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“I am embarrassed for you!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

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James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Ranked #13 of 46 Hotels in Wellington
New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I am embarrassed for you!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

My husband and I are well traveled and have stayed in many types of accommodation from backpackers to luxury hotels and have come to expect a certain standard when booking a hotel with a Qualmark star of 4.5 and states on its website: Guests staying at any Grand Chancellor hotel in Australia or New Zealand can expect first-rate standards of service and quality while enjoying convenient access to the city’s best leisure attractions and business.
Its certainly true it is well located, sadly this is where our expectations came to an end.

We booked our stay directly with the hotel along with good friends to stay one night in the Club King Rooms with access to the Executive Club Lounge with complementary buffet breakfasts...sounded good!

Check in was muddled, long and unprofessional. Our room was seriously dated and unsophisticated as was the entire hotel, our bed was hard and not as the website suggested..Sink comfortably into the plush King-size bed, the bedding also falls short of standard for the rates charged & the bathroom extractor fan didn't work. After a small room key issue we went to the Club Lounge with our friends to enjoy a few complimentary drinks and canapes before heading off to our show, the selection of drinks was extremely minimal, Heineken being the only beer option and the canapes dry and disappointing..I suspect leftovers from the buffet? At this stage i would like to note the Canapes were the only food eaten by both couples all weekend.

We returned to the hotel later that evening to a freezing room, guess the air conditioning is faulty! Also you can hear every room door on the floor level closing. The following morning i woke at 6am with the banging of doors, I felt a bit rough and put it down to a bad sleep, when my husband woke he too felt unwell..anyway we went for breakfast at the "locally adored" Whitby's restaurant, the table service we received was actually the best and friendliest service we had on our entire stay at the hotel. I wasn't feeling so well and opted for toast and fruit, my husband had bacon and eggs..he ate half and left it, the buffet was boring and average at best, there was also an elderly group having major problems with the toast conveyer for some time and no one gave assistance, so I ended up helping. I would strongly recommend going elsewhere for breakfast.

Then the cramps set in, for both of us. After many toilet visits (one good thing is that the toilets full flush every time) I phoned our friends room, they too had the same problem! I phoned reception and informed them and asked if they had any dia-stop type medication, they didn't and i was told they would contact the kitchen and get back to me...they never did!

On check out, we again raised our food poisoning, we were dealt with minimally with an undertone of prove it, they again said they would contact the kitchen and get back to us, we have heard nothing to date. I raised that they had already said they were going to get back to me over the phone and i was pretty much dismissed. They refunded our valet parking of $20. We were offered no help to carry our luggage to the car..barely even a smile. Its been two days and we are all only just starting to feel better.

Don't do it!!! I have never been so disappointed in a hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie P
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 review, October 3, 2012
Hi Julie P

I am very sorry that you experienced an illness whilst staying with us, I’m sure this adversely impacted on your time in Wellington and your impressions of the hotel.

Please accept my apologies for the confusion with your reservation at check in, unfortunately your reservation was loaded under the alternative spelling of your surname.

In conjunction with the local council we have thoroughly investigated the food served on Friday night, all of which was prepared freshly – not taken from the buffet. The food was prepared and served following approved food handling regulations, as all of our food is. We keep records of food temperatures from the time it is delivered to us through to it being served to our guests to ensure that food safety standards are complied with. With the number of meals we serve we simply cannot afford to not meet these regulations – I do accept that the end result does not always meet the diners approval, but it is always prepared within the guidelines. We had approximately 35 people enjoy the canapés on Friday night (including two staff members who sampled the food prior to serving) we have contacted a number of these guests and none of them or the staff members report feeling unwell.

We will continue to liaise with you directly.

Best 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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2,604 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (269)
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English first
Auckland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2012

What a great hotel. All the staff we encountered were so friendly and helpful. The room was clean and airy with opening windows and the beds had crisp white sheets. We had two quick snacks in the cafe...the service was efficient and the food very good. The location is perfect for theatres, shopping, sightseeing, the cable car and the Botanical Gardens. We've stayed in several hotels in Wellington and this was our best experience. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Angela R
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 review, October 3, 2012
Hi Angela R

Thank you so much for taking the time to write and post your great review. I am very pleased that your stay at the James Cook enhanced your Wellington experience.

I hope we will see you again soon.

