I stayed at Novotel for work for 5 nights. There are renovations occuring but they were not disruptive in any way. The rooms are clean, quiet, and comfortable. I would like to mention the hero of a barman, Jordan, who moved heaven and earth to make me a much needed old fashioned. Very friendly and provided service above and beyond.
Every staff member we encountered, from the front desk to the room attendants was friendly, welcoming, helpful and professional. Special mention must be made of Poppy who served us in the restaurant and bar area. Not only was she very pleasant and enjoyable to chat to as she served us, but from observing her interactions with not only other guests but also her fellow colleagues shows she is exceptional staff member on every level and such an asset to your team.
We decided to stay one night as a thrill for my 7 year old granddaughter - we were staying in Hamilton visiting family so it was a little treat. The check-in was great and she was given a kiwi which was most appreciated. All was going well. One of the treats was a proper “mocktail” in the bar before dinner. She even put a dress on for the occasion! We went down and then everything went downhill. We went to the bar and there was no one else in sight so no waiting time. The bar tender “served” us. I asked about a drink for Isla who was all smiles – we were shoved a menu book and told to look. I asked if we took one of the mocktails or a simple drink for her, if the glass could be jazzed up with an umbrella etc – the sort of thing we are totally accustomed to as we travelled a lot. We were told that there were no umbrellas. If this a covid thing then I don’t buy it or if it is to save the planet, I don’t buy that either as they are a natural product as well as being given a plastic straw later. I suggested some fruit i.e. pineapple etc and was told very rudely that they only thing she had were lemon slices!! Excuse me?? Is this a four star hotel??? I suggested that the kitchen may have some – no go there either. In the end Isla had a can of coke plonked in front of her with a thin straw which she had trouble sucking on, no coaster and not one word said. Not even put into a glass. There was no table service to ask us what we would like to order or to suggest options for Isla. Our cocktails were not very nice either – overpowering amount of passionfruit syrup in a martini glass but that is not my issue here. We had built up the experience and a little girl was disappointed – something I cannot forgive. Otherwise the hotel was fine - good room service, nice room, great bathroom, good breakfast and reception excellent - it only took one to drag it into the realm of huge disappointment. Hospo is short for hospitality - redo Hospo 1.1 please. Also revise what Manaakitanga means in terms of hospitality.
The staff make this hotel. All the staff we came into contact with from the concierge staff to the cleaning team, to the staff in the restaurant (especially Poppy) were just lovely.
The hotel itself was certainly comfortable enough but some things really let it down. The curtains in our room had stains on them. The parking at the hotel is awful, twice we had to park at the casino nearby, the other times we parked on the street. We had booked a buffet breakfast included for the time we stayed there (5 x nights). The buffet was good, but the room it was in gets streaming sunlight which sounds lovely but there was no where to escape the heat and light, so we learnt to eat quickly so we weren’t uncomfortable for too long. The hotel building seems a little tired, but the staff are so kind you try to overlook issues