The Backyard Inn


The Backyard Inn

60 Tarewa Road, Rotorua 3010
Bus 5 (stop: 54 Tarera Road)
Tel
(07) 347 0931
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Reception open
7.30am–9.30pm daily
Credit cards accepted at this hostel

Credit cards accepted for online booking


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User reviews (15)

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A dirty let down to the good YHA name. Avoid if you value sleep and your belongings.
21 January 2008
Cons
Dirt, theft, rude staff, worn sheets, noise, broken facilites...
Pros
I'll never have to see it again
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Second stay in 4 years, still one of the worst. I thought things MUST have improved, but not. The bins overflow, there are just two fridges, one of which is warm inside, and no freezer. 2 of the 6 cookers weren't working and if you want cutlery, you have to wait in line for a pack which you have to return immediately. The polyester sheets have holes in, the "chalet" walls are thinner than paper. Add food theft, excessive noise (car horns, puking, etc until about 3am) and rude staff, and you have KiwiPaka. A real let-down to the usually good YHA name.

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Bad service killed the experience, customer comes last.
7 January 2007
Cons
Worst showers, total lack of respect and customer service.
Pros
It was easy to find.
Maintenance
Cleanliness
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Atmosphere
Horrible service and standards. Stayed in a twin private chalet, chalets being the most expensive (assumed best) accommodation on the premises. The shower had no pressure and was either freezing or boiling. I asked the reception staff to fix it. When I returned to the hostel in the evening it wasn't fixed, a lady at reception said she sent the maintenance guy over and the shower's working fine and I just need to learn how to use it. When I said I've been using showers for 25 years she replied she's done her outmost best, that she knows nothing about showers and if the maintenance guy says it's ok there's nothing more she can do (although she never went to check herself). The ceilings are paper thin and sleeping is impossible when people walk or make noise upstairs. The kitchen's much too small for the amount of people staying there, and unlike normal hostels that provide all the utensils and cutlery, you get a tray that you have to pick up and return every time you want to eat something, but, the people at reception will continue answering the phones and doing work on the computer even if you've been standing there for 10 minutes and you were there before the phone rang, they'll just keep answering phone calls and you won't get a chance to speak until the phone stops ringing, which is quite ironic as I've been told to call back later when I originally called to book. I decided not to stay a further night and the staff sneered at me when I was getting my key deposit back. Overall experience much below average compared to most other hostels in NZ, which are great.

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Stay Away!!
1 December 2006
Cons
Unfriendly, unhelpful staff
Pros
the pool
Maintenance
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Facilities
Atmosphere
This place really disappionted. It was nowhere near the town, the staff were useless and the rooms were dingy. I definately would not recommend it. :O

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Spa pool :)
9 July 2006
Cons
Floppy beds and basic rooms
Pros
Decent bar, nice spa pool!
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Atmosphere
I stayed here a few years ago but thought it was a nice enough place. The bar had a decent selection of NZ's finest Monteith's and the tables were slices of tree trunk! Nice spa pool for relaxing in after a hard day's exploring. Stayed in a twin room which was pretty basic but did the job. Possibly a little walk into town but didn't bother me as we'd hired a car. I'd happily stay here again.

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Welcome to Butlins
28 December 2005
Cons
It was a soulless and dull experience
Pros
Nothing
Maintenance
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Atmosphere
Welcome to Butlins. This was a soul-destroying, pile em high, soulless experience masquerading as a modern and efficient chalet-style hostel. It's not as near the town centre as all the guide books state, the reception staff were frosty, the duvet covers and bedsheets were threadbare, a dirty colour, and needed replacing, the room was incredibly small and dark, you had to go outside and down a passageway to find the bathroom (not very pleasant late at night), the on-site breakfast was overpriced, need I go on? Best advice - find somewhere else to stay.

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Anonymous
Wouldn't Go There Again
23 August 2005
Maintenance
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Atmosphere
After reading these reviews I am some what comforted in the fact that I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience. We did come across young kids hanging around the camp in typical rap like clothes and acting shady and were told that on "weekends" security is there. I don't know how that was meant to comfort us as we were staying during the week! The rooms are aweful and cramped and yes the food is extremely overpriced (perhaps they are taking advantage of the fact that a lot of people won't be able to carry food all the way back to the hostel?) There were a couple of good points like the pool but it's been confirmed to me that you can find hot pools at most of the hostels in Rotorua and at a cheaper price! All in all I wouldn't recommend this place at all!

