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“Great views, poor service and management”

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Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Ranked #18 of 58 Hotels in Queenstown
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
88 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great views, poor service and management”
Reviewed 29 January 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Hilton for five night’s end of Dec 13 early Jan 14. We are regular visitors to Queenstown and have previously stayed at other properties such as Sofitel, Queenstown Park Boutique & Crowne Plaza. We were very exiting about trying a new hotel in a different location, unfortunately we very disappointed with our stay at the Hilton. The hotel itself is very beautiful and well maintained but the service and management are not 5 stars, the standards in this regard is very low compared to other properties of same level in Queenstown. Due to the reasons listed below, we have concluded there are far superior properties in Queenstown that would offer a better stay that would tick all the boxes for comfort, location, price and service. We would not return or recommend to the Hilton Queenstown for the following reasons:
•We booked a Suite but were given a room that did not match the description on the website, it was very small, balcony (I don’t know if you can call it that) was only big enough to fit 2 small stools, limited views, the bedroom was tiny and sitting area nothing special. I believe this room was of inferior category. After a long discussion with the duty manager, who repeatedly argued it was a suite, she finally agreed to move us to a new room which matched the description of a suite as described on the website. The new room was spacious and had a large terrace with amazing mountain views. Overall we were not happy with the way this situation was handled by the manager and we felt it added a bitter start to our holiday.
•Requested early check-in about 6 month in advance, I know this is subject to availability but we arrived at 11 am and were informed the room was not ready, which was understandable however after we advised them we had been travelling for the past 18 hrs as we were on our way back from the French Polynesia, they told us we had to wait till 4 pm, we then went into town and returned just before 4 pm to find out our room was not ready yet, we were only given a room just before 5 pm. It would have been nice if they can prioritized the room cleaning process to try and accommodate guest who arrive early after a long flight. It is always a nice touch.
•The hotel location is about 15-20 min drive from Queenstown’s city centre. The surroundings are very beautiful and serene; however you need to have a car to get around as the hotel shuttle is almost pointless as it only runs every hour, you have to book in advance and it can ONLY accommodate 11 people which is ridiculous for a hotel of this size. During pick season it’s always booked out, we couldn’t use it the first day as it was booked out the day before we arrived. There is a public bus that stops near the entrance of the hotel; however you have to change buses in Frankton to get to city centre, this is tedious and time-consuming. This bus only runs every hour and doesn’t operate after 8pm, so if you are in the city center and want to take the bus to return to the Hilton, you have to take the bus to Frankton and then a taxi to the hotel. If you don’t want to rent a car and don’t want wait for the bus or shuttle your other option is to take a taxi into town, there is a flat rate of NZ$50 to Queenstown city centre each way. We did this the first day and rented a car for the rest of the trip. Not surprisingly given it was high season and the hotel was fully booked they did not run an additional or larger shuttle to city centre to respond to the demand, we came across a lot of disappointed guest complaining about this.
•The Breakfast buffet had a good food selection (hot and cold) but the service needs a lot of improvement. Every morning our breakfast orders got messed up, either different food was delivered to our table, orders where misplaced and never arrived or took too long to arrive. The staff needs training; some of them can’t speak English well therefore some of the orders are taken incorrectly as they don’t seem to understand. The breakfast service always looked very chaotic and there was not a clear system to serve the guests. We even saw guests clearing tables of dishes from previous guests in order to seat down for breakfast, this should not happen at a 5 star property.
•We had little interaction with the concierge; however we found him to be quite arrogant and not very helpful. One morning on our way out we asked him to make a dinner reservation at a restaurant in town for that evening, he told us it was too early to call the restaurant but suggested that if we were heading into town that morning we could just go into the restaurant and make the reservation ourselves, which we did as he was totally unhelpful. Again not a five star service.
•We went to the Wakatipu grill one night for dinner; we arrived around 9 pm and hadn’t made a reservation. The restaurant was more than 50% empty, despite this fact we were told they were fully booked and were asked to wait at the bar until a table becomes available. After 30 min wait at the bar we were informed they were preparing a table for us, after another 20 min we were finally seated. We noticed the table given had been empty the entire time and asked the restaurant manager why this table was not allocated to us earlier; he didn't have a good answer. We ordered our food but after 25 min and no signs of food, we asked the waitress to check with the kitchen, she told us the kitchen was busy and that our food was coming soon but did not give us an exact timing on this. After waiting for so long we were both fed up and had lost our appetite, so we decided to leave without dinner. Very disappointing!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gia24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew N, General Manager at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 30 January 2014
Dear Gia24

Please accept my sincere apologies for the issues you experienced during you stay with us. The points you raised are unacceptable and will be discussed with the team to ensure we are delivering on guest expectations.

I was pleased to learn that your previous response on TripAdvisor regarding the restaurant confusion has been dealt with by Florian our restaurant manager, who was in fact the manager on duty on the evening and was fully aware of the situation.

Rest assured we will act upon your feedback with a view to improve the services we offer. Thankfully the majority of feedback we receive is excellent and therefore believe the service levels you received are not representative of the service we offer. Having said that your experience, as I said, was unacceptable and shows that at times we have been inconsistent in our delivery.

