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Awaroa Lodge
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Reviews (398)
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Reviewed 11 January 2013

A friend and I stayed in a standard room at the Lodge for two nights and, although the setting was delightful, a few minutes walk from a golden sandy beach and set amongst fern and manuka forest and close to wetland areas, we felt that the lodge did not offer particularly good value for money. The charges imply that the lodge's facilities and services will be excellent and, at the moment that is simply not the case.
We arrived by sea shuttle from Kaiteriteri, our ride having been reserved by the Lodge, and there was nobody to meet us off the ferry and carry our bags to the Lodge. A member of staff driving a buggy drove past us as we struggled with luggage and did not stop to enquire whether we were guests. When we did reach reception we were given the lame excuse that the shuttle company had not radioed ahead - the lodge booked our travel and should have known to expect us.
The decor in our room was tired and we could have been in any average anonymous motel anywhere in the world. Why mot celebrate New Zealand in this very special setting and give the guests the feeling that they are staying in a very special environment.
One of the beds had no bedside table or reading light (a table was provided on request but there was no suitable wall plug for a light), the basin plug in this supposedly Eco-friendly lodge bathroom was not working and the shower water heat could not be regulated. This meant that water was either freezing cold or scalding hot (we were given a discount on our bill when we brought this issue to the attention of reception staff but would rather have had decent and safe showers. The duvets on the beds were very warm and heavy in mid-summer. We were supplied with a cotton blanket on request but why not just put spare blankets in the rooms for guests to use if they find they are too hot - or too cold?
On the plus side, evening dining facilities were pretty good, with excellent food, apart from over sweet desserts (the clams in garlic sauce were outstanding as was the beef). However, the restaurant staff, though charming and willing, had clearly received little if any training - not good enough if Peppers is promoting the Lodge as a fine dining venue. If guests arrived for breakfast, served between 8am and 10am, after about 9.15am, they were likely to find that fresh juice and croissants etc had run out. Again, not good enough if the lodge is being positioned as top dollar.
Owners, please decide what market this lodge is aiming at and then market it appropriately and provide facilities and services to match.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank SAFTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2013

After kayaking from Bark Bay to Onetahuti my partner and I were looking forward to a relaxing meal and drink before setting off to Anchorage. As the meals at the Lodge were not cheap (about $40 per main) we opted to eat at their pizzeria instead, which was a 5 minute walk away. We ordered 2 standard pizzas (we would have shared a large pizza had they not been out of stock of large pizza bases) which were $20 each. The man at the pizzeria advised us that there would be a 25 minute wait, so we decided to head back the lodge for a drink while our pizzas were being made.

At the lodge I ordered a beer and my partner ordered an iced chocolate. We paid for the drinks then took a seat outside while I drank my beer and waited for the ice chocolate to be brought out . . . 20 minutes later there was still no sign of any iced chocolate. Somewhat irritated, we approached a staff member, however, he was none the wiser as to the whereabouts of our iced chocolate, but agreed to make us another one. We struggled to understand how they could have forgotten to bring it to us as the lodge was completely empty. We told him we'd collect our pizzas as they would just about be ready and we'd comeback for the iced chocolate afterwards.

Upon returning to the pizzeria, the chef informed us that he had not started cooking our pizzas yet as he didn't know when we were returning, which just seemed like a poor excuse as we had told him we were just going to the lodge for a drink. We decided to get a bottle of ginger beer at the pizzeria while we waited, only to find that it was almost completely frozen and flat. The man offered us another one which we had, but still suspected it had been frozen at some point as it tasted flat and bland.

We stood around waiting for another 15 minutes or so before he brought the pizzas out of the oven. At first we were shocked at how small they were for $20 each, and we could tell they were not at all cooked properly just by looking at them. How the chef did not notice this baffles me, and he proceeded to cut it and serve it to us. The meat was practically raw if not still frozen and the cheese was still grated not even melted. My partner took a bite asked him to put them back in the oven. After another 10 minutes the pizzas came out again, burnt around the outside. Biting our tongues, we decided to head to the beach and try to enjoy our meal, attempting to forget our less than satisfactory experience.

The pizzas tasted disgusting, burnt on the outside but still completely uncooked on the inside. Considering the price and size, we expected woodfire oven pizzas with gourmet ingredients. However the pizza bases seemed like they were bought from the supermarket, the meat and vegetables were bland, flavourless and uncooked. At this stage we were pretty frustrated.

