Staff at the YHA were very friendly and helpful. My partner and I had not booked in advance and arrived in the late afternoon looking for dorm beds. The receptionist said they were fully booked, but she phoned all backpackers in Tekapo for us to find out whether they had any beds left. Now that’s willingness to help! It turned out there wasn’t anything in the price range we imagined, so we decided to take a tent site in the YHA backyard, which turned out to be a good choice due to the lovely big garden and amazing views over the lake.
On the downside, the tent sites are right next to the veranda and outdoor sitting area of the hostel, so that there’s quite a bit of noise well into the night due to some guests not respecting other people’s need for sleep. The hostel also attracts travelers from well-known bus tour operators so that it feels quite crowded at times.
With regards to the house itself, bathrooms were not very tidy and needed more frequent cleaning, as did the kitchen, which is quite small in relation to the hostel’s overall capacity. Their common room with the signature big windows and gorgeous views is what it is, just a sitting room with a few pieces of older furniture. That is not to say it is run down, but it could certainly need a little face lift.
In my opinion the hostel could be so much better. The common areas and facilities need a bit of attention in terms of cleaning, maintenance and refurbishment. It’s not a bad place, staff are great, but based on my experience with cleanliness and the amount of bus and party people, I would not recommend it to people traveling independently or wanting a good night’s sleep. Rather steep prices too for a property that needs a bit of TLC.
The views expressed in this review are my own and based on my subjective experience.