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“The use of reception as a walkway between Lambton and the Terrace detracts from the Hotel”

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James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Ranked #13 of 47 Hotels in Wellington
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2012

My partner and I stayed at James Cook after a lovely new years holiday in the Hawkes Bay. We have stayed here previously (back in 2010) and although the rooms are lovely and we enjoyed our stays overall, we found the use of a hotel as a walkway from Lambton Quay to the Terrace a really large turn off. No matter what time of day there are always crowds of people walking through the hotel for the use of the elevator. After spending the afternoon shopping the last thing I wanted to do was get in to the elevator back up to the hotel and be squashed in with around eight other people who weren't staying in the Hotel but simply trying to avoid walking up the stairs/hill to the terrace. Not good.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank R-Beccstrom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SteveJMartin, General Manager at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2012

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay and the room – and I hope your shopping was successful. The elevators from Lambton Quay can at certain times of the day get busy as we are located right in the heart of the prime shopping and business district. Many of our guests choose to sit in our lobby bar or foyer over a coffee or glass of wine and enjoy people watching as commuters traverse between The Terrace and Lambton Quay – this foot traffic does provide a certain vibrancy and atmosphere in our lobby.

Steve Martin
General Manager

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2,944 - 2,950 of 3,132 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2012

Nice and central hotel on The Terrace with easy access to Lambton Quay for shopping in Wellington. Cafe and restaurants serves good meals also with lively "happy hours". The pianist is always entertaining and lively! Nothing beats the spa though. They are very good! I last stayed was in 2010, but will look forward to another stay here.

Room Tip: Book a Lambton room and above for comfort.
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank wonol030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SteveJMartin, General Manager at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. Our in-house spa Bodyhaven is certainly a very nice treat. I hope we will see you back soon.

Steve Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed January 28, 2012

We stayed in the City Suite for 3 nights over New Years - lovely large apartment style room, with HUGE bed and fantastic views over the city (24th floor). Service from all staff was great, all were attentive to our needs.
Buffet breakfast and dinner at the hotel restaurant was great, although there was a special on that if you finished dinner by 7pm you'd get the meal cheaper - not something that was advertised (that we saw). Food made up for it though - hubby is a truck driver so he was in his element!
Little disappointed in the welcome fruit (2 apples) and special treat which we assume was a small package of pinapple lumps - but it is the thought that counts!
Note: the coffee tables around the property and (in the room) with glass tops have extremely sharp corners, one month on I still bear the scar on my knee from walking into it - so be careful!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank feezills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SteveJMartin, General Manager at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, responded to this reviewResponded February 2, 2012

Thank you so much for your review. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us – the City Suites have Californian King beds and they are great treat. I hope to see you back again soon.

Once again Thank you
Steve Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed January 25, 2012

The trip to Wellington was an unexpected side-trip, all courtesy of an earthquake in Christchurch. Being stressed out over our unexpected side trip and travel plans being thrown into disarray, the staff at the hotel were excellent.

The room was great, nice king sized bed, wonderful bath, great buffet service, and a nice peaceful atmosphere. The staff were great, they directed me the banking facilities and were helpful in recommendations for clubs/pubs around the Wellington area. Being the day before Christmas Eve I thought that Wellington would be a bit more lively, I was wrong, the place was dead. Despite the unexpected detour, I did like this Hotel, it was central to everything and you can walk around the city with no problems.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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Thank LiosaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SteveJMartin, General Manager at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write and post your review of our hotel. I am very pleased to hear that our team took special care of you and that you enjoyed our friendly service. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again on a planned visit.

Kind regards
Steve Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed January 23, 2012

Attempted to have a shower on Saturday at 10am and got scalded by 65-70 degree water. Apparently the cold water was turned off for planned maintenance, however despite checking in the night before nobody had let me know. I was assured the cold water would be back by 4pm, however I had to attend a wedding without having had a shower.

At 4pm the cold water was back on, but brown sludge was coming out of the taps. I went down to reception to complain, and was told that guests were informed via a letter in their rooms, which I hadn't received. I was annoyed that nobody told me at check in the previous night. Then I was offered free breakfast for my troubles, and when I said that wasn't good enough and I wanted the night free I was told because I booked through a third party they couldn't change the room rate.

I was told to run the tap for 20 minutes to clear the pipes, and then told that if I waited a few hours the water would be sorted out. I was unimpressed at being fobbed off, and told to wait rather than offered a room with clean water as I heard another guest being offered.

I packed up my belongings and approached reception to tell them I was checking out, and I wasn't going to pay for the night's accommodation. I was told that they couldn't promise I wouldn't be charged, but the manager wasn't available for me to talk to. I left the hotel with my contact details so they could discuss my stay with me if they felt the need to charge my credit card.

