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“Kingfish Lodge has been CLOSED since May 2016 while we rebuild it.”
Review of Kingfish Lodge

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Kingfish Lodge
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Whangaroa
Reviewed 2 July 2017

We read these reviews with interest as we note the last few have been written well after the time we closed the lodge for rebuilding. There can be no mistaking that it is closed... there is a large sign on the edge of the jetty saying so and there is obvious construction works. SO for reasons only known the the reviewers, those that are reporting they have visited since after May 2016 have not actually been here!!!

Watch this space for future announcements of a new and reinvigorated Kingfish Lodge

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Wayne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 95 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2017

We radioed to see if we could come along side their wharf, were told no and to pick up a certain bouy located about 50 meters from the Kingfish Lodge wharf. I'm on the bow with the boat hook to lift the bouy and unfortunately it is at it full length of chain and will not lift in order to attach the anchoring rope. We radioed to the Lodge once again and reluctantly were given the go-ahead for the wharf but were told we could stay long. After a couple of minutes we're along side and making our way along the wharf to the Lodge. I'm not joking here .... some guy who looked like he had been pulled through the bushes backwards came to greet us and asked what we were doing here. Our reply was to have a look at the lodge and stay for a bite. "Oh" said the attendant with a look that would have said out loud ..."bugger off". We were told that there is no food and that the "chef" is re-arranging the kitchen. We went into the lounge/bar area and looked at some of my parents photos from the 1960's as they were both avid fishers of big game and were asked "how long are you going to be here" (looking at those photos)? Very obviously we weren't welcome by any means, so we made our way back to our 45 footer and left with a really bad taste. Disgusting to say the least in so far as the staff. The place was rather dated but from what we looked at in the general area, it was quite clean. We were the only people at the Lodge apart from the three visible staff and we still wonder why we were told to take a mooring bouy when we were the only boat at the Lodge ... there were no others!
So all in all .... very disappointing to say the least.

Room Tip: Look before you buy!
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  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Lindsey J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kingfish Lodge

Address: Whangaroa Harbour, Whangaroa, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Whangaroa
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Whangaroa
Price Range: $265 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique water-front lodge accommodation. More than just a fishing lodge.... Romantic escapes, rest and relaxation, wedding and event venue, private parties and special occasions, corporate events, conference facility. Families welcome, young children with prior arrangement please due to water proximity. ... more   less 

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