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Verandahs Backpackers Lodge

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Hostelz.com's Review
Verandahs Backpacker Lodge is a great place to go if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but remain near enough to visit it when you wish. It has great facilities and a nice variety of people, making it a great place to stay in Auckland.

The Location

Verandahs is a fifteen-minute walk from the city. It is off of Ponsonby Road, which is full of small shops, cafes, and restaurants and also only a block or two from the popular K'Road and Queen Street. The bus runs by every ten minutes or so, so if you don't feel like walking, the bus has you covered. From AKL you can either take the SuperShuttle, which will drop you off directly at the hostel, or the Airbus to Langham Hotel, from which it is a short walk down K'Road and Pitt Street before you hit Hopetoun. The hostel has a fantastic view of the Auckland skyline, and overlooks Western Park.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorms are very clean and spacious, featuring individual single beds that come with linen, including pillow, blanket, sheet, and duvet. Each room can only be opened with a key, and is never left unlocked; however, there are no in-room lockers, so you have to trust your roommates. The dorm room has five single beds, but they offer single and double accommodations as well. They also have large, heavy curtains to block out the sun but, unfortunately, certain windows do not close completely (although they close the majority of the way). It would also be useful if there were more hooks and hangers in the room for hanging towels or jackets.

The bathrooms are kept very nice and clean. There are approximately four or five individual bathrooms, each holding a toilet, sink, and shower in a single room which locks. The showers have good pressure, and the rooms are spacious enough to change in.

Common Spaces

There are several main common spaces -- the kitchen, which is large and modern, with tea and coffee provided; the common room attached to the kitchen, featuring a piano and several comfortable chairs; a second common room closer to the dorms, which is mostly made up of armchairs and sofas and reading lamps (neither common room has a television); and the large yard, which has also been set up for use as a common area, with tables and chairs beside the hostel. There are also several balconies which are used as social areas.

There is a single computer on which you can pay to use the internet (it is provided by Zenbu). There is also a book exchange and, while there is no designated location for storing luggage, the staff are more than willing to watch your things if you check in or out early. The hostel is very quiet and subdued, but people are very friendly and social. It is very easy to make friends, but you won't be disturbed by loud noises or heavy drinking. There are also people of all ages there, ranging from late teens to mid fifties. It gives it a very nice, social, subdued atmosphere and keeps it from being a party hostel.

Summary

Overall, this is a great hostel in which you will feel comfortable; the spaciousness of the rooms and the lack of bunk beds make it feel personal and homey. Although there are some minor inconveniences (the windows not closing, not enough hangers), Verandahs excels in terms of location, quality, and convenience.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
January 2012

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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How is Verandahs Backpackers Lodge rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
84%
90%
88%
83%
87%
78%
HostelBookers  
89%
92%
92%
84%
92%
89%
Priceline  
86%
Hostels.com  
No reviews yet.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
86%
91%
90%
84%
90%
84%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Excellent, cozy hostel! Top class hostel, with a very relaxed atmosphere and super friendly staff. Clean rooms, lots of free stuff (I even got a free loaned towel) and the vibe is very chilled, not for partying but more for enjoying the amazing views to the huge park right next to Verandahs. Highly recommended, and the owner is a very nice guy!  , age 28, Mexico ()
5   Top line! Very clean, a very comfortable bed, and beautifully decorated with tasteful paintings and furniture. Meets the needs of even a fussy old-timer!! Thanks, Campbell.  , age 66, NZ ()
5   Doesn't Get Better Clean, mellow, and a great place to kick your feet up. Amazing kitchen and lounge area and it's on the edge of a gorgeous local park. Wonderful and close to downtown. It was the first hostel I'd ever been to outside the states and set a very high standard.  , age 22, US ()
5   Lovely and awesome We would really recommend this hostel!!  , German ()
5   Highly recommended! It's a great place to stay and chill. My room was nice and clean, also the bathrooms. The new kitchen has everything you need to prepare a good meal after a long day. I liked the piano and the guitar in the living room so much, and the big garden with the park behind it is unbeatable! I did feel like home! Had some cool evening with interesting people and many thanks for Campbell for the hospitality and for all his help!  , UK ()
5  This is a great hostel and I highly recommend it. The owner, Campbell, is friendly and helpful and obviously enjoys what he does. The hostel is in a gorgeous building with great views of the city and there are no bunks. The bathrooms are new, spotlessly clean, and large. The two kitchens are small but adequate and there are plans to improve them once the second hostel opens next door. It's a great place to start or end your trip although you do need to book in advance for this hostel. Ponsonby is a great place to stay, much nicer than the city centre and with lots of places to go out as well. It is only a twenty-minute walk to the city centre or there is a bus stop close by.  , Belfast ()
5  Justifiably popular. I stayed in a lot of places across New Zealand over three and a half months and this is the only place I have felt compelled to leave feedback about (and I used this site to pick hostels for every stop on a round-the-world trip). Warm, relaxed, quiet but still sociable, good location, and best of all, no huge institution-like dorms like the ones you'll find in other hostels on the Kiwi Experience and Stray trails. Campbell goes all out to make sure his guests receive individual care and attention. I saw him go through the same thoughtful introductions and explanations at least a dozen times a day, and remarkably, his enthusiasm never dimmed. I lost my keys several times and even left my BBH card behind after I checked out, but Campbell was always on top of it. He even had a few of us down to the other building to watch a DVD one night (there's no TV in the hostel, and I think that's always a good thing). The only problem with Verandahs is that it's normally booked-out solid. So if you're planning to stay for a few days, there may be a lot of chopping and changing with regards moving to a different room every day. But I imagine this will be less of a problem when Verandahs 2 opens up next door (was under construction when I stayed there in Dec. '06).  , Ireland ()
5  This was an excellent place to start our trip around the north island. Campbell goes out of his way to help you and make your stay enjoyable. Clean and spacious dorm rooms, no bunks! Very homey and in a good location. Had a really good time here.  ()
Verandahs Backpackers Lodge Reviews from the Web

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