It wasn't the staff on the desks' fault, but it was a serious water problem and I don't think the hotel realises how dangerous it was. Having only boiling water coming out of the tap is a health and safety hazard - if that was my elderly grandmother using that bathroom she would have been seriously injured. Brown liquid in the taps is a public health issue, and the hotel should have been far more proactive contacting guests and organising alternate accommodation if they couldn't fix the problem in a timely manner.

I won't be staying there again, and would encourage other people not to do so either. Probably would be an ok place to stay if everything went well, but in case of crisis their focus is certainly not on customer service.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank lavieenrosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SteveJMartin, General Manager at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, responded to this reviewResponded February 2, 2012

Thank you for your feedback and I would like to offer you my sincere apologies for the service and overall experience you had with us. This is certainly not the level of service we are endeavouring to deliver.

Please also accept my apologies for the fact that you were not told about this issue on check-in and for some reason you obviously did not receive the letter explaining the nature of the work, and at what times there would be disruption to the water supply.

I would very much like the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel and allow you to experience our normal high standard of service, I do hope you will re-consider staying with us again and I would be very happy for you to contact me directly. I can assure you that the water issues have been resolved.

Kind regards
Steve Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed January 15, 2012

Stayed here over Christmas period; booked through wotif and got a good deal...description and other reviews made us think it would be fairly average.

However - the room looked like it had been recenty refurbished; generous size, good bathroom and clean.

Gym facilities were ok - nothing brilliant but sufficient.

Excellent locale right in centre of town and easy access straight off motorway into carpark.

The only downside was the service - very junior and a bit clueless...

Room Tip: Ask for one facing harbour...unlikely they'll give you one if you've paid low price, but wor...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank OutdoorFreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SteveJMartin, General Manager at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2012

Thanks for taking the time to write and post your review. I’m pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and I hope we will see you back again soon. As well as our in-house gym we also have a corporate membership with Lifestyle Gym which is located right behind the hotel, you may like to try that next time you stay with us.

I’m sorry that our service did not meet your expectations, we pride ourselves on our friendly, can do attitude. I do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back soon and prove that our service levels are efficient and friendly.

Thank you
Steve Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed January 14, 2012

Our family of four stayed at the hotel for one night, taking advantage of a special rate they had going that included parking and breakfast for two. First, this is really more of a business hotel (in my view) than a family hotel, so the way the hotel worked out is a bit off because we are not its normal clientele, I suspect. Checking in was reasonably quick, and the bellhop was quite game to help. (On the downside, they use old-style electronic room keys, not the newer ones that are more disposable, so they charge if you lose one.) The room was a typical in-city business hotel room with two double beds and very little additional room: comfortable enough, but a bit cramped for four, even if the two kids are small. The fridge was full of mini-bar items so there was little room for anything else.

The best thing about the hotel is the location. It is very convenient to the center of the city, the university, botanical gardens, wharf and the government buildings, so it worked very well as a place to go walk around the city (in the rain), and come back to warm up and dry off.

The breakfast was very good with a good selection.

Overall, the hotel would likely suit either a business traveler very well, or a family in the city pretty well, and you would likely find the stay comfortable, just not "very good". (I put it just above average.)

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Anonymous-Atlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SteveJMartin, General Manager at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I am pleased you and your family enjoyed your stay with us. Due to our location we are very popular with business and government travellers as it is very central and convenient as you mentioned, however we are also ideally located for leisure guests and our team are well versed in taking care of our guests who are here to enjoy Wellington city.

Our key system is the relatively new ‘proximity style’ which means the key card only has to be held in front of the door lock, rather than inserted into the lock. The cards are expensive and we do charge if they are not returned, however the system is easy to use and provides a high level of security for our guests.

Thanks again for your feedback and I do hope you choose to stay with us again.

Kind regards
Steve Martin
General Manager

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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 James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Address: 147 The Terrace, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Greater Wellington > Wellington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Wellington
#10 Family Hotel in Wellington
#13 Luxury Hotel in Wellington
#16 Romantic Hotel in Wellington
Price Range: $96 - $253 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor 4.5*
Number of rooms: 268
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor is located in the heart of Wellington City and features a unique thoroughfare between the leading retail district of Lambton Quay and business hub of The Terrace. The hotel features 268 accommodation rooms, two restaurants and bars, and a complimentary in-house gymnasium. High-speed internet connectivity is available throughout the hotel and the exclusive 26th floor Club Lounge offers the pinnacle of executive comfort with complimentary full buffet breakfasts, evening bar service and a business centre with spectacular harbour views. Lift Upgrade Schedule Please note, the hotel is currently replacing all elevators until later in 2018. The schedule has allowed at least one working elevator for each hotel wing throughout the duration of the upgrade. The lift access to Lambton Quay is currently serviced by one elevator. All floors will still be accessible by guests however please note that some delays may be expected during peak times. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
James Cook Wellington

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