I booked a Bay of Islands package through AAA which included 2 nights at this lovely hotel. We arrived tired and weary after a long bus ride from Auckland and the staff was so incredibly kind and gracious to us, it immediately calmed us and we knew we were in the right place.
However we were given a very nice but not air conditioned room in the back of the hotel. Although there was a stand up fan in the room, we were very disappointed especially since I had previously checked their website which said they have a/c. The very kind gentleman, Albert, who helped us with our luggage told me that they do have some air conditioned rooms so I thought I would just ask to be moved into one of them. Our lodging was prepaid so I am sure our package included the room with no a/c, but probably because they were not totally sold out, and also because the staff was so fabulous, they agreed to put us into a room with a/c. It took a few minutes since they were in the process of cleaning most of those rooms, but we were given a lovely room with a/c (a special thank you to the front desk staff for moving us!!!). My husband really enjoyed the balcony.
The rooms are appointed very nicely and the beds are very comfortable! The bathrooms are large and very clean with lots of towels. There is a large flat screened TV and also a little wet bar area with a mini-fridge. If you want ice, the same person who helped with our luggage (Albert) brings it up to your room. Immediately Albert caught on that I like ice and would bring 2 buckets for me, one that I could put into the mini-fridge to have for later. I really appreciated that!
There is a restaurant in the lobby of the hotel. We didn't eat breakfast there but we did have dinner there one night. The staff there is equally kind and efficient even as they got busier and busier.
Interesting side note: We charged the meal to our room bill but there was no place on the check to add a tip, which we thought was unusual, so we left a $5 bill on the table. The next day I got my nails done at a salon and asked the nail lady about how to tip in restaurants since there is no place to add it when using a credit card, and she explained that tipping is not a normal thing in New Zealand and that even if you leave cash, most places will donate that to a local food bank or some other local organization. So if you are not familiar with this, just be aware that unlike in the US where tipping is expected just about everywhere, New Zealanders believe their salary pays them to do a job well done. However it should be mentioned that NZ wait staff typically makes about $16/hr which is far more than US minimum wage.
I am not familiar with the Scenic Hotel chain, but if I travel to the Bay of Islands again I will definitely stay there. I also will look for their properties when traveling to other countries. We were treated so graciously and everyone was so friendly - despite initially getting a non-air conditioned room, everything else was absolutely perfect.
Just always clarify what kind of room you get when booking a package.
Kudos to the front desk for being so accommodating and kudos to the hotel for employing such awesome people!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands has a sub-tropical resort ambiance, with island-influenced architecture, beautifully landscaped grounds and light airy rooms. Situated at the entrance to the seaside town of Paihia, it’s a pleasant stroll into town to access the main wharf, visitor activities, fine dining and shopping. Whether you are here for business or pleasure, the relaxed atmosphere of Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands will melt away your stresses in moments. The entire property has been extensively refurbished and expanded, and the attention to detail will impress you. As our guest you will enjoy: A choice of accommodation styles including standard, superior and deluxe rooms. Beautifully presented guest rooms, with earthy tones, splashes of colour, and quality room amenities. Excellent hotel facilities, including swimming pool, ample parking, wireless Internet and comprehensive conference facilities. Quality, relaxed dining and socialising in our licensed restaurant, and lounge bar. Easy walking access to Paihia’s main wharf, shops and local attractions. Our lush sub-tropical gardens, with water features and feature lighting, are attractive and relaxing by day and night. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Scenic Hotel Paihia
- Scenic Hotel Bay Of Islands Paihia