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“Not boutique - needs some TLC and fresh eye on everything”

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The Narrows Landing
Ranked #31 of 63 Hotels in Hamilton
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Firstly staff are trying. This is not a boutique hotel by any stretch.
It's tired old run down and poor quality on almost all things.
One cannot advertise boutique luxury and charge the prices and not expect poor reviews.
If the web site was honest. - it's 2-3 star at best.
The rooms and decor are tired, in bad need of updating, a proper mini bar in room, bathroom amenities are a best western standard which is ok if they state that.
The web site and the hotel are incongruent with the expectation.

Location stunning, beautiful NZ bush but overall it has a deserted feel and because the expecting are not met no one will come back.

Whoever owns or runs it needs to take a good critical look at the rooms linen bed quality etc etc

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank MushuAnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 - 40 of 55 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

My husband and I stayed one night.

It is an interesting looking place in a fantastic setting. A quirky building. Finding the entrance to check in is difficult as you have to go through heavy thick drapes. Reception was not manned but when they arrived they quickly found our room. The staff were quite friendly.

There are many stairs to the rooms which are all upstairs. The hallways have sensor lighting which means you need to walk half way down the hallway in complete darkness before the lights come on. The same applies when you leave your room to go downstairs again. The room appeared clean and tidy when we arrived however cold and needed air conditioner to be turned on. It took me a while to find out how to turn the air conditioner on, and in that time I cleaned the filter on the air conditioner as it was filthy. Once the air conditioner was working the room became nice and cosy.

The bedside lights needed plugging in and lighting in general was very poor. Not even good lighting over the mirror to help apply makeup.

You can hear the people next door in their room. You could not understand what they are saying thankfully.

The food was sublime. Tender and interesting with a reasonable range and good use of accompanying vegetables.

My recommendation would be to go and have a meal and stay somewhere else.

It was freezing cold, dark with sub standard lighting, many stairs in odd places but with fantastic food.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Jenjen180
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Beautiful setting and some interesting/attractive aspects inside and out that could accommodate a range of group sizes/needs/functions but the accommodation basics are lacking :( Sleeping/living and bathroom are a good size but for $295 a night, we had some reasonable expectations like: a toilet/bathroom door! But no, a saloon door, not all the way to the ceiling or all the way down to the floor - just the bit in the middle without a lock! So forget about a romantic weekend where your private 'needs' are kept private. 'Everything' will be shared with your partner or roommate. At least we had the saloon door I guess...our friends had no door at all on their bathroom! Disgusting! No mini bar in the room; cheap old plastic bin without a lid, just a plastic bag; no towel rail, just a ladder that falls over; ramp to the bathroom which you can easily twist your ankle on as you step back into the lounge; no Sky; expect to pay $5.50 per cup of tea in the restaurant and $25 each for a cooked breakfast only that is average in size and quality; shared balcony so anyone can peer into your room including watching you on the toilet/in the bathroom!; internal, perforated metal bridges connect accommodation areas so noisy re: walking and roller suitcases; the front entrance/reception wasn't clear i.e. covered with a curtain and then reception was quite a way in. Also, the toilets re: Our evening group function were not kept up to scratch; we had to get to the function by going down two levels of stairs, through the working area of a kitchen - not very appealing/practical particularly for women in heels! The minimal number of staff members were very obliging but we wouldn't go back to stay.

Room Tip: Check if the bathroom has a full door!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Teresa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

My brother wrote about our weekend away with our 88 year old mum and i would just like to reiterate how great the Narrows Landing worked for us as a family. We had a couple of flights of stairs to get up to the 3 bedroomed apartment. This was a bit difficult as there was no lift we had to carry our mum up the stairs. We had prior warning of this however and made the decision to stay there anyway as the location and the 3 bedroom apartment all with en suites worked for us.
What a great venue. Both the accomodation and dining was superb. But for me the very friendly helpful staff (nothing was too much trouble) was second to none. They were great.

Room Tip: Find out where the room is located. If stairs dont bother you - great because the rooms i saw were a...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 712Julie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Our family had a weekend away with our elderly mother. The accommodation was great and the garden setting magnificent. Unfortunately there was no lift which made it a bit difficult to get our mother upstairs and downstairs.
The main drawbacks were the dark entrance, inadequate lighting in places and no fly spray to defend against the odd mosquito.
The people at The Narrows Landing were superb. They could not have done more for us. There were 7 of us and the apartment that accommodated 5 people had been set up for a fantastic meal to save us from having to take our mother downstairs to the dining room. Also the continental breakfast was arranged in the apartment.
Lunch for 14 people the next day saw lovely meals again. So much so that one of our wider family guests is likely to have his 90th birthday luncheon at this venue.
Nothing was a problem or too difficult for the Narrows Landing staff. Their professional, friendly and helpful attitude ensured that this special weekend was enjoyable and memorable for our mother and her family.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Spinner69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Advertised as LUXURY at $245/nt. Stayed 2 nights. NO room service. Shower curtain, nowhere to put soap.No towel racks. Ordered entrees for lunch and after 35 mins complained. It appeared after 3 minutes. Breakfast buffet wasn't available until 9am but we were expected to be out by 10am. Look out from room was over a roof which was dirty and covered in leaves. Not acceptable when paying these prices. On arrival we had to wait between 5 to 10 mins before anyone came to reception. Only kitchen staff on hand to come to counter. The room was old and dark and when the guests walked around above us we could hear each step on the ceiling. The only good thing about this place is it is air-conditioned. Other guests were also complaining of similar issues. 2 rooms apparently had lots of mosquitoes to make it more uncomfortable. After 3 weeks traveling in NZ this was by far the most expensive and worst rooms and service. Please don't waste your money going here as there are many beautiful places in NZ to stay.

