We visited Waimahana in order to go to watch a friend drive a Formula 1 racing car at the Formula Challenge at the Taupo Race Track.
Waimahana apartments are on the main road that skirts the edge of Lake Taupo. This used to be the only road through the town but most of the traffic now goes along the by-pass at the very back of the town making the lakeside a peaceful place to stay....or so we imagined.
We stayed in apartment 10 which has lovely views across the lake. The apartments have been built on a hot water beach and the building is heated by extracting this volcanic heat. The pool, spa, water and space heating all use this free heat. This combined with solar gain makes the apartments very warm. We stayed in early spring so I can imagine that it would be quite hot in summer time. I'm guessing that all other similar apartments will suffer the same way. While the pool area looked inviting, on closer inspection it was found to have quite a thick layer of black debris on the bottom and some missing tiles.
The apartments are very large indeed, around 150m2, with two bedrooms plus a third bedroom created by pulling across a series of folding doors in the lounge kitchen dining. Creating this third bedroom does not make the place feel small. Everything is exceptionally spacious. The master bedroom has a balcony shared with the lounge and has an en-suite shower and walk-in wardrobe. The main bathroom is large with bath and separate shower. The entire apartment is well built with a very light and airy colour scheme. The two brown leather couches were very badly cracked due we assume to the strong New Zealand sunshine and their position in the window. They tried to protect them with an acrylic rug but we felt that this green grey rug (plus matching cushions) did nothing for the look and greatly detracted from the overall high quality finish. The carpets are the palest straw and very clean and would pick up the slightest mark so we were very careful not to spill anything, particularly important bearing in mind the rather threatening message in the welcome folder regarding stains! Seeing the two prominent stains on the floor of the rather dimly lit wardrobe we could see that this would be a constant battle with this carpet. We know because we have a similarly pale carpet in our bedrooms. The window treaments were a series of slightly worn beige blinds in the lounge and a black blind in the master bedroom which did not keep out the lights of passing traffic passing or daylight. The other two bedrooms had internal windows which suffered from the fact that whenever anyone moved around the block the lights came on and lit up the room.
With the windows fully closed and the blinds drawn the noise of passing traffic, truck engine braking and young people shouting made for sleepless nights. After 3 nights of this we were pretty tired. We don't think that hush glass has been installed in this building and really it should have this. Notes in the guest book mentioned the same issue.
Great store was made in the welcome folder about leaving the apartment in a clean state. We are particularly fastidious ourselves and so this is something we expect and respond to. We did notice a certain lack of attention to detail here because when we opened the crockery store it was very obvious in the sunlight that whoever cleaned the apartment was small of stature and could only reach so high up the door! The top of the refrigerator had not been cleaned for many months, presumably for the same reason. The island unit was spotless but the gas hob needed some deep cleaning to remove grease build-up we felt. Some of the items of crockery, including the kettle (which was odd) smelled a little musty so we washed them before using them. There were FIVE blown halogen bulbs in the apartment. The master bath had only one out of the three working. One of the pillows inside the immaculately ironed pillowcases was badly sweat stained, which was unexpected. The towels were some of the hardest and thinnest I have ever had to use. I expect they were dried outside without a final tumble in the dryer.
Our overal impression was of a well built, cleverly designed, spacious apartment that suffered from soft furnishing. maintenance and external noise issues. Many of the drawers and cupboards had personal items in them which made you feel that you were sleeping in someone's recently vacated home rather than a 5 star apartment complex. While we loved the building design the road noise means we could not stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- You could travel the world and it would be hard to match a holiday location such as that offered at Waimahana, enjoying spectacular lake views, thermally heated swimming pool and spa that take you right to the lake edge and sandy beach. Lake Taupo accommodation at it’s finest. Options include studio, two and three bedroom apartments. These exclusive apartments offer fantastic indoor/outdoor living with their own balconies, overlooking the pool and located on the absolute lakefront of Taupo. Spacious open plan living with modern kitchen complete with quality appliances, stereo, Sky TV, full laundry facilities, quality furnishings throughout, coupled with a private sauna and gymnasium within the complex make for a wonderful holiday environment. ... more less
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