Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel, Tauranga

8 Reviews
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Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel Reviews

We never felt comfortable

Before we arrived at bell lodge they said us we will have a job. After one week there we worked for only one day because they hadn't a job for us. On top of that the rooms are dirty and cooking in the kitchen weren't fun. All rooms are cold, so we felt never comfortable. Sheree the owner is a friendly person but i wouldn't recommend to stay there.

Stefan Schulz
Age 19 | Deutschland

A Lot of friendly and helpful people + the cleanest backpacker ever

I enjoyed my stay at bell lodge backpackers very much. The owners are a warmhearted couple, always trying to help you and make you laugh. The new kitchen has everything you could ask for and is a meeting place for guests from all over the world. All of the facilities are very tidy and clean. If you are looking for a Job, you will get great Tips or even an offer at the reception. It's situated only 10 minutes to the town center by car. And supermarkets are within walking distance as well. On my way back, I will definitely stay there again!

Age 28 | German

Bell Lodge is the Worst Place Ever

We stayed here for two nights in the motel unit and it was THE WORST place I have ever stayed! The owner would go in to our room when we would go out, probably snooping around in our stuff. He would turn lights off and switches off that we had left on. Who knows what else he was doing in there probably looking through our bags. We had come over for the new year so naturally we had alcohol but we were NOT loud, disrespectful or anything. He would also walk past and stare in to our unit while we were drinking making things really uncomfortable. I also had my two friends visit, one was the sober driver for the night who is pregnant, the other her partner. I reported them to the office to let him know I had two visitors and he said that was ok. Then he must of changed his mind and came down and told me that visitors arent allowed inside!! WTF? My friend used the toilet and he must of been spying on us again, he came down and threatened to trespass them if they dont leave because they are using HIS facilities -- even though we paid for the room. We didnt want any trouble and said we would be on our way in a hour. Our motel unit also sleeps 6 and we asked about paying the extra $50 for them to stay (as we only had 4 people in the unit) and he said NO we are capping the amount of people staying. So even though we offered him money and there were 2 free beds he still wouldnt take our mates or our money. Another dumb thing about this motel unit as we paid for 3 nights and when I went up the 1st night to ask for fresh towels he started saying how he doesnt give out fresh towels everyday. So basically -- that first lot of towels he gave us was suppose to last for three days!! WTF? This is the worst place I have ever stayed and I recon if you go here you are crazy. The owner is also way nicer to tourists than NZ locals.


Useful to work, not very much to have fun

Helpful with seasonal work, nice people, acceptable rate, useful facilities. The rooms can be a bit cold in cold nights, but nothing that the heather and some extra blanket can't solve. Clean, spacious, and quiet, a bit far from town centre (4km) if you don't have a car or a bike. Not a minor detail if you'd like to use some free wifi you can get in town centre, as internet tends to cost around NZ$5 an hour, and the zenbu wifi provided at the hostel is something like NZ$10 every 100 mb. It's perfect if your main focus is work and the use of the hostel's facilities (sleeping, preparing your meals, watching some movie), but not so much if you also want to do other things and don't like to feel you're in a retreat. The owners can be easy going and helpful to get you a seasonal job, but also a bit unnecessarily too strict with the hostel rules. In occasions they argue and kick out people in public and for pretty childish reasons, depending on their mood. At least while I was there, you weren't allowed to drink alcohol after 10 pm, and one of the owners came every single night to the deck at 10:01 to make you finish whatever were drinking, as if you were a hardcore noisy alcoholic, no matter how silent and chill you might be, or if it was saturday night and you were trying to relax and have some reasonable fun, or if were about to leave to some party or something in a few moments. Then the ovens have no power after 10.30 pm and before 6.30 am, and the kitchen has a video camera and might be closed for an hour when being cleaned. In the end, nothing too serious, but you can easily feel you're back in kindergarten if you're not used to silly limitations. All in all it's not a bad place, but if the owners relaxed a bit it could be a much better spot to stay by far, and probably even more profitable for the owners themselves as well -- while i stayed there, at lest two big groups left because they had some discussion with one of the owners, or escaped before having one.


Warm, friendly, and beautiful surroundings

Very well run by a lovely young couple. I could not fault them. Their hard work and dedication since taking over Bell Lodge is admirable. I highly recommend Bell Lodge to anyone visiting Tauranga. This place is a credit to the new owners, well done. Be sure to book early as this is a very popular destination.

New Zealand

this is a spacious hostel and very quiet not like the ones in the city. It is clean and spacious and the deck areas are great. I think these owners have taken this place over and were really nice. Our friends could see us as long as they checked in with the manager first. Double room with a bathroom was nice. Pleasant pace to be if you are working. 20-25 minute walk to city.


We arrived in Tauranga around new year when everything is booked up so we were lucky to get any accommodation at all. This hostel has everything you need, ie good kitchen and communal areas, car park, laundry etc but it is quite a way from the town centre (not really walking distance) and other attractions. We stayed in a double room with ensuite which was a bonus. The room was quite basic but adequate. The only fault I could find is that our bedroom felt a bit unclean a bit sweaty.

Suzannah- A bit out of the way

I felt very very uncomfortable in this backpacker...everything is nice and clean there, it could be a perfect place, if there wouldnt be the owners. It can be that they like you, but if they dont...oh oh. My friend and me had really run out of money, and they guaranteed us a job on a particular day, so we went ther. And then we were told that there would be no work for 4 or 5 more days. I think this is very unkiwi like...I really felt like I was back in Germany. Our friends who didnt stay there were not allowed to visit us, so we met at the street at the top. Even when it was raining and it was my birthday they were not allowed to stay until 12, and so we had to sit in the car...This is my personal opinion, I dont want to tell anyone not to go there, it is a really nice place, but if you really have no money left, call again on the day you want to go there if there really is work.

German girl


Bell Lodge is a unique opportunity for people who are looking for excellent budget accommodation. Because we have motels units, en-suite rooms and dorm beds we cater for all budget minded people. Nestled in suburban approx 4kms from the city, Bell Lodge is a quiet retreat where you can relax out on the open covered decks outside all rooms and units.

Sheree & Rick are able to advise you able the sights to see and some of the activities that are available in Tauranga. Ricks' knowledge about and passion for New Zealand can be useful if you want to know anything about the country. he has travelled the length and breadth and seen most places. Sheree is well travelled around the world so a good knowledge of a number of countries and does enjoy talking to everyone about their country.

Seasonal work kiwifruit picking, packing or pruning can be arranged during autumn / winter and spring / summer seasonal work general fruit picking or working in some of the family owned businesses we work with.

Location and Contact




Address: 39 Bell Street, Judea, Tauranga, New Zealand

Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers Hostel Tauranga (if you know the URL of their website, let us know and we'll add it)
Phone Number: +64 (0)7 578-6344
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Solo Traveller

Airport Pickup


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

BBQ Grill

Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking

Evening Entertainment


Hot Showers

Jobs/Work Available



Live Music/Performance

Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Outdoor Seating


Walking Tours

Luggage Storage


Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Genders: Males & Females

Min. Age without Parent: 18

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8am to 8.00pm

Size: Medium (30-60 beds)


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