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“Nice panorama, the only positive thing”
Review of Punakaiki Resort

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Punakaiki Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Punakaiki
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 2, 2014

dinner and breakfasts were of extremely low quality, as the service was both poor and definitely incompetent, paired with long waiting time.what was offered as contintental breakfast does not deserve the name.the only reference to other standards was the price.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Courtmanght
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melanie H, General Manager at Punakaiki Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

We are sorry that our dinner and breakfast service did not meet your expectations. We are consistently finding ways to improve our service offered. Please feel free to contact me directly by email melanie@williamshotels.co.nz with more detail of your issues so we can find ways to improve future guest experience.

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341 - 347 of 675 reviews

Reviewed February 2, 2014

We stayed at an Eco-suite for one night. Upon arrival, given the beauty of the area, considered extending stay for another night but decided not to because of what very quickly would be a mixed experience at the Punakaiki Resort. Everything substandard is easily fixable, which is hopeful.

Let's start with the great then go to the bad.

5 - excellent: location location location. The design of the entire facility from the road is tasteful, modern and set amongst a visual paradise of coast, lush vegetation and the limestone rocks. I was excited upon arrival to see a modern restaurant, beautifully landscaped grounds, clean looking rooms and no people swarming in the area even while there were a few tour buses in the parking lot. Local vegetation and flowers were carefully landscaped and incorporated along the walkways and resort area which were beautiful. View from the Eco suite was excellent: the highway is not visible even though it was between us and the water. Walking along the rocky and windy beach is just seconds to a few minutes depending on where you are in the resort.

4 - good: the restaurant was fast and efficient, seating quickly even without reservation, serving food quickly within 20-30 minutes. Food quality was good. View of the open waters and beach was fantastic.

Check in was super fast and efficient. The receptionist did her job quickly and thoroughly. 1 free hour of internet was provided; $6/hr for anything above up to a maximum daily charge of $15 or $20 (can't remember). A free hour of internet was nice to have considering that internet on the South Island seemed such a precious commodity.

The room had a basic food prep area which was functional and practical. The bathroom was basic, small and clean and functional with hot water at a proper pressure. The bathroom also had bright lighting which is always nice. The spacious bedroom had a nice outdoor covered deck to enjoy the fresh air and scenery over the resort with clear and unobstructed view to the water. Screened windows.

3 - average: we don't mind paying for extra service or a premium for hotels but trying to get a complimentary hour extension on our checkout time left us with the impression that the resort absolutely doesn't understand customer service OR is simply looking at any way possible to squeeze every penny from its guests, OR just wants people in and out as fast as possible. We were informed if we wanted to check out one hour later, it would cost $30 per hour extension. Since when do nice hotels charge by the hour?

When we did leave one hour past the normal 11am check out, there were no guest cars in any of the hotel parking lots. Had the hotel been hopping busy, I would have better understood the standard extra charge policy.

2 - poor: the Eco room looked like it needed a bit of a paint job or refresh. The carpet looked super old and brown. The room decor was just tired like a roadside motel with laminate covered counters like a no frills Chinese restaurant.

Upon first entering my room, my first impression was how clean it smelled. Yet, after spending more than 30 minutes inside, the smell didn't fade into the background. It got increasingly overpowering, like carpet cleaning chemicals or industrial scent to mask something other than the pristine and fresh west coast air. So, I opened every available window to breathe some fresh air. I woken the middle of the night still smelling that distinctive smell. To deal with the smell, I turned on the fan and ran it all night to keep air circulating through the room with the help of the open windows.

On the ledge above the bathroom and in the entry way to the room via the entry corridor, both ledges had bugs and dust. It was rather disgusting to stick my hand up there and make this discovery while opening the smaller windows.

1 - awful: remember water beds? Well, the room doesn't have a water bed but it sure felt like one just from getting in and out of it. I can forgive the absence of soft touches or tasteful interior design, but a decent bed is the most basic thing for a good night's sleep. Anyone with back issues or who wakes with any movement will not likely sleep that well in this wave making bed.

