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Kingfish Lodge
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Reviews (95)
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Reviewed 14 November 2016

The Location is one of the best I've ever visited. I visited this Hotel when Jeremy was the head chef.. The food was awesome.. Will definitely love to visit again. I've heard that the property has been sold and is being renovated. Hopefully it will be the best in Whangaroa

Stayed: December 2015
Thank gi7476
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2016

This hotel is situated in one of the best locations I have ever stayed in. However, even with this competitive advantage, the hotel is terrible.

As opposed to giving the owners a public grilling I have instead decided to offer some advice. Here is my 5 point plan which, if implemented, will make your hotel passable.

1. Buy some sun beds and parasols. At the moment there is nowhere to relax. You insist your guests stay for three nights (a rule I would seriously question) but if the old kayaks are being used then, if you want to enjoy the view, you are restricted to perching on a chair outside your room which you share with your neighbour (ours was a chain smoker).

I'm currently writing this review under a flickering light outside your bar, unfortunately the view is obscured by overgrown shrubs and the waves cannot be heard over the loud humming fridge. I would move but my wife needs to stay here to 'benefit' from the intermittent/non-existent wifi so we can rebook a hotel for tomorrow night (we managed to twist the owners arm to release us from our last nights stay).

2. Clear the path to the look out and make this a feature. It is a really beautiful spot but we only knew to explore there as we saw it on the way in. Also, to get there the only path is past your dumping ground/rubbish tip - clear this and put up a sign.

3. Make a welcome pack. If your staff are too busy to greet your guests on arrival then you need to write a welcome pack. Where should guests relax (point them to your newly built areas), where can they take the kayaks to, walks, activities, wifi (get this working), boat times etc.

4. Retrain\train staff and get a new chef. I would guess that no one you employ has ever worked in a mid-range hotel. They need to learn how to talk to guests.

5. Add flexibility to the boat taxi. At the moment you charge $50 extra per person to leave or enter your hotel outside the times of 10.45am and 5.15pm. This is incredibly restrictive. Either strike a better deal with the boat taxi or buy a small boat and do it yourself. This huge restriction and charge should be extremely clear on your website, at the moment it is not.

This hotel has the potential to be fantastic, but it needs a huge amount of work. I hope you find my plan helpful. When completed send me a message and I will give you point 6 to 10.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
10  Thank ReluctantAdvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2016 via mobile

It was not the first time we had been here, having spent a lazy sunny afternoon here in the 1990s. Things have changed though. You still need to get the Whangaroa water taxi to get in and out and the trip across this historic stretch of water is in itself a treat. The welcome, however, is not so warm and the service could be better. The current menu would probably give Gordon Ramsay a stroke. There are "humorous" ( but not funny ) pictures in the loos and overpriced wines available. The new decor points the way to a brash corporate new world when a ambience which was more at ease with itself would be more in keeping. Author and big game fisherman Zane Gray came here once but one can't help thinking he wouldn't touch it now with a boat hook.
This place needs a real rethink in my view - it has bags of potential and could be one of the top ten restaurants in the North Island.

Stayed: April 2016, travelled as a couple
7  Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SINZ, Manager at Kingfish Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2016

Well David

One cannot please everyone…
Did you stay or were you a casual visitor?
At the end of the season a simple all day bar menu was offered which appealed to most for snacks and lunches.
Our functions menu and evening set meals were popular throughout the season with our chefs offering a new three course meal every night with choice of 2 entrees 2 mains and 2 desserts, thus guests staying 2-3 nights did not have to work through a menu.
Guests with longer stays were also offered personal cheffing options where food was prepared and cooked to their wishes.
Special diets were catered for every night. (vegan, gluten free and vegetrarian)

Wines? Well which planet do you come from? Wines from $10-15 per glass, and bottles from $27? Price points are similar or less to most establishments in NZ. Most wines under $44 per bottle….
A great selection of local wines (#7) and all other mostly NZ wines tempted most palettes.

Why did you not comment at the time of your visit to any of our team?

Just as well we are all different as your sense of humor is certainly that.
Over the years many an adult, parent, grandparent, child has remarked and enjoyed a little snigger over the retro images and delightful pictorial comments. Sorry you did not 'get' any of them!

Regarding your welcome from the water taxi - well we greet all in-house guests on arrival and escort them to their rooms. Casual lunch diners arrive with various transfers as provided by the fabulous local Whangaroa Harbour Tours. It is not possible to greet all these casual or unplanned arrivals, or where the water taxi has a change to schedule.
Sometimes with functions and group bookings where 10-12 guests arrive at once it can also be a less desirable way of welcoming and directing guests to their rooms.

But this aside, thankyou for drawing this to our attention.
(PS: I will not repeat what one of our former staff has just emailled and commented about you)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2016

Fantastic few days showing this little gem to a good friend of ours from USA. Service, comfort and setting are ideal. The expceriance was what we hoped for and more. Chef cooked our snapper for our lunch, less than an hour from when we pulled them aboard.

Magic place to wake up to, and nothing like hauling in a few kingies before breakfast.

piece of kiwiana right there!

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank LukeSki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SINZ, Manager at Kingfish Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2016

Thankyou Luke for taking the time to comment on Tripadvisor.

Your words of encouragement are appreciated by our team.

Yes, having Kingfish being caught 200m from your room is quite an experience.

Sadly Kingfish Lodge has sold, and is closed to the public for the time-being.

Kindest regards

The former KFL team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2016 via mobile

The view, service, food and most importantly fishing are exquisite. Love it, third year in a row. Catching a few kingies literally 200 metres from your room, coming back and enjoying a few beers while the chef prepares your catch is a rare experience. Get amongst.

Stayed: April 2016, travelled with family
Thank Hayden P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SINZ, Former owner/manager at Kingfish Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2016

You had a ball Hayden and the Kingfish obliged for you this visit.

Thanks from all of the KFL team for your written feedback.

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