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Ren T

My fave hotel 💜

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 18 May 2024via mobile
My favourite hotel in NZ (both islands included). It combines the cleanliness and modernity that is usually characteristic of a fancy 5 star hotel, but in the cosy space of a family owned business with the level of concern and detail that can only be attributed to those of us who work hard and build a business on one’s own reputation.

Every single day my room was serviced and immaculately cleaned, and the staff went out of their way to make our stay more pleasant and comfortable. It’s only walking distance from the main strip of shops and cafés, and the beachside walk is worth it just to catch a glimpse of the occasional seal or dolphin. Jen and Warren have poured their hearts into this hotel, creating a space most welcoming and warm, emanating creativity and good style. I won’t stay anywhere else.
Date of stay: May 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
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Reviews (547)
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Traveller rating
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All reviews courtyard room main building small hotel breakfast was excellent overlooking the sea bed was comfortable a lovely stay seal colony across the road jen town views esplanade platter nz host units
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1 - 6 of 547 reviews
Reviewed 27 April 2024 via mobile

1. if booking the historic waterfront room then need to stipulate you want the one with balcony facing towards township and sun (as per website advertised photos with three windows facing water outlook) as otherwise might be disappointed at checkin as was I- we were instead put in the “other” historic room (in fact this being a junior suite room layout if look at website photos) which was facing away from township and sun;
2. Beware price gouging;
3. Do not expect service of room despite 4.5 star rating;
4. Do not expect request for delayed checkout to be honoured, as when I requested 11am checkout as offered by the hotelier ( which was confirmed by email) I was then left a rude note questioning my “late” departure.

Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank drsimonie
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jen Barnes, Owner at Kaikoura Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2024

Hello Simone.
Based on our email communications to date, I was surprised to hear about the list of issues you detail.
I agree with you on two points, poor room servicing and not honouring a pre-arranged late check out are unacceptable. In the 3-4 weeks prior to your stay (April 2024), we encountered these issues a number of times - thankfully isolated to specific staff. We work so hard on delivering these basic service levels, it's upsetting how quickly they unravel thanks for one or two bad apples. Happy to report, we have a couple of strategic hires onboarding over the next month. We need these issues. We are far more annoyed about this than you are, trust me!

On room types - I confirm there are two historic waterfronts - both have front facing see views and lovely large balconies - the difference being their orientation in the building. One facing west and one facing east. (The east facing also splits into a twin bed configuration, making it rather sought-after). We routinely juggle rooms according to guest preference - which in your case we were unaware of. "(Not sure if this helps, but I can also confirm the room you wanted had been booked by another guest well prior to receiving yours - and that we were entirely unaware of your expectations).

At all times, we aim to deliver a range of room types and price points to suit every budget, and our rates are publicly listed on our own and third-party websites for all to see. That you feel price gouged is a horror to me. If you have an issue with incorrect charges, please contact me on the reservations line at the hotel.

Wishing you well, Jen

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Reviewed 27 April 2024 via mobile

We stayed upstairs in main lodge and had great views over the sea. Small deck off room was great for an evening cocktail. Roams are cozy, but comfortable and nicely remodeled in a modern style. Perfect location along the esplanade and easy walk to town or restaurants. Not sure if they have all new staff or what but they were not knowledgeable about much of anything. We paid for the continental breakfast- don’t bother. Questionable at best and worst of our trip. They had huge espresso machines(part of the bar) but the gal setting out breakfast said she didn’t know how to use it. She brewed a pot of coffee. No fresh fruit or pastries, croissants, etc. Just dry cereal with canned fruit and yogurt.

Room tip: Head to a restaurant for breakfast. Skip what’s offered there.
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank LPom
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jen Barnes, Owner at Kaikoura Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2024

Oh goodness, we have had nothing but great feedback on our breakfast - hearing this makes me very sad. Will try to work out when you stayed, but suspect you did in fact strike the first few days of a new team member - bugs I believe have now been well and truly ironed out.
There should always be fresh baked pastries (a selection in fact) as well as eggs!
You didn't happen to come in prior to breakfast being fully set up by any chance?
Love to know the details surrounding this, if you would be so kind to call me at the hotel on the reservations line. Thanks.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2024 via mobile

We had a lovely stay in the hotel in room 9 overlooking the sea (and with an external balcony facing the seafront). The room was large and comfortable with a good size bathroom (and lovely toiletries).

Staff were friendly and welcoming and there was free parking alongside the hotel. Nice to walk into town along the promenade to visit the restaurants (about 1 km). In the opposite direction you can walk (or drive) to the local seal colony (definitely worth seeing!).

The hotel has a lovely private garden courtyard at the rear for guests and provides a continental breakfast.

Room tip: The upstairs bedrooms in the main house face the seafront
Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank ScrumptiousSolent
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 22 February 2024 via mobile

The rooms are extremely small, perhaps the smallest room I have been in. It is clean and the bed is relatively comfortable. Great location. Small things like the towel hooks had fallen off and not been replaced. In the tight space there was nowhere to hang a towel. This hotel would be okay for one night.

Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank seonagmacrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 19 February 2024 via mobile

Quaint older hotel with lots of charm. Stayed in the main building - our room had a large balcony, great bathroom and comfy bed. We were greeted with lots of recommendations for dining and activities. Breakfast was a little basic, but standard continental. The staff in the breakfast room however, outstanding, kind and friendly. Unfortunately we didn’t get to have a drink in the lounge as it was closed @ 7pm.

Room tip: Stay in main building if possible Don’t miss the beautiful cliff walk near the pier.
Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank jill G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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