Taupo Urban Retreat




Hostelz.com's Review

Taupo Urban Retreat hostel is very easy to find and is located in the town centre, five minutes' walk from the intercity bus station. It is a relatively new building, with its own bar and bike rental. It does not have free Wi-Fi, but it has three computers, where you can access internet for free, and also free luggage storage.

The Location

Getting to the hostel is very easy. If you arrive in Taupo by bus, just go to the i-Site and ask for a map and directions to the hostel -- it is a five-minute walk from there. As everything in Taupo is close to each other, the supermarket is also a five-minute walk from the hostel, as are McDonald's, cafes, pubs, shops, and the Great Lake itself.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are quite small, however they have air conditioning, which can be adjusted any time of the day, making it very easy to keep the room warm. They also provide many sockets, so charging many devices at once shouldn't be a problem. The cleanness of the beds leaves a lot to wish for, however, and finding previous guests' hair everywhere on the linen can be quite off-putting.

The bathrooms are clean, with hand and floor towels, hooks for clothes in the showers and gel dispensers with free shower gel.

Common Spaces

The kitchen and lounge areas are very spacious and modern. There are many utensils in the kitchen, however with two cook tops only it can get busy in the evenings. There is some free tea, coffee, and sugar available to use any time. The hostel seems to be suffering from food and utensil stealing, so you might want to keep an eye on your stuff as well. There are many tables and benches where you can eat and also a TV to keep you entertained during your meals.

The hostel has its own bar, located in the reception, which is great if you're looking for a party spot -- it's right there. However, that means you cannot bring your own alcohol to the hostel and also that the place can get quite busy and loud in the evenings. You can also order some food from the reception -- the chili con carne is a great inexpensive option if you're feeling very lazy and on the budget.

The atmosphere in the hostel is really nice -- they play indie music in the lounge, giving the hostel a feel of a young, cool spot. There are a lot of young backpackers there, making it easy to find fellow travelers and make friends.

However, the lounge and kitchen are not heated very well and can be really cold, especially in the mornings (same with bathrooms), making it not a pleasant place to chill on cold days, which is a shame. You can try and overcome this by having a round of beer-pong.


Taupo Urban Retreat is a well-located, young hostel, where you can be sure to meet some other backpackers and have a drink from the bar if you feel like it. The common areas can get a bit cold in the winter, however, and if you want to use Wi-Fi in your room, you have to pay for it. They also offer cheap bike rentals and other activity bookings, which could save you a few bucks in this way.
by Marta Maria
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
July 2015


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Taupo Urban Retreat" at 65 Heuheu Street.)


65 Heuheu Street, Taupo, New Zealand
-38.688529, 176.072817
0800 872 261
+64 7 378 6124
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

Toilet was clean but there was hair all over sheets in all beds
Toilet was clean but there was hair all over sheets in all beds.
Terrible -- stay away!
This is one of the worst hostels I have ever stayed in. My biggest gripe was that it was absolutely filthy, especially the bathrooms (which didn't get hot water half of the time) and the supposedly "clean sheets" had tons of hair on them. The dorm room was the size of a jail cell. Our bunks didn't even have ladders because they were jammed together. So people had to step on the bottom person's bed to make it to the top. kitchen was not properly equipped (it didn't even have an oven) and like the rest of the hostel it wasn't clean. It was also way too small. The only upside of the hostel was that it was in an ok location. I would not recommend this hostel to my worst enemy. Seriously, stay away from this place.
  This is the best hostel in all NZ. I've been there twice and I really didn't want to leave at all. I felt like home and the staff were great. (even after we've done "the Haka" in the middle of the night.) They took care of us in a really good way and some nights they even joined us out partying. It's easy to meet new great friends there and there's heaps of information at the hostel of what adventures to do and the staff will help book it for you. Every day they've got The best BBQ whit heaps including. You must try it out. I miss this place.
  Loved this hostel! The staff were amazing and was great to see some local Maori people working behind the counter, they add to the NZ vibe of things! Were extremely helpful and even shook our hands when we arrived, five-star service! We had a safe place to park our car (right next to our room) and it didnt cost us a cent. The rooms were a little cramped but we didnt mind because the other travellers were great! The bar was a bit quiet (Thursday) when we were there so we decided to head into town, the staff even gave us discount beer vouchers for the local Irish pub (we didnt even have to ask)! The bathrooms were nice but I think they needed at least one more ladies shower as there was a bit of a queue in the morning with one shower but they were always tidy and cleaned daily! This is an awesome hostel and is a great price! The staff are amazing and should be tipped or hugged! They really look after their guests and make travelling in a new unfamilar country just that little bit easier. Cheers guys, I will be back!
  There is no TV room, the rooms are the smallest i stayed in in 7 months of being away, and there is only 2 girls showers for up to 20 girls there at one time. The windows in the rooms didnt open very far so you were hot and sweaty all the time. Try not to go there as there are better ones in Taupo.
Charlene Beale
Taupo Urban Retreat is a nice hostel in Taupo. Upbeat, popular, and friendly, you'll probably enjoy it too. Taupo Urban Retreat is located between the main grocery store and the lake, only a few short blocks from both. There are lots of shops nearby as well. The large dorms were some of the nicer we stayed at, with huge spacious rooms, lots of windows, and high ceilings with sloping walls. You even get your own staircase up to the room. There are several bunks equipped with lockable storage space for your gear, and sheets are included. Bathrooms are located downstairs, and both room and bathrooms are clean. Other room types are also available. On the bottom floor you will find a TV room, kitchen, and dining area, as well as a fun bar. The kitchen has adequate supplies for making your meal and is clean, with storage space for your food. The bar is active at night, with lots of fellow travellers gathering there to talk about their sky-diving adventures, Tongariro Crossing hikes, and future plans. You can arrange activities through the front desk, located right next to the bar. If you're stopping in Taupo, give this hostel a try.
Sarah Sells

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