A visit to the South Island of New Zealand is not quite the same without stopping by Queenstown. Because we were on a tight budget during our year of travel, we went with YHA Queenstown because we could at the very least book a private room.
The ambiance at the YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ Hostel
I’ve never really stayed at hostels before my trip to New Zealand aside from the one during the Great Ocean Road, so I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve always imagined hostels to be dirty, dingy and full of young twenty-somethings. That was not the case at all at this hotel.
For starters, this hostel was very modern and trendy. I did feel like I was living in a big dorm room full of young kids though. But there were a handful of baby boomers and millennials as well. I won’t lie though; most of the millennials looked like they were in their late teens.
The room at the YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ Hostel
We stayed in a private room with ensuite bathroom, which was nice. The room was clean and lived up to our expectations, although a bit cold at times.
The heater worked well and kept us warm at night. We also had big windows that we could open to allow for air circulation.
The private rooms are at the end of the hallways and away from high traffic areas. Unfortunately, one of the communal bathrooms was near our room, and our room wasn’t soundproof. That meant we heard every door slam whenever someone entered the bathroom. I had to wait until everyone was done using the bathroom at around midnight. Only then was I able to get a full night sleep.
The bed is quite firm, like the ones I slept on in Asia, so I slept very well since firm beds are my preference.
In the mornings by around 9 am when everyone is awake, you start to hear the doors slamming again, and it gets loud.
Bring headphones, even if you book a private room at the YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ
It’s pretty noisy, even though we had our private rooms. There’s a message asking people not to slam their doors after 10 pm but guess what, they slammed them like there’s no tomorrow. Our room was at the end of the hallway, and yet we could hear them all the time.
There was a laundry room on our floor, and it costs $8 NZD for a washer and dryer.
While many people commented that they found the place to be small, I thought it was not bad for two people. We had no issues with being able to lay our stuff on the ground and did not feel cramped compared to other budget places we’ve stayed in the past.
The wifi in the room is awful though so you’ll likely have to go to the common areas if you need an Internet connection.
The service at the YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ
The customer service at this hostel was excellent. Staff members are very friendly and willing you to help you with your problems and your questions. They also took the time to give us recommendations on some of the questions we had and were very genuine in their interactions.
The location of YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ
In case you didn’t know, there is another YHA Queenstown in the heart of the city. We initially tried to book that place, but it was so full that we had no choice but to choose the YHA Queenstown Lakefront location. Despite being on the “outskirts” of the CBD, this hostel is in a great area in that it is a ten-minute walk to the city center. The walk along Lake Wakatipu is picturesque and worth walking.
While there is free parking with this hostel, there is not a lot within the parking area. There is off-street parking, and it might require you to walk a bit from the hostel if you are not lucky.
If you didn’t arrive by car, you’d be happy to know that there is a bus stop just a few meters from the YHA.
The kitchen at the YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ
As we were on a budget while in Queenstown during our year of travel, we were quite happy with their kitchen as we planned on cooking most of our meals. The kitchen and dining facilities were huge and there’s plenty of space for everyone to cook their meals. I liked how there were a lot of kitchen supplies for everyone to prepare their meals. Many groups of people and families were able to make their meals without getting into anyone’s way.
There is a lot of fridge space, but you have to be strategic and find the ones further into the kitchen. Some fridges get filled up very fast, and if you were one of the first to put your stuff in the fridge, it will get buried behind or moved. If you have food that doesn’t need to go into the refrigerator, you can use one of the lockers to store your food as well.
The lounge room at the YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ
There are tons of couches, massage chairs and tables for people to sit and chill.
YHA Queenstown Lakefront NZ is a great place to stay
Aside from the noisy doors, I’d consider this hostel again. I found it to be excellent value for what you get and people of all ages would enjoy staying here