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“Stuffy and rundown” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of VR Hamilton Hotel

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VR Hamilton Hotel
Ranked #51 of 64 Hotels in Hamilton
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Stuffy and rundown”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

The staff are friendly but the rooms are very worn. The worst aspect was the lack of air-conditioning on a hot night. The staff produced a large fan which I had going strong all night and help get the heat down a bit. The bed and pillow were hard.
The shower temperature fluctuated.
To top it off the taxi driver the hotel booked for me, who was with Hamilton Taxis, scammed me at the airport by $20.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandy2027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HamiltonCityOaks, Manager at VR Hamilton Hotel, responded to this review, April 21, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you so much for your feedback. Any feedback we receive helps to make us better. There are a number of issues raised in your feedback that will help us improve as a property. I have passed on your recommendations and feedback to the relevant department heads to address.

Kind Regards,
Steve Penrose Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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320 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (100)
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English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

Positives: Friendly staff, very large room and wonderful spa for two.

Negatives: Holes in net curtains, net curtains looked like they hadn't been washed since being hung up in Executive Room, after emptying out spa bath it wouldn't switch off and you could hear it going from outside the room in the hallway, the receptionist had to come up and disconnect the fuse to actually switch off the spa, movie channel on sky had a parental block and receptionist had no idea how to take it off but, she rung someone else who also had no idea and between the both of them, she handed us a code and hoped it would work.

We paid $230 for one night at this hotel and were very disappointed. With regards to the fuse that was disconnected, the next morning we had to ring the receptionist to come and put the fuse back in as it was also the fuse to boil our jug. Included in our $230.00 was a continental breakfast for two people which was lucky because there's just no way I would pay $12 pp for the continental breakfast here. Our overall review, we will not be returning to this hotel which is a pity because of it's location, staff and okay the hotel itself is rundown and really needs to be done up which the receptionist that was there when we arrived mentioned to us after the trouble with the spa was that the hotel was going to be upgraded. My suggestion to her was, they get rid of the spa bath in room 113/Executive Room. No one wants to hear from the receptionist that sometimes the spa bath tends to play up, for $230 per night, you do want luxury and unfortunately there was no luxury here.

I have emailed the hotel twice regarding my feedback on their hotel and my emails are returned as their "feedback" email address is blocked as is their hotel email address as well. Can't understand why they ask or welcome people's feedback if they've blocked anything going to the email address??

Room Tip: If booking the Executive room 113, my advice ask about the spa bath, it sometimes doesn't switch...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank curvycee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HamiltonCityOaks, Manager at VR Hamilton Hotel, responded to this review, April 21, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
Many thanks for your feedback regarding you recent experience at Hamilton City Oaks. Please accept my sincere apologies that your experience was not the best. Any feedback we do receive helps to make us better.

I will be looking into all points that are raised to see where we can improve at this time before the hotel has an upgrade. I would like to have you stay again with us so please contact me directly when returning to Hamilton on steve@vrgroup.co.nz or 08005347263 and I will ensure your stay is a much more comfortable experience.

Warm Regards,
Steve Penrose Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Hamilton hotels

Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

I read some of the bad reviews but thought I would take the chance, I am not super fussy but wished we had of gone down the road to the Novotel now. It is pretty old and it feels like you have stepped back to the 30's, very high ceilings and rooms are nice and big. Unfortunately it feels as if they have not changed a thing since then. The shower had very bad pressure, the tv had poor reception and not many channels. Free parking but in some hard to find alley and you had to pass the kitchens of the adjoining restaurants to get to reception. No room service from the hotel but the restaurants do provide food to the rooms if you don't want to go out. The service was ok but not as friendly as we had encountered in the rest of NZ. Location was good, on the Main Street so plenty of restaurant options nearby, if you fancy a pint head left out of the hotel and go to the quadrant bar and kitchen. If you get a good deal at this hotel then it's fine but otherwise I would suggest looking around for something a little quieter with more value for money.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HamiltonCityOaks, Manager at VR Hamilton Hotel, responded to this review, April 21, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

I thank you for taking the time to share the experience during your last stay.

We pride ourselves in offering a high level of service. I am very disappointed that we were not able to meet your expectations during your stay.

There are a number of issues raised in your feedback that will help us improve as a property. I have passed on your recommendations and feedback to the relevant department heads to address.

Take care and I hope next time upon staying with us it is an easier experience.

