Choosing where to sleep in Kaikoura can by challenging, if you want to be close to the peninsula walk you need to be at the southern end, if you want to be close to the supermarket you need to be at the northern end but if you want to be close to the main restaurants, bars, the railway station and Whale Watch you need to be in the middle which is exactly where the Dolphin lodge puts you. The lodge is cheap and simple, doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. The shared space and kitchen were fine, no TV ??. We had the double en-suite room which was small but adequate. The lodge had a nice outside lawn area to enjoy the sun shine and some off street parking.
We booked a private room with an en-suite bathroom, but we had to walk through the bathroom to get to the very small room. On the plus side, everything seemed very clean, the bed was comfortable, and the location is pretty central. We stayed only one night and didn’t take advantage of the kitchen facilities; maybe we would have felt more impressed if that had been different.
Easy to find, very homely accomodation. It has spacious dorms, useful kitchen and library, great decking with views i have tried to show in my photo. The place suited me, being an "over 60s" traveller. Helpful staff, clean and tidy. Bonus is a real Kiwi backyard, with gardens, fruit trees and a spa(which i did not use so will not comment.).
Stayed in Dolphin Lodge for 1 night it was good for the price we paid. Comfy beds, kitchen was clean and showers were good although we had no hot water on the morning we were leaving! Only downside was that we had a double private room which was right next to the communal living/kitchen area and there were some guests who decided to talk loudly on the phone until late when we were trying to sleep. But overall not a bad stay.
If you are looking for a quiet place to stay, look elsewhere. The hostel itself is well maintained. It is in a perfect location to walk downtown, has a fully stocked kitchen and even a free hot tub which is an added bonus. We stayed in a private suite (sharing a wall with the kitchen) which meant we didn’t get any sleep. People were up talking in the lounge really late and then someone started making breakfast before 5am. While I have stayed at many hostels, all with their own quirks, the thin walls, elevated floors (every step echos) and location of common spaces made this one impossible to get any sleep.