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“Don't be fooled by the images of grandure”

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Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre
Ranked #34 of 63 Hotels in Hamilton
Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Don't be fooled by the images of grandure”
Reviewed February 5, 2012

I'm not normally one for writing bad reviews, but on this occasion I've decided to make an exception as I think the management need to evaluate some issues. To be fair though, I will start out with the good points about this hotel so as not to appear unreasonable. We had chosen this hotel primarily for it's location and after having viewed the images online. The images of the lobby showed a HUGE lobby such as that which you might find in any modern 4-5 star hotel. The restaurant images looked massive and the rooms delightfully appointed. I will admit upfront that I was expecting a 4 or 4.5 star hotel, not realising it is only rated 3 stars. However....

First, the good points. The shower was excellent. Nice and instantly hot, with great water pressure.

Onto the bad points. Our impression of this hotel was immediately on the back foot before we even checked in. As we were entering the hotel lobby doors a large Group were just exiting reception I assume after having just been checked in en-mass. This left 2 staff behind the counter to check in the remaining 4 business gentlemen ahead of us (each individually) and us (my wife and I). The male staff member quickly made an exit through the door to the office behind reception instead of serving anyone, leaving the lone female staff member to attend to the 4 businessmen ahead of us, and then us... all on her own. After about 7-10 minutes of checking in the 4 ahead of us, including trying to work out why the booking for the last of the men had gone astray in the system somewhere, the male staff member re-appeared.
However, rather than greet us and ask if he could help us, he merely stepped up to his computer and started typing on his keyboard ignoring us totally... it wasn’t until we approached him and asked if we could be checked in that anything happened.

The moment I handed him our Wotif booking form, it was immediately apparent he wasn't interested in talking to us. He breathed a load of cigarette smoke all over me (now I know where he ducked out too) and simply handed me a pen and a check-in form to sign, which had my name and an address pre-printed on it which was not my address, rather an address of some company that seemed to somehow have become attached to our booking. We were them abruptly handed a single key and told our room was across the car park on the ground floor of the building he was pointing at, which appeared to be a very rundown and very old looking building indeed.

Turns out our room was on the first floor, not the ground floor of what I could only describe as either something that resembled former Student Accommodation quarters for the nearby university... or perhaps was a school building in a former life.
The decor of the building we were sent to was fresh out of the 70’s with scratched and scuffed wallpaper and timber trimmings that were in serious need of restoration.
I can see I’m going to be here quite a while, so rather than turn this into a novel, I’m now just going to list everything else I wrote down about this place while I was there and then summarise at the end.
- No bellhop or offer of assistance with or bags to our room, and with no lift we had to carry very heavy cases up 2 flights of stairs
- The room was musty smelly upon entering, like it hadn’t been used for years
- The room furniture was fresh out of the 60’s or 70’s
- The bar fridge in the room was so noisy during the night I had to pull it out of it’s cubby hole and turn it off so I could get some sleep
- The bath towel I use fell apart as I was using it. It must have been 10 years old at least
- The pillows were paper thin
- Carpets and wall paper were decades out of date
- The TV was a 52cm CRT! With very poor reception and more than 60+ channels that had n not been disabled
- I found a dead cockroach in the bathroom
- Chipped and dirty tiles in the bathroom – some tiles up high hadn’t been cleaned
- The toaster at breakfast looked like it hadn’t been cleaned (or de-crumbed) for months
- The main buffet servery had not been cleaned in the hard to reach areas
- The Danish pastries were overcooked (looked like yesterdays and we were down at breakfast within 15minutes of breakfast commencing that morning)
- The hot food was for the most part, stone cold. I’m in the food industry in Australia and that simply would not pass a health inspection

In summary
For less than half the price we had paid for this room, I’ve stayed in cheap motels in Australia with far better furniture, fittings, breakfasts and style than this place. I won’t be back.

Room Tip: Tip! Avoid this place if you are use to better quality.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Auzie99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KHamilton, General Manager at Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
Thank you for your review, All comments should be regarded as constructive and I take many of yours as that. We are rated as 3 star plus by Qulamark and the rating is clearly stated in wotif, through which you booked. The Hotel was built in 1998 and your comments regarding decor and furniture from the 70's is your personal view. In the last year the rooms have had replacement chairs, bedspreads, headboards, curtains and at the end of April all carpet was replaced throughout the Hotel. The colour schemes, curtains and chairs are clearly shown in the pictures of the standard room and are a fair reflection of the actual rooms available. It is disappointing that you feel the new carpet is already decades out of date as this was only completed in May and feedback has been extremely positive from other guests.
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Rating summary
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English first
New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2012

Me and my staff of over twenty stayed here for two nights in the last week of January. I was really impressed with how well they managed such a large booking. The staff were friendly and helpful. The rooms were really large and well maintained. The hotel had great amenities including a bar and restaurant. We received an excellent deal which included a low room cost and free breakfast. We would definitely stay here again!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank NZ09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KHamilton, General Manager at Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
Thank you for your comments. Special rates are available at various times and its great that you could take advantage of them and visit Hamilton during January.

