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“Peaceful”

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Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort
Ranked #26 of 92 Hotels in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 16, 2009

We stayed two nights toward the beginning of July. The eerie part was that the first night I think one other room was taken but the second I'm quite sure we were alone in the place. I enjoyed that it was away from town (and for the most part the smell). It was very quiet and peaceful. The room had the highest quality everything which was nice to see. We had dinner in the restaurant which (to be honest like most of the food we had in new zealand) didn't live up to expectations. It was good, but not as spectacular as I had read to be honest. I have to be honest, in general, I think it's a spectacular place. The lake views are sublime, the quality is top notch and the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly. We were totally let down on our last morning, when...there was no hot water. The previous night we had been asked if we were having a problem but we'd been out all night at Mitai and didn't even have occasion to use it. The next morning there wasn't a drop of hot water. Seeing as we were in a rush we didn't report it until check out. It would have easily received 5 stars, but with no shower in the AM, I can't do it.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DfromOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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405 - 411 of 444 reviews

Reviewed July 4, 2009

The staff were very friendly and helpful. The shuttle bus that they ran was excellent and really helped us get around Rotorua. The room and resort itself was beautiful and the spas were relaxing and were in a peaceful setting. We would recommend this place to any honeymooners or couples.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bluesAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

We stayed in the hotel, and like some other people have already commented on Trip Advisor, we felt like the hotel was pretty empty. We were upgraded to a junior suite with views of the lake, and it was a lovely room. We were a little disappointed at first because up to this point in our travels around New Zealand we had stayed in apartments and were used to having laundry and full kitchen facilities available - this place is much more like a normal hotel with individual rooms. The room was big and the TV was excellent - huge! There was a nice jacuzzi bath, although we didn't actually use it.

My husband thought that the breakfasts here (set menu dishes cooked and presented to a very high standard) were fantastic - the best out of all the places that we stayed in in New Zealand, although personally I would prefer a buffet so that you are able to choose more healthy food for breakfast if you want to.

We didn't eat in the hotel in the evening, so it was a 15 minute drive into Rotorua as there did not appear to be anything else around. However, we were using the internet one evening and heard some local ladies leaving and telling the manager that the food was excellent. Rotorua itself has lots of nice restaurants if you go to the street parallel to the main street (the main street does not have much to offer).

We enjoyed using the hot-tubs after we returned from our day trips, although one night they locked the door to the spa area and so we could not get back in. We were banging and banging for ages, and eventually my husband managed to find a gate covered in cobwebs which led back to the main hotel area so he could come and let me back in.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, and remembered our names and where we had been each day - a nice. friendly touch.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mcnally64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2009

I had high expectations when I booked this hotel, due to the posts made by other travellers - and the fact that it has recently opened.

When we visited earlier this month for a two-night stay, I understand that we were one of only two occupied rooms. Fortunately for us, we were upgraded to one of the hotel’s superior suites.

The young woman working at the front desk was very pleasant and helpful throughout our stay and really did a good job as a jack of all trades, serving us drinks in the bar and waiting on us when we ate in the restaurant.

I have to agree with the other reviewers that the food at Wai Ora is superb. We had two breakfasts and one dinner there and all were exceptional (my favourite being the lamb rack at dinner). Compliments to the chef!

Sadly, the restaurant lacked ambience, although admittedly we were the only diners for most of our meal until the other couple staying there eventually walked in. The lighting was too bright however the waitress - to her credit - realised this and adjusted it. Some of the restaurant music did seem to be elevator music (as another reviewer noted), which should be replaced with something easier on the ears. Overall restaurant experience was still very good though, thanks to the delicious food complemented by great wine.

The disappointing aspect of this resort (although it can so easily be corrected!) is the standard of housekeeping in the guest rooms. As mentioned, we were in a superior suite, which was on the second floor and with a view of the lake. The hotel is new and everything should have been immaculate. Especially with only two rooms occupied!

However, the first thing I noticed was that the carpet in our room had not been vacuumed properly. I didn’t want to say anything having just arrived and, since we were staying two nights, I assumed it would be cleaned the next day - but no such luck.

I then opened the wardrobe to find a pair of used and grubby slippers on the floor as well as shards of chocolate (again, not vacuumed). The amusing thing is that the hotel provides slippers vacuumed sealed in plastic wrap with a note on them informing you that the slippers are for use during your stay only and that you will be charged something like $30 if you take them with you. I wonder if the poor person before me was charged for his/her slippers, since the tired pair on the wardrobe floor hadn’t been scooped up, cleaned and re-wrapped! (As an aside, my husband and I travel a lot, quite often taking hotel slippers home with us. It never crossed my mind that they wouldn't be available to take with you free of charge?!)