Warm Regards,

Steve Penrose Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

Just stayed for one night here. Absolutely awful got no sleep what so ever. In the welcome pack they mention you may get some street noise and they supply ear plugs. They fail to mention there are 2 night clubs near by and boy racers go round the hotel screeching to a halt at the traffic lights outside. We also had a very noisy ventilation fan in our room even when we switched the aircon off. Also the fridge popped on and off regularly too until I switched that off. The reception staff were polite and friendly which is the only good thing to say. The hotel is tired and shabby in places. E.g. the carpet on the stairs is worn through. The net curtains in our room were dirty and torn. I cannot for the life of me work out how it got 4.5 stars?? Continental breakfast was a joke. Cheap cerials and toast stuck in a corner of a room. Very disappointed and will not be visiting again or recomending to anyone.

Room Tip: Tell them you want a room at the back away from the road noise.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mrsv806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

I stayed in January 2013 – this was a last minute decision. I saw a special deal and booked. They self rated at 4 stars so my expectations were fairly high. I wrote the following that night with the exception I had to add my bed was very comfy to sleep in.

How they describe the room on wotif

“This room comes with a Queen bed, ensuite with a wide range of bathroom amenities, mini bar, complimentary tea & coffee. Sky TV. Superior Rooms have high ceilings with outdoor views & Victorian Decor to provide a comfortable stay.”
“Hamilton City Oaks is considered as one Hamilton's most prominent landmarks. Step back in time and experience Hamilton's rich history, radiating all the history and class Hamilton brings. Hamilton City Oaks is a boutique Hotel that offers a unique accommodation experience complete with large, spacious rooms with meticulously decorated interiors providing an elegant classical ambience. Offering well appointed rooms ranging from elegant Deluxe Queen Rooms, to the luxurious Terrace Suite - complete with private terrace. Hamilton City Oaks is an ideal choice for a variety of functions and conferences, catering for up to 350 people across our 5 well appointed conference rooms”

I could not find any details on the web site about parking given that the hotel is at the corner of a main intersection so I had to pull over when I got there and call them. Access is from the back street and hotel parking is a series of old otherwise unused buildings – don’t expect anything fancy or a bell hop. The spaces are odd shaped but at least they are there and included.
Once parked you can enter the back area and head to reception. Once checked in you need to return to your car and put a paper notice on the window – somewhat irritating but better than being towed. I’d have preferred them to take the rego and leave it at that! Check-in was easy – the staff were really nice and friendly. However, they neglected to tell me that after taking the lift to my floor I would have to get my bags down a set of stairs. Warning for anyone coming at night - the driveway is not lit once you have parked your car the drive up to the back of the hotel is not even. For any ladies is heels – mind your step.

The room is large – 45sqm. But wasted space. It is badly decorated and styled with most of the faux Victorian (sort of) furniture pushed up to a wall. The layout of the room though is all wrong and there is so much wasted space. There is not sofa or easy chairs despite the room size and that fact there is ample room. There are three dining chairs around a decent sized round table as you enter the room. A desk and chair was placed between the two large window that look out the back of the hotel (more on that soon). Unfortunately the desk is nowhere near a power source and there is no light for night time use. The nearest power outlet is about 2.5 m away. Nice to have the free wifi but the only way I could sit at the desk and plug in my laptop was to relocate the table to closer to a wall light and power source next to the mini bar area.

The outdoor views in this superior room and the manky carpark at the back of the hotel so either I did not get what I advertised or the author has not taken a look out the window. I guess at best we can agree that there are windows and I can view outdoors. While we are on the window. Floral curtains do not Victorian decor make. The curtains are must and if you are someone who like your room dark at night this is not the room for you – the light comes in from the top and sides when closed. The net curtains on the window are not only dirty and smelly they are ripped and torn. The window they are covering seriously need some cleaning and at least one of the windows needs to be repaired. As the for 1980’s floral border along the top of the wall – all wrong. As are the two tiny pics on the walls – they at least should be together and not side by side! The mirror about the writing table (well it will be when I put the desk back) is nice - maybe a bit small for the wall it is on.

The TV is a decent size but sitting on a coffee table in an odd spot. God knows who laid out the room but it’s one of the worst I have seen and I’ve stayed in a few hotels – up and down market! The TV sound is uneven and the sound and picture drop in and out on all channels (some SKY channels are included)

In the room is a queen bed which is very low and saggy and decidedly un-Victorian. The apron on the bed doesn’t fit and it looks messy. The mattress is cheap but when I pulled the bed apart it was clean for as much as I could see. Did I mention saggy? There is a single bed is in the far corner which is great for a family. Both beds are too low for the room. The single is firmer. The linen on the bed is crisp, clean and fresh with a decent thread count. And I have to say despite my reservations I had a comfortable night in the bed.

The room is supposedly air-conditioned but it doesn’t really work although it makes a lot of noise. Clearly they know this because there is a dirty pedestal stand in the large cupboard which I have had to resort to.