We headed back to the lodge to get the iced chocolate that we didn't get the first time, only to be standing around the bar for about 5 minutes waiting for service. Again, the place was empty, but the staff were standing around talking and joking without even noticing us. After someone finally pointed out to the girl on the bar that we were waiting she served us, where we told her about the iced chocolate they owed us. We took a seat outside and waited another 10 minutes until we finally got the illusive iced chocolate. The man apologised and said he got distracted, which I found difficult to beleive due to how empty the lodge was. We told him about our experience as a whole at Peppers and he proceeded to apologise again to us and assured us he would follow it up and have a manager come out so we could speak to them.

10 minutes later, not one person came to speak to us.

For the prices Peppers were commanding, the food and service was laughable. Being $65 out of pocket, however, was not.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank joshuadouglas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suzanne W, General Manager at Awaroa Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2013

Kia Ora,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to Peppers Awaroa Lodge on your day trek through the Abel Tasman National Park.

I was very disappointed to read that your food experience was not of a high standard and the service levels you experienced was less than impressive on your visit. I have discussed your feedback and comments with my team, they have made positive suggestions on how we can improve the levels of service and quality of our food. I am very pleased to advise that as a result of our discussions we have implemented changes and further training to ensure that all our guests have an enjoyable and memorable experience with us, enhancing their visit to the Abel Tasman National Park.

Please accept my sincere apologies for failing to meet your expectations during your visit with us. You are most welcome to contact me directly on 03 528 8758 should you wish to discuss your visit further.

The team and myself would love the opportunity to welcome you back to Peppers Awaroa Lodge in the future.

Best Regards
Suzanne Wells
General Manager
Peppers Awaroa Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

I often use Tripadvisor in deciding on which hotel to book when I'm going to an unfamiliar place. I have never written a negative review on tripadvisor, but I didn't want anyone else to move forward with this hotel group without this information.

We had made a reservation online. There are terms and conditions associated with the booking, as expected with any hotel reservation. Before making a reservation, note that they will charge you a $25 change fee and a $25 cancellation fee no matter how much in advance you change/cancel the reservation. Also note that while they charge you money to cancel your reservation, they will not actually refund you money.

These terms are very different from most small and large hotel chains, and independently owned hotels and B&Bs. With their terms and conditions being so restrictive and inflexible, they should make it front and center versus having you click to a different page.

I also asked their customer service people why they charge this amount and have such policies in place and they were unable to answer the question. I even asked if it was due to additional administrative costs, etc, but the customer service person said "it was just policy".

BEWARE OF THE MANTRA GROUP.

Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
4  Thank 82wanderlust82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suzanne W, Guest Relations Manager at Awaroa Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2012

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry you have found our Mantra Group Terms & Conditions to not be clear. With over 110 properties across Australia and New Zealand accommodating thousands of customers on a daily basis, it is essential for us to ensure these terms are very visible and clear. As we are unable to determine your actual booking arrangements from your feedback, we would appreciate knowing your circumstances so that we can provide more feedback for you. If you could please email feedback@mantragroup.com.au with your details, we will happily investigate your matter. Regards. Edward Easton. Manager, Mantra Group – Central Reservations.

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Reviewed 18 November 2012

Dont be deterred by reviews posted prior to peppers taking over ( Sep 2012) We stayed here one night for our 1st anniversary. The staff were amazing so helpful and friendly. They arranged a beautiful romanitc dinner for the two of us in front of the fire place . The food was amazing.
Im sure in time peppers will do a lot with this beautiful resort. Its set in an amazing national park with a stunning beach within 5 mins walk .
dont miss the glow worms ! or the opportunity to kayak in the national park
Loved our stay here

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank amy t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2012

I can't rave enough about the wonderful service and accommodations at Awaroa. The staff was amazing! Suzi, the general manager, and Jazz, the day manager took special care of us. We arrived at the lodge during the spring rainy season in some rather treacherous weather and it was difficult to get there by sea, but we soon learned the weather in NZ changes rapidly. We were able to enjoy the beautiful scenic hikes and feeding the eels was a special treat. We wish we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mom2Sadie24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suzanne W, General Manager at Awaroa Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2012

Kia Ora,
Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay with us. We are pleased you had an enjoyable to Peppers Awaroa Lodge and the Abel Tasman National Park despite the unfavourable weather conditions.
We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to Peppers Awaroa Lodge in the future.

Kind Regards
Suzanne Wells
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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