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“Historical charm does not make up for dated and poorly maintained rooms.”
Review of Princes Gate Hotel

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Princes Gate Hotel
Ranked #29 of 92 Hotels in Rotorua
Salt Lake City
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Historical charm does not make up for dated and poorly maintained rooms.”
Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

I spent a lot of time researching where to stay in Rotorua. This hotel kept coming up in materials and blogs and it was even ranked 5 stars by NZ's qualmark rating system so I thought we'd be set! I'll start with the good: the central location of Princes Gate is unmatched. It's right outside the government gardens, kitty corner to the tourist center and a quick 2 minute walk to central shopping square. However, the hotel rooms are grossly outdated and not up to even the most basic of standards. I was stunned when we entered our room. Dated decor, old, flimsy mattresses, sticky walls, no A/C, dreary drapes, tiny old couch, musty smelly bathroom and bugs and silver fish squirming through drawers in the kitchenette. Even the cot we rented for our toddler was musty and old. The historic charm and location did not justify any of this. I stayed 1 out of our 3 night reservation and quickly booked somewhere else. Don't waste your time or money on this place.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank LCM N
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, January 1, 2014
I refer to your letter in regard to your stay with us and thank you for your comments. Yes our location is unmatched in the beautiful historic area of Rotorua overlooking the Museum, Art Gallery and 10 hectares of manicured gardens. Then on our other boundary is our lakefront and the city centre.
Your complaint is wrong in respect to the Hotel. You stayed in one of our one bedroom apartments which have a kitchenette and a separate lounge from the bedroom. Our Hotel rooms which are in the Historic building do not have kitchenettes or couches and do not take cots.
In regard to the insects, this I find strange as we have a stringent cleaning schedule for insects from Ecolab who run this on a regular basis.
In regard to the room and decor, we are proud of this and endeavour to decorate to the era. I am not disagreeing with your opinion as everyone has a different outlook. As a hotelier we feel as long as we have a 95% acceptance of what we are trying to create we are on the right path. Once again thank you for your letter and I am sorry we didnt meet your expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Adelaide, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
312 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights during a 3 week holiday of the Nth Island. We both enjoy heritage style accommodation and thought the chandeliers, furnishings and mirrors complimented the room well. The bed was extremely comfortable, we slept well (once we got used to the sulphur smell) and found the location a convenient spot to walk to many of Rotorua's attractions. Reception staff were particularly friendly and helpful. The letdown was the restaurant; particularly dinner. As we had arrived late afternoon we chose the "Early bird special"; big mistake. The 3 course meal was very average and with old fashioned menu selections. The continental breakfast was quite good with a big selection of fruits & cereals, but there was no toast of any kind available. The restaurant manager was quite noticeable by his authoritarian manner but the waitress was friendly and helpful (and offered us a choice of toast the next morning!). Would return for accommodation but not the restaurant.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank foxylady154
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, January 1, 2014
I refer to your letter of 29 December and thank your for your wonderful comments. It is of concern that you mention a shortcoming in our breakfast service. Our gentlemen that you described is our restaurant supervisor, a very competent man but can seem authorative. He has been a waiter all his life, learning his trade in his homeland of Germany. Thank you for your complements about our young waitress. You are right she has a wonderful personality.
Of more concern was your comment in regard to our early bird special which we offer entree and main at a price of $29.95 inclusive. This menu is in the process of changing. I am sure if you have the opportunity of returning you will enjoy the new menu.
Once again thank you and all the best for you and your family for 2014
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Havelock North, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Since we were heading through Rotorua we took up an offer for a voucher on the internet - we have stayed at the hotel previously and enjoyed the experience. Not so this time.
Briefly:
- Voucher was for a 2 course meal in the dining room and accommodation in a deluxe room.
- We called before making the purchase to confirm what we were getting.
- When we checked in we were told dinner could only be served at 5.30pm or 8.30pm.
- Alternatively we could pay an additional $50 each to have a 3 course meal and enjoy the hotel cabaret evening. The meal is advertised as being served during the entertainment. Given the awkward dining times (which we had not been told about when we called) we took up this offer.
- What actually transpired was that we were included in a large local business annual Christmas function (with a basic 2 course buffet meal) in a building adjoining the hotel. We felt like party crashers, and left after the meal!
- The deluxe 5 star room had a large threadbare patch at the door, no air conditioning and a tiny shower. There was no plug near a mirror for using the hair dryer. It was a warm night and having to keep the windows open, the noise from the function and the departing revellers kept us awake until well after midnight.

After a grumble at reception the following morning we were not charged the additional $100 for the show (which we never attended). To their credit the reception staff handled the situation well!

