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“Not so special Sofitel.”

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Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Ranked #3 of 67 Hotels in Auckland
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Not so special Sofitel.”
Reviewed 23 June 2012

I would not recommend this hotel for a special occasion or a weekend away or in fact at all. Having stayed twice in the last few months, while the first time the lack of staff at the bell desk made us almost get locked out of a play we where attending thanks to it taking 20 minutes to retrieve a car located directly beneath the lobby, the man sent to do the job was a junior waiter from the restaurant who could not start the car or drive it properly. Apart from this the stay was enjoyable with good service and food.

Unfortunately the last visit for 2 nights to get away after a recent house move and celebrate my mothers birthday was marred by service errors with little apology and a continuation of the Valet parking nightmare from the last trip. On the first night of our stay we decided to order a room service dinner, we where told when ordering that it would be 30 mins, an hour and 20 mins later we had still revived nothing, while we did received the meal not long after and were not charged it does not make up for the inconvenience. The next morning (my mothers birthday) we again decided to order room service breakfast, this again become a fiasco. When one orders 3 dishes it is assumed that it is for at least 2 people(especially considering two people where booked into the room) it would seem not at the Sofitel, the food arrived on a tray prepared for 1 minus any side plates for the fruit platter or bread basket, the hot dishes where uncovered and therefore while 2 trips by the attendant where necessary to furnish us with the correct utensils and crockery the egg dishes had become cold, this necessitated a further trip and 20 minute wait for the hot food. This is clearly unacceptable at any time but even more so on that of a birthday. The event soured the whole day and virtually ruined the relaxing birthday morning we expected. Unfortunately this event would once again rear its ugly head upon checkout. Later on in the day prior to leaving for a birthday lunch with friends and knowing from our previous stay of the Valet parking problems I informed both the front desk and the bell boy we would require the car to be brought up in 1 hour in order for us to make our next engagement. Upon returning an hour and a half later the car was nowhere to be seen and it necessitated hunting for a bellboy to go and retrieve it making us late for our next engagement. You would expect with an hours notice a hotel could arrange for a car to be where requested but not the Sofitel. Upon our return I talked with the duty manager who apologized but fobbed me off asking me to write down my concerns in an email to the guest relations manager. I do not expect to have to report problems to the correct manager in most hotels this is an internal matter and the duty manager should have report this directly. In addition the thing that annoyed me the most that at no time despite numerous staff being informed that it was my mothers birthday did anybody say happy birthday or make a gesture to acknowledge it, while this is not expected it is acknowledged within the industry as good practice and due to the problems experienced would have gone some way to making amends.

Upon check out the problem of the birthday breakfast fiasco reared its head again, it had in fact been charged to the room even though the restaurant supervisor and the room service attendant had informed me otherwise and no bill had been presented to me for signing. The man handling the checkout grudgingly removed the charge only after talking to the restaurant but then informed us that it may in fact be added pending an investigation. He said a fruit plate was sent to make up for the breakfast and indigently quoted a company line about having to investigate the matter. Under strict questioning from me he indeed conceded finally that it would not be charged giving me his assurance but at no time did he apologies. Was this little performance necessary ?? It only served to once again ruin an attempted relaxing stay leaving a horrible taste in the mouth, having only just recovered from the other incidents.

The service is poor and in fact deteriorating, the F&B is of good quality but is let down by appalling service staff. The bellboys need to be replaced or retrained as do the front desk staff and duty managers. The location and surroundings are pleasant but the rooms are showing signs of wear that could be easily fixed but have not been. This is never a good sign. Having stayed in numerous hotels for over 20 years for business & pleasure in almost every imaginable location I have never witnessed a hotel systematically ruin a birthday or special occasion like the Sofitel did.

Room Tip: ask for a view of the marina.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank awoody91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Guest Relations Manager at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, responded to this review, 25 June 2012
Dear Awoody91,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your valuable feedback following your stay over the weekend. I understand your disappointment and frustration following what should have been a relaxing and joyous occasion and I offer express my most sincere apologies. Such downfalls in service are not typical of Sofitel Auckland and I can assure you that your comments have been shared with the management team for immediate action.

I would like to apologise to your mother as well for the displeasure caused on her birthday weekend. Such occasions are cause for celebration and are ones we always do our best to fully recognise, and I am very disappointed to hear that in this case we did not provide the memorable experience you were anticipating.

