Booked through wotif.com, and stayed for 2 nights in March 2008.
Arrived to find the reception locked up, and a sign telling me to phone a number for assistance. Ten minutes later, someone arrived and checked me in.
Apartment was small, but modernly decorated with fairly new furnishings - bed, wardrobe, desk, TV, and a well equipped kitchenette with a full oven, hob, microwave, sink, fridge, freezer and a good range of cooking and eating equipment. Bathroom was clean and fine. My initial thoughts were "this is pretty nice, and well equipped, although it feels like student accommodation from University".
Well, it soon became pretty obvious why that was... because these apartments ARE student accommodation. They're located on the side of the NMIT campus, and every other apartment in this complex that I could see out of my window was occupied by students. And while I have no problem with band posters, wacky photos of friends, and retro-effect lava lamps, students are generally quite noisy. And these ones fitted in nicely with the stereotype.
So, from 4pm through until about 7pm every day, we had the dull 'thud thud thud' of a hundred stereos kicking out various indie basslines while the students worked away on their essays and assignments. This was then replaced from about 7pm til about 9pm-ish with the loud televisions and chattering conversation of a bunch of 18-year-olds cooking and eating together. And then from about 9pm onwards the 'banging dance tunes' kicked in, and the hilarious drunken laughter, and increasing volume conversation.
Thankfully this then went quiet around 10.30-ish, the silence only punctuated at half 11, half 12, and 2-ish by three separate groups of drunken students excitedly laughing and chatting away loudly as they returned from the pub, and once again putting on their stereos and laughing loudly for about 20 minutes, no doubt until someone told them to shut up and keep the noise down.
Helpfully, the owners of the apartments did leave an information sheet in the room with a telephone number of a warden you could phone in case of excessive noise. Very thoughtful of them. Shame that they're less up front when you're booking through websites like wotif and lastminute that you'll be renting a student apartment for the night, rather than a professional serviced apartment.
Oh, and the rooms have no curtains, just blinds... which unfortunately don't keep the light out too well in the morning, especially as some of the slats were bent and damaged on mine.
Overall - not a pleasant experience.
If you're a young traveller in the 18 to 23 age bracket who's planning on a big boozy night out in the clubbing metropolis that is Nelson, then these apartments may suit you down to the ground.
However, if you've grown out of your student days and are wanting 'grown up' accommodation without constant ambient adolescent noise, or interrupted sleep in the middle of the night, then steer clear of the Orange apartments.
That said, during NMIT's vacations, assuming the students aren't around, these would probably be very good value, well equipped apartments.