Have you ever been surrounded by lush native forest and turquoise waters, watching a weka coming out of a washing room while you are nibbling a homemade sweet roll? Grab your backpack and book in some holiday – the Hopewell Lodge in New Zealand is waiting for you! Be aware – this piece of heaven will spoil you and it will be hard to find a place like this again. But no worries: We have some other 5 Star Hostels to offer you as you continue your journey.
What we cover:1. The 5 Stars of Hopewell Lodge
2. How to book and compare rates
3. Neighborhood and location
It didn’t take us long to realize that the Hopewell Lodge in Marlborough Sounds in the South Island of New Zealand is definitely worth becoming one of the 5 Star Hostels. After The Jugglers Rest, the first 5 Star Hostel in New Zealand, we were looking around for some other unique accommodations. And, certainly, we found a remarkable, one-of-a-kind hostel!
Hopewell Lodge is set in a beautiful location, owned by amazing passionate hosts and offers a lot of fun activities like kayaking, fishing, hammocking, spa soaking and shellfish collecting. Lean back and let us introduce you to our new accommodation in New Zealand.
But, you know, before anything, let’s hit the play button on this video. It shows the Hopewell Lodge in New Zealand all around.
(here you can find all videos of the 5 Star Hostels)
So, let’s say hi to Lynley and Mike, and see WHY their home and hostel stands out. You will be amazed, no doubt!
Hopewell Lodge is a 5 Star Hostel because…
1. Sustainability Wandering wekas and clucking chickens
The Hopewell Lodge does a lot to keep its patch of paradise as lush and beautiful as it is. There are 50 hectares of land around which have some original standing native forest and the rest is regenerating native bush which Lynley and Mike protect.
Over the last 17 years, they have planted many native trees and plants around Hopewell Lodge bringing back the native flora and fauna.
The trees and plants encourage the native birds and it is wonderful to see the bell birds, tuis, wekas, fantails etc all around. The morning chorus is growing in volume! And yes we have seen the weka coming out of a bathroom (What is a Weka? Wikipedia knows) . Not sure if they are housetrained or just using the facilities to plan their next cheeky foray around the property….
Hopewells own biological waste water system processes and treats all their waste water via a collection tank.
The treated water is then pumped away from the sea and filtered back into the bush via buried drip lines to help Mother Nature keep everything thick and lush. As it is a biological system they use all eco products for cleaning and washing.
That remind us to Mosaic House in Prague, which has a water and heat recycling system, and produces 0% emissions.
All the food scraps go to the happy free range clucking chickens who are delighted to trade some delicious free range eggs in return. Once the chickens are feed the rest of the food scraps get composted and then dug into the flower and vegetable gardens.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. “
If you have no friend to walk around the property with at night you can be sure that at least you won’t get lost or use a lot of valuable torch power because the entire facility is fitted with LED light bulbs to guide you along the walkways.
2. Hidden paradise with lush gardens (and timber style lodges)
Coming via the sea by the Hopewell Water Taxi you might not see the lodge at all due to it being so visually unobtrusive and well hidden amongst the native foliage and trees. But once you have entered the property, you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful gardens and timber lodges all of which are well maintained.
The rooms are all very clean and cozy and most offer such a stunning sea view that will keep you outside most of your stay anyway!
As it is primarily a self-catering lodge, you will also find yourself quite often in the modern new kitchen which is very well-equipped. After cooking yourself a delicious meal you can relax in front of the fireplace in the lounge and play some (generously supplied) games or show everyone your hidden guitar skills.
3. Affordable paradise with homemade sweetrolls
It’s the combination of stunning location, lovely hosts, clean and affordable accommodation that makes the Hopewell Lodge as unique as it is. Usually, you would have to spend a lot of money to stay somewhere this stunning – but the Hopewell makes paradise affordable and incredible value for everyone.
It is like a spa treatment for every backpacker. It will give you the opportunity to slow down and relax and fill you travel battery for the next few months!
And even though the lodge is geographically remote – it is not a chore to get to. You can travel by car, boat or even air. Once you are there the Hopewell conveniently has everything on site for your entertainment: Kayaks, Paddleboards, dinghies, charter boats, walks, tramps, food (awesome food! We strongly recommend the vegetarian pizza!) – so you don’t have the inconvenience of spending time traveling elsewhere for the same thing.
The scenic playground offers endless things to do. Here are useful links with more insight information on Things to do in Marlborough Sounds:
- 29 Activities with Essential New Zealand
- Attractions to do around the area
- Tours and Cruises around Picton and Marlborough Sounds
- Walking and hiking in the area
We could call it a paradise for sports junkies! Similar to the 5 Star Hostel in Interlaken, Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof. With totally different surroundings and activities (in Interlaken you have adrenaline kick-ass activities), travelers are also looking for sports and stunning sceneries.
And if you don’t want to do anything than chilling in a hammock, perfect! You might even be lucky enough to find Lynley around handing out her free homemade sweet rolls… We always appreciate a made with love pastry/ coffee! That reminds us to Wallyard Concept Hostel, the 5 Star Hostel in Berlin. During breakfast, you can get a yummy coffee made with love from the owners’ mom.
4. Mussel meets wasabi dip
The Hopewell Lodge has a great vibe which makes it quite easy to meet people from all over the world. It can accommodate 28 people in total – so no overcrowded hostel troubles here. There are a lot of outdoor dining areas around to enjoy your meal, BBQ or glass of wine with others, but there is also always room to escape to a quiet spot if you’d rather enjoy some time on your own.
The legendary and regular mussel nights bring everybody together on a big beautiful wooden table that was made by Mike himself. Get to know each other while scooping mussels through yummy dips (Have you ever had wasabi or Thai style dip? Soooo good!).
Not a fan of mussels – you might just become one, or you can safely stick to the delicious self-made focaccia bread and enjoy the view of the beautiful Kenepuru Sounds with some like-minded company.
5. Meet mussel-lover Mike and love spreading Lynley
Humorous, helpful, heartwarming, huggable, heroic – just to name a few characteristics of Lynley and Mike. They got together in 1993 after Mike survived a Thai-soup-chili-attack of Lynley.
After spending several holidays in the sounds they decided to move up from Christchurch to spend their life in Marlborough. Since the year 2000 this lovely couple is spreading happiness at the Hopewell Lodge and they never seem to be out of energy.
Lynley and Mike are welcoming every single guest with a cup of tea or coffee, a self-made ANZAC Biscuit and a chat in the stunning garden which makes you very welcome from the very first moment.
They are always around to help you and happy to give you useful information about the activities around the Lodge. Apart from running the Lodge Lynley loves cooking, mountain biking and fishing while Mike loves making great coffees, flying planes, drones and joking around.