I remember coming here for lunch or dinner when I was knee high to a grasshopper. I think it was called the International in those days. Since then, iirc, it's been a THC, a Centra, a Holiday Inn, a Heritage, and now a Holiday Inn, again (!) So, very much an institution in Rotorua over the years - one of the first 'big city'-style hotels there.
My IHG Rewards Club platinum status was recognised on checkin, and I already knew from the website that a room upgrade had been provided. Well done!
The room was located on the top floor of the new wing, and looked out onto the back of the property, offering views of the Whakarewarewa thermal area - definitely a good choice for first-time visitors to Rotorua, who would, no doubt, be including this attraction in their itinerary.
A choice of soft and firm pillows are provided per the Holiday Inn standard, and the beds were very comfortable. The air conditioning worked well, with quick heating or cooling as needed. This is a huge pet peeve of mine at some properties, but no worries here at all.
On the first night of this two-night stay, we ordered room service. This consisted of the chicken breast and the steak as main courses, with a shared side of fries, and for dessert a creme brulee and a brandy basket. I can recommend all of these as tasty choices with well-sized portions.
We were staying specifcally to enjoy the Christmas dinner buffet on the 25th, which was offered at NZD 125.00 per person, booked and paid for in advance. I couldn't fault this - selections included ham, pork, beef, roast turkey, fish, vegetarian options, soups, seafood, many salads, and a good choice of desserts including traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Included in the price were platters of antipasto and bread for the table, Christmas crackers, plus the first drink of the evening. A bottle of pinot gris was a reasonable $30.00.
Service in the restaurant, Chapman's, was gracious at all times, which we really appreciated. The wait staff are a credit to the hotel. In addition to Christmas dinner, we breakfasted there both days, and the breakfast buffet was fine too. Maybe add grapefruit juice, and watch the consistency of the scrambled eggs - a bit watery!
I recommend a good long soak in one of the two outdoor jacuzzis by the pool to end a long day of sightseeing. Just the right temperature, and you can enjoy a drink out there if you ask for plastic glassware at the house bar. Pool towels can be had from reception.
Free Internet for IHG Rewards Club members is limited to 512 kbps, which is on the borderline of usability in 2013, but it felt even slower than that. This may be an ISP issue - the provider is Reivernet, who also supply the HI Sydney Airport, where the Wi-Fi was truly unusable.
There were a few minor issues in the room - the fridge door would not stay shut, the phone was very crackly, the shower pressure wasn't great, and the hot water at the bathroom sink wasn't really hot. Perhaps a maintenance check of all rooms wouldn't go amiss. Also, how about some power points near the beds? Another pet peeve of mine, since not having to stretch cables across the room is great!
Will I stay again? Of course, and soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Holiday Inn Rotorua is a modern hotel overlooking the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and Historical Village. It features: • A free to use heated swimming pool and health club. • Free parking. • Kids Eat and Stay Free. (Up to 2 children under 12.) • Free Wifi for IHG Rewards Club Members. The air-conditioned rooms of Holiday Inn Rotorua offer a modern design and cable TV with free movies and 2 children's channels. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided. The award winning Chapman’s Restaurant and Bar offers an a la carte menu, and buffet, and serves contemporary New Zealand cuisine, matched with a fine wine selection. Room service is available 24/7. The Rotorua Holiday Inn is situated close to all the city's attractions and offers free shuttle pickup from the Rotorua Tourism Information Centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Rotorua Hotel Rotorua
- Heritage Hotel Rotorua
- Rotorua Heritage Hotel