I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the food provided by our excellent chefs and do hope that you will return to give us the opportunity to show you the high level of service normally provided by our outstanding team. I would be delighted to personally look after you on your next stay and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me should I be able to be of any assistance. We look forward to welcoming you back to Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour.

With the kindest regards,

Israel Suarez Guido
Guest Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (589)
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English first
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 22 June 2012

On the whole a wonderful romantic overnight stay. The staff greeted us in French (as it is a French hotel group), and the water features and soft lighting helped to add to the romantic ambience. The French influence was carried through to the L'Occitane products in the bathroom and the Bonne Mamman jams at breakfast.

The hotel was gearing up for its official opening the following day so there was quite a bit of activity in the hotel with photographers, etc. I believe that the hotel was the former Westin Lighter Quay Hotel and appears to have been rebranded as Sofitel. Some of the decor and furniture was looking a tad worn, so not sure if they are planning a refit at some stage.

If I had to find fault it was minor: the wine we chose in the bar was unavailable; the complimentary newspaper never arrived; and there were no teaspoons at breakfast! However, the breakfast was scrumptuous, the rain shower amazing and if I could have taken the bed home I would have!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MCK1W168
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paeroa, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 21 June 2012

Great stay - very comfortable and worked well for me. Easy access, comfortable room, very clealn and tidy and welcoming staff.

Thanks

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank EricViking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2012

This was the Westin before re-branding as Sofitel. The Hotel is located in the viaduct so it is near the newer small scale buildings containing mainly country offices of multinational companies near by. It is a short walk to the bottom of Queen Street, the Britomart and Shortland Street areas so you are able to access the offices of most companies easily. It is close to the motorway/freeway so access to anywhere in Auckland is easy. The Viaduct has a good range of restaurants and bars. Check in was simple enough but again Accor policy of adding 1.5% onto the credit card charge is not a great way to build rapport with clients. I think Accor do well up to and including the Novotel brand but the Sofitel brand needs to make you feel more wanted than an F1 (where I would expect to pay a credit card charge). Staff were helpful but did not sell the services at the hotel and the 30 minutes WiFi is a reminder why I am gold at Hilton. The room was a superior king and looked inward so an internal view which was very pleasant. It was a good size, comfortable and tastefully decorated with a great large bathroom and bath. The room is showing signs of scrimped maintenance with marks and scratches on some of the woodwork. Overall my view is that this is a hotel for weekday work and weekend play.H

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank KiwiScotOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Property: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Address: 21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland 1010, New Zealand (Formerly Lighter Quay Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Auckland Region > Auckland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Auckland
#1 Family Hotel in Auckland
#2 Romantic Hotel in Auckland
#2 Luxury Hotel in Auckland
#3 Green Hotel in Auckland
#6 Business Hotel in Auckland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour 5*
Number of rooms: 172
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture and boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, this beautifully designed hotel is a true landmark destination. Superbly located on the waterfront in the heart of the Viaduct, Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour harmoniously blends French spirit with the best of New Zealand culture. Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour offers 172 chic and luxurious rooms all with juliette balconies and floor to ceiling windows. Oversized bathrooms feature separate rain showers and deep soaking bathtubs. Each guest room also offers Sofitel's famous 'My Bed', LCD televisions and Bose sound systems. Services include valet car parking, dedicated Concierge team, luxury airport transfers, Guest Relations Manager and 24 hour in-room dining. Sofitel's luxury day spa, So SPA offers seven private rooms with a wide range of beauty and wellness treatments. Guests can also make use of a sauna and steam room, and adjacent gymnasium. A 20-metre heated indoor lap pool and spa pool are also available. Lava Dining delivers flavour & flair with an innovative menu, tastefully blending the best local produce with a refined French touch. Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, visit Lava Dining for an intimate dining experience & breathtaking views. A bright & casual eatery, 21 Viaduct Cafe offers waterside seating to allow guests the chance to enjoy the Marina vistas. Savour expertly made espresso, French pastries, and a daily selection of healthy choices filled with fresh, local ingredients. In an unofficial toast to Sofitel's fine French origins, Sabrage invites guests to revisit the art of 'sabrage'. A sophisticated bar serving the finest Champagnes, signature cocktails, local and international wines and beers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour New Zealand

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