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“Great family holiday but laid back attitude needs work”
Review of Emerald Hotel

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Emerald Hotel
Ranked #12 of 26 Hotels in Gisborne
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
“Great family holiday but laid back attitude needs work”
Reviewed January 10, 2012

We stayed here as a family with a toddler and 5 yr old during the first week of January (after Rhythm & Vines 3 day concert (R&V) had finished). Hotel was in disarray on arrival due to R&V with cases of empty wine bottles and beer bottles filling the hallways. Helpfully we had received a phone call on-route to say our room would not be ready until 5pm & was ready early at 4pm.

There were a number of positive attributes that this hotel has (and a few negatives). Despite the negatives (best summed up as a laid back attitude), we did have a great holiday and would consider staying for another week at this hotel (but next time a few days after R&V).

Positive Points:
* Central location in Gisborne - we used our car once to drive up the Coast (well worth doing) and walked everywhere else.

* Room size - big space for us to spread out. Kids had own room and we had a King sized bed in the sitting room. This worked really well for our family.

* Dinner, Bed and Breakfast package - great value with $100 dinner credit each night. Chef for first two nights made the most outstanding chunky fries & beef tartar (3rd night chef provided raw chunky fries mentioned below). Breakfast offerings were on the light side (and more than once ran out of low fat milk) but given it was part of the package, we really didn't mind. Would definitely recommend this package to others (even if it is for a few nights of your stay only).

* Pool area - the area was well used by the kids but the big pool is very cold so the spa does fill up with people very fast. Numerous sun loungers available are great for parents to keep an eye on the kids.

* Working holiday staff (from outside NZ) - amazing attitudes and always willing to go above and beyond when asked. Sad to see the lovely lady from Vancouver leave on Day 5 (she was exceptionally helpful).

* Liquid Soap dispensers - very popular in eco-hotels that we have stayed in, in both Sydney and Melbourne in 2010 & 2011 so excited to see this easy eco-idea working so well in this hotel.
*
Negative Points:
* The laid back attitude that pervades Gisborne is huge in this hotel (especially with local staff). This was reflected in many ways including the hallways filled with rubbish & dirty washing bags that were only removed late in the day/at night; staff complaining about being overworked/not having breaks to guests, being told the mini bar fridge is just a mini bar fridge and we shouldn't expect to put our own stuff in it & the raw fries being served to my 5 yr old as part of her dinner at the restaurant (which when we complained appeared to have been microwaved and sent back still barely cooked).

- Standard of cleaning. Cleaning was usually done to a very low standard (I would never let the kids on the balcony without shoes as filthy floor & mouldy or dirty chair covers meant we really didn't sit out on the balcony as much as we had hoped to); cleaning staff complain a lot about how overworked they were and nothing is ever done in a hurry. Cleaners we had on Day 5 or 6 were the exception and were incredibly thorough (including removing mouldy chair covers & cleaning balcony table).

* Timing of cleaning. Cleaning of rooms was done anywhere between 12pm & 8pm at night - which is very difficult when we are trying to have toddlers naps. This meant we had to make ourselves scarce late in the day/evening when we are trying to get kids to have naps/baths/getting ready for bed.

* Mini Bar System - while I understand that it is helpful for the hotel to have an automatic minibar system, the information in the hotel compendium about the mini bar did not match reality. Hotel compendium stated you could remove drinks on bottom shelf of door (which I did).....however I was to discover on checkout that I had been charged for all these drinks. Most galling was that the guy who did the minibar check everyday had said "oh I see where you have put the drinks from the door - that's great/not a problem" more than once during the week. Took a copy of the compendium to front desk on leaving to point out this issue (and that I was right in what I did) and was told "you must have been the only person to have read the compendium" and "it has been like this for a long time and we didn't know it said that)! Hopefully the compendium will be updated by the time we return.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms looking over the river at peak season so the noise from the pool doesn't affect yo...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank debflynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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272 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
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English first
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 31, 2011

I see in a review from 2009 that people had trouble finding the entrance or indeed any reference to a hotel at all. A reply said signage was on its way. Well things work very slowly in Gisborne. We drove around the block twice and the only reference to the hotel we could find was a sign advertising a massage service. The staff were always extremely helpful but things happened only after long periods of waiting. Sort of like Fiji. The layout of the hotel was the most confused I have ever seen in 60 yrs of travelling. Our family stayed for 2 days and I never once went straight to my destination. The person who designed this building must have been on holiday from his normal job of developing fun park mazes. The entire layout makes no sense at all and must be a logistical nightmare because of the amount of space used up by endless corridors and blind alleys. The rooms were great but strange. The fridge with its electronic sensors to detect movement of any mini bar products was annoying as you could not put your own drinks in. There was no milk and when we called to get some it arrived over an hour later in a large bowl. The poor girl arrived to clean the room at 5pm and was still cheerful after working all day. The dining room staff were helpful polite and embarrassed when we and other diners waited for nearly an hour for diner. Breakfast was good but boring and always seemed to be missing top ups. We enjoyed our stay as the price was reasonable and the staff polite and cheerful and Gisborne is a great place to visit.

