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“Explain Please”
Review of Princes Gate Hotel

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Princes Gate Hotel
Ranked #30 of 92 Hotels in Rotorua
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Explain Please”
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I see the reviews sent to trip adviser are very mixed for this property so it seems the type of place were you hope to receive what you are expecting but it is not always what you get.
The following is a letter I sent to the hotel after our very disappointing stay. I haven't received a reply so the service of ignoring guests continues in my case.

Good morning
My husband and I have just returned from a three night stay in your hotel.
We occupied a one bedroom suite.... room number 31.
We chose your hotel on the basis it was FIVE stars, the winter warmer package was tempting and the web photos look modern and luxurious. Please take a look at the photos on your website of the one bedroom suites, the modern kitchenette with dish-drawer the beautiful bathroom with large bath (this is what I thought I had reserved and what I expected) then look at suite number 31 it is like going back to the days of the cheap, old, motel units, the kitchen, the cook-top, the shower with its rusting shower caddy and the bathroom. A supposedly ‘queen bed’ is two singles pushed together with a ridge down the middle, bedding so old it has fur balls. The lounge carpet dirty and stained, the window sills full of dust and so on. The heated outdoor pools look old and uninviting.
I asked one of your staff for a change to a more updated suite and my request was ignored the same when I asked for a newspaper to be delivered each morning it never happened so my request ignored once again, you call this FIVE star service I don’t think so. We stay at five star hotels all over the world what you see on their web site is what you receive and the service usually impeccable.
So I am not just disappointed I am furious that I was silly enough to think what I saw on your website is what I would get and had actually paid for. Yes the website is completely misleading, false advertising and the suite and the service nowhere near five star.
Before I take this any further do you have an explanation for our very disappointing accommodation? I don’t just want to hear sorry we are upgrading at the time of booking that was never pointed out to us although we did have to listen to the noise of the builders, which was never apologised for.
You ask if we would recommend the hotel. NO WAY...... our family, friends and Trip advisor will be told to stay well clear because what I see on your website I certainly didn’t receive. You advertise as being historic and opulent just old and scruffy is what we found.
Explain please.
Christine Bennett

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Corost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincesGateHotel, Owner at Princes Gate Hotel, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

In reference to your comments, please find the following:
We are very sorry to hear you did not enjoy your stay with us. Firstly let us say that we take all feedback on board and never shy away from replying to guests as you can see we reply to every comment on TripAdvisor and every guest letter received. In this case we did not receive your letter hence why no reply until now. We are a 5 Star Guest & Hosted Property and are advertised as such. This is an extremely high grade and well deserved but also very different from a 5 Star Hotel.
Secondly the images on our site are all correct. As we have many rooms within our hotel and all very different, we cannot possibly put up all images of every room we have.The facilities in your room are very reflective of what is across most rooms of this type and provide a great space with cooking facilities, separate lounge, queen split bed (not 2 singles pushed together) along with being refurbished, re-painted and upgraded in the last two weeks.
Any cleaning issues should not have occurred so for this we do apologise. We have high standards and rigorous checks so in this regard we let ourselves down and have re-iterated with our housekeeping team our expected level of service. We also apologise for your paper not being noted for delivery each morning.
Our outdoor heated pools and dining area has had a complete renovation and re-fit over the last few months and the area looks absolutely beautiful. We have a maintenance person who looks after our pools daily monitoring & cleaning them so are never dirty. Some people do confuse some thermal discolouration for the pools being dirty.
In regard to your comment that you asked to be removed and were ignored, this we definitely do not agree with. We never have a problem moving our guests to another room of their choosing if they ask so long as there is another viable option. In this case there were no alternatives as we were almost fully booked and the only alternative would have been a smaller room. We go out of our way for any guest who has any issue and would happily have moved you both should this have been an option.
In summary, once again it is disappointing to hear of your experience, but we can assure all other guests that what is advertised is what you will receive; history, charm, elegance, great location and the best service in town.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We had a terrific run of good hotels in NZ over three weeks and hate to be negative but I must say that the Princes Gate Hotel was our only disappointment. It fell far short of the sales talk. Really, the carefully taken photographs on their website and five star rating is quite misleading. On arrivival, we were led like dispirited convicts from the rather nice entry shown on all brochures to an adjacent building which looked more like a conventional motel. We shared one toilet and bathroom between the four of us. The bathroom, which also contained the toilet, had a small bath over which hung the shower. WiFi access was weak and expensive in the room but I concede was free in the lobby of the old hotel building. At best, I would say that this hotel may please hopeless romantics if they manage to secure a place in the old building and don't mind the cost, but compared to other hotels we in Rotorua we have used previously, we would have to say that it was poor value and so decided to make a note of this on TripAdvisor.

