For us this hostel was a welcome change to the normal Kiwi Experience choice of the Base chain. We booked it independently from the Kiwi Experience group as it was cheaper however they do use this hostel on the north bound bus – we were on the south bound bus. It was quirky and cute with a lovely open space for chilling and eat between the bar and kitchen. They offered an hour free internet every day and $5 dinner of chilli although the portion size is tiny it was delicious.
The staff were so nice and friendly, explaining everything we needed to know about the hostel before checking in. They were on hand to help with anything or help book accommodation for up and coming places. This hostel was part of the Nomads chain but was its own hostel too; you didn’t feel like you were in yet another samey chain hostel. Despite being quiet (due to the time of year) the hostel had a really friendly, relaxed and open atmosphere.
There was plenty of communal areas in this hostel, my favourite being the seating area around the bar and communal kitchen – nice and open with a TV, music and drawings on the wall from past guests. The kitchen was very clean and tidy with plenty of appliances for everyone to use and enough space to cook in. The other area they had was a TV lounge full of sofas and a little TV; you could request a film form their stash to be played.
This hostel cost us $24 a night and was a far better option than a $30 stay at Base. Each of those prices is for an average sized dorm room. It was a cute hostel, full of character and well located in the middle of Taupo. I would definitely recommend staying here while in Taupo – If you are thinking of doing the Tongariro Crossing they will open up the kitchen in time for you to grab out your food and make breakfast!