Kind regards

Andrew
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English first
Queenstown, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 28 January 2014

Great hotel in a good location, A little far from town but perfect if that's what you want. Food was good and service was great. Nice walk along the river with the snow capped mountains all around you. A very nice place to stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Jason H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew N, General Manager at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 30 January 2014
Dear Jason H

Great review, thank you.

You should come back in the winter, amazing snow-capped mountain views and all day sun in the village.

Kind regards

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2014

The property is just a 15 min drive from the city centre. The hotel itself is located by the lake and is very peaceful. There is free parking very close to the hotel reception.
The hotel is clean, the staff is very friendly and nice. Our room had a view of the lake and a bonfire for a nice effect. The breakfast is good with a large spread and the coffee is very good!
There is an indoor swimming pool but it is very small. It feels very crowded in the pool as it is very narrow.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hereigoagain54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew N, General Manager at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Dear hereigoagain54

Thank you for your review. I was really pleased to read how much you enjoyed your stay with us.

Hopefully you will have the chance to visit again, the winter is remarkably stunning with great vies of the snow-capped mountains.

Kind regards

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

Our experience here was nothing short of excellent. The lobby is elegant yet comfortable, modern yet inviting. The front desk staff was very friendly and helped us with not only a smooth check-in but also some helpful tips regarding parking and nearby hikes.

The suite we had was stunning -- spacious and luxurious. The bed was comfortable, the views were amazing, and the bathroom had two sinks and style to boot.

The breakfast buffet was a standout -- way above average. The pastry selection was nice, and we loved the self-serve juicer with a nice array of fresh ingredients, including ginger (which added a nice, unexpected zing to our drinks).

We also appreciated how the hotel was close to various hiking trails. A great stay!!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank CA_Hiker49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew N, General Manager at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
Dear CA_Hiker49

What a great review, thank you.

I was pleased to read how much you enjoyed your stay and thank you the breakfast comment, I agree it is a great buffet.

Kind regards

Andrew
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New Zealand
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2014

We stayed in Jan 2013 and the rooms were perfect apart from Qtown having a hot summer and really needing aircon otherwise cannot fault the place! Mint pool and clean rooms and a wonderful view.

The SPA is amazing!! I went and had a pamper afternoon on my bday and the service was awesome!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Myounger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew N, General Manager at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Dear Myounger

Great review, thank you.

We are currently reviewing placing air conditioning units into the apartments, which will make the world of difference in the hot summers.

Kind regards

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
338 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014 via mobile

Stayed here for a couple of days before we ventured on our 22mile Milford Sound Track adventure. We really enjoyed our relaxing atmosphere and ambience. The room was beautiful and with wonderful amenities.

Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Dave92024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew N, General Manager at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Dear Dave92024

Nice review, thank you.

I was pleased to read how much you enjoyed the facilities.

Come back and see us in the winter, amazing scenery that changes so much

Kind regards

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redondo Beach, California
Level Contributor
95 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

This was a gorgeous property located just outside of Queenstown in the town of Frankton and on the Kelvin Peninsula. Don’t be misguided to think this property is actually IN Queenstown, because it is not. But I actually preferred to be here than in Queenstown, it was peaceful and quiet and had gorgeous views of the lake and the towns directly across.
The Hilton does provide a shuttle into town, but at very long intervals. They should definitely improve this feature because so many people got angry at them when there wasn’t any room on the shuttle. I was told to book space, so I had to plan and did so…so I didn’t have a problem. You can also take the water taxi into town, though it costs money…and again, only comes at specific times. There is a running trail right in front of the hotel that connects all the way into Queenstown from the peninsula.
As for the room, we stayed in the two bedroom king suite with a lake view at The Hilton Residences. It was breathtaking. The room had all the comforts of home including a washer and dryer and fireplace!!! …I just wished could have stayed longer. The restaurants, the service, the views…everything was first class.
I would recommend this hotel to people who don’t mind paying the price, and who want a quiet alternative to the noisy and crowded Queenstown. It’s not for everyone, so do your research before booking this place.

Room Tip: Pay the extra to get the Lakeview...it's breathtaking!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WeHeartTravel_143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew N, General Manager at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Dear TraveLLady30

What a great review, thank you.

We are reviewing our schedule for the shuttle bus service, this will increase the services and reduce the time between them. We have had great feedback since we introduced the service as it makes it easier to get into town.

Kind regards

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

Property: Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Address: 79 Peninsula Road | Kwarau Village, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Queenstown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Queenstown
#4 Business Hotel in Queenstown
#13 Romantic Hotel in Queenstown
#17 Luxury Hotel in Queenstown
#19 Family Hotel in Queenstown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment you set foot inside the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, you'll discover a place that not only celebrates the world-renowned beauty of this region, but immerses you completely in that beauty. Welcome to a new way to experience Queenstown. Welcome to Hilton. This is an exhilarating setting, and one without compromise. The only hotel positioned directly on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa faces north, delivering full afternoon sun and showcasing panoramic views over an unspoilt terrain famed the world over. Watch the deep blue hues of the lake shimmer and glisten and savour this most intensely beautiful destination. In the heart of vibrant Kawarau Village and just 15 minutes via lake or land from Queenstown, you'll enjoy effortless access to all the excitement on offer in the region - and the closest accommodation to The Remarkables. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Queenstown Hotel Queenstown

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