Kind regards

Steve Martin
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington,NZ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2012

Very nice place and people. Shower excellent. Check in staff very nice and helpful. Bed comfortable. All personnel very helpful. Got great deals through hotelcombined dot com. hotel was quiet even though many functions going on.

Room Tip: check the online sites for good deals
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lick L
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 review, October 3, 2012
Hello Lick L

Thank you for your fantastic review of our hotel. It’s great to get your positive feedback concerning our friendly, helpful staff - we are working very hard to deliver this service to all our guests at all times.

I hope we will see you back again soon.

Kind regards

Steve Martin
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

The Grand Chancellor was a bit of luxury to end our NZ campervan holiday. I couldn't fault the place. The girl at reception was really really good (sorry, can't remember her name), the room was nice, the bed was big and my wife adored the bath (a week in a campervan can do that). The stationery set on the desk was unique.
30 Mins Free Wi-Fi in the lobby was enough for us.
The strangest thing is the access from Lambton Quay. Wellington is VERY steep so the entrance to the hotel is via a lift at the end of an arcade. The lifts are very busy most of the day, It's a kind of public transport (a bit like Central Escalator in Hong Kong)
Nice hotel, groovy city (even on a Monday night!)
Only complaint is I couldn't get the air-conditioning as cold as I like.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ted E
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 review, October 3, 2012
Hi Ted E

Great to get your review and I am very pleased that your stay with us capped off what I hope was an enjoyable trip to New Zealand.

Hopefully we will see you back in Wellington soon.

Kind regards

Steve Martin
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

Spent a week at the James Cook Grand Chancellor in Feb 2012 for business. Arrived at an awful hour of the night and a staff member was at the desk and very helpful checking me in. The room was very clean and comfortable. No one can control the weather, so for those on the higher floors expect the Wellington wind to buffer against the windows at night. Buts that life, the hotel is high on the hill. I didn't get to use a lot of the facilities though I did use the restaurant, it was Asian week which was served buffet style, not really something I'd write home about, though the Al a Carte menu was very good but on the expensive side. The hotel is close to just about everything with two levels of access so it's easy for you to get into the city or to the harbour from the lower entry. The hotel has a cafe/bar in the lobby which although relatively small when you consider how many rooms there are is clean, busy and popular. Overall it was a very good hotel for business and those on holidays, it's not the cheapest of hotels but you get what you pay for and I'm willing to pay a little extra for cleanliness and variety.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ashley_47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch
Level Contributor
123 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here on business and had to use their valet parking as no other option apart from Wilson's. Clean, well equipped hotel and nice touch with the pencils and stationary set on the desk. Beer bucket promo said for 4 beers but there were 5 in the photo. Very understaffed in cafe.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RoseandTrevor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2012 via mobile

When we first arrived we were told there would be no electricity between 1-5 the following day. This was not great as we have a 6 month old who has a sleep during that time for an hour or two which meant we were stuck in the room with no lights, tv or lift to get down. We were offered a room on the 12th floor so took that but made little difference. There was no other compensation offered.

We had booked a suite which was meant to come with a kitchenette (was on their website) but once we were in the room was told that no rooms have kitchenettes.

We had dinner in the restaurant and asked for a highchair for our son. It was very dirty and the cover was torn badly. I asked for a cloth and the waitress brought another highchair out for us but it was equally as dirty and torn and the buckle was broken on it. We had to hold our baby son during dinner. The buffet was ok but a little bland.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KezaLove
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 review, September 20, 2012
Hello KezaLove

I am very sorry that electricity shutdown impacted on your stay with us and I understand that it must have been very frustrating with a small baby. Unfortunately we did not have your contact details to be able to get in touch with you prior to your arrival.

There’s really no excuse for the dirty and broken high chairs – they have today been replaced with new units.

Best regards

Steve Martin
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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. For meetings and events, the Hotel has a diverse selection of eight meeting and conference rooms, catering for up to 350 delegates. The entire conference floor and Whitby's Restaurant can also be utilised for large events and tradeshows for up to 600 guests. The hotel offers fresh, modern facilities along with a state of the art sound system. The dedicated Functions team are on hand to provide advice, information and ideas along with professional and friendly assistance. Experience the highest standards of service at Wellington's definitive accommodation and conference venue; the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
James Cook Wellington

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