How do you start a blog post about one of your favourite places you’ve travelled to? Many times I started and deleted my first sentence, but I’m just going to start and see where it goes. Because Hopewell is a very special place, perhaps one of a kind. And if not one of a kind, then one of very few. It’s a little piece of paradise that I was fortunate enough to stay at twice in my travelling life so far. I’m looking forward to coming back for sure!
So what and where is Hopewell?
Hopewell is a lodge (http://www.hopewell.co.nz/) in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand. The lodge is part of the BBH World Traveller Accommodation NZ (http://www.bbh.co.nz/), a network of independently owned hostels and lodges. What’s great about BBH is the BBP rating, which is basically a backpackers satisfaction rate. The higher the percentage, the better the place is. And which place has been top notch for years and is gracing the cover of this year’s BBH Accommodation Guide? 🙂
Who run Hopewell?
That would be the amazing Mike and Lynley. If you want to know what this ‘Kiwi hospitality’ is people keep talking about, this would be it. It starts when you arrive. No rush, no paying for your room the very first moment you arrive. Nope, instead you are welcomed with a chat, while enjoying a drink and a homemade cookie. That is, if you haven’t already met Mike earlier when picking you up at Waterfall Bay, driving you to the other side and then taking you across in a small boat. Yeah, that’s right…they have their own pick up service, so getting to Hopewell is super easy. These people are kind and down to earth. They work super hard (because how else can you keep the place up like that) but never give you the feeling you’re in the way. They organise mussel nights (even if you’re not into seafood, join anyway for the fun!), you can order homemade bread and pizza. And it’s all so good! When my water taxi back wasn’t going to work out, they sorted it out for me and helped me arrange something else. When I left, I got hugs from both of them, wishing me safe travels. These people are the real deal, bro.
How to get there?
As already mentioned, they run their own pick up service from Waterfall Bay. All you need is a watertaxi from Picton to Waterfall Bay. You can also drive all the way over which is about two and a half hours from Picton. Or fly in by plane even! How to get to Hopewell is all explained on their website, and especially in their visitor information sheet. So be sure to check out the website, which looks amazing after a recent revamp!
Why it’s such an amazing place?
Now that the ‘what and where’ stuff is out of the way, why do I like this place so much? It’s all of the above and more. It’s not just a hostel. It’s an experience. The area is so beautiful, the people are friendly and helpful, the facilities are outstanding! It’s the whole package. If someone were to ask me what my dream was, I’d say this was it. Fresh air to breathe in, a beautiful waterfront property, a beautiful location, heaps of outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, sailing trips, fishing, supping, biking), friendly people and no rush. Just enjoying the moment, taking in the sights, enjoying life. It’s a piece of paradise.
Maybe I haven’t found the right words to describe this place. Maybe it’s a case of ‘seeing is believing’. But in this hard day and age, it’s such a joy and a relief that places like this exist to retreat to. ❤