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“Pricey in every way” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Peppers Portage

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Peppers Portage
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kenepuru Sound, Marlborough, RD2, Portage, New Zealand (Formerly The Portage Resort Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Portage
Townsville, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Pricey in every way”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Spent our second night of the QC track here and were looking forward to some luxury after our 23km day. I had booked the most expensive room on the old website and was surprised to learn the resort had since been taken over by Peppers and that there were no longer any baths in the rooms. Rooms certainly not much for the price, but I guess you are paying for the location. Any views from our room were mostly blocked by the solid wooden balustrade unless you were standing or outside on the deck. Had dinner in the restaurant and the seafood chowder entree was very good. Also bought a packed lunch. Again, all very expensive. We found the staff to be helpful if not always professional. Also a little signage for the walkers would be helpful, there was next to nothing which was pretty discouraging when on a long walk and wondering how to get there/how far to the destination.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeppersPortage, General Manager at Peppers Portage, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Kia ora Talia T,

Thank you for taking time to share your experience here. it is great to hear that you enjoyed our seafood chowder. It is certainly one of our signature dishes on the menu. We will start the refurbishment of our rooms after the summer season and and I have taken the comments about signage on the track on board and will discuss this with the relevant authorities.

Thanks again for helping us to improve our services and the product.
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211 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Auckland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

Went here for lunch for the afternoon in Dec as had heard a lot about it. Very unimpressed. Decor and buildings mismatched but not in a good way. Pool looked dirty. Food was fine but took a long time to order drinks and had to point across the bar for the staff to know what we wanted. Wine list looked great with nice local wine but didn't have the Serensin we wanted. Cost of drinks was a little high. Fine if you need somewhere but don't make a special trip.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeppersPortage, General Manager at Peppers Portage, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Kia ora,

Thank you very much for your comments. We have taken them on board and reviewed our wine list and the pricing. I am glad that you liked the food and I have past your comments on to our head chef. The refurbishment of the public areas will start after Easter and that will also include replacement of furniture.

Many thanks again.
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Travelers are raving about these Portage hotels

Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We stayed two nights including New Year's Eve (31/12/12). I understand that the The Portage Resort Hotel was highly regarded as an up market establishment. If so, then Peppers have a lot of work to do to get the place up to scratch. During our stay the hotel lacked only John Cleese to complete the picture. We talked to many of the guests who, like us, were walking the Queen Charlotte Track and using Portage as a stopover. Not only did no one have a good word, things had got to the point where the operation of the hotel had become an object of ridicule and laughter. Good natured in most cases but only just.
However, in our case at least, we do not blame and are not going to overly criticise the staff. Even though the hospitality skills of some were on a par with their knowledge of English, that is, negligible, some at least tried very hard to make the best of a bad situation.
The fault lies with Peppers management who, as told to us by the staff, took over the hotel on 1 December, put in new systems that people were untrained to use and left people - staff and guests - virtually to fend for themselves. So, we could list at least 50 problems encountered over two days but what would be the point.
Peppers, as is well known, run a chain of high quality, well located and well managed establishments. We found a glossy brochure in our room describing them all and this, let's face it, only added insult to injury.
Our room was clean, spotless in fact, but everything else was very poorly managed and supervised. Especially the food service and very especially the NYE dinner which was way, way overpriced for what was provided. For example, not everyone received every course from the set menu, and that is pretty basic stuff.
Along the Track next day and all the way back to Picton people exchanged anecdotes of their stay at Portage. Are you listening Peppers? It is one thing to have a few stuff ups but quite another for a hotel to be a running joke.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delhi
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

'Fresh1980' has written a very thoughtful review for Portage and I find a lot of what I'd like to say already written in this review. We stayed at Portage as the pool was being filled and cafe being prepared for opening. However, we still encountered cold coffees, meals that were good, but not great and service that was cheery, but not all that attentive. Portage seems to be the kind of place that if the restaurant, wait staff and reception all clicked and raised their game a notch, the whole experience would be so much better.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

It took one week, two telephone calls (both went to answerphone), and two e-mails to get my on-line reservation confirmed - which was slightly worrying at the time, but I held out hope that The Portage would live up to what i'd read on its website.
After our third day walking the Queen Charlotte track, my friend and I were looking forward to relaxing and enjoying a lovely meal in the a-la-carte restaurant.
On arrival we were eventually greeted by the staff at reception and given the keys to the twin bedded room we'd requested. We asked if it had a sea view, and we assured that all their rooms had sea views.
The room turned out to have a double bed in it and smelt damp, so we asked for another room. After ten minutes our bags were taken to a room nearby, which did have twin beds, but smelled vile and looked directly onto the real wall and roof of another building ten feet away.
For our first two nights on the track, we'd stayed at Punga Cove and Furneaux Lodge, which were lovely. The Portage Resort was the most expensive accomodation by far, but the rooms were no where near the quality of the others.
We asked for a third room, as we couldn't stand the smell of this one. An older gentleman, who appeared to have most of his lunch down the front of his shirt, greeted us at reception on this attempt. Apparently, the rooms had just been opened up after the winter, but hadn't had chance to be aired. So why were they being offered when the hotel was only half full?

