We stayed here on our honeymoon from 30 December 2011 to 2 January 2012 and were so disappointed on arrival that we spent ages fruitlessly searching for alternative accommodation in booked-up Paihia.
We booked through the hotel's website, which is adorned with beautiful pictures and the following comments, among others:
"great value resort-style accommodation"
"Your new hosts, Sarah and Hamish Browne, have brought the hotel up to date with new guest facilities."
"Open Air Swimming Pool
From the pool enjoy spectacular views over the Bay of Islands with all day sun and service to your deck chair."
We had pictured a big beautiful pool where we could relax on sun loungers enjoying a cocktail or a beer and looking out over the sea, and this was really what sold it to us. You can see the picture of the pool in the photos section of this reviews page.
Imagine our disappointment when we drove in to find a run down hotel in need of a paint job, and continued into the car park to find that the pool was actually in the car park! It was very small indeed and surrounded by bare concrete with a couple of plastic chairs. Nothing like the pictures at all - the photographer deserves some kind of award for creative enterprise.
We then headed off to try to find somewhere else to stay. It being New Year, we failed, so returned to check out the rest of the hotel.
Our room was quite big but bare, with a sagging mattress and not enough wardrobe space. In fairness it was clean.
We checked out the bar and restaurant to find more big bare rooms with cheap furniture - certainly nowhere you would want to spend a pleasant evening.
The hotel is fifteen minutes out of town so hardly convenient, and the much vaunted beach disappears entirely at high tide and is rather isolated - not really a good place for sunbathing.
The staff are pleasant and reasonably helpful.
This hotel is not cheap by NZ standards and is creating a misleading impression with its website. The facilities are poor and the hotel run down. I would not return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Atawhai Beachcomber Resort is the only resort in Paihia lucky enough to be situated directly on the beach and has private access available to all guests. Each of our spacious studios and rooms boast panoramic views over Te Haumi Bay, Opua and Russell and are perfect for watching the sun rise with a complimentary tea or coffee from your private balcony in the morning. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Atawhai Beachcomber Resort Hotel Paihia
- Heartland Hotel Paihia
- Atawhai Beachcomber Resort Paihia, Bay Of Islands