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“Beautiful location, affordable & unique lodging”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Solscape

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Solscape
Bayonne, New Jersey
Level Contributor
384 reviews
201 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, affordable & unique lodging”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

The location has an amazing view and the staff are friendly. The resort caters more to backpackers and alternative travelers. The price is fantastic but don't expect much from the cabooses. They seem hot during the day but do cool down at night. You'll likely want a car as the town would be a bit of a trek. Most of the accommodations have communal bathrooms but overall, it was a good experience and a great way to enjoy some fantastic views of Raglan. The Wifi is not free but very reasonably priced. The town of Ranglan has some neat shops and restaurants.

Room Tip: Choose the deluxe green covered cabin. The cabooses are nice but the beds aren't that comfortab...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lewis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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184 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2014 via mobile

My best advice to anyone in a camper van would be: don't bother. (we were in a little one, heaven help anyone in something bigger). The whole, beautiful, eco site is fabulous. Turn up in a van, though and you can , effectively, sleep in the car park. Pretty frosty (cool?)reception at reception, walked around to get a feeling for the place, to be met by scowls from the "regulars". We had booked, we knew what to expect from reviews on here, but if you want paying guests they have to be able to reach you - and for most of us on a holiday that is for a limited time- that means a vehicle. We were drifting around the North Island and stayed at another, low impact eco site - that really ringed the changes - the difference between eco tourist friendly and hippie haven. (I grew up in one in the seventies , which is where Solscape is stuck). Sorry , Solscape. Not good enough.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank laloue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SolscapeEcoRetreat, General Manager at Solscape, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
Camper van spaces are currently being redesigned to increase the size of each site. We are also upgrading our communal facilities and are ensuring more thorough training for part-time staff so that they reflect the care and professionalism of our super team of permanent staff. .

Thank you for your helpful comments as we continue to evolve and improve.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington
Level Contributor
10 reviews
Reviewed 3 February 2014 via mobile

We stayed in th earthdome, beautifully clean, upstairs bed a mattress on floor not very comfortable but fine for a kid. Downstairs bed comfy and linen great quality. Close to shared facilities. Peaceful sounds of bird life. Amazing views at front of property with picnic tables set up on grass for everyone to enjoy. Seemed to be 4 toilets/showers from what we saw, would imagine this would be struggling when at full capacity, lucky for us they were pretty quiet. Great out door area with woodfired pizza oven.

This place offers a great variety of accommodation styles from Eco cabins, which look very modern and comfortable to tipis set 10 mins into bush to dorm style railway carriages, this is a fabulous place to stay and very exciting for kiddies!

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Anna T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
401 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

Stayed here for 3 nights and would stay here again. Big thanks to the very helpful and friendly front desk team, notably DOM - especially helpful with board rentals and all round no-nonsense service.
Good socialising space and funky design too, good vibes all round and great value wifi set up with cafe purchase (everyone's a winner). Only downer was that felt overshadowed by the presence of a bigger 'organic' group which had overtaken the fridge, booked out the yoga classes and forced me to go into town (6km!) to use the laundry. Solscape should be wary of promoting peace and goodwill yet allowing big groups to book other individuals out of classes and utilities.
Otherwise good stuff. Would come back again.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jgp1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SolscapeEcoRetreat, General Manager at Solscape, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
So stoked that you loved Solscape, and thanks for your helpful comments.

We are looking at ways to meet the needs of all our guests when larger groups are also here, and there are some fantastic improvements to our facilities now on the drawing board. Cheers.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014 via mobile

We booked a lotus belle family tipi (or glamp tent) 2 kids 2 adults. When I unzipped the door there was a lovely (proper wooden bed base off the ground) double bed made up with a fluffy duvet and crisp white sheets. This made me very happy. There were also two single beds made up on either side of the big bed, these beds also double a couch during the day with a little folding and snapping into place. There is nothing else in the tipi so theres plenty of room for your bags and floor space to play games if it rains.
The outdoor kitchen has pretty much everything you need except a fridge so take a chilli bin to keep your food cold. Use the pizza oven!We had a beautiful pizza from it, really cool.
Its a good 10 minute walk up and down from carpark so be prepared for a mission carting your stuff up to the campsite!
We also stayed one night in a caboose, my two sons loved it! It was right across from the kitchen and common area where all the tourists hang out I thought this might be a problem at night but all was quiet and we slept really well.
Great place for anyone with options for all kinds of holiday makers. Next time we will stay in one of the modern baches with stunning views and they are completely self contained.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cheboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 January 2014

If you are looking for a retreat this is probably the last place you should consider. Imagine a big field. Filled with tents, tipis, train cars, a few buildings and some earth houses. All jumbled more or less on top of each other. To be fair there are a couple of 'baches' that are separate and would seem to offer more privacy, better views and a retreat vibe.