Dave B

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
187 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2011

This place did not add up to us. We only stayed one night whilst driving between Tauranga and Napier. It was so quiet we did not see how it could pay. Food very good - we were on a dinner, bed and breakfast rate - but we do not like eating in a quiet dining room. The room itself was very large with a bedroom, sitting area and balcony, but I would have preferred one large room because the bedroom, which was partitioned off from the sitting area, had no windows!! Not nice. The swimming pool, which we overlooked, looked very nice indeed but apart from one father and son, nobody was using it.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ObanTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed December 28, 2011

Overall a great place to stay very central. Rooms are oversize with plenty of space. Good breakfast buffet however the food selection could be varied every few days. Liquid soap dispensers are a tacky touch in the bathrooms. AVOID THE LOCAL PUB SIDE OF THE PROPERTY ON A FRIDAY / SATURDAY NIGHT make sure you ask for a room on the other side of the property. The nextdoor pub turns into a nightclub and the music goes until 3.30am so forget about trying to sleep as the sound proofing is sub standard.

Room Tip: Ask for a room well away from the nextdoor pub/nightclub
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fans_of_burnham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wellington
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2011

The size and furnishings of the suites, the view of the river and the beautiful hotel pool, the friendliness of the staff made us feel we'd scooped the jackpot when we arrived at the hotel bearing in mind how reasonably priced the hotel was.

The downside to the hotel we discovered during our five day stay not once was our room serviced before 4 pm - sometimes as late as 5 pm. We'd return from a day out sightseeing or at the beach to find the room as we'd left it, and then have to make ourselves scarce for the cleaner to come through the room at a time when we were wanting to rest and freshen up for dinner.

I don't consider this the fault of the hotel staff - if anything, it seemed like the two or three cleaning ladies were doing their best - it was more a short-staffing issue - something management needs to address. The receptionist was dismissive when I raised it with her on our final day (at 4.30 in the afternoon) saying, "the cleaners haven't even got to the rooms for the new arrivals yet". Umm, and the problem is?

There is a health and safety issue in the bathrooms too. Very high baths in which the showers are situated with no handrails for those in need of them. An accident waiting to happen.

Also, for anyone in a wheelchair trying to get into the pool area, until a ramp or something has been provided by the hotel, you will have to rule it out and stay indoors for now.

The restaurant is magnificent, the wait staff very courteous and helpful, as is the young IT technician who was wonderful in his assistance with the settings on the TV, and was always smiling and helpful when we saw him around the hotel and the grounds. Despite my criticisms, I have to reiterate the cleaners were friendly and hardworking. The issues I have are with management who need to look at their staff numbers and the health and safety concerns.

Room Tip: Riverside is very peaceful, particularly if you are on the top floor. Huge balconies. A delight...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank koowellington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
110 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2011

From the outside, this looks like a small boutique hotel. Inside, it is enormous, with corridors branching off unpredictably to yet more corridors and rooms down various dead ends. If your room is far from the stairs or elevator, you practically need a map!
The hotel location is very convenient, on the main strip and close to the waterfront. The rooms are huge by any standard. I had a suite with a large bedroom, large sitting room with built-in desk, and a bathroom that alone was three times the size I would have expected. The room comes with a mini bar -- but beware, it is one of those that automatically charge your room if you so much as pick up and replace an item unused. There is an electric kettle and an excellent assortment of teas and coffee. There is no wifi, but you can connect to the internet by cable which the front desk will provide for free. There is a large modern flat screen TV. Rooms look out to the street or inward to a large pool area. A buffet breakfast costs extra -- it was standard fare, the usual scrambled eggs, bacon and ham, toast and jam, etc, with no exotic fruits or other surprises.
The one downside to me was the very soulless, corporate feel of the hotel -- which, after all, is used as a conference centre. It's cheap tiles, bland plastics, synthetic fabrics, and fake leather everywhere, in colors ranging from black to grey to drab and nothing else. All the furnishings and fittings look as it they had been picked up an office furniture discount store. If you want a charming or homely feel to your hotel, you won't like this one very much. If you are content with a very functional and well-equipped place to stay, this will suite you fine.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank IanWriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotorua, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 9, 2011

My partner and i decided to stay in a hotel on a resent visit to family in Gisborne, to try and make it a realaxing weekend. We found the young lady who checked us in very scruffy and such a rabbit warren to get to our room, but the room was spacious. When i booked online i asked for a room with a view... we could see trees! Hmmmm!
When it came to going to sleep we both found it quite noisey, could hear pumps or something in the walls which was annoying. We decided to have breakfast there as well which was very average and lacking in taste, with average service.

all in all i think it was over priced for what it is and would not stay again, really annoyed actually!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kiwi_natz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Emerald Hotel

Property: Emerald Hotel
Address: 13 Gladstone Road | PO Box 2143, Gisborne 4010, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Gisborne Region > Gisborne
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Gisborne
#6 Business Hotel in Gisborne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Emerald Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of beautiful sunny Gisborne you'll find the very welcoming Emerald Hotel & Conference Centre. It's a hotel that offers all the benefits of boutique accommodation right in the midst of the city centre, and is the Gisborne's first fully-integrated hotel and conference facility. Spacious rooms overlook stunning vistas across the inner harbour through to the historic Kaiti Hill, to the surrounding hills, across beautiful rivers and, from the executive apartments, out to Young Nick's Head. It's the perfect place to host conferences, meetings, weddings and gatherings. As a full service hotel guests don't even need to leave the hotel for anything, although it is close to other cafes, restaurants, shops and city attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Emerald Hotel Gisborne

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