Dolphin Lodge Backpackers is an excellent hostel. It is located in a quiet residential street about fifty meters above the main street of town, and its elevated position allows for stunning views of the mountains and ocean from the rear deck and spa, as well as the kitchen and dining room. It has a quiet and friendly feel, and is great for meeting people. The staff are friendly and exceptionally helpful.
The hostel is located a few minutes walk from the centre of Kaikoura on a quiet residential street, with a rural property (complete with livestock!) next door. It is easy to find, and located on an elevated no-through-road. At the end of the street, a set of steps leads down to the main street of Kaikoura, landing halfway between the main shops and the information centre, putting the hostel within easy walking distance of the information centre and bus stop, shops, and cafes and the beach. There is ample on-site and street parking available.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms are small but adequate, with four to six beds per dorm. There are also two double rooms available. All rooms have individual locks, but no lockers are available in the rooms. The bathrooms are small, shared male/female, and can get crowded at peak times, as there are only three toilets and three showers for the entire hostel. The floors can also get quite wet and muddy when busy. There is minimal space to hang clothes and toiletries while using the showers.
The highlight of the hostel is the huge outdoor deck and heated spa bath, with fabulous views toward the mountains and ocean. There are also tables, chairs, a hammock, and a large garden. Indoors, there is a large communal dining room set inside bay windows looking out to the ocean -- beautiful at sunrise. There is a large, well equipped, and very clean kitchen with plenty of fridge space. The hostel encourages green travel, and there are separate bins for rubbish, recycling, and organic compost. There is also a wood stove, book exchange, board games, and a TV room located at the back of the hostel. All common spaces are kept clean and tidy.
Dolphin Lodge is an excellent hostel with lots of personality. It is well located in terms of convenience and views, and kept in good condition. The staff are friendly, and the atmosphere is very welcoming. The view from the back deck alone is worth the trip. This place is highly recommended.