Room Tip: Insist on being within original old Princes Gate site, not adjacent motel building. But expect to pa...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Neil97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincesGateHotel, Owner at Princes Gate Hotel, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
This review is extremely disappointing from a hoteliers point of view. Please find the following facts:
Firstly, the people booked a 2 Bedroom Suite on the website. It is quite specific that these are not in the Old Hotel but in the adjacent apartment block which incidentally has an historical grading and are over 90 years old. The Suites are extremely well appointed with a separate kitchen, lounge, bathroom with toilet & 2 separate bedrooms.
If the guests had wanted to stay in the main hotel, they could have asked and taken up 2 rooms, though this would have been more expensive to do this. If that had been what they had wanted, then we would have been happy to accommodate this. The guests at no time gave us this option.
In summary, we could not have done anything more. The hotel has superb location, a wonderful restaurant, bar and a style that is Special. But in life you cannot please everyone even if you know you have done your best.

Brett Marvelly - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 6, 2013

This is a lovely old hotel in a convenient location, walking distance from the main town centre and the lake. We stayed in a King room. It was quite spacious and had a large bathroom. The bed was comfortable. It was right at the back of the building and the only negative was that the wireless internet didn't work in our room. The hot pools were a nice way to relax at the end of the day. The staff were friendly and helpful. The cabaret show (Saturday nights) was excellent - high quality entertainment!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LW1810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincesGateHotel, Owner at Princes Gate Hotel, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Thank-you for your comments, it is always great to hear positive feedback from our guests. In regard to the internet problem, we have since got a technician to look at this and we will be implementing a new faster system that will prevent any issues with our network in the future. Hopefully you may stay with us again and have a complete experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed at the Princess Gate during a driving tour of New Zealand. Given that Rotorua is overloaded with motel-type accommodations, the Princess Gate was exactly what we wanted--old world charm, interesting history, great amenities, amazing staff, and perfect location. I can't say enough about the staff--helpful and fun which made our stay even more pleasant. I wouldn't have traded the character, ambiance, charm, and brilliant service for anything. Yes, the sulphur smell takes getting used to, but we knew that before coming to Rotorua--we were there for the baths, the history, and the spa. I highly recommend the Princess Gate to anyone traveling to Rotorua who wants a stay that is out of the ordinary.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HarrietLowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincesGateHotel, Front Office Manager at Princes Gate Hotel, responded to this review, October 6, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank-you for your wonderful comments and we are extremely pleased you enjoyed your time with us. It is always great to hear when our guests have had a good experience and you hit upon all the aspects of what makes staying with us so special. We have fantastic personalised service with a smile, old-world charm and history, excellent location and the character & charm you would expect from an independently owned boutique hotel.
We hope we may have the opportunity to host you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013

This was our second stay at Princes Gate. Sadly on our first stay I fell ill and couldn't attend their dinner and show. We did so this time and we are so glad we did. What a fantastic night of entertainment.The hotel is beautiful and charismatic, the staff are lovely and the food is more than adequate. I have to say that I don't really understand the (admittedly few) bad reviews on tripadvisor. Yes, this is an old building, with decor to match. Yes, coming to Rotorua involves adjusting to the sulphur smell. And yes, there are probably quieter, more modern places to stay. But in terms of character, personal service and old-fashioned hospitality, Princes Gate is absolutely unbeatable in my opinion. I'd love to see them update the brochures and newsletters in the rooms - they really do convey the history of the hotel and highlight it's unique features - they were just a little out of date. But overall, just a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jesseliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincesGateHotel, General Manager at Princes Gate Hotel, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
We write in response to the review Brilliant. Thank you for your nice comments. To be more specific your understanding and perception of the Hotel is correct. As we have said many times why people take exception in the reviews to the old Hotel is strange. The Government of NZ has made the Hotel a Category A Historic Building which means it has to be protected for future generations to enjoy its significance. The Princes Gate is 117 years old, for 28 years we slowly but surely restored the Hotel into what it is today. A 117 year old building with wonderful character, 2 Restaurants, Bar, Pool, a great City location overlooking Museum and Art Gallery and 10 hectares of garden and is graded 5 star Guest and Hosted. Yes there is a sulfur smell which slowly dissipates the longer you stay. In saying this, the geothermal attractions attract 1.5 million visitors each year. Yes and we do agree that our newsletter does need upgrading, looks like this is my job tomorrow. Once again, thank you for your perception.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

