Quite why the Best Western chain calls this a hotel was not disclosed to me during my recent stay. The experience was so bad that it resembled Fawlty Towers - without the comic humour.
I booked five weeks ago through my trusty online wholesale service, but a colleague warned me to check the booking during the day. "Sorry sir we do not have anyone staying here of that name this evening". So eventually I rebook - although at that point I am concerned I have paid twice (will come back to that). Arrive early evening, waiting, waiting, waiting, check in. Room Level 1, overlooking Victoria Street, this will be a challenge. Head to dinner, back in at 2015, step over the homeless, through the hookers, run the gauntlet of smokers and more to get through the lobby. Finally hitting the sheets - long day that started at 0430 in the lower North Island. Wake at 0100, cars, drags, burnouts, people, shouting - a right royal circus we have in Auckland on a Wednesday night. Grab a brew, reach for the heater (a relic from the 1960s) - Houston we have a problem. I have a choice between warmth or sleep. I can only think the heater was designed to screen out the noise from the street! Finally, sleep about 0240. Wake, shower, pack and hit the lobby at 0650. "Sir, we need to debit your credit card for the movie". WTF! My brilliant response was, "I didn't know that there was an additional charge for watching the news on TV at 0600". "No Sir, the movie". