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“Wanted to like it more.”
Review of Solscape

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Solscape
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Booked the Overlander at Solscape for a relaxing beach holiday. I like the concept of the eco friendly accommodation but feel you are paying too much for the novelty at $120 a night for the Overlander. The Overlander has admittedly got a fairly spacious lounge/kitchen but is quite old and feels run down instead of quaint and the shower and toilet are tiny. It is self contained (which is great as it meant we never had to experience the difficulties of the communal kitchen which some reviewers have commented on) but lacking a cupboard door for one of the kitchen cupboards is not convenient with a 22month old who likes to explore. Luckily the weather was great so we didn't spend a lot of time in the carriage. The photo and description on the website give the impression of a secluded and private train carriage. What the photo fails to show is that the carpark, cabooses, earth dome and communal shower/toilet blocks all surround the Overlander and are within a few metres of each other. Luckily the guests at the time we were staying there were all fairly quiet so we didn't end up being disturbed too often. The staff were helpful and friendly although after having requested a cot online we had to chase that down on arrival. I had a massage which was fabulous and my husband a surfing lesson which he also thoroughly enjoyed. We ate breakfast at the café one morning which was nice but quite expensive at $43.50 for two smoothies, a banana pancake, bread and spreads and a cooked breakfast. And the kitchen hygiene seemed fairly relaxed.
I booked our vacation at Solscape with fairly specific requirements in mind, privacy and access to the beach being the main two after having a self contained space which may be why we found it a little disappointing. Access to the beach is possible if you don't mind a 15 minute walk or so down the (fairly steep) hill, and then obviously the walk back up as well. Not something we attempted with our toddler, we drove the very easy five minutes down to the main beach instead.
We absolutely loved Raglan so we will be coming back but next time will book a bach or at the holiday park instead.

Room Tip: The Tipi retreat looks like it would be a peaceful quiet place
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Slaaplekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SolscapeEcoRetreat, General Manager at Solscape, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2014

We apologize that we did not clearly understand your requirements, as we would have suggested one of our more secluded options. We have also updated our descriptions to clarify each accommodation’s unique features.

Part of the charm of the Overlander experience is to stay in an authentic NZ rail carriage, and yes the original bathroom facilities are “cosy” in comparison to our other cottages. Many love the authentic, rustic charm – but we are sorry to hear it was not to your taste.

We are putting childproof cupboard doors in the kitchen and are considering ways to cater better for young children. So thank you for your insights that will now help us make positive changes.

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108 - 114 of 191 reviews

Reviewed 25 March 2014 via mobile

A place that you go for the view and the atmosphere!
This is a "hostel" but with very mixed ages.
We stayed in a little caboose in back and after the shock of how little it was, I was sad to part with it after 2 nights.
Quite a large surfar hippie crowd which was very charming.
Delicious banana pancakes at the cafe and a breathtaking view.
I hope to come back again some day!!!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank D_Julio_Stockholm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

My wife and I decided to stay at Solscape, as their website suggests it is a retreat. Unfortunately it is a backpackers place with a shared communal kitchen that does not even have cupboards and a minimum standard of cleanliness . All the dishes and utensils are out in the open, and mostly unusable. On our first night we were "guests" against our will at a party of 20something year old backpackers. All good and fine for these guys to party - but please do not sell it to people as a "retreat".
We have meanwhile been in many other campgrounds in New Zealand, and even campgrounds for 18 NZD per night have better (and cleaner!) communal facilities.
The reception area with the integrated cafe is very nice with a beautiful view. The food at the cafe is good as well.

Overall, the double caboose accommodation is way overpriced, and the feeling of a retreat is completely missing.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Thomas Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SolscapeEcoRetreat, General Manager at Solscape, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Solscape is both a retreat with up-market private accommodation as well as a budget backpackers, and we are sorry to learn that you would have been better placed in one of our more secluded cabins. We are delighted to say that the communal kitchen is now getting a major redesign and have rostered on extra cleaners to ensure our high standards of cleanliness at all times.

Also, we have a policy of quiet by 10pm and absolute quiet by 11pm. This is normally well respected by guests and managed by night managers. We are sorry that this was not the case during your stay. This is important as our core business is a good nights sleep and we are taking measures to ensure we consistently deliver on our eco-retreat atmosphere that we are world famous for.

Thanks for helping us improve our facilities and service. We are glad you enjoyed the café food and view.

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Reviewed 12 February 2014

I have no words to express how I loved Solscape. Everything about there exceed my expectations. I felt that I belonged to that place, specially because I am vegan and they share the same ideals :) I stayed with my husband in the Belle Tent, in the Tipi Retreat Area. It is about 7 minutes walking from the main area, but it is a unique experience, in the middle of the forest. So peaceful! The shower in the Tipi area is by solar energy and really cold :) So, if you (like me) need a hotter water, there are toilets in the main area. All the staff was wonderful, very friendly and kind. In the New Years Eve we had an amazing dinner with vegan curry from Sri Lanka and it was delicious! My dream is to come back as soon as possible to NZ and stay there for sure!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Camila_Mel0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Lewis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

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
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 reviewResponded 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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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
Thank Anna T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £31 - £42 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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