One of the reasons why I chose to stay at Arthouse Accommodation Boutique Backpackers in Tauranga apart from its strategic location is for its facilities: a shared kitchen and a lounge/TV area, spacious lockers/cupboards, luggage storage, laundry and even a gift shop.
So naturally, after I kept my belongings safely in my 8-bed mixed dormitory room at the backpacker hostel, I went exploring the hostel. Earlier, Shawna gave me a tour around the hostel and also explained the rules and regulations when I checked-in to get me familiarised with my new home. 🙂
To read my review of Arthouse Accommodation Boutique Backpackers in Tauranga (Part 1), click here.
The Shared Kitchen & Dining Area – My Regular Hangout Spots
What I love most about Arthouse Accommodation Boutique Backpackers in Tauranga is its nice kitchen and dining area. I literally spent most of my time there if I were not busy working or exploring the city.
The hostel management team, my new found friends and dormmates mentioned that they always see me in the kitchen/dining area – either busy cooking, eating or taking photos of my food (a typical Asian thing) and I sort of became a “celebrity chef” there. Haha!! Don’t believe me? Go ahead and ask Shawna or Melanie (the night warden) when you stay there. 😉
Due to fire and safety hazard, cooking is only allowed from 5am to 10pm at the backpacker hostel. Any cooking done out of the permitted timeframe will trigger the fire alarm which will result in a hefty fine. And every day after 10pm, the night warden cleans the kitchen.
Personal Food/Storage Lockers, the “Free Food Bin” & an Unfortunate Incident
Another thing I love about the hostel is the fact that each guest is given their own personal food locker/storage space in the dining area to store their groceries/dry stuff apart from the spacious locker/cupboard provided in the room. 😀
In addition, each guest is also given a grocery bag to store their groceries/wet stuff in the refrigerator too. Hostel guests are advised to label their groceries/food stuff with their names before putting it into the refrigerator or food locker to prevent it from going missing or put away in the “Free Food Bin” for others to take it.
From my experience, neither of my food stuff went missing because we had such good occupants staying there. The only unforgettable blunder or unfortunate mishap I experienced was when a bunch of my food stuff (that was given to me after their previous owners left the hostel) was accidentally given away as “free food” when the hostel management cleared out the food lockers. 🙁
Jenny, my Korean roommate whom I befriended at the hostel lost everything she had stored in her food locker thanks to a misunderstanding. Fortunately, the hostel management was kind enough to compensate her loss, but all I got was an apology simply because the fact that my groceries were free/given to me by the previous owners, and that I did not label them. WTF, right?! Oh well, shit happens. Let bygones be bygones.
They say, “Every cloud has a silver lining” and my faith in humanity was restored when some of my food stuff was given back to me by those who took it from the “Free Food Bin”. I could not thank them enough for being honest and trustworthy. 😀
Shared Bathroom, Toilets & Laundry
Since it was a backpacker hostel, hostel guests have to share the showers/toilets. There is a total of 3 sinks, 4 showers, 4 toilets and a shower/toilet specifically for people with disability to utilise. The shared bathroom was kept clean most of the time with regular cleaning done by the hostel management.
The toilets and cold/hot showers were in good condition and working well. Even during peak hours, there was a steady flow of hot water for us to take a shower whether in the morning or evening. I have no complaints except some of the occupants wet the floors, making it slippery and sometimes dirty too. Things like these always happen when we share space with people. 🙁
Laundry service is available at the hostel. To use the washing machine or dryer, we need to insert a token per wash/dry. The tokens can be bought at the reception counter and is priced at $3 each. Clothes racks are placed along the corridors, in front of the dormitory rooms for the hostel guests to dry their clothes.
In a Nutshell
I was lucky to have wonderful and considerate dormmates whom became my friends at Arthouse Accommodation Boutique Backpackers in Tauranga, New Zealand. After spending my first few weeks in the 8-bed mixed dormitory room, I upgraded my room and moved to the 6-bed female dormitory room at a special rate of $145 a week with free Wi-Fi (thanks to the benefit given by Booking.com as a Genius member).
Thus, my adventure continues; each day with ever more exciting experiences and discoveries. 😀
Up next: Bed in 6-bed female dormitory room at Arthouse Accommodation Boutique Backpackers in Tauranga review (Part 1)