One stay at this place was more than enough. I booked a trip down to Wellington for a week for myself and took my parents along as a surprise... It sure was a surprise! I looked at a number of different options before choosing this hotel, and chose it on the basis that their staff were by far the friendliest when I called, and their website mentioned that the rooms were ALL recently refurbished and of course the hotel was in a central location.
Upon arrival, the receptionist was friendly but cocked an eyebrow when we she confirmed we were staying for 7 nights – not a good sign! The lifts smelled of goodness knows what (but not nice things) and were slow and clunky, so luckily our room was on the 4th floor. Or so we thought.
When we reached our room and opened the door, the first thing were confronted with was a dirty kitchen and peeling paint in the tiny cell of a lounge! On exploring the rest of the rooms, we found that the heater barely worked, and that we were surrounded by concrete on all sides (despite the promised ‘view of the city’). The master bedroom was not unacceptable, until we found most of the lights were broken and realised we were right above a rubbish skip when we looked out the window and opposite a large carpark and found that the curtains were covered in mould. The other window in that room looked out over residential apartments and an alley way full of cars. The other bedroom had a view of the roof of a garage and a thick concrete wall about 2 meters away.
The so called balcony buckled under your feet when you walked on it, so quickly became out of bounds, and almost all the doors stuck. The microwave did not work, and the oven was caked with filth. In fact, the oven tray looked like a Pizza! The website had advised the hotel had room service. Upon checking the menu we found that in fact it offered frozen meals, which you had to heat in the microwave. Except the microwave didn’t work!!!!!!
The apartment was freezing cold (in the middle of summer!) because absolutely NO sunlight reached any room, and we had to keep the lights on so we were able to see. All rooms had peeling wallpaper or paint, and remember that the heater didn’t work (eventually we had to go by jumpers to wear inside).
The worst was yet to come however when we went into the bathroom. There was mould on ALL the walls and ceiling, the plastic extractor fan didn’t work and offered a great view into the shower cubicle for anyone in the car park opposite. It was pitch-black and even switching on the light didn’t do much and was so tiny you barely had room to sit on the toilet.
We decided to stick it out for the night and went down the next morning asking if we could be moved to a cleaner room, a request which was flatly refused because it would be too hard for them to change other bookings, as they were all only for a couple of days. I pointed out we were paying for 7 nights versus 2 and surely there was something they could do – again the answer was no. Unfortunately all the other hotels we checked out were booked, so we were forced to endure this dive for the full week period. Throughout the week as we went in and out of the lobby we heard 3 separate groups complaining about their rooms and asking to be moved and one group refusing to pay the full cost of the room because they were so unhappy with it!
It doesn’t end there though. Being right over the rubbish skip, I was woken twice at 5am by a rubbish truck turning up to pick up the skip. And even better still... I was woken up at 7am EVERY DAY (even the weekend) by builders in the room above. We requested again that due to this we be moved – and yet again we were flat out turned down.
The only ounce of help they offered was after we got into a discussion with someone in the lift who my mother proceeded to tell about the state of the kitchen after they asked how we were enjoying our stay. It turns out that this person was one of the building managers, and they promptly arranged for the oven tray to be replaced... But that’s IT!
Oh, and when I logged onto their website during my stay to find the statement ‘all rooms fully refurbished’ this had been pulled down and a message put up that ‘some rooms’ were refurbished and you could request these rooms at a higher price.
The only two things going for this place were the location and price, however it simply was NOT worth it! For only $20 more a night I could have had a tidy room a few streets away, and just to be clear, we did not expect 5 star accommodation for that price and location, simply a tidy and quiet room, neither of which we had.
Memories of that cell of an apartment and memories of the guilt I felt after taking my parents to stay in such a horrible place outweigh any benefits of cost or locations – there is no way I will stay at this hotel again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- You're in the heart of it all, 5 minutes to everywhere you want to be. Our very warm welcome and personal service will make you feel at home, while outside the front door the very best of Wellington awaits, right in the heart of all the shopping, entertainment and business districts. Mercure Wellington Central City Hotel and Apartments features superb, modern, spacious apartment style hotel studio, 1 & 2 bedroom apartments with the best city & harbour views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Central City Apartment Wellington
- Hotel Central City Apartment