Reviewed: Bumbles - Queenstown, New Zealand - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 12-07-2005, 02:58 PM   #1
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After Rotorua, Queenstown is NZ's 2nd tourist mecca. As the gateway to Milford Sound and home to just about every extreme sport/adrenaline activity in the world, Queenstown's population explodes during the summer tourist season, so the competition makes all the accomodations good, even the hostels.

For such a small place, there's a good number of hostels to choose from. Bumbles is a bit off the radar as it's away from the center of town (a whopping 2 min. walk) but it makes up for it by being the only backpackers right in front of the lake, meaning many of the rooms have a killer view that you couldn't get at 4-star resorts elsewhere. Even the common area next to the dining room has a huge, surreal panoramic view that makes it worth staying there.

Rooms are very nice and mostly well appointed. The 5-share I started out with had just about everything you'd need - including alarm clocks! I moved to a private double and while it wasn't quite as nice, it was clean, cozy, and most importantly - had a space heater. This is important because southern NZ can get *really f'in cold* even in the summer.

Management is awesome. The main guy, Matt, remembers everyone's names and what they need, and although the office hours are limited, they're not averse to helping you out and taking care of business after hours. They know they're not a party hostel, but they've still got the hookup. Ask for the Queenstown happy hour guide, and you're well on your way to cheap drinks all night, every night of the week. They'll even hook you up with a hand stamp that'll get you happy hour prices all night at one of the local bars. Like all other hostels, they'll book trips/tours/activities for you, but unlike many others, they make some pretty honest recommendations and list the pros/cons of competing vendors.

And of course, most of the people around Bumbles are great. Just hang out on the deck or the living room with a few beers or playing cards, and in no time you'll have a whole gang of people to hang out with, whether you want a quiet night or a big one.

Recommendation: If the above doesn't already say so: Stay here! Actually, you'll probably be happy with anywhere in Queenstown because the town is just a great place with a vibe like that, but independently-operated Bumbles feels that much cooler.

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