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Reviewed November 23, 2013

We stayed here for 5 nights as part of a long NZ holiday. The rooms were great but the service proved to be a major weakness of the place. Don’t get the wrong idea here – the individual staff members were great, but the organisation of the service is a mess. Essentially they had nowhere near enough staff to provide the level of service to be expected in a 5 star hotel.

Checking in was OK, they had our reservation and were ready for us. The car park is under the hotel and we were instructed to drive down and park and a member of staff would meet us to show us to our room and handle our (not inconsiderable) baggage. We duly arrived in the car park and had to wait quite a while until a concierge arrived – bit disappointing but hey ho. We were taken to our room and the workings of the various facilities explained – very helpful.

The next morning we arrived for breakfast and stood around for several minutes wondering where to sit, what the form was, etc. Given that the room was virtually empty, eventually we gave up and picked a table and helped ourselves from the buffet. Eventually a waitress arrived and produced a menu (why it wasn’t on the table was and remains a complete mystery). We both chose the continental breakfast, which was essentially a buffet. The food was fine but things that ran out weren’t being replaced so getting what you wanted could be a problem.
Our second morning was a very similar experience, but at least by now we had some idea and simply helped ourselves.

Lunchtime proved equally problematic. We had a sightseeing flight booked so wanted a quick snack before we were picked up by the tour company. Arriving at the bar (adjacent to reception) we stood around being ignored by the reception staff (the bar was deserted). Finally a staff member came and took our order, and we explained we were due to leave shortly for our flight. The lunch – a toasted sandwich and a wrap – took an inordinate time to come, so we had to bolt them down to catch our taxi.

The third morning’s breakfast was horrendous. A party of Chinese had descended on the hotel and the breakfast room was frankly chaos. A waitress asked if we wanted tea or coffee, brought out a pot and poured us a cup of tea each and then ran off with the pot – at least up to now we had been given a pot of tea! The large number of people trying to eat meant that the buffet items ran out very quickly and there were no where near enough staff on duty to keep up. The room is not very big either, so the atmosphere was what can only be described as cosy!
We left the room making it pretty clear that we were unhappy about the service and went off to find a manager at reception. A charming member of the management team listened to our complaints and agreed that the service we had received so far was not to a 5 star standard. He promised to address the issues we raised and get back to us – and true to his word there was a letter from him in our room when we got back that evening, together with some chocolates and some wine. He also re-credited the cost of some breakfasts so we didn’t feel too unhappy with the outcome.

For the next 2 days it was clear that all the staff knew we had complained – but the service was much better. My only hope is that this was not just a knee-jerk reaction to our complaint but that they had made a genuine review of the service provided.

The room we had was superb except for one major design flaw. The part of the hotel we were in had one access door serving two rooms. As a result the comings and goings of the next room were a major noise nuisance for the other room of the pair. Regrettably the occupants of the adjoining room almost every night arrived very late and left very early – banging both their door and the common one several times in the process. This woke us up at some unholy hour on more than one of our days at the hotel, something that should not be a problem in a 5 star hotel.
The noise issue was compounded by the fact that anyone in the room above using the shower or loo made a very audible running water noise in our room – very disconcerting the first time we heard it, we thought we had a major leak! Again, not something that is expected in a 5 star hotel.

So, from our experience the Rees is a potentially great hotel but with a major service problem.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank QJH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013 via mobile

We returned to The Rees after staying there three years ago.

We had great memories of our last stay and it was even better this time .

We enjoyed spectacular views across Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables and had everything we needed.

Attentive service from staff who were always happy to help.

Close to the town centre, short drive to Arrowtown, and not far from some great wineries.

Must stay if in Queenstown.

Stayed: November 2013
Thank Mjenkins78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2013

This was our central location for our South Island trip. The Rees was recommended by High Country Horses in Glenorchy and it is an amazing place. Great staff, wonderful guest service, and centrally located. You cannot do better! PS: It's right on the lake and the view is to die for.

Room Tip: Try 2061. You'll love it!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pullnleather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2013

I stayed here on my honeymoon and was beyond thrilled with the experience. The hotel itself is extremely clean, and beautifully maintained.
The service was incredible, everyone who encountered us remembered our names, and were more than happy to give recommendations on where to eat, what to see or do, and then help us plan our day.

The view from our room of the lake with the mountains in the background was beyond belief. The breakfast service was great and the food delicious. The shuttle to town was great and saved us at least $100 NZ in cab rides. That being said, we also did the "long" riverwalk back to the hotel one day, which was a beautiful walk and only took about 40 minutes with plenty of stops for pictures.

We stayed in an apartment with heated floors in the kitchen & bath, a fireplace, a full kitchen and a large balcony. I would definitely recommend this hotel!

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the lake!
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelersmw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

This hotel is simply perfect! Our room had amazing, amazing views of the lake; how we managed to leave the room and balcony still surprises me. Location is good (beautiful walk to town via the lake path, but they also offer a free shuttle). Great furniture, bathroom, and amenities. The real advantages: Free wi-fi, free laundry, free parking, free shuttle. Staff were amazingly courteous and helpful.

Room Tip: I suspect every room has an amazing view. We had the executive studio room on the 7th floor.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank SteveHfromAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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