The third room was adequate, but nothing special. The decor in the bar/lounge and restaurant can only be described as 'different'. The furniture appears to have been bought by someone wearing a blindfold - a mix of brighly coloured contemporary chairs mixed together with cheap, chipped exhibition tables and out of date Asian style chintz sofas - very weird! What we thought was the breakfast room rurned out to be the a-la-carte restaurant.

We asked to book a table in the restaurant. We could eat at 6pm or 6.15pm, but not between 6.45pm until 7.30 because chef was busy with the carvery. We booked for 6.15pm. The menu was brief and un-inspiring, but at least we were offered one stuffed pepper left over from the previous day's conference if we preferred it! Asked what the options were for side orders, we were told that chef was cooking roast potato - no other potato options were available.
Whilst we waited for our meal, which eventually arrived at 7.30pm, we watched the sparrows fly into the dining room and eat from the open bowls of cereal, which were already laid out for the following day's breakfast service.

My eye fillet arrived very chewy and definately more well done than rare to medium as requested. My friend's parma ham wrapped chicken in sauce arrived wrapped in a slice of under-cooked bacon and submerged in a bowlful of watery soup. It was interesting to say the least, and was left mostly un-touched. We were offered some of yesterday's left-over apple pie for desert, which was politely refused.

After dinner we asked a few of our fellow trampers about their experiences, most of which were similar to our own. One couple had discovered a currency conversion fee on their credit card bill, despite having paid in local currency. We later learned from locals in Picton, that the hotel recently been taken over.
It was obvious from cetain tell-tale signs around the hotel, that it had been quite a top-notch place to stay in its hayday, but sadly had dated over the years. The new management were making obvious attempts with the landscaping, (apart from the green pool), but the rest of the hotel is badly in need of re-decorating and re-furbishing. The rooms are sub-standard and no-where near worth the money they are charging. It is one of the worst places i have stayed in, in New Zealand.

Room Tip: try two or three to find a decent one
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeppersPortage, General Manager at Peppers Portage, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Kia ora Redt0p,
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I am very interested in the feedback from our guests and it certainly helps to understand where we can improve. From some of the comments you made I can see that you have stayed with us prior to the official take over and I am proud to say that a lot of the inconveniences that you experienced have been solved and we have made significant improvements. We continue to work on some that can't be resolved easily but we have put a lot of thought into the design and refurbishment to bring the resort back to it's former glory. Thank you again for your time and Happy New Year.
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London
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

We stayed in Portage Lodge for 1 night, and were encouraged. The main reception-lounge-terrace-restaurant area of the hotel had been completely renovated, and was very charming. It went one or two stages beyond 'simple NZ' and was closer to Boutique.

It is true that the bar and restaurant staff had arrived the day before, and that they did have trouble telling the difference between a spritzer and pimms, and the coffee was served cold, not to mention many other minor bungles, but they were trying hard. Very hard. And they were very polite and accommodating. Most importantly, the chef was very good; providing dishes that were thoughtfully presented, with just the right variety and choice of ingredients. The only criticism is that maybe the dishes were too large, but is probably not a valid criticism, especially given it is two-thirds the way through a 24hr trek??

The room was great; with two large windows and a nice sized bathroom. Very clean and thoughtfully laid out. The views were amazing, albeit we did have to walk across a building site to get to it. This will change, I dare say.

The swimming pool was empty, but a) who needs one when you have the beach with great views?, and b) the owner/management could be seen clearly doing their best to rectify the situation. The price was not completely outrageous for what we got, especially given the location.

Overall, I feel that if we had visited this great resort one-two months later, we would have been blown away. But I have to rate this place on my stay there, which was definitely a 3*, which is a shame. But it has the potential to be a 4* very shortly. I wish portage the best of luck.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeppersPortage, General Manager at Peppers Portage, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Kia ora Fresh 1980,
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts in this forum. I appreciate your objective comments and have taken a lot of information out of your review.
You have stayed with us only days before we have officially taken over the management of the hotel and all of your comments are very valid. We were getting ready for the take over and I believe we have made good progress since then. I have discussed your review with the whole team here and we will continue to work on the improvements. Thank you again and all the best for 2013.
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

Terrible place to stay, the view is the only saving grace. Booked into a room having walked the Queen Charlotte Track that day and were greeted by maintenance/construction going on everywhere. When we got to our room the bathroom was in need of an update and we were met by the kind of shower curtain which should be banned in all hotels - who wants to shower with a curtain creeping onto them that the previous guest's bum cheek has been up against?! Foul.

The TV in the room didn't work and reception told us they had just installed the TVs and that they were waiting for someone from Nelson to connect them! Why install them before they were connected??!! Looking at the other reviews there's clearly a few stories behind that issue.

The store in the info booklet was closed and looked like it had been for months, so we were forced to eat in the bar. The bar was very busy with all the staff having end of work drinks – odd.

Finally, we called reception to get the shuttle back to the track and the person who answered basically had no idea what we were talking about – I had to repeat 3 times what was in their info booklet just to get them to agree to take us to the track. This was obviously not a normal service provision despite what was stated in the room pack.

Picky, but no headboard on the bed either, which was against a window, so attention to detail missing.

We’d never stay at Portage again. Very expensive for what you get.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Peppers Portage

Address: Kenepuru Sound, Marlborough, RD2, Portage, New Zealand (Formerly The Portage Resort Hotel)
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Portage
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Portage
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Peppers Portage 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Portage Hotel Picton
Portage Hotel Picton

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