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Policies & FAQ

The Small Print
This section explains our policies, terms and conditions as well as answering your frequently asked questions. If there's something we haven't covered, just ask. 

What credit cards do you accept?
Our website accepts Mastercard or Visa and your card will be charged at time of booking. If you wish to pay cash or Eftpos on check-in please give us a call (we do however need credit card details to confirm the booking). We do not accept Diners or American Express. 

What is your cancellation policy?
Bookings made directly with Dorset House can be cancelled provided you cancel more than a full '2-days' before the day of your stay. If you have booked directly with us, we will refund your prepaid room rate less a $5 transaction fee if cancelled outside of '2-days' of your day of arrival. 

Advise us of your cancellation as soon as possible. Please call or email us to cancel your booking. We are unable to receive text messages and can therefore not accept this as a cancellation. An email or voice message is not considered notification until it is read/heard by our staff.

If you do not cancel your booking prior to arrival resulting in a no-show, you will be charged for nights within the cancellation period. If you cancel or postpone your confirmed booking within the '2-day' period, Dorset House will make every reasonable effort to resell the room after all other rooms have been sold (this means the hostel needs to be full).  Dorset House’s policy is to charge 100% of the room or rooms if your booking cannot be resold.  We do not accept responsibility for any external situations, including but not limited to, travel delays, weather problems or vehicle breakdowns.

Extended cancellation policies apply to group bookings - you will be advised of this if booking for a group of 10 guests or more. 

Non-direct bookings made through third party travel agency websites may have longer cancellation periods which are applied in place of Dorset House's standard policy - please check with the website you booked through. Some of these sites may apply a cancellation fee as per their own terms and conditions. If you would like to cancel or change a booking made through a travel agency website, please check that website for instructions as we are unable to cancel these directly. Once we have received the cancellation from the third party website we will be able to cancel your booking from our end.    

For the avoidance of any doubt, here's how it works - if you book to stay on a WEDNESDAY, you need to advise us by the time reception closes (6pm) on SUNDAY to be considered more than '2-days' before the  beginning of the day of your stay. 

If you make a new short-notice booking within the cancellation period (for example, making a new booking after 6pm Sunday for arrival on the Wednesday or before), your reservation is strictly non-cancellable. 

Cancellation policies are firmly adhered to without exception.

Card Pre-Authorisation Third Party Websites

If the total cost of your booking is over $200.00 we may pre-authorise the booking amount to your credit card. This puts a hold on the set amount to ensure that you have enough funds in your account to successfully pay for the booking. Please note, if your card has been pre-authorised the total charge of the booking must be charged to this card upon check-in as this will remove the hold on funds from the card. 


What are your check-out and check-in times?
Check-out is 10am.  Guests checking out after this time may be charged for another night. Check-in is from 2pm onwards - luggage storage is available if you arrive early.

What are your reception hours?
Our reception desk is open 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week. We can arrange late check-in outside of these times, just let us know in advance.

Do you have minimum stay periods?
Special events and dates may attract minimum stay periods. While Dorset House is open over Christmas, if you wish to stay the 25th of December, you must also be booked in for the 24th of December - there are no check-ins or check-outs on Christmas Day (25th December).

Do you have maximum stay periods? 
Dorset House has a maximum stay of 14 days for any one guest in a 12-month period. This is strictly enforced.

Privacy Policy
We take our guest's privacy very seriously at Dorset House. All guest information is held under password protection at all times. We only collect personal information we really need, we don't share it with anyone unless you let us and we do everything we can to keep it safe.

Where can I park?
Parking is available on a first in, first served basis, behind the house. There is also nearby street parking.

Can I smoke in my room? 
No. All Dorset House rooms (and everywhere else indoors) are smokefree in accordance with New Zealand law. Smoking is acceptable only outside on the kitchen balcony or in the garden. Please be aware that if you smoke anywhere inside you will set off the fire sprinkler systems. We will charge you cleaning, deodorising, drying out and repair costs at a minimum of $100.

What is your drug use policy?
Drug use is not permitted at Dorset House. If you use drugs on the property we will evict you without refund.

What is your alcohol use policy?
Alcoholic drinks are not permitted in the rooms, but can be enjoyed till 10pm in the common areas such as the kitchen and lounge. Please make sure bottles and cans are exposed of in the bins and the noise level is kept down after 10pm. Disorderly behaviour may result in cancellation of your stay without refund.

