Short version: inflexible policies; price gouging; unhelpful staff; and cramped, small rooms that are nothing like the photos on the website.
First warning ... do NOT book unless you are 100% rock certain of your dates. Booked May 28, 2013 (37 days in advance of our stay). Contacted them within 24 hours of the initial booking (still well in advance of the '30 days advance booking' deadline) needing to cancel the second night's stay, due to circumstances beyond our control. We were traveling prior to meeting up with a tour in Auckland and the tour changed *their* dates. Travelodge flatly refused to cancel the second night. Their booking policy is that your "deposit" is not refundable and is equal to the FULL BOOKED STAY. Seriously?! Thank goodness we'd only booked for TWO nights. For the record, the car rental company and EVERY other hotel we had booked at went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating to our changed circumstances. Dates were promptly changed and we were not charged a cent extra ... except in the case of this dreadful hotel.
Our hotel experience: We arrived late off the last ferry in from Picton. This was the reason we'd picked this hotel due to its central location. As others have said, the location is the ONLY thing this hotel has going for it.
The clerk on duty was worse than useless. It took two trips upstairs from the underground parking lot to figure out where the heck we were supposed to park. First instruction: "look for hotel signs" ... these were small signs on the wall in front of the parking spaces, thus very difficult to see when a vehicle was already parked there. There were nine "hotel sign" spaces ... ALL were already occupied. How did the clerk not already know this? He then gave us a parking sticker and told us to park in one of the 240 minute slots. Note: We checked in around 10:30 PM and left around 8 AM the following day. So 9.5 hours maximum. Too late we discovered that if we'd taken the Pay and Display 12-hour public option we'd have paid a maximum of NZ$16. Arriving on a Friday night as we did ... we could have taken one evening and one weekend pass for a total of NZ$6.00. This hotel charged us NZ$25 for parking! Advice: If you must stay here, use the public parking option.
The room was exceptionally small and cramped (see photos). We had one 21" airline carry-on and two small 28" airline check-in suitcases ... I had to move the iron and other junk out of the "closet" to make room for one of our suitcases. There was simply no floor space for it. The power wasn't on and a window was open making the room freezing. After stumbling around in the dark, I eventually found a working bedside lamp. We called the desk to report the problem. We aren't regular travelers and so had no idea about the new "stick the room key in the special slot behind the door to activate power" thing. Something else the desk clerk should have mentioned as we checked in. We got the power and heat working but the window would not close properly, so we had a miserable night forced to listen to street noise and wind whistling through the gap.
Hotel mini-bars are notoriously expensive. This was no exception. We obviously didn't touch anything and took photographs to prove it, just in case! Example: a 1.5 liter bottle of water was NZ$5.50! FYI, New Zealand tap water is safe and tasty ... save your money and refill an existing water bottle.
When we checked out after just one night they acted all surprised!
Total rip-off cost for one rotten night's stay ... NZ$230.20 (US$185.22). Obviously made more expensive because they refused to cancel the second night and grossly overcharged us for parking. Nevertheless ... this hotel would be expensive even if you are business traveler and your company is paying ... thus making it technically free to you.
Avoid at all costs! This hotel does not deserve your business.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Harbour, in the centre of Wellington's CBD and shopping hub. With close proximity to the city's financial hub as well as many Wellington attractions, such as Wellington Zoo, the Wellington Cable Car, the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, and the Wellington Botanic Gardens, Travelodge Hotel Wellington is perfectly located for both business and leisure travel. We offer fantastic Wellington accommodation at great value. Join us and stay in one of our 132 hotel rooms. Our 24-hour reception assistance and friendly advice about the local area will help you to make the most of your stay. Enjoy meals and refreshments in the Steps Restaurant & Bar - the perfect place to unwind with friends or to impress clients. Room service is also available, if you would prefer to stay in your own spacious and comfortable room. Ours is one of the best-placed Wellington hotels for the smart traveller who appreciates great value and access to everything this harbourside city has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Travelodge Wellington Plimmer Towers Hotel Wellington
- Travelodge Wellington Plimmer Hotel
- Wellington Travel Lodge
- Wellington Travelodge