We had one night to spend in this tourist town and had (by mistake) booked into the Princes Gate, and what a lovely turn of events. It only takes one look to see that the building dates from the 19th century, so we were nervous. But the welcome we had in reception was warm, as if we had arrived in their home. After a tour of the wonderful lounge area it was up the creaking staircase and out onto the verandah, and around the corner to our room ... quite a trek. The room was freshly renovated, the bed lovely and comfortable. My only complaint was the small ensuite with a difficult shower.
Luckily there was an outside staircase for us to get our suitcases up to the room, shame about the rain.
We ate dinner in the restaurant and had a delicious meal, with a wonderful bottle of NZ wine, all at a competitive price.
All in all it was quirky, but a great experience which we thoroughly enjoyed. The only issue was the all pervasive sulphur smell (Rotorua special) which wafted in through the open window (no aircon), but it didnt spoil our visit.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank kazm0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincesGateHotel, General Manager at Princes Gate Hotel, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
We write in response to review Old World Charm. Thank you for your positive comments. One of our objectives is for our guests to feel as if they are at home so it was nice to hear you felt that way. And yes the Hotel is certainly a landmark in Rotorua. This beautiful Victorian Building with the wonderful verandahs which overlook the gardens and Musuem and Art Gallery certainly relates to one of our comments that "the Hotel is so good, they built the city around it".
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Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here the night after our wedding. We were not congratulated on our marriage which was disappointing. As we were excited to be on honeymoon. The hotel is beautiful on the outside. Inside its got character that's for sure. It's very different to what we are used to. Fire place is very cozy. Our room was small and not at all what I would expect from a 5 star hotel. Bathroom really basic. You can here alot through the walls. Our balcony door couldnt stay open?Service was good. The pools were really terrible, not clean! We ended up paying extra and going to the Polynesian Spa. Liked reading about the character of the hotel. The Tv didn't swivel so we couldn't watch it in bed. Too many downfallsand to be honest a disappointment and both of us relived to be spending the next night at the Hilton! Would not stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jessica T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincesGateHotel, Owner at Princes Gate Hotel, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
Dear guest,

We appreciate your positive comments about the aspects of the hotel you enjoyed during your stay.
Sorry we cannot trace all the facts though as you have not left your name or date of stay. If we had this information we could see which room you had ie. was it a Classic Room which is smaller but priced accordingly at $145.00+GST as opposed to our honeymoon suite which costs $350.00+GST or a large Designer Room for $250.00+GST. This would then provide us a basis to definitively comment on both your room feedback and whether any notes were mentioned on your reservation regarding being a wedding couple. We can assure you that we go out of our way to congratulate newly-weds when we are aware of this fact so we do hope that this fact was not missed.
Regarding our pools, we also do find this puzzling as we have a pool man come in every second day who cleans, treats and records all aspects of the chlorine/sulphur levels etc. There may have been the misconception that the thermal colouration may have come across as being unclean when in fact our pools are beautiful and clean at all times.
Once again we appreciate your feedback but are sorry we cannot comment more specifically about some of your raised issues.
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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 Princes Gate Hotel

Property: Princes Gate Hotel
Address: 1057 Arawa Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Bay of Plenty Region > Rotorua District > Rotorua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Business Hotel in Rotorua
#25 Luxury Hotel in Rotorua
#28 Romantic Hotel in Rotorua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Princes Gate Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Princes Gate Hotel, the ideal accommodation whilst staying in Rotorua. The most famous Hotel in Rotorua built in 1897. This timeless, beautiful hotel is privately owned and operated. Our hotel rooms offer style and sophistication that depict a bygone era. The Princes Gate Hotel is not just a hotel but also an attraction. It has been masterfully restored through passionate attention to details. We look forward to having you stay with us in our beautiful & grand Princes Gate Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Princes Gate Rotorua
Hotel Princes Gate

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