Final verdict: a potluck experience at the Punakaiki Resort which based on the smell and bed, I wouldn't stay here again. Based on the scenery of the area, I would likely come back to Punakaiki area again, but try the Hydrangea Cottages instead.

(I also viewed the Hydrangea Cottages which are by quaint and around $220 per night, with a 10% discount on horse treks you might do with Punakaiki horse treks. If I was to return to Punakaiki, I would opt to stay in Hydrangea Cottages instead. The view is not as nice as Punakaiki Resort, but it seemed to be better value, and more suited to make yourself at home if staying for a few days to explore the area.)

Room Tip: Download any big files onto your smart devices before you arrive. Internet limited for data volume.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LilyChina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melanie H, General Manager at Punakaiki Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2014

Thank you for sharing your experiences on TripAdvisor. As we already learnt during your stay and on your departure, we were not able to provide the expected service, in terms of bed quality, room decoration and check out time. Our Eco suite rooms are designed to have minimal impact on the environment along with any construction and aesthetic materials. Regarding your late check out we unfortunately we can not extend this beyond 12.00pm because of impending arrivals.

We have taken note of all your inputs during your stay and tried to implement and improve all our service standards, as high satisfaction of our guests is our top priority. Wishing you all the best and we hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.

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Reviewed January 29, 2014

For New Zealand this is our 5th trip back in 11 years and this trip we brought our friends for their first trip. All of us enjoyed our stay here, rooms are clean, staff very well versed in hospitality and dinner was quite tasty. What some people forget is this lodge is set up as a Eco lodge so there are a few differences from a Holiday Inn so try and adapt!
Enjoyed going to sleep with the crash of the surf and wind off of the Tasman

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Bill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melanie H, Manager at Punakaiki Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2014

Thank you for your kind comments. We are very glad you enjoyed your visit with us along with our facilities and friendly staff. I hope your onward journey went well and we appreciate your recommendation for other travelers.

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Reviewed January 27, 2014

The setting is magnificent - do take a walk on the beach and check out the pancake rocks on the shore as well as the beautiful driftwood.

Really superb meal but the lack of free wifi (It was $20 for an hour) demotes this to a 4 star review. There is also no mobile phone signal so you are at the mercy of paying for internet access.

Staff training needs addressing. We were not offered a taste of the wine we had chosen and the waitress poured three glasses only to be somewhat put out when we rejected it. She had also told us earlier that the Cab Merlot we had drunk at the bar "tasted the same" as the bottle of merlot she brought to the table.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank mariemusicademy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melanie H, Manager at Punakaiki Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

Thank you for your review. We are glad to see you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you for your time to leave your comments. In regards to internet charges do apply and all guests are notified of this. In regards to wine ordered with your evening meal I was aware of this situation and I believe you already had tasted the wine at the bar before your evening meal and you asked for the same wine for the table unfortunately you do not enjoy as much on this occasion. Once again thank you for your review and we wish to welcome you to stay with us again.

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Reviewed January 27, 2014

How NOT to run a hotel/motel:

1. When you receive a confirmed early booking, as in our case May 2013 for the following January 2014, you do not do what theatres do & allocate the best seat/room in the price range, instead you give them one of the worst.
We arrived at 3 pm, one of the earlier arrivals on the day in hot sunshine, but when we eventually find our room, it was sweltering hot @ around 30 degrees C, with only one window capable of opening & no "air con"!)
This would not have mattered if we could have gone out onto a balcony & enjoyed fresh sea air & sunshine, but our room did not have this facility although both the next door neighbours did.
I checked with the occupants how they had obtained rooms with these superior facilities, but it transpired that they were in the same price category as ours & booked several months later, so why were we deprived & stuck with 3rd World conditions?

2. You charge your guests for Internet access - (the first time we'd had to pay in NZ - it had been free everywhere else) then you make it very complicated for them to gain access - 2 very long codes to tap in & finally after all this you provide the slowest download/upload speeds of all the establishments we have stayed at to date (2.9 mb per sec download). When it wouldn't connect at all for the final 80% of our unused allocation the following morning, your receptionist makes a big thing out of refunding $6!!!
3. When the customer asks the receptionist to contact the Manager about their dissatisfaction, you ignore it don't bother to make contact because you have taken the weekend off & leave it to your junior staff to handle the situation - rather inadequately.