Whilst it was nice to find a bowl of complimentary fruit with a welcome note, it was not as pleasant to realise that each piece was old and mouldy! Again, not wanting to cause a fuss, I picked them out of the bowl, and placed them on the table, turned over with the mouldy side facing up hoping that the housekeeping staff might be so kind as to notice and replace them. No such luck! I returned to find them untouched.

Evidence of housekeeping’s lack of attention to detail continued with lots of dust under the vanity unit (which my husband and I could see when sitting in the jacuzzi bath) and also when I went to use one of the complimentary bathroom amenities and found to my dismay that when I opened the little cardboard box that the plastic package inside had already been ripped opened and the cotton buds were missing, leaving only the cotton wool balls!

The toilet bowl was also far from how I expect one to look in a luxury hotel. It was streaked all over with dried, red toilet cleaner…I’m guessing that housekeeping didn’t feel it necessary to scrub and then flush it away to leave it white and sparkling!

I think I’ll stop there, but the shame about all this is that the product is new, the furniture and fittings are nice, the chef is talented – but the housekeeping staff is letting the side way down!
I hope that these comments will be useful feedback for the hotel as my impression from the interaction we had with the front desk employee is that the hotel really is trying to do a good job and will probably be disappointed to learn of my experience.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BigFanOfHolidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2009

We spent two nights in Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort and it was one of the best places we stayed at in New Zealand. This brand new resort can boast a beautiful and quiet location along the lake shore just 10 minutes drive from the centre of Rotorua (but far enough to stay away from the overwhelming smell of sulphur). The rooms are modern, immaculately clean and tastefully decorated with a big comfortable bed, TV, tea/coffee facility, complimentary fruits and a nice bathroom with a wide choice of complimentary cosmetics. Breakfasts a la carte are truly delicious (their croissants can compete with the best French ones) and there is nothing nicer than sitting in the sun on the terrace, sipping your morning coffee and staring at the blue surface of the lake. There is a small swimming pool and a spa in the resort, however we didn't have time to enjoy any of them. It is a perfect place for everybody who wants to relax in beautiful surroundings and stay in close proximity to all attractions Rotorua has on offer.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Anettka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2009

We arrived to New Zealand and went straight to Rotarua and Wai Ora. After three weeks traveling the country, the hospitality we received at Wai Ora is one of the first things to mention when recounting the trip. Bryan was fabulous, and seemed to be a personal concierege! Breakfast was the best I had in NZ! Very comfortable rooms. The property is right on Lake Rotarua creating a great view. Make sure to hit up the hot tub at night for star gazing. I definitely recommend Wai Ora!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CBencze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2009

Although we did not stay at the resoert, we had the pleasure of dining there on two consecutive evenings. The meals were excellent and the service prompt, attentive and friendly. Definetely recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank graham_hyland2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort

Address: 77 Robinson Avenue | Holdens Bay, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Bay of Plenty Region > Rotorua District > Rotorua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Rotorua
#7 Business Hotel in Rotorua
#11 Spa Hotel in Rotorua
#23 Luxury Hotel in Rotorua
#30 Romantic Hotel in Rotorua
Price Range: $124 - $357 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort is situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua in quiet parklike surroundings only 3 mins from Rotorua Airport,and 10 mins to the famous geothermal attractions of Rotorua. This award winning resort hotel features luxurious accommodation with private balconies or courtyards with views to the lake; New Zealand's award winning fine dining Mokoia Restaurant specialising in indigenous herbs and spices which creates amazing taste sensations including a daily full vegetarian menu; superb personal service; relaxing Manary English lounge bar and the internationally acclaimed Wai Ora Day Spa featuring the World Luxury Spa Award winning "New Zealand Cultural Spa "regime based on the geothermal muds of Rotorua and wellness practices of the Maori. Rotorua's only World Luxury Spa Award winner. Enjoy the tranquility of the landscaped gardens and serene sounds of the meandering spring feed stream as you enjoy the hot and cold pools, steam room and sauna that make up the Wai Ora Spa Water Experience. The ideal Rotorua relaxation, spa, food taste sensations destination and accommodation base for all other Rotorua activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wai Ora Lakeside Hotel
Wai Ora Lakeside Resort

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