Disorderly behaviour
For the protection of all our guests, disorderly behaviour may result in cancellation of your stay without refund. This includes excessive drinking, excessive noise or disturbing of other guests. 

What bedding do you provide?
Dorset House provides all bedding, including sheets, duvets, blankets, pillows and (in private rooms) electric blankets. Everything you need - so we don't allow the use of sleeping bags. Towels are provided in private rooms, and can also be hired if you are staying in a share room, or just want extra towels. Private rooms have mini-soaps included. 

My flight arrives late...
No problem. Late check-in is easy. When you book, we will send you a confirmation email with a door code. You can use your door code to enter the hostel after hours. We'll be expecting you and will leave you out a key as well as a map showing you where your room is. Just come and see us in the morning and we'll check you in. 

What do I need to book?
You'll need a credit card to book and pay for your room, and we also like to know your arrival time (if you know it!). The easiest way to book is via our secure web booking form. We'll confirm your booking promptly via email. Please note that if you do not receive a detailed booking confirmation including the door code (the automated message is not a booking confirmation), your booking may not have been confirmed. In this case we recommend contacting us as soon as possible. Please note that bookings made using a Prezzy card or debit card cannot be confirmed. 

Can you book my airport shuttle/bus/activity/tour for me?
Yes! Our staff have a thorough knowledge of local tourist activities and transport options.Let us know what you would like to do while here and we can get you a great deal and organise it in advance. There is no charge for this service. 

What about rental cars?
Definitely. Let us know your requirements, your pick-up and drop-off dates and locations, and we'll get some fantastic quotes to you fast. 

Do you have female-only share rooms?
We do not have female-only share rooms. We try to place women in rooms with other women wherever possible. Due to our small size, this is not guaranteed. 

Do you accept group bookings?
Please contact us first if you would like to book a large group (10 people or more) stay. Extended cancellation policies will apply for groups. Minimum stays and black-out periods for group stays apply during busy months. 

Can I stay in the same Dorm Room as my friend(s)?
Every endeavour will be made to ensure you and your friend(s) will be booked into the same Dorm Room, but should this not be possible you will be advised at check-in. Sometimes this may not be possible due to limited availability, in which case guests will be booked in separate rooms.

I am a teenager, can I stay on my own?
Children under 18 are allowed to stay in a private room when accompanied by a parent or guardian. We must be advised of all bookings including children. Our Shared Rooms are for 18+ guests only. Dorset House retains the right to cancel your booking without refund if we have not been advised of any children under 18. 

Can I stay with my child and do you have baby cots?
We recommend a minimum age of 5 years, but Dorset House staff may accept bookings for younger children provided a family room is available. 

We do not have baby cots available. Infants under two years may stay free of charge with their parents, using existing bedding. Please let us know if you are bringing an baby or toddler with you so we can book you into the most suitable room. Children over two years will incur a small charge - please enquire before booking. If we are not notified of the booking including children this may result in cancellation of your stay without refund.

Can I bring my cat/dog/rabbit?
We cannot accommodate pets. Our resident cat Minx would not approve...

Damage policy 
Smoking, soiling or otherwise damaging your room or any other part of Dorset House will result in your credit card being charged a cleaning and repairing fee not less than $100. 

Rubbish disposal
When leaving behind items that cannot be collected by the council, such as extra large items (cupboards or mattresses) or items that cannot go in a recycling, food or regular waste bin, extra charges to visit the dump or any other waste collection point will result in your credit card being charged for the extra costs incurred.  

Security
Security is of utmost importance to us. All our outside doors are locked with a 4 digit pin code, which changes every week (your confirmation email will include the door code for your arrival date). We also have 4 CCTV cameras in the hostel to ensure you and your belongings are safe. These are mainly used by us to see who has left their dishes in the kitchen ;) handy!

Agreement with policies, terms and conditions. 
Your reservation via the Dorset House website or elsewhere, is considered your full agreement with our terms,  conditions and policies. The Dorset House website is the definitive source of information on our terms, conditions and policies. In case of conflicting information being encountered the website will prevail. Further FAQ questions are answered on the 'Policies and FAQ' page of this website. If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please contact us via email or call us on +64 (0)3 366 8268 and we will be happy to help. 

Dorset House Backpackers and their staff retain the right to refuse accommodation at any time.  

I have another question...

We're happy to help - drop us a message or call us on +64 (0)3 366 8268 and we'll get to work on your enquiry.