We went to New Zealand for a month travelling through the North and South Islands; it is indeed a very beautiful country and we loved it, and found New Zealanders very friendly and welcoming. We stayed at variety of places on our way down south, one of which was the Rees Hotel in Queenstown, or rather outside Queenstown, which is a lovely city, in the South.
Initially, we were very impressed with the Rees, and the Russian duty manager was friendly, efficient and cheerful; just what one expects in a 5 Star hotel.
We had booked, prior to departure, to stay for just a couple of days at the end of our stay in the South Island, intending to go back to Auckland for a couple of days before we flew home, to Singapore, where we are currently living. However, because we were enjoying the South Island so much we decided to extend our stay at Rees, rang up to do so and after a strange encounter with Nelson, on the Front Desk, eventually managed to do so.
We had 'done' the Tongariro Crossing to an active volcano, and the beautiful Abel Tasman walk along the coast in the North Island, but had also arranged to hike the Routeburn trek, which is more demanding, in the South Island.
We had an Executive Lake View room, which was quite nice, but smaller than we expected, so we upgraded to an Executive Lake View Suite. This was lovely, and we arranged that the rest of our stay at the Rees, before and after we did the Routeburn Track, would be in this Suite.
In the meantime we enjoyed the room, the view and Wellington, which we also really enjoyed, but decided to go to the hotel restaurant for a final dinner, the night before attempting the Routeburn.
It is a very small restaurant, and with two other tables occupied, and with the kitchen effectively part of the restaurant, it seemed full We were enjoying the food, and the service was good, until, at 9.15, our waitress came to say good night as she was leaving, the other guests left and the kitchen started to pack up very noisily, and our replacement waiter was fully engrossed packing up to leave.
As a result we were simply ignored and I had to leave our table to retrieve our wine from near the serving hatch, and pour it myself, this was clearly obvious to the staff but we were still ignored.
I protested to the waiter, and to the chef, who was still busily, and noisily packing his pots and pans away, telling them that a 5 star hotel restaurant ought not to be acting like this. The chef, who was from the UK, told me it was time for him to go home. We hadn't even finished our second course, and had intended having a pudding. Needless to say, we aborted that idea.
The duty manager then appeared, summoned by the waiter, apologised and told us we wouldn't have to pay for certain items on our bill, but this was no consolation.
In all our travels around the world, this was the first time anything like this had ever happened, and, for a so-called 5 star hotel; it was downright shameful.
The next morning breakfast was very good, and we left to hike the Routeburn, in the Southern Alps, which was a fantastic experience; they really look after their countryside in NZ, with the mountain huts by far the best we have stayed in, including the Swiss Alps, where we have hiked extensively.
We returned to the Rees Hotel, dirty, tired, sweaty and very much needing a shower and some food. We got to the front desk and were asked very tartly, as though we were a couple of tramps who had strayed into a posh hotel, if they could help us. I told them that we had a suite booked there and he, to his credit, started to search for our names, but his efforts were fruitless as they had not extended our booking.
In short they didn't have a room for us, as one of the Front Desk staff, had cancelled our room, and given it to someone else. We then had a very uncomfortable 3 hour wait for them to sort out a room for us. However, they did supply a free, weak gin and tonic and a glass of white wine while we waited.
The duty manager, Roman, then did his level best to rectify the situation, but showed us a room that looked and felt like we were in a prison and we refused to stay in it. He found us another room, which was a little better and said we could have our proper room the next day. It was truly, very shabby treatment of guests, at this alleged 5 star hotel.
No one phoned us the next day about changing rooms, so we just decided to stay where we were, do all our laundry and prepare for our trip back to Singapore.
When we checked out the Russian duty manager said she was sorry that we had had such a poor stay, but we were not entirely sure how genuine that was. Our stay at the Rees was punctuated by uncertainties, and terrrible treatment. However, one thing is absolutely certain, we plan to return to NZ, because we loved it, but we most certainly will not be staying at the Rees Hotel, outside Queenstown.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments Queenstown is the new gateway to the True South. We welcome you to enjoy the ultimate Queenstown accommodation experience and savor the rich heritage, vibrant culture and diverse attractions of New Zealand’s glorious Queenstown and Southern Lakes District. The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments Queenstown offers luxury accommodation on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, looking out to The Remarkable Mountains. The Rees Hotel is conveniently located to Queenstown Airport and a short drive away from the centre of Queenstown, and central to the wide range of high quality, year-round attractions and activities offered by Queenstown and the broader Southern Lakes District. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Rees Hotel And Luxury Apartments
- Rees Hotel Queenstown
- The Rees Hotel Luxury Apartments