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“Location 5* Accommodation not quite there......”

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Sanctuary in the Cove
Reviewed 3 March 2017 via mobile

I do try to write accurate and objective reviews, always give
praise, but also try and put forward criticism in a constructive way. So, here goes....

The location is indeed beautiful - as many have been in our two long tours of NZ. The little Sanctuary garden that has been created here is just delightful, as is the small orchard of fruit trees and bushes. The two cottages are indeed very private...we never saw the residents of Cove Cottage, and Bruce, the owner of the main house and property, was away for the five days we were there. So, peace and quiet and privacy we most certainly had and really enjoyed.

Bruce was incredibly helpful to deal with in our booking, ensuring that, since he was away, we had a point of contact in case of problems. In fact, he went so far as to ask friends to come and visit and introduce us to the nearby golf club at Karikari so we could get a better green fee rate. So we greatly appreciate that level of personal service and thank him hugely for that.

However, I have to say that, despite other people's reviews, we were actually disappointed in the cottage accommodation itself and the amenities. The basics were there, but we felt it was dated and in need of improvement. Bedrooms were a good size, bedding very clean and it looked as though new, though very old-fashioned, curtains, had been installed. But the bathroom was pretty basic - shower in the bath with the dreaded nylon curtain.
The furniture in the main room was serviceable, though again all very dated. The kitchen we felt very outdated, with little work surface, rather musty cupboards, very little in the way of crockery, no dishwasher (not essential to us, but for the price...The utility room was again very useful but in need of updating (rusty clothes airer).
The outside space was delightful, but (as mentioned in a previous review two years ago) the two red loungers, the canvas chairs on the deck, and the other outside furniture are all well worn, dirty and a bit mouldy and really should be replaced.

This was in fact the most expensive accommodation we rented in this, our second long tour of NZ. We stayed in some other places with equally beautiful views and outside facilities but with much modern decor, far better amenities and comfort indoors. We paid 40 dollars per night less for a fantastic place in Tapeka Bay for example, even less for a lovely house in Omapere. So, in comparison, this accommodation at this price, for us, was disappointing. But we felt it wouldn't take much to update ......

We loved the nearby sandy Coopers beach, thought the golf and vineyard at Karikari excellent, found lots to see and do in the area. We would enjoy a return visit to Sanctuary in the Cove - but only if it were updated!

Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank SusieG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 10 of 73 reviews

Reviewed 2 March 2017

The site on the internet gives reasons to looking forward for our stay at "the Cove". When we arrived everything, except the sofa, was better than we hoped for. The whole place is awesome. We also got only sunshine, so that was an extra. But still, the place is silenced, the ocean comes and goes and everything fits. The house itself is good enough for four people and great for two. When you go to the Bay of Islands you must stay at the sanctuary. Otherwise you've missed a great experience.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Herman T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2017

We spent a week at the Sanctuary and it was a wonderful location. Hardly saw a human being but much to see in the interesting bay . Only 2 cottages on site and ours was very well equipped. Will return another year without fail.

Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Jonathan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2017

We enjoyed a wonderful family holiday just a couple of weeks ago. Perfect location,cove cottage was excellent,facilities fab and just wonderful to also have the cottage cleaned during our stay. The access to the water was excellent for our daughter who uses a wheelchair. Only suggestion I would make is perhaps one of the double beds being able to split into 2 singles,if that was ever a possibility it would provide more choice for the cottage to host 4 people. The whole property is an absolute credit to the owner Bruce

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Thank centremanagerkwps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2016

Bruce was a perfect host from the minute we booked into his beautiful Sanctuary until we checked out and beyond. He couldn't have been more accommodating. He is very proud of what he has built in the Far North, as well he should be. Having left the corporate world behind, the Sanctuary became just that for him- a therapeutic endeavour - building a phenomenal garden spot on no bank waterfront property. There are two very serviceable cabins, each with two bedrooms and a bath, tucked away in total privacy. The bed was very comfortable and the kitchen well equipped. A skiff and two kayaks greeted us on the front lawn on our arrival. From the car to the cabin we walked through an orchard of citrus trees with ripe fruit just asking to be picked and enjoyed (which Bruce later told us to feel free to do). Bruce left us in total privacy but was also available for anything we needed- even gathering kindling and firewood for our outdoor fireplace that we sat in front of each night of our stay while having sundowners. You won't go wrong booking here as it is also very convenient to all of the major activities in the far north.

Room Tip: There are two cabins= pretty much the same, but the one to the north seems a little more private, b...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Thank yummyrib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2016

We have booked the Pohutukawa cottage with friends over the Anzac weekend. It was pure bliss. The cottage has everything you need to relax and it's big enough for 2x couples. We were lucky with the weather so we could use the outdoor amenities. Due to the bay being sheltered kayaking was great, even for beginners. We spent one afternoon just relaxing on the porch (hammock) and the sun lounger, reading. Such a quiet place, only birds and the sound of the sea. Highly recommended little spot of paradise.

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 123456789kiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2016

We booked Sanctuary in the cove for our wedding and 3 nights accommodation in both cottages. Family stayed in Pohutukawa cottage whilst we occupied the cove. Both cottages were lovely, well appointed and surrounded by stunning scenery. The property is incredibly peaceful and the owner, Bruce has obviously put a lot of time and effort into maintaining the gardens. The waterfall garden is stunning and made for a perfect setting for our wedding ceremony.
Bruce was incredibly helpful throughout the year of planning our wedding, with regular meetings to organise the running of the day. He continued to provide useful information of the local businesses that contributed on the day. Throughout the wedding day, Bruce remained available to ensure everything ran smoothly.
We would highly recommend Sanctuary in the Cove for both a wedding venue or holiday accomodation and we look forward to visiting again.

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Jarrett-Hoare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kime777, Owner at Sanctuary in the Cove, responded to this reviewResponded 17 May 2016

Thank you Thom and Annika - it was a great day for all. Bruce

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sanctuary in the Cove

Address: 283 State Hwy 10, Coopers Beach, Mangonui 0420, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Mangonui > Coopers Beach
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Coopers Beach
Price Range: $202 - $297 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sanctuary in the Cove 4.5*
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Self-contained accommodation in a choice of two waterfront modern cottages. Your secluded hideaway is set within a large property of natural bush and sub-tropical landscaped gardens. Relax in peace and privacy with a stunning outlook onto a hidden cove. ... more   less 
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