The words “backpacking” and “hostel” carry a certain connotation for many travellers, including backpackers, who imagine stain-covered bed linen, rotting carpet and sharing a toilet with 50 others including a cockroach.
This is why travelling in New Zealand may come as a pleasant surprise. With tourism our biggest export and the internet making word of mouth spread like wildfire, high standards in customer service and experience are essential to any NZ tourism business in order to stay inline with their competitors. Accommodation is one of the prime examples of this.
In fact, kiwi hostels have been known to be compared to the 3 star accommodation of other countries. If you choose a private room with ensuite, you can expect a clean, spacious area with comfortable bed, shower and toilet, and often for under $100 NZD. It can be therefore asked, is there a point of paying $50 extra for a motel room when the standard is relatively… indifferent? Let’s give an example. “Haka Lodge” (photo) is a newly-renovated 10 bedroom house in the south-east suburbs of Christchurch. What was a warm family home has become a “boutique backpacker lodge”. An oxymoron? We think not. The lodge is modern, clean and furnished stylishly. The grounds contain many native NZ plants, trees and even a fully-maintained vegetable garden. There is free wireless internet, a computer station and TV lounge for all. There is more than enough water pressure so that you don’t feel dribbled on in the shower.
Even the dorm room in Haka Lodge isn’t really a “dorm”. The 7 beds are separated into three sections by dividing walls, which gives you the sense of unity whilst allowing some privacy – so you do not necessarily have to stare at the person snoring beside you. The room covers the whole top floor so you cannot argue there’s no space. And best of all? There is not a bunk in sight.
Keeping to high standards and surpassing customer expectation is essential to New Zealand accommodation venues like Haka Lodge. There will probably always be a place for those dirty, cheap as chips hostels where the inhabitants are mostly under 25 and getting very little sleep. But the global recession has enforced a whole new breed of price-conscious travellers looking for value.
And many of them are utilizing social media. You only have to browse Trip Advisor to find out whether a place is recommended or to be avoided like the plague.
Good accommodation ultimately means a good overall experience in New Zealand – and that’s what we hope to achieve. Because low cost doesn’t have to mean cheap.
Taken from original blog post : http://www.hakalodge.com/blog/backpacker-hostels-in-new-zealand.