The place itself is simply amazing. It's friendly, welcoming, colourful, spacious but homely. The kitchen was fully equipped with most things working (the rice cookers are a bit dodgy just a heads up.. and also the stalls are a bit wobbly which Bill should fix), its a bit small for the hostels max capacity and closes at 10pm which isn't so friendly for the late eaters, but a really nice cooking space when there isn't so many people.
There is a lovely patio which is nicely furnished and great to chill in, whether its sunny or rainy.
The bedrooms aren't really anything special, there are comfortable beds and pillows and the blankets are a bit thin but usually fine for the summer. They can be a bit small if you or people you are rooming with have a lot of luggage and they could do with some storage space.
There is a 5min timer on the shower but its really not that bad when you know its for a good cause. (Also if there isn't many people you can just go into the other showers then you don't have to wait the two minutes) The timers on the lights however are a bit annoying because they seem only slightly longer than the 5min shower which means you can be left lurking in the dark either in the shower or on the toilet..
There is a nice tv and games room which has dvds and playstation, wii, pool table, all sorts to keep you happy on a rainy day.

In general its just an amazing hostel in a neat little town, the layout of the hostel is sociable and both times I was there I made some truly great friends which I still keep in touch/travel with to this day.

Now the things that let down this amazing place. Bill and Janet though nice to begin with are rather two faced. Although I understand the difficult place they stand between keeping long term stayers happy as well as tourists that come and go because of the Abel Tasman track, they do not seem to understand the culture of a backpacker hostel. 'Noise' is a big part of this conflicting aspect between backpackers and the owners of Happy Apple. Janet and Bill are moody, rude and stubborn. Its hard to write all the things I have gone through and seen with them. But they have kicked people out of the hostel with no reason, said inappropriate things which could have broken up a an engaged couple if those things were actually were true and they swore at someone for doing things they didn't do. They jump to conclusions, talk to you like you're 10years old if you're aged between 18 and 30 and almost look for excuses to throw you out of the hostel if they 'don't like you'.

This place is alright if you can keep to yourself and have your head down and only stay there for a few nights. Otherwise I wouldn't bother until there is a change of owner.
I think the Happy Apple could be an amazing place with a bit of touching up and younger owners that understand seasonal workers like to socialize on a Saturday after work.
Imagine you're trying to enjoy a nice crunchy, juicy apple that you worked hard to be able to afford and then there is two horrible, bitter worms inside it. Those worms are Bill and Janet.

Room Tip: If you want a double room and light sleepers don't sleep opposite the toilets. The doors are a b...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank KimjaA
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 reviewResponded 1 December 2013

Happy Apple is a great place to stay, we love it. But if you are looking for a party house, clearly it is not for you. Our policy of quiet after 10pm is in consideration to all guest and crucial 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. Sadly some people just don't get it.

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Reviewed 14 April 2013

We stayed in Motueka for 2 nights as it is an excellent base for trips
to Abel Tasman National Park. We choose the Happy Apple Backpackers as it had good reviews and everything was true.
We had a twin room and it was very clean. The place has a very big outdoor area with spa pool, voleyball net, table tennis, pool table etc.
The kitchen and the dinning area were also very big.
This place is very busy. The hot water in the showers was limited to 10 min, but it was enough unless you wanted to wash your very long hair.
The light in the bathroom had a timer and it would go off after a few minutes, so not really convinient if you needed to spend more time in the toilet.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the dinning area.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Aklu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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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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 reviewResponded 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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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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Thank Vibez
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

Address: 500 High Street, Motueka 7120, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Nelson-Tasman Region > Motueka
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Motueka
Price Range: £14 - £39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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