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bluangel_bug02
Double rooms
12 June 2005
Maintenance
Cleanliness
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My bf and I stayed 2 nights at KiwiPaka this May. We got a double room so I don't know about the dorms. As far as our room went it was pretty basic, a double bed with about 30cm on each side of it and a small table and chair next to the window (basically a bed in a small room.) However it was comfortable and clean, and if you're not spending a lot of time (and don't have too much luggage) the lack of space shouldn't really be an issue. The food at the cafe/bar there is over priced (but this shouldn't be surprising), and they also have a hot pool which is really nice to relax in. The staff when we were there were friendly and helpful, and we booked our zorbing and hobbiton tour through them. As for the gang problem, we were totally unaware of it, we walked around and never once had a problem (the double room did lock so we were never concerned about our belongings being stolen.) The only thing that was a little inconvenient was the closest supermarket was about a 15 min walk from the hostel but nothing major. Over all I would say for us it was a good place, showers/bathrooms were clean/good, and the kitchen we thought was one of the best organized that we had seen. One thing that might have made a difference for us compared to some of the more neg. reviews is that we were there in May a more quieter season (I'm not sure if that would make a difference or not with some of the problems that they had.)

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Anonymous
god awful
20 April 2005
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Iv just returned home to the UK and im now starting to do warning reviews for the worst places i stayed. This is up there with the worst. Nice first impressions. But then you realise that everything is substandard. Poor rooms. Poor facilities. Poor security. Rude management: when we made some complaints to them they just dismissed us outright. like Chris S below we basically got told to go elsewhere. I wonder how they do so well when they keep sending people away? One day it will come back to haunt them. And I am so glad that i didnt realise how bad the threat was from gangs because i would not have felt safe there at night. Maybe this place could start up a new topic... what is the worst YHA around? Kiwi Paka gets my vote. Thinking of it gives me cold sweats!!!

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Natalie
Worst hostel ever - especially for security
30 March 2005
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Do not stay in this place. I recently stayed there and two Maori teenagers came into our room at 6pm and stole my boyfriends digital camera while we were in there asleep!! Doors do not lock automatically from the outside, I hate to think what would happen if I had been on my own. The rooms are cramped and the bathrooms are no better than a caravan park. It's very strange because their sister YHA in Waitomo was really nice and very secure (you had cards to open the door). That was the reason we stayed there. I wish I had read other people's reviews. It's even worse because the Maori gangs in the area are well known to the police but the security is dire. If you value your belongings definitely stay elsewhere! I would not even give this one star!

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Anonymous
Worst Hostel EVER! Big theft and Security Problem!
29 March 2005
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One thing they don't tell you about when you join this hostel is the problem they have with gangs of theives in that area who literally wait to prey on backpackers. I myself had a stranger come into my room at night whilst asleep to only to awaken with my things stolen. Does this scare me? YES! As it should you. Apparently it's comman knowledge to the police and a lot of the community around that area that these gangs like to steal from the backpackers. Despite this they have the worst security I have ever seen in a Hostel with no self locking doors and windows that you can barely pull shut. (I woke also to find my window pulled open by the theif or theives whom entered my room). As for the place? The rooms are terribly small and cramped. The kitchen is hopeless and the toilets are outside right near where the local gangs hang around at times. YHA should be ashamed of this Hostel!

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Paul
Poor, poor, poor
31 January 2005
Maintenance
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Stay here if you like accomodation that is cramped, out of the way and over priced. The place is like a nightmare 60s holiday camp and the management, as mentioned below, seemed very blunt and rude. There are far better places (and better priced) in the town centre.