This is not a retreat. It is a backpackers. The kitchen gave every evidence of this, especially as the camp was full. Packed to the gills, and intimidating for anyone else to even consider going in there to cook.

We stayed in an earth house (or earth dome as it is listed on the website). We were very keen to experience this as one of us has a real interest in permaculture and sustainable living. It had thick earth walls, which was convenient as this helped block out the sounds of party central near the kitchen.

It has one door. The door consists of side by side panels, wood from about the waist down and glass panes on the top. The lock is located at the bottom of one of these narrow panels on the outside. Inside there are two release catches on the top of each panel so both panels can open outward. Threaded through the door is a piece of string.

There are no facilities inside the earth dome house, just a downstairs bed and a platform which we used for additional bedding.

At some point the door lock on the outside was pressed down into the lock position, locking us into the earth dome. When we stirred at 5am ish looking to use the external facilities we could not get the door open. The windows are too narrow to climb through and there was no way out.

We attempted to call out to someone walking through the site, but were not heard. (earth domes muffle sound remember?)

We attempted to call the front desk (on our mobile as there are no phones). We got a message about availability and weather but nothing about how to contact someone after hours or in an emergency.

Which is what this was beginning to turn into.

As we contemplated our options (including one of us climbing through the very slender window on a full bladder, breaking the glass in the door etc) this simplest one seemed to be to call the Raglan Police. All we needed was for someone to come and lift the lock. The policeman (who was excellent and didn't mock us at all) also tried calling the hotel to no avail.

On our behalf he rang the local fire department, who sent at least four fireman in full gear. They drove up the footpath directly to the dome. We handed them the key through the small window (which they did not even need). They lifted the lock and we were free. With profuse thanks we explained that there are no toilets in the dome and they advised to get going!

They laughed a bit over it and were very curious about why such a lock is on the outside of the door.

As were we.

We're also curious as to why no one has returned our call as yet. That was Thursday morning and today is Sunday. Wouldn't you be curious as to why someone staying on your property called such a message in to you? Wouldn't you want to know what happened and how your guests actually got out?

I fully appreciate that we did not know how to properly operate the door. We were tired, suffering from colds and a bit run down from travel. We were looking for something like a retreat to recharge, to swim in the sea and catch some sun. Learning about permaculture and related topics would have been a bonus.

However. If you run a hospitality business, perhaps fiddly locks are a bad idea. You can't cater to your smartest, most alert customers. Hospitality caters for all customers.

Finally some other points about Solscape:

It is located some distance from Raglan.
The cleanliness of the shower and toilet blocks was variable. It was pretty dirty when we used the shower. As with anything where you are sharing, timing is probably everything.

The earth dome itself was immaculate and I appreciated the quality linen. A lot. It smelled like sunshine.

The kitchen was woeful. Imagine a school dormitory. Inadequate for the number of people staying there. We cooked our breakfast there which was fine because we were initially alone that early.

The outdoor bbq area was lovely and I could see really enjoying it in other circumstances.
The views from the reception, cafe and yoga areas are uncommonly lovely.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ascendia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SolscapeEcoRetreat, General Manager at Solscape, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
We are so very sorry for the whole key incident (we sure did drop the ball on that one) and have now installed a user-friendly lock and updated our procedures for staff.

We are both a backpackers and a retreat centre and are updating our facilities and descriptions to better distinguish between the two types of offerings. We had such a huge increase in bookings that we are currently updating the toilet and kitchen facilities, and will now have more cleaning staff on board during the height of the peak season to keep our usual high standards of cleanliness up to scratch.

Many thanks for taking the time to let us know – it has helped us focus on necessary updates for our next peak season. Cheers.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2014

Fantastic place in a great setting! Perfect getaway what ever your budget! I have stayed in the tipi and caboose and keep going back! Great yoga and food also in an amazing setting! The staff are good and easy going! Great Eco friendly place to stay with great people . Near all beaches and a close drive to raglan town!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Solscape

Property: Solscape
Address: 611 Wainui Road, Raglan 3297, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Raglan
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Raglan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Solscape 2*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Diverse eco accommodations from beautifully simplistic to luxurious with options to suit all budgets - each lightening our ecological footprint. Our self-contained options offer a comfortable stay with private facilities for couples, families or small groups. For those happy to share facilities take your pick from recycled railway cabooses and earth domes or experience glamping in our Tipi Forest Retreat set in native bush. The Te Ao Whanga Eco Camp provides a limited number of tent and van sites with solar heated showers and an indoor-outdoor kitchen. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Solscape Hotel Raglan

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