A warm welcome greeted us at this hotel. All of the staff we came across did their best to ensure we had a peasant stay. Our room was very clean and very quiet with a lovely view over the marina. We did find the hotel was struggling to cope with the number of guests the weekend we stayed. We were also disappointed to find the cafe was not open this weekend and we were not informed of this when we made our reservation. Overall a pleasant night away in auckland and an ideal situation along the watervront with easy walking distance to other venues.
I stayed just for night in early September, 2012. I had booked a Superior room directly through Accor online and typed in the MIRVAC offer to receive a 15% discount.
I caught a taxi from the Skycity Grand to get here but the driver did have a little difficulty finding the hotel initially but we arrived here without too much trouble.
The welcome initially was warm but the room was not ready at about noon-time. I waited a while because the reception didn’t really promise a specific time when the room would be ready and so I inquired about three times and lastly, asked specifically when the room could be ready. I was thinking of perhaps just going for a Harbour cruise in Auckland if the room would take a while to get ready. However, the staff members probably weren’t too pleased with being approached a few times concerning the room availability and then being asked to nominate a time when the room could be ready. The standard check-in time is 2pm, it must be noted. Perhaps there was still somebody staying in the allocated room and they could not nominate a specific time at first.
My room was located on the top floor on level 6 and it was certainly very comfortable and one of the most impressive aspects of the hotel, apart from the lobby and public areas. It definitely met the standard required of a five-star hotel. The general décor was of a high quality. The room was both spacious and quiet, looking out over the central courtyard water feature but with no view directly of the Auckland harbour.
The bed was extremely comfortable and right up there with the best in the business, the linens were extremely soft and the pillows comfortable.
The bathroom was also impressive and conveyed a luxurious feeling. It was large relative to the room size and had a large bathtub. There was also a rainshower with more than adequate water pressure.
It was possible to get a large amount of natural lighting with wooden slats which could be slid open. With the slats closed, less light would enter and for complete privacy, they also provided curtains. There was a balcony but it was only a small one and also wouldn’t be completely private, as it faced other rooms in the hotel.
The TV by rights was a good unit and there were a wide range of movies but it had an issue working properly, which nobody tried to resolve even after I called the reception. I’ve since now found out that it’s a common issue based on the reviews here. There were a wide range of magazines provided in the room.
There was a kitchenette in the room, which was surprising as they aren’t usually found in traditional hotel rooms but rather within serviced apartments. It was small but would be functional. There was also a coffee machine provided, which appeared to be a Nespresso-type machine.
There were other issues with the room, I didn’t find it perfect. The sofa was quite small and it wasn’t really one that would be possible to lie down on. There was a moveable wooden area for placing items directly on the sofa. Even with this item removed, the sofa was still too short for a comfortable lie-down or for sleeping. The working desk was narrow and relatively small and the working chair, although fashionable, was not really comfortable and felt hard on the back.
The safe in the room was of a good quality but I found it a little difficult to use, as it included a turning knob in combination with a digital pad for number entry so I hadn’t seen too many of these in hotel rooms.
There wasn’t any complimentary internet access available in the room but I assume it’s available in the lobby, where there were PC and MAC computers which required a password for login.
I have videos of the hotel room, which can be found through the link in my profile section.
Location and Public Facilities
The location of the hotel is reasonably central but not right in the centre of anything. It would take a while to reach the city centre proper, such as the Queen Street area. At the same time, it took a while to walk to the Viaduct Harbour with its many quality eateries and the harbour cruise, which I had tried in the early afternoon. However, there were some eateries within closer proximity so it wouldn’t be necessary to really get to the main centres of activity.
I managed to only look at the pool, spa and gym. The pool and spa certainly looked upmarket and impressive while the gym just seemed alright. I wondered whether the pool would be private, as it was enclosed with glass windows and while not the most exposed pool, I would have still preferred an indoor pool with more privacy.
The lobby looked good both during the day and night but particularly looked impressive at night with the candles and use of water reflections. There was also a good sense of calm about the lobby and public areas, perhaps it was the natural lighting and it was more obvious during the day as it was less busy.
The lifts looked quite standard and possibly too apartment-like.
The service here seemed patchy. There was the experience on check-in, which could be improved. There was the TV issue mentioned earlier. The TV was not working properly so I called the helpdesk. The reception at the hotel took a while to answer calls. They said they would send somebody to look at the issue but nobody ever came. I asked the housekeeping staff when they came to deliver some water, if I remember correctly. The housekeeping staff member then asked somebody else to look into the issue and only then was the issue fixed.
In the evening, I requested a taxi to go to the ferry terminal for the ride to Devonport and that was arranged cheerfully.
Le Club Accor Loyalty Program
I’d first experienced issues with Accor’s A-club loyalty program (now known as Le Club Accor) in June 2009, after a stay at the Pullman Putrajaya with a points crediting issue. Here, I again experienced problems with the program. Initially, I did receive some points for the stay but then, less than a month later the points were regularized and so deducted from my account. I e-mailed the Le Club Accor program and it was difficult to communicate through their website, as a form had to be submitted each time and there was no follow-through of the communications as usual in an e-mail correspondence for example. They said they had e-mailed the property regarding the issue. I never received a clarification as to why the points were ‘regularized’ although perhaps it was somehow related to the booking being made under the MIRVAC 15% off promotion. However, the program seems to lack much central authority or control. The fact that the individual property had to be sent an e-mail suggests that Accor properties are more like a loose association of properties and that each property has some individual decision-making powers. The booking was made through the Accor website, after all.
While the Le Club Accor program has improved in some ways, it still isn’t quite as efficient as many other hotel loyalty programs.
Overall, the hotel public areas and room were very comfortable and the location was also good. However, the service here could be improved.
NOTE: I have videos of the hotel room which can be found through the link in my profile section.