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Lou
An unwelcoming hostel
9 January 2005
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Agree with Chris S below, unfrindly and rude staff , felt as though they couldn't give two hoots. Our room was so small, there were like 20cm gaps on either side of our double bed (seriously). The kitchen was a shocker, at least three cookers didn't work and there was only one pair of tongs for the whole kitchen (the kitchen was fairly big). For some obscure reason, they've chained all the knives to the benches just in case you decide to steal them. There's no cutlery kept in the kitchen, you have to get a cutlery tray from the reception and put them in your (small) room when not in use. Wonder why they don't tell you that (amongst other things) when you check-in. Making dinner's a bit of a challenge considering all that, perhaps they try to discourage you from cooking and hence get people to eat at their cafe??!?. Some of the staff were hopeless, like they didn't even know how to refill the hot water urn. We wouldn't stay there again, since the whole experience was rather impersonal and basic facilities such as cookers should've been fixed (mind you, there were no signs telling you that they were out of order to start with....you find that out after standing there for a while). There's a linen charge of $2. You have to make your own bed, and return the linen to reception on the morning you leave. We paid $50 for the double room (non-YHA) plus $2 for linen. In hindsight, we could've found a much nicer hostel to stay at for the same price or even cheaper. Our negative sentiments were shared by many others staying at the hostel. One lady found it to be the worst hostel she'd stayed at in NZ.....Ditto.

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Chris S
The ruddest place i have ever been to...
11 December 2004
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I wish i had the same experience as the guys below but this was the worst experience iv had (and iv stayed in 20+ hostels in the last 6 months). First a quick run down of the place. Very so-so. Its nice that they have single beds and no bunks. But then the rooms are so small that it actually would have been BETTER with bunks. There is no space whatsoever. You have no personal space and if the room is anywhere near full then you get on top of each other. It was actually quite ridiculous. Then theres the prices. Burger lunches at $13/14 and pints of local beer for $7 seem a bit steep for budget accomodation. The kitchens big but not very functional (the stoves were extremely poor) and the bathrooms are pretty horrid (outdoors 1960s holiday camp style). And its a bit of a trek into town (10 mins to outskirts about 20-30 mins to bus station and main street). There was one great thing though - the spa pool. it was very relaxing and nice. I didnt think much of the place but then i may be looking for problems because the following situation just destroyed my opinion of the place. Basically when we checked in we paid for 3 nights outright. We were told that we would have to move rooms on the 3rd day. We didnt mind doing this however we werent informed that we would have to check out at 10 and re-check in at 2pm. This pissed me off a bit because if we had been correctly informed then we probably would have just stayed the 2 nights. Also its a hassle having to re-pack all your bags to leave in storage just so that you can re-check in a few hours later. But what upset me was the attidtude of Bev (the manageress?). Firstly she stormed into our dorm at 10.15am asking why we hadnt checked out (because we didnt know what was happening!). After hastily packing our bags we went down to reception. Now I said to Bev that i wasnt very happy with the situation. I wasnt rude but i just felt we were owed an apology. I got the following comment 'if you dont like it get out and go elsewhere'. so thats what we did. i went and reserved a room at treks (far nicer). But Bev couldnt leave it. When we went to get a refund on our paid up nights (which they did grant) she firstly called us liars (saying we wld have known exactly the room change procedure). And then when I said that we weren't told correctly and that all we felt was a bit messed around she came back with the comment 'well most people actually want to do things with their days rather then lay around in a dorm with hangoevers like you do'. At this I had to bite my tongue because it was just a rude generalisation. For a start we hadnt even had a drink the night before - she just made an assumption because we are in our early 20s. We wanted a chilled day was because we had just spent $180 on booking activities with the hostel (like rafting etc) - so i think we were entitled to a quiet day to save money. Anyway im dragging this on. In short iv never met such an insulting and rude women on reception - and this from a place that bases its advertising around its friendly service. I wonder if Bev would have reacted this way if we were older or a family? Probably not so im going to make the assumtpion that she's a biggot. Its a shame because the other girls on reception seemed quite friendly. I wonder what would have happened to them if they spoke to customers in this manner? they would probably get sacked! so maybe the managers/supervisors should start acting in the same manner as to that of their staff. So id implore you to avoid the place. There are nicer and cheaper places nearer to town... places that dont treat you like dirt.

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Anonymous
Nice hostel
7 December 2004
Maintenance
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Clean and good facilities. If you don't mind the bigger and more crowded hostels, i would definitly reccomend this place.

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K the Fo
Nice place, nice people
15 December 2003
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The hostel was clean. The staff were friendly and knew what they were talking about. They had on-site hot springs and many other amenities. The rooms and bathrooms were clean. You can't ask for much more in a hostel.

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