A good case of oversold and under delivered. Business promotion using vouchers is a form of marketing where a business should show how good they are and why paying full price is worthwhile - rather than providing a second rate experience that results in guests never returning!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Crazysteveb
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, January 1, 2014
I refer to your letter dated 26 December and please find the following as our response.
Firstly may we apologise to you for not being happy with your stay. We accept your point however would like to explain the following- You did come in on a dis-counted voucher, a part of that did include a meal for two. A two course meal which has 2 entrees and 2 mains to choose from. We advised on check in that we were fully booked between 6.30 - 8.30 which allows you to have orders taken at 5.30 or 8.30. The other alternative was to partake in our Cabaret Dinner Show which started at 7.30 and would have a surcharge of $50 per person which you accepted. We note your complaint in regard to the food. Please find the following as our menu for that night which was a buffet because of the 100 odd people that had booked the show, entree - 5 salads, mussels in the shell which were cooked in white wine with a corriander sauce, plus a selection of continental cuts of meat. The main course had ham being carved from our carvery with fresh minted potatoes and fresh asparagus. Dessert included fresh berries, pavlova parcels, fresh fruit salad and a selection of chocolate and lemon tarts.
As you rightfully mentioned at check out we did not charge you for the show as you only ate the meal and left.
We write accepting that the above night very possibly was not ideal making you inconvenienced by not being able to dine at your request, but feel we did offer an alternative that we felt appropriate.
I feel this does explain and hope we have the pleasure of welcoming your back in 2014
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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for my husband's birthday & thoroughly enjoyed the dinner cabaret. Delicious food & wine & great show. Also enjoyed a soak in the outdoor pool. Great service all round. Recommend for a special treat.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carolyn M
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, February 2, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are always pleased to hear that we have contributed to making our guests stay for special occasion a memorable one. We are pleased that you enjoyed your time at our beautiful hotel and look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We stayed in there apartments on the ground level next to the road. It was very quiet at night and bed was really comfortable had a wonderful sleep. We had a voucher meal so was two course but the food was superb and the services wonderful. Chose to have the breakfast the next morning but were disappointed. The bacon was over cooked and I think I got a chopped up omelette for scrambled egg. It is a wonderful stately building and enjoyed our stay. The only comment I could make about the room was the lights were a bit dull and while it was clean the window sills and wood around the windows could have been dusted. Over all it was a good experience.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Margaret S
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, February 2, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Our apartments are in a great location and are extremely quiet and comfortable. Our two course dinner is great value for money and also of a very high standard. We must apologise however, that we did not meet your expectation for breakfast.

We take this opportunity to thank you for your positive feedback and other minor issues that we have discussed with our team. We are pleased however, that you had an overall good experience whilst staying at the Princes Gate Hotel. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Once again thank you for taking the time to write.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Perfect location and reasonable cost, this lovely old private hotel exudes history with its fittings, decor etc. Unfortunately, buildings of this age require considerable maintenance and I suspect that such minor repairs are beginning to become a bit too much for the current owners. This said, one can't expect a historic building to compare with modern 5 star accommodation and so it is not unreasonable to turn a blind eye to small and inconsequential deficiencies ..... just as long these don't compound too much in years to come.
Very comfortable, very tastefully furnished, somewhat noisy from other patrons socialising on the large veranda's, limited on-street parking but all in all wonderful accommodation and a great experience. When we visit Rotorua again, would we stay there .... Definately YES.

Room Tip: Don't forget to use the thermal pools ..... They are great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jocarinoz
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, December 4, 2013
It is always nice when our guests appreciate our beautiful, classic hotel. We, the staff, are very proud of this hotel, and it is a pleasure to work here, so thank you for your kind words.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I stayed here for one night on a business trip to Rotorua. Due to this being a historical hotel from 1897 and a five star hotel, I expected something out of the ordinary.
However I was bitterly disappointed. Although this is a period hotel, and the owners try to keep it that way, some areas are dated. Due to my room being the last one available, it felt like it was a room enclosed by two more elegant. The walls were thin and I was able to hear the people in the other room whenever they walked
The cost was rather on the high side considering there were a lot of hotel rooms vacant in Rotorua.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roborhodie
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, February 2, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write. I am sorry we did not meet your expectations. As you have stated, we have tried and believe personally that we have succeeded in offering a wonderful hotel. With an older hotel, this process is an on-going one. We have taken the long term view that to do something worthy, you have got to do it right. We have now been owners of the hotel for 28 years. We feel proud of what we have accomplished and will continue our journey to offering a product that is special.

With an older hotel, you have the positives and negatives. One of the negatives can be the transmitting of sound, muffled as it is, it can be disconcerting to the noise conscious person. Can I suggest if people are conscious of noise, please request an upstairs room, there are 40 of these.

In regard to costings, we have three categories of rooms and believe most sincerely that we offer something to everyone. We do note from this review, this guest got the last room which obviously they don’t have the opportunity of choice.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.
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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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