Value Score No Data
Good For Families
A seaview that is no real seaview
This is a motel that will never see me again although the accommodation itself is absolutely fine. (So if you are desperate and find nothing else you can still stay there. Just I would rather sleep in the car.)
The reason for my dismay is the dishonesty of the owner, and this is why:
I travelled with a friend from Germany and wanted to stay at a place with a seaview, looking out over the ocean to the magic mountains when waking up in the morning.
I know Kaikoura quite well but just do not know the exact location of each and every motel, and in this area between the town centre and the seal colony there are kilometre-long stretches with uninterrupted views over the pebble beach. Just very few buildings stand on the sea side of the road (The Esplanade, becoming Avoca Street) that leads to the seal colony on the peninsula.
To make sure we would get a room with such a view I called at the motel before making a booking and asked if they had rooms with sea view, as the description of the motel on the internet just said that the Admiral Court Motel was “beautifully situated close to the sea (a two minute walk)”. For that view we were prepared to take the car to drive to dinner as the town centre is two kilometres from there, and another kilometre from the restaurants on Beach Road.
“Yes”, said the owner, “we do have a room with a seaview for you.” After this reassurance I booked the unit which was – as said – absolutely fine, with good kitchenette, large bed, extra sofa, small dining table and chairs, and spacious bathroom with big shower, heated towel rails – and beige plastic fittings ;-)
Imagine my shock when we arrived and found the motel – despite its elevated position – sitting opposite other buildings that blocked any sea view. Oh no, we later discovered that the owner had not really lied to me. If you looked hard you could discover a waterline at the horizon above the roofs of those buildings (which are sitting along the New Wharf – so not just a wharf). That was our sea view!
As we arrived relatively late the reception was closed and we found a note telling us which room to look for and that the key was there. So I could not confront the owner – just his dog that barked through the night. (So not really a quiet at a very quiet location.) He knew exactly what he had done in order to get our money and probably had a bad conscience. When I checked out the next morning he did not ask if we enjoyed our stay, if we had slept well, where we would travel next – just the usual smalltalk of good moteliers. He barely said a word, just said good-bye. Never see you again.
Just a tip for this stretch of quiet seaside road (The Esplanade, Avoca Street) in Kaikoura:
If a motel has a great sea view you do not have to walk two minutes to the sea.
(I know, this should have made me suspicious - but that’s why I called and asked.) You just cross the street which takes you ten seconds. Still this does not guarantee you a perfect sea view as most rows of motel units are not built parallel to the road but at a 90 degree angle. Some motels have no views at all because the units are located behind the motel’s restaurant.
And another tip which I have mentioned somewhere else already:
Beach Road in Kaikoura is State Highway 1 – and not quiet at all! The safest bet for a quiet night is The Esplanade.
Rates for this studio unit with the roofline seaview: NZ$ 140 (as May 2011). Smaller units NZ$ 110. Also two-bedroom units at NZ$ 160.
Photo 2 shows the part-blocked mountain view to the other side.
Photo 3 displays the nice viewless verandah in front of the studio unit.
Photo 4 shows the standard studio unit.
On photo 5 you see the bathroom.
Directions: Turn off SH 1 into the town centre. From there another 2 km along The Esplanade. As soon as you do not see the sea anymore you find the motel in a bend on the right.
Admiral Court Motel
We where given a two bedroom room for a 1 bedroom. The room was great. The bedroom looked out to the sea. Very clean and the staff very helpfull. It a little way out of the main street but we had a car so it didn't bother us.
Unique Quality: 9 Four star ground floor units, some non-smoking, in very quiet location with sea and mountain views. Serviced daily: 6 studio sleep 1-3: 3 X 2 brm family sleep 2-6. Access facilities 1 unit Fully equipped kitchens, stove or microwave, shower, Hair dryer, Phone, Sky TV, in-house video, electric blankets, heating, cot / highchair available, Continental breakfast, guest laundry, Freezer, Hot Spa, Off road parking, children’s play area, Gas barbecue, courtesy car to bus & train, Green Dolphin Restaurant 50 metres.
Directions: Driving through the min town and it's about 5 mins drive on the right. ( If you are coming from Nelson)
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