I had actually booked the entire resort for my wedding after needing a place that could host and sleep 100 and in that location. We went last week to check it out and I cancelled my booking the next day.
We stayed in the $275 a night luxury suite which is their top room. It was in the middle of the parking lot!!!! The room itself is nothing flash at all and very small. Besides the bed it has 2 chairs and a board nailed to the wall as the desk. The bathroom is tiny and you can tell all the corners they cut trying to renovate it. The outdoor patio overlooks the parking lot and does not even have views which is the appeal of the resort. We also had all the noise of buses loading up groups at the crack of dawn and also late at night. They do have a few rooms that are private and overlook the water that are actually a bit cheaper and better than the suite which makes zero sense. Still not worth the price however!!!
The restaurant is claimed to be 5* dining as well and they price it that way also. Mains are typically between $35 and $40. The food was o.k., but for prices like that I expect the service to be there. When they services our $50 bottles of wine, they just filled our glasses and did not allow us to taste. Not once, but 3 times!!!! Oh well, at least we got drunk to get over it. They served us bread, but no bread plates....our food took an hour.....the list goes on and on.
We are really easy going people that travel quite a bit and stay everywhere from hostels, tents, motels and elite hotels. If I was paying motel pricing or going to a standard restaurant, this would by no means bother me. Our bill came to $750 for one nights accomdation, dinner and breakfast. For that type of money at other 5* places we have been to, they experience would have been absolute class. This however was the exact opposite.
We has a motel and cafe experience for $750. They seem to get away with this type of pricing because of their location. It is stunning, but there are other accomdation options. If they lowered their pricing dramatically I would stay there as then it would make sense. It warrents a $100 a night fee for their deluxe rooms and they either need to step up their service in the restaurant or reset pricing as well.
My advise to people that want to go to the Sounds (which is amazing) is to save your $$$$ for another location to splash on a resort and actually backpack, camp or rent a bach here. You will have a great time and feel better about your entire sounds expereince. We left feeling a bit ill for all the money we blew for one night that was not special at all. We would much rather have camped or we could have rented an entire back for the whole week for the less than our total bill.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Portage has welcomed guests from New Zealand and overseas for 120 years. We host more than 15 weddings each year and have always been known as a wonderful place for celebrations.
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We are concerned that a number of the items raised in this commentary are incorrect.
These guests actually spent $646, not $750, on their one night stay including $226 on alcohol and a total of $105 on breakfast, lunch and dinner. Without the alcohol purchases their stay would have been $420 for a breakfast, lunch and dinner package. Wine prices at the hotel range from $29 for a 3 star bottle of wine to $85 for a 5 star Marlborough wine. The highest priced item in the restaurant was a 300 gram Porterhouse steak for $34 which was chosen by the guests along with a $24 pork dish, so $35 to $40 is an exaggeration.
In the summer dawn is at 5.30am, the first resort vehicle leaves to take our guests to boats and to the start of the Queen Charlotte Track at 8am. Some pictures of the Kenepuru Spa room and view are attached.
Our hotel room rates started at the time from $155 per room per night and we now also have a Walker’s Lodge for budget travellers which includes a room with an ensuite for $100. The Portage room rates are mid-range with the other hotel and lodge properties in the Marlborough Sounds including Furneaux Lodge, Punga Cove Resort and Raetihi Lodge. The $275 room was the favourite with our brides and is the room they would have received free of charge as part of their wedding package.
The resort is rated 3 plus stars by Qualmark and was voted the Best Business in Marlborough in 2002.
We have a range of processes in place at the resort to handle guest complaint and prefer to respond immediately to the guest while they are staying at the resort and solve problems immediately.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.