Raglans Backpacker is a fantastic place to spend a couple days (or get sucked in to the surfer culture and spend years) in Raglan. Upon arrival you feel very welcomed as the friendly and knowledgeable staff set you up with your accommodation. The courtyard with hammocks, tables/chairs, hot-tub, sauna, and lounging surfer bodies greets you immediately as you enter. It truly is a wonderful place.
The town of Raglan is very small and thus the location might not seem too important in terms of deciding where to stay, but it is. Raglan Backpackers is situated in town (as opposed to five kilometers out of town like most other hostels in the area) and you should consider this. All the bars/restaurants/cafes/grocery stores are in town, but the main beach is about five kilometers down the road. Raglan Backpackers is very close to anything and everything you need as a result and the bus stop is only one hundred meters down the lane.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms are quite varied depending on the type -- there are dorms (sort of) and doubles, twins, singles, and basically anything else you might want. There aren't really locks or keys so you have to learn to trust the people you are staying with. It feels very safe and like a small community as everybody looks out for one another. The beds are comfortable and have linens, pillows, and duvets. The dorm rooms have three to six beds in them and most have wonderful views of the bay or the courtyard.
There aren't very many bathroom facilities, but you never really have to wait to use them either. The water pressure is mediocre at best, but the showers/baths are roomy and more than adequate. There are plenty of personal bathrooms and changing facilities. There is a hose outside for when you and your surfboard come back from the beach all sandy.
The hostel is full of laid-back surfers for the most part. There are two TV-rooms with a pretty decent selection of free DVDs to use. They also have a deal with the local video store so you can go rent any movie you want. There are also two kitchens and two dining areas and plenty of space outside or in the courtyard to hang out. They have two computers for internet usage, which are sometimes on the fritz and/or being used. They will store your luggage for a day in the room next to the office for you. It is a very social hostel with a large core of fun staff (four to seven people) that are always doing something fun. Twister, monopoly, and any other board game you can think of are available for your pleasure. People hang out in small groups and go surfing or walking around Raglan together -- there's a very communal atmosphere.
All-in-all, this place rocks the house. It is a fun place to stay and is close to everything. The staff are very helpful and fun. It feels safe and wonderful and everything is incredibly clean. They will provide free transport to the beach, too. If you go to Raglan, stay here and book ahead because it fills up fast (especially in the summer).
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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