What a mess. From the get go. I really looked around Hamilton for an eccentric place to stay and wanted a deal. After visiting Hamilton City Oaks web site quite a bit, I finally settled on the package offer for the Breakfast included and free upgrade to a Superior room.
The photos and most descriptions revealed that this was a boutique hotel with class and a bit of regal look to it's rooms.....NOT the case.
Wrongs- Arrived at 1.50pm (normal check in time 2pm) advised that our room wasn't ready yet. (no stress) wait what 30 minutes? Receptionist shrugged, wait an hour? she shrugged and didn't give me any confidence that this could be done in an hour. I inquired about an upgrade if possible and she gladly offered the Executive suite! Then stated that the spa bath was broken in it....hmmm well ok, I took the offer. She was trying to be very friendly but seemed uncomfortable and not very confident.
After finding the park which is in the BACK of the building, tight and compacted (first come first serve on parking but free) the entrance to the hotel was to carry everything through a service entrance. Where other restaurants had their back doors opened and dumping rubbish, laundry service was being delivered and the smell of wet rubbish lingered. Not a welcome you want when heading in to sleep. I felt like I was entering a mission for the homeless.
waited an hour shopping around and headed back to the hotel, tired and ready for a rest (traveled five hours to get there) and was advised that the room was still not ready. I stated, "isn't check in at two though?" and the receptionist advised very smartly that they couldn't possibly have a full house checked out and rooms cleaned with a full house checking in at two all at one time! Really? But isn't this STANDARD procedures for a hotel?! I was now furious with this manner and was advised to linger till the room was ready.
After being pulled away with hubby for a drink, I was then called via mobile approximately 15 minutes later to be told that unfortunately the executive suite was no longer available because someone the night before had broken the loo. So now I was being given an upgrade to a twin room followed by the words YAY! I asked why would I want a twin ( King bed with a single) when there was only two of us. The same receptionist stated that it was a larger bed and more space than the Superior room I booked. I told her that this didn't matter and that we would be there shortly to complete check in.
NOW the room- the entire hotel is very COLD, damp and in need of attention, which the receptionist stated they are looking into and hoping for a remodeling process to take effect (once they "get through the red tape of licencing" of course). The room, was very cold and unwelcoming, nothing like the photos offered online from their site. The bed spread was barely thick enough to keep us warm and had a massive amount of lint stuck on it. the sheets were stained and the pillow case with smudges. But nothing in which I couldn't just either cover up or turn over. Didn't notice bed bugs which is always a good thing.
The lighting was very poor (only two bed lamps above the bed, one over the single was broken) The view was of course no more that of the un-kept entrance we took arriving.
Trying to get a taxi was awful and never arrived so we ended up driving to our destination. No cash out given on premises.
Breakfast was underrated but decent. had to walk through two separate restaurants to enjoy it though. The gentleman arranging the breakfast was very professional and very friendly. However, don't waste your money on it. Save to enjoy somewhere with a nicer atmosphere as this was apparently a thai restaurant.
OVERALL- very poor detail to attention. If you want a boutique style place this IS NOT it. For a property of this size, there should be NO excuse not to be able to have rooms ready for check in. Handling issues should be a professional skill not a personal attack. I would suggest that the next time you expect to have a full house that you have the manners, the professionalism and the employees to manage such a task. Noise was insane. TVs are far from the bed to listen to so it seemed as though neighbors had theirs all up so loud. Doors slamming echoed and someone kept trying to open the interconnecting door to our room.
Upgrade? there was NO upgrade in this deal and we BOTH felt as though we got stuck with a downgrade because of voicing my concerns over not being able to have access to something in which I was charged for IN ADVANCE unlike my room.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- VR Hamilton Hotel is located within a stunning heritage listed building in the heart of the Hamilton city. With its beautiful surroundings, VR Hamilton Hotel continues to impress and satisfy its guests through providing the warmth and genuine hospitality that has become the hallmark of the Hotel. A versatile set of function rooms, comfortable and high quality accommodation, combined with our attentive and friendly team makes VR Hamilton Hotel a great venue for business or leisure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Grand Hamilton