Kind Regards

Murray Cook
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Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2011

My family (2 A, 2 C) stayed here in November. We stayed on the first floor and there is no lift so some lugging up stairs required. We had the most enormous hotel room we have ever seen: 3 beds, bedside tables, a full-sized round dining table with 4 chairs, a coffee table, 2 arm chairs plus plenty of room in between everything! Not luxurious (the hotel in general is a bit threadbare in places) but very, very comfortably furnished and clean. The kids loved the spa pools (several 4-person ones available) and there was a small indoor pool as well. We didn't try out the jets in the main pool but serious swimmers might appreciate them. Mini bar prices were very reasonable and reception was helpful with directions, maps etc. We booked with wotif and paid about $NZ110.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank peter s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KHamilton, General Manager at Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre, responded to this review, December 1, 2011
Thank you for your comments. The room you stayed in would be room 607 or 613 and are indeed large. The bedding for these rooms is a queen and 2 singles. The other triple rooms we have available are made up of a queen, double and single bed and also large, but without the dining table.

Kind Regards

Murray Cook
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed November 20, 2011

Found the hotel to be clean and serviced well (tea/coffee and make up of the room, generous with the toiletry products). Liked the fact that the rooms we were in had a heat pump (A/C) with it's own controller. Wing 5 only had stairs to entrance (a ramp would have been better for wheeling heavy luggage - may have had one elsewhere but did not see). I quite liked the 80's decor of the reception restaurant - it looked clean and in well repair.

Room Tip: Upstairs and away from main entrances and carpark
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank s0uthnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KHamilton, General Manager at Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre, responded to this review, November 21, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to make your comments regarding the property. Of note is that new chairs for the Gamekeepers restaurant have been ordered and we have been advised of a January delivery date.

Kind Regards

Murray Cook
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2011

Stayed the weekend at the above hotel. It was comfortable and tidy, the rooms were tidy and beds comfortable.
The only disappointment was the reception did not give any information on the hotel and what amenities were available for guests.
Would recommend this hotel if you are looking for value for money, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: rooms in the middle as the rooms closest to the exit doors were noisey. an upstairs room would be b...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eggy62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KHamilton, General Manager at Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre, responded to this review, November 20, 2011
It is expected of our reception staff to explain the amenities of the Hotel to our guests and this will be taken up with the Front office staff. Due to your comments we will also be putting up a pictorial display in reception to help promote the gym, spa's, steam rooms and indoor pool. Thank you.

Kind Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2011

Good place to base yourself from while in Hamilton. The Front of house and Bar staff helpful . Only bad point the Restaurant menu prices are high for what you get and wait for food is long as they were not busy that night, But the Buffet that was served the other nights was good and filling.

Room Tip: With a group try and get one wing togeather
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank firedog123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KHamilton, General Manager at Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre, responded to this review, November 20, 2011
Thank you for your comments, especially re travelling in groups. We do try to accommodate people of the same group together, however when arrival days are different and the group is in for a longer period we need to try and accommodate any special requests other guests may have and this may mean we cannot keep everyone together. Your comments regarding the buffet available and ala carte menu are appreciated, I would hope that you would have been advised that there is a Bar menu available, which you may have found less expensive and the service faster.

Kind Regards
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Witianga
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2011

I have stayed here on many occasions when visiting Hamilton for hospital appointments. I quite often am having to travel with my children and have found the Kingsgate to be a great hotel tostay it. we often book the room with 2 x queen beds and a single and they also allow 2 children under the age of 12 to stay free. You can also get deals that will include 2 free breakfast, though it can be quite pricey to add on breakfast for the children

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank uk_kiwi_couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KHamilton, General Manager at Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre, responded to this review, November 20, 2011
Thank you for the comments. Yes our triple rooms are very popular with family's and do provide plenty of room to relax in. Many family's choose to stay due to the indoor pool and spa's which help keep the children entertained while away. We look forward to accommodating you again in the future.

Kind Regards

Murray Cook
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre

Property: Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre
Address: 100 Garnett Avenue | Te Rapa, Hamilton 3241, New Zealand (Formerly Kingsgate Hotel Hamilton)
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Hamilton
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 63 Hotels in Hamilton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 147
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre offers 147 air-conditioned hotel rooms and suites, many of which have been refurbished in 2017. The hotel’s new Superior Rooms & Suites have been designed to feature a modern & contemporary vibe. Guests will be treated to upgraded, luxury beds combined with sumptuous linen ensuring a restful night’s sleep, plush new carpet, increased soundproofing, comfortable armchairs and a work desk, 49” flat screen televisions, free unlimited WiFi and individually controlled heat pumps/air conditioning. Extensive guest services including a gymnasium, three spa pools, an indoor swimming pool and bar. The hotel's popular Garnett's Restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner daily. Located only minutes from the Hamilton city centre and conveniently located to reach any out-of-town places of interest, this Hamilton hotel is a favourite with business travellers and holiday makers alike. For families, the proximity of Waterworld is a real bonus and for horse racing enthusiasts, Te Rapa Racecourse is just a short walk away. The Base Hamilton - NZ's largest shopping centre is also just a few minutes walk from our Hamilton hotel. Distinction Hamilton also boasts some of the largest conference facilities in the Waikato area. ... more   less 
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