A lot has changed at Awaroa Lodge since our last visit a few years ago.
Our room was perfectly adequate other than the bathroom. When we booked back in November a twin room was not available so we opted for two rooms. When we checked in we were given a twin room and a double. Better systems / management would have offered this option earlier and allowed the hotel to offer the room to others.
The bathroom was substandard for a room costing $350+ a night.
The room was damp and lit poorly. The bathroom stayed wet all day and the water pooled in the pebble built in bath mat. There is almost no chance of the towels drying so the suggestion that they should be kept for more than one day is just daft. The single lamp in the bathroom failed at 6.05pm. This was reported to reception who informed me that they would be right onto it. When I visited the room at 8pm it was not fixed. At this point the general manager spoke to me and dispatched someone to fix it. After a few minutes I returned to the room to be told it was not an easy fix. I had to advise that it was not satisfactory to leave us without lighting in the bathroom. Fixing broken lights should not require management intervention at any hotel, particularly as there is another review on trip advisor with the same issue.
We returned to our room at about noon on the first day, and we're very surprised that the room had not been serviced. We had to call reception to ask for a clean, and were told that the rooms were being cleaned in turn. Our room was not serviced till mid afternoon. For the price I anticipated the rooms being serviced twice a day.
The beds were comfortable and the linen good.
The menus did not change in the three days we were there. Dinner was a choice of chicken, beef, lamb, duck, fish. The food is well presented and tasty but does not appear to vary at all. It's unclear if the chef "cooks by numbers" or whether they had any flexibility to include fresh food from the organic garden. Peppers promote the gourmet experience, however there is little evidence that this anything more than marketing. Chefs could make a lot more of food grown in Awaroa's organic garden. It would be nice to be given some teasers or have access to free nuts or bar snacks particularly as guests are pretty much captive.
Travelling with kids requires careful timing to ensure they are not overly hungry or overly tired. One night we had pizza for the kids from the adjoining pizza cafe. Unfortunately the food arrived 40 minutes late which meant we had stroppy kids.
Food is priced appropriately but the cafe experience was not great. It might be better to have table service in the cafe rather than ordering at the bar. Being told that the muffins were about to arrive by boat destroys the illusion of a Gormet experience.
The bold text "sugar" on the sugar pourers devalues the experience in the cafe. The Peppers Gormet poster is out of place.
The biggest mishap while we were at the hotel was caused by the floors being cleaned at 7.50am. One of our guests slipped on the wet floor and fell badly. The general manager listened carefully to what happened and informed us that the communal areas would be cleaned at night from now on. She also did not charge us for a night.
Until we complained about the light and the wet floors no management was evident at the lodge. Suzanne Wells has told us she is ordering staff badges.
Finally, there is a notice board by the dinning area showing how Awaroa was converted from an Eco Backpackers to a luxury lodge. The ethos in the NZ Home and Garden article and the cutting from the Nelson Mail show that Awaroa was designed to be a special low impact place that espouses quality and refinement. Unfortunately today's reality is not what it was. Many small things have so devalued the experience that I can no longer recommend this once wonderful lodge in this amazing location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Getting to Peppers Awaroa Lodge With no direct road access it is essential you arrange transport prior to your stay at Peppers Awaroa Lodge. Located in Abel Tasman National Park, transport is available by either helicopter or sea shuttle Peppers Awaroa Lodge strikes the perfect balance of natural comfort and contemporary style high above Awaroa Bay. Just minutes from the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, the lodge offers a remote and spectacular coastline with magnificent scenery, wildlife and native terrain in pristine condition. The lodge 's 26 rooms consist of standard, superior and family suites featuring an ensuite, bar fridge and tea and coffee making facilities, with views of picturesque wetlands and native forest. All guests are encouraged to appreciate the natural surroundings and respect our eco friendly philosophy. We make this a little easier without the distractions of modern day life - no mobile phone coverage or in-room televisions make this the perfect place to totally get away. Enjoy the lodge's facilities including a cosy fireplace in the library, internet access and an organic garden, where our onsite restaurant and cafe source the freshest ingredients. Let our team at the activity desk arrange your guided tours. Explore the natural surroundings by tramping or sea kayaking or just laze on the golden sandy beaches of Awaroa Bay. Accessible by water taxi or helicopter, Peppers Awaroa Lodge is the ultimate secluded getaway. As there is no road access to Peppers Awaroa Lodge, organising the journey to the lodge is an important part of your stay. Contact the property directly for assistance with your transfers. The eco chic lodge is perfect for a romantic escape, family holiday or unique group experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Awaroa Hotel Abel Tasman National Park
- Awaroa Hotel Nelson