During our month of travel in New Zealand, we planned to have a few days in Dunedin. We were looking for a place with good ratings and a reasonable price. After doing a bit of research, the Best Western Dunedin seemed to match our criteria.
I’ll admit, I was a bit scared when we rolled into the parking lot late at night in this hotel. At first glance, it looked like a typical Best Western hotel you’d find in North America, including all the disadvantages of staying in such a chain. Dirty, smelly, and noisy. But nope, it was not the case in this hotel at all. This family-owned hotel felt more like a homestay than the impersonal Best Western stays that I experienced in North America.
The hotel room at the Best Western Dunedin NZ
We were quite impressed with the facilities in the room. There was a full set of plates, bowls, cutlery, and lots of cups. That worked well for us because we prepared our meals to stay within our budget.
I was a bit sad that we didn’t get an upgrade for our room, but this one wasn’t too bad. I was happy to have a microwave and a toaster available in the room. Sue, the owner even offered to let us use the kitchen in her conference room if we wanted to do proper cooking.
There was also a little desk on the side and more than enough storage for the two of us.
The bathroom is larger than most Best Western bathrooms I’ve been to so far and had a functional layout.
I appreciated how there was a little cart for me to store all my toiletries. There isn’t any conditioner though so anyone who needs conditioner might need to bring some.
It can get cold in Dunedin…
Our hotel room had lots of heaters for the cold nights! From heated blankets to LED bathroom heater to the heated towel rack, it is very comfortable here when it is chilly in Dunedin.
Even though the hotel is by the main road, there was very little noise at night, and it was easy to get a good night’s sleep. We could hear our neighbours in the morning if they were standing right outside our door though.
If you like animals, you’ll like Best Western Dunedin NZ
While we were checking in, there was a door at the reception that seemed to have a turning knob. I freaked out at first, but Sue seemed to be fine and calm about it, so I didn’t know if it was my imagination. But then the doorknob turned a second time and out came the cutest dog named Max!
I was impressed by his intellect because none of my three dogs ever learned to open the door (to be fair, two were too short to reach the handle). The most they could do was bang their head to the door if there was a gap, but not turn the handle!
The next day, we had a chance to chat with Justin and Sue, and they brought some of their pet friends out to meet us.
We meet Franklin the turtle and Larry, the parrot
The service at Best western Dunedin NZ
What makes this hotel stand out is the service. The owners of this hotel have been in the hospital industry for over 40 years, and it is evident in their customer service. I learned that they went to visit the US, fell in love with Denny’s and came back to New Zealand to open an American diner in Queenstown. After some time, they decided to sell the restaurant to buy this hotel.
The owners of the hotel go out of their way to help us, and they are very nice. Sue was the one to check us in on our first night. After walking us to our room and giving us a tour, she grabbed the kettle, filled the pot with water and boiled some for us so we can have hot water for tea. She then left, only to come back with a bowl of fruit and some water which was a nice gesture.
Unlimited wifi at the Best Western Dunedin NZ
One of the biggest surprises I found when visiting New Zealand was the data caps on most budget accommodations. What I mean by data caps is that many places allowed only 500mb to 1gb of data to use per room per day! Some even offered only 1 GB of data to use for the whole room per day! Not optimal for us when we needed the Internet to access our files and book plans during our travels.
The good news is that wifi is unlimited at this hotel. We did have an issue with our wifi at first and had to call a technical support number. The technician simply rebooted the connection, and all was well.
Stories on laundry day
Part of us travelling with very few clothes for a year involves having to plan for laundry days. Another big reason why we chose this hotel was because of the laundromat onsite, which costs $10 for a wash and dry. Not too shabby.
During one of our laundry days, we met one of the other owners named Justin. Justin showed us how to use the washing machine and dryer. Between sharing his own stories of when he travelled for over a year, Justin gave us some great tips on how to see wildlife and places to see animals. He also shared other great tips such as making sure we lock our cars because of the high rates of theft and being careful about driving on small windy roads.
While G was putting the clothes on the rack, Sue came over to help him and asked if she could hang the clothes properly in a motherly way. She ended up rearranged the clothes so that they could dry faster and promised to keep an eye on it in cased it rained while we were out. These thoughtful gestures made our stay much more pleasant.
The location of the Best Western Dunedin NZ
This hotel is not in the most convenient location and felt a bit on the outskirts of town. Fortunately, there is ample free parking, and since we were looking for a stopover on our road trip, the location was fine for us.
When it came to visiting the Otago Peninsula and other places, the drive from this hotel wasn’t too bad at all.
A great stay at the Best Western Dunedin NZ
The three nights that we stayed in this hotel was the break we needed during our month-long road trip in New Zealand. It felt a bit like home and gave us a rest from having to move to a different accommodation every other day or so. The service is what makes this hotel stand out, and I would stay again if I came back to Dunedin.
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