The walls are fairly clean but there are skuffs and scratches that need attention. The carpet is not particulary appealing colour wise and the lack of style in the room doesn’t use it to its best advantage. It seems clean and I could not see any stains.
The bathroom is very large. The grouting around some of the tiling needs to be cleaned properly and there were some chipped tiles. Housekeeping clearly don’t think they need to clean the floor and wall around the toilet – it is all dusty. There is a shower over the bath. Water pressure is ok – not great but not awful. Now I am 5’4” and with the fixed shower head I had to bend to get my head under to wash it so if you are taller than me then be warned. That said it was a nice shower. If you have trouble climbing in a tub then make sure you ask when booking or checking in (as with the stair situation)
Turns out this is the Le Grand – since the receipt and internet slip and sign on the door say Le Grand there is clearly and identity crisis. This property was for sale in 2012 and when I asked at the desk I was told the new owners have been operating about 5 months. I think they should have at least sorted out who they are before reopening but let’s hope that renovations are in progress and if I was to be generous I’d say it is possible that this poorly appointed room is the fault of the old owner.

And last but not least - Why do hotels continue to charge such extortionate prices for a chocolate bar or a little tub of Pringles or a can of Fizz? Shame on you. But a large round of applause for the free wi-fi – as it should be. As for the price – this is currently a $99 room. It is a long way off being a $390 room which is what they say a Superior Room (which I was supposedly upgraded to) is worth. My room was on the first floor. There is clearly a nightclub or bar near hear because I can hear a lot of noise over the top of the TV and the fan – I can also hear quite a bit of car noise. I know this is an older hotel and if they do nothing and charge $99 then it might be a bargain. If they tried to charge $390 for this room it would be a rip off. The sloppy housekeeping the bathroom has put me off a bit and right now I think they are over promising and under delivering on the rooms if this is an example. I would give the hotel a second chance if the price is right. Maybe I have a pre-renovation price but why say all that other stuff up front?

I have photo’s to load later when my phone is returned to me (left it in another town yesterday)

Room Tip: Ask about quiet and if you have to carry bags up or down any stairs (if that matters to you)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DibblesNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
74 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

We remember the days when this property was managed by Rydges and named "Le Grand". We figure that Rydges must've figured she was now too worn out to give her any more botox … so new owners have shut down the restaurant, retired a few rooms, slapped on some cheap signs and … wallah "Hamilton City Oaks". However, although worn, our room had all the old charm and tons of room, the staff were courteous and efficient, the bed was comfortable, the furniture quaint - and of course, the location still right in the heart of the city with plenty of good eating places right there. Not quite "grand" but a good night none-the-less.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DavidandSuzanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HamiltonCityOaks, General Manager at VR Hamilton Hotel, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
Thank you so much for your feedback. Any feedback we receive helps to make us better. There are a number of issues raised in your feedback that will help us improve as a property.
I appreciate your kind comments about our staff and I am very glad to hear you could take advantage of our central city Location!
Take care and I hope you choose us next time when you are in Hamilton.
Warm Regards,
Steve Penrose Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam
Level Contributor
56 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 1 night... unfortunately.... after check in ( ladies were very helpful ) we entered our room wich was a bit strange and too big. Do you know the feeling that you're in a room and it doesn't feel right??That was our experience. Very big windows which let trough lots of street noise ( room was on the main street side ) Airconditioning did not work and we had trouble sleeping all night long due to the warmth and noise. Parking is on the back side of the hotel which looks terrible and poor. We would never return.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marijke K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HamiltonCityOaks, General Manager at VR Hamilton Hotel, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
Thank you so much for your feedback. Any feedback we receive helps to make us better. There are a number of issues raised in your feedback that will help us improve as a property. I have passed on your recommendations and feedback to the relevant department heads to address.
Please feel free to contact me directly at steve@vrgroup.co.nz if you might reconsider staying with us again in the future so I can ensure you a more comfortable stay.

Warm Regards,

Steve Penrose Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about VR Hamilton Hotel

Property: VR Hamilton Hotel
Address: 237 Victoria Street | Corner Victoria & Collingwood Sts, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand (Formerly Hamilton City Oaks)
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Hamilton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Luxury Hotel in Hamilton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — VR Hamilton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
VR Hamilton Hotel is located within a stunning heritage listed building in the heart of the Hamilton city. With its beautiful surroundings, VR Hamilton Hotel continues to impress and satisfy its guests through providing the warmth and genuine hospitality that has become the hallmark of the Hotel. A versatile set of function rooms, comfortable and high quality accommodation, combined with our attentive and friendly team makes VR Hamilton Hotel a great venue for business or leisure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Grand Hamilton

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