Are we the only people who’ve been caught out booking the wrong place on TripAdvisor because a hotel chain uses almost identical names for its two big city venues?
As we discovered on arrival at our accommodation, there are not one but two Copthorne hotels in the city of Auckland, New Zealand. And to our dismay we'd accidentally booked into the Copthorne Hotel Auckland City under the mistaken belief that we’d booked the Copthorne Hotel AucklandHarbourCity.
We’d come across AucklandHarbourCity on TripAdvisor in early December, and although it was older style and had some late night reveler noise complaints, we decided to book it because of its locality.
It offered comparatively good value for a big city, was right in the heart of things in Quay Street adjacent to Princes Wharf, and its rooms offered ‘awesome’ close up views of Auckland’s working harbour. Being close to Princes Wharf mattered as one of us had a leg injury and we didn’t want to pay extra for taxis.
I have no idea how we managed to accidentally book the Copthorne Hotel Auckland City on Anzac Avenue, up the hill and quite a walk from the central city hotels and restaurants, let alone Prince’s Wharf. Presumably I googled ‘Copthorne Auckland’ after looking at other hotels and sites, and landed on the Anzac Avenue Copthorne by mistake without realizing that there were two similarly named hotels in the city.
Our room was billed as ‘Superior Double Room with Harbour View’. And regardless of our disappointment about not being next to the harbour (our problem), the room itself did not live up to its 'Superior' description. The Copthorne Hotel Auckland City may be billed as 4 star (3.5 on some sites), but contrary to our expectations, the room was small rather than ‘spacious’ as advertised.
The view we had paid extra for, thinking we’d be right on the harbour, looked out over inner city high rise accommodation, main roads, parking lots and the police station. Way off in the distance, we could indeed see Auckland Harbour from the balcony that was too small for a chair or table.
We were surprised that we had to pay for wifi in our rooms, though we later discovered we could get 20 minutes free in the lobby, which wasn't very convenient. The hotel had limited car parking at the cost of $10 a night and the last spots available were down the bottom of the property with an uphill walk to reception, dragging one’s belongings.
There only one power point in the bathroom and it didn’t work. We later found out that it was for electric razors, with no warning to guests wanting to boil the jug or use the hair dryer to plug them into a power point in the main room! Our bathroom sink was cracked, there was a heat stain on the writing desk and the iron was too badly stained to use on anything light-coloured.
Contrary to the advertised ‘Room Details’, there was no mini bar (although it was apparently available on request), no bottle opener and instead of the green or blue milk cartons we’d been offered elsewhere, the milk came in one cup individual sachets.
We ordered room service after a hectic day and found the mains at $39.50 very basic, entrée sized and quite unsatisfying.
The best thing going for this hotel was that it was quiet with the balcony doors closed, despite being located above a busy main road. And going by TripAdvisor comments, it is well located for anyone going to concerts at the nearby Vector Arena, which didn’t happen to be us.
The staff were trying hard but there was confusion over our bill which clearly stated that we had been charged for four nights at the bed and breakfast package when in fact our rate was for the bed only.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- High on what was once a beach side cliff, Copthorne Hotel Auckland City offers both city and seascape views. Each room has a balcony which offers spectacular views of the surroundings. Our hotel is in central Auckland and within easy walking distance of Queen Street and the main Central Business District with its wide range of shops, restaurants and bars. The hotel offers 110 spacious accommodation rooms that are thoughtfully crafted with all the essential room amenities. A $1.2 Million refurbishment in 2011 has seen the Copthorne Hotel Auckland City position itself high in the four star market. 2012 brings the remaining rooms refurbishment as well as flat screen televisions throughout the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Copthorne Hotel Auckland City New Zealand