This is the worst stay of our month-long trip in New Zealand.
On the bright side, the hardware is good in general. Room is clean, facilities looked quite new.
However there are 2 small issues relating to the cleaniness and facilities in the room:
1. One of the electric blankets was not working (switches were checked on, and plug checked connected to socket)
2. Although the room was clean, there was a fly in it. I do not blame the hosts on this, as fly is part of the natural environment and sometimes unavoidable. But it is ironic that they have a small card telling us the motel implemented a 5-star Hygiene Programme, which includes "Our commitment to keep motel units pest free with regular spot checks", this is an unfortunate isolated incident I would say.
These were just minor incidents and did not really bother me. The hardware in general is good, but this does not make up for the shortcomings of software -- attitude of the gentleman on duty at reception.
This gentleman has done probably everything on his checklist - introduced the surrounding areas and tourist attractions, led us to our room (and changed a faulty bulb), told us where to park, etc., but all along with an annoying long face and aggressive actions.
For once we thought this gentleman was a part time reception here and a full time policeman (as a police car was parked on the premise on that day), and probably this explained his manner. And we had thought that it would be fine as we probably did not need to interact with him anymore, which unfortunately not for the night.
The laundry room, which is supposed to open from 8am to 9pm according to the compendium, was locked. We had no choice but to seek his assistance. He reminded us of the "rules" that laundry room would be locked at 9pm sharp. Despite we were very hungry, we did not dare to go out for dinner before the laundry was done, which was 1.5 hour wait.
To kill time, we wanted to surf the net, but we spent over an hour trying to hook up with the internet without success. There was an error message "Radius server not responding", so we thought it must be some problem with device or connection, we tried both WIFI and LAN cable connection, with different laptops, and numerous retries by keying in username/password with different lower case/upper case combinations, etc., and only as a last resort we went to the reception. The gentleman just made a single click on his computer then commanded me "Go try it now!", not hearing clearly for the first time because of his talking speed and heavy accent, and didn't expect the problem is resolved by just a single click, he increased his voice and repeated "GO TRY IT NOW!!". We went back to our room and check, miraculously it worked!! Why did he lock the internet (or forgot to unlock) if he had handed us the login details?
As the internet issue resolved, laundry was also done, so we finally headed out for dinner with peace of mind, but we returned with frustration as all restaurants, including Subway sandwiches, had closed already.
We suffered hunger waiting for the laundry due to motel rules, we spent time trying to hook up with the internet, and now we had no where to dine out. To make matter worse, the internet was not working again now, with the same error message. But it was past 9pm and reception had closed. Now I felt I was cheated, while they advertise having free internet, they seemed to lock it up whenever they want at their discretion. We paid, we tolerated, and we suffered, all because of the motel's rules and negligence.
With the attitude of the gentleman, and rules written in the laundry room and reception desks (e.g. "Check out at 10am sharp, any later will incur a second night's charge"). I felt I was in a boarding school, or a military camp rather than in a motel. Every time a problem came up, I had to force myself to approach the "warden", and this haunted me very much every time. I said "thank you" to him whenever I asked for his assistance, but I heard neither "thank you" from him, nor apologetic words for the inconveniences which caused to me.
Sleeping was not with peace of mind, as I had to worry about the next morning, that I had to pay and disappear by 10:00am and not a minute late. It is indeed emotional burden which I do not expect to have on holiday.
The only thing we were pleased with is, it seems he treats everyone with the same manner, as we heard him saying "could you say that again slowly?!" on the phone with an unfriendly and aggressive tone. So we are glad that his attitude is not related to our ethnicity, nationality, age, appearance or whatsoever. May be it's just he had a bad day.
The gentleman may not have done all the above-mentioned on purpose, but just "too casual" and "unprofessional" and therefore perceived as having poor attitude. But honestly I do not appreciate such casual attitude which I do not feel comfortable with, it is not the "friendly casual" which I have had most of the time.
I hope that the gentleman is just a part-time or temporary staff, but not Kevin, the host of the accommodation. Otherwise I don't think he is suitable to be the owner running the motel business.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Quality Suites Kaikoura prides itself on Comfort and Cleanliness. Our commitment to hygiene has set a new high standard in the industry with our 5 star Hygiene Certificate. All rooms have Super King size beds. We offer FREE and UNLIMITED Internet access. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aspen Court Hotel Kaikoura