I endorse previous reviewers comments about squandering a great location, & regard this as substandard, lazy, sloppy management.

Whether this is poor HQ ethos or local lack of supervision of an inexperienced manager one knows not, but the end result is the customer pays a lot for poor service.

This one night has let NZ down but, in the main we have enjoyed excellent hospitality & trust we will continue to do so for the remainder of our 6 week stay.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melanie H, General Manager at Punakaiki Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

We apologize we did not meet your expectations. Whilst we understand your booking was made in advance, your travel agent did not specify any special requests. All rooms are furnished and designed on the same basis with the only difference being rooms with balconies. In regards to internet charges all guests are notified of charges and unfortunately whilst internet speeds can vary, we have no control over this. In regards to our staffing, both of our reception staff you communicated with, were at all times in contact with me regarding your concerns and we feel your concerns were dealt with appropriately and promptly at the time. We apologize you did not enjoy your stay with us but do hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday. Yours sincerely.

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Reviewed January 26, 2014

The receptionist was kind enough to be eventually give us a room at the front of the hotel, near the beach with no steps. Most of the rooms have hills to climb and/or steps to walk up. The room is satisfactory, although we have only 1 hand towel. We don't even go there with internet at hotels in New Zealand, having bought a personal hot spot to use as we go from hotel to hotel, not paying for their pricey internet.
There are about 38 of us in the group for a "buffet dinner" for $60 per person- a total rip-off. We had a choice of a little bit of soup OR a little bit of salad as an entree (starter). Then we could choose from the buffet, Beef hot pot, chicken casserole, or fish in creamy sauce, potatoes, rice, and overcooked vegetables. I tried some of each and was very disappointed in all but the fish. For dessert, there was fruit, pavlova, or chocolate cake- you could serve yourself. No coffee, no tea. The dinner was like one would get in a school cafeteria, or worse even.
I looked at the ala carte prices, and ordering that way one would not come up to $60.
So we won't be eating breakfast here tomorrow at $17 for continental and $24 (or more) for cooked breakfast.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the beach side, and if you have mobility problems, on the bottom floor (I think ro...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Morgan_Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melanie H, Manager at Punakaiki Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

Thank you for your review. We appreciate all feedback and your time taken to leave your comments. We apologize we did not your expectations in regards to your evening meal and your concerns will be dealt with appropriately. Once again thank you for your review and we wish to welcome you to stay with us again and maybe try one of our other menus available.

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Reviewed January 26, 2014

Stayed here on a Back Roads cycling trip. The hotel was selected by Bak Roads and included in the price of the trip. The property is very reminiscent of Sea Ranch, the eco-friendly resort on the Mendocino County coast. That is, rooms with great views on a rocky coast with with a visible desire to blend into the coast line rather than stand out from it. We liked it very much and would stay here again.

The rooms were large, the bathroom modern and the restaurant sophisticated. The wine list featured NZ wines and we really liked the Wooing Tree pinot noir. The buffet breakfast was a combination of cold items and hot scrambled eggs, bacon, etc. It was fine.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank GTfromDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melanie H, Manager at Punakaiki Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

Thank you for your review. We take pride in our high standards of New Zealand hospitality and believe we have one of the best locations available. We are are glad to see you enjoyed your stay with us and we wish to welcome you to stay with us again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Punakaiki Resort

Address: State Highway 6, Punakaiki 7873, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Punakaiki
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Punakaiki
Price Range: $173 - $252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Punakaiki Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the wild West Coast, 30 minutes north of Greymouth and 300m south of the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, the Resort is surrounded by the Paparoa National Park and only metres from the beach. Floor to ceiling windows in the Waterline Restaurant and Bar mean you can admire the gorgeous sunset while dining on local West Coast food.Few places in the world can offer such comfort so close to the wild action. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Punakaiki Hotel Punakaiki

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