Room Tip: Don't stay in room 6 or 7. Some of the others have been upgraded but the service is terrible so...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Sybik538
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

My partner and I stayed at the Narrows Landing on Christmas Night. We had stayed there a number of years ago, and had found the atmosphere, food and accommodation to be superb, so we looked forward to repeat of this experience on Christmas Day. Sadly, our stay fell far short of our expectations, and we were left to wonder what had become of the establishment that had been the source of so many happy memories. In retrospect, we read recent web reviews of The Narrows Landing and regret that we had not read these before making the booking.

We had made the booking for a 'Luxury Suite' in mid-December - feeling lucky that we managing to get a room at such late notice! Imagine our surprise, when on our arrival we found that The Narrows Landing was to all intents and purposes in 'shut down' mode. There was no sign of life. We were unable to gain access to Reception and there was not even a sign directing us where to go, just one stating that the Restaurant was closed. Calls to the landline and mobile went unanswered. After 15 minutes we had a call back from the proprietor, who seemed clearly inconvenienced by this intrusion on his Christmas day off. This is hardly the kind of “meet and greet” we have come to expect from a “Boutique Hotel” anywhere. It was obvious to us that we were the only guests that evening.

We came with the expectation of enjoying a gourmet Christmas dinner, in a festive atmosphere, The Narrows Landing website, states: “We will do our best to ensure that you feel welcome and truly satisfied. In response to changing trends we offer an extensive gourmet selection of top quality meals, within a relaxed and informal atmosphere.” Imagine our surprise when our first sighting was of the notices on the windows advising that the Restaurant was closed. Even the “welcome letter” addressed to us that we found in our room stated the restaurant hours and made no mention of the restaurant being closed at any time over the Festive Season.

When we asked what was on offer for dinner, the proprietor suggested that we go drive to Hamilton, a 34 km round trip - where we found that the only restaurant open was an Indian Restaurant – hardly our choice for Christmas dinner .

A highlight of our previous stays had been the impressive buffet breakfast on the deck. We were looking forward to this on Boxing Day. Unfortunately all that was on offer this time were some defrosted croissants. Hardly the five star service we had expected!

The accommodation was also let down – we had booked for and paid a hefty sum for a 'Luxury Suite'.. By no stretch of the imagination was our room a 'Luxury Suite'.. The room number was missing so initially we couldn't locate our room (clearly the proprietor did not see that it was his role to accompany us to the room).. The area immediately outside our room was poorly lit and the key was very difficult to get into the lock – especially in the low light. The room did not have a fridge or the most basic of facilities such as a coffee plunger. The TV did not work. Overall, the room looked worn and tired and had no view. The bathroom could best be described as ‘no frills’. The quilted cover was too heavy for the humid summer evening, but there was no alternative. We were unable to adjust the temperature on the air conditioning unit so overall, it was an uncomfortable night.

It beggars belief that the proprietor did not have the courtesy to inform us with reasonable notice that the restaurant (and hotel) were effectively closed for the holiday period and that it would be best if we sought out alternative accommodation. He was happy enough to take our money but was certainly not forthcoming with the service that one would expect when paying top dollar for premium accommodation.

We emailed these concerns to the proprietor. It took over a week for him to respond, and then only in response to a reminder email. He apologized that he was not available to answer the phone on our arrival, however, there was no acknowledgement of our other concerns. He did state that the hotel had in recent years been closed for three weeks over the Christmas period. This was not indicated on the website, and they were still accepting bookings. He declined a request for a partial refund.

In summary, the service and accommodation fell far short of what is promised on the Narrow’s landing website. The hotel is now tired, run down and the service is appalling – a far cry of what we had experienced under previous management. We were hugely let down and greatly inconvenienced by this experience.

So, if you are look for a quiet, boutique hotel in the country with excellent service, good food, a congenial bar and a happy atmosphere, then do yourself a favour, avoid the Narrows landing at all cost. Look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Narrows Landing

Address: 431 Airport Road, Hamilton 3282, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Hamilton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 63 Hotels in Hamilton
Price Range: $106 - $114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Narrows Landing 3.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A boutique bed and breakfast set against a beautiful private backdrop, The Narrows Landing is the ideal get away and the perfect place to experience a stay that is relaxed and restful. Built in 1996, the building is sited amongst mature trees, manicured lawns and lush gardens. Take in the magnificent views of the Acacia Reserve from the Tree Tops Apartment or indulge in the spa bath in one of our Deluxe Suites or enjoy a glass of bubbles from the balcony of the Totara Suites – there is lots to see and do at and around The Narrows Landing. Explore the walking trails we have around the property, including access to the nearby Waikato River or famous Hamilton Gardens. Take a drive to the thrilling Waitomo Glowworm Caves or Hobbiton. Located just two minutes’ drive from Hamilton Airport The Narrows Landing is the perfect fly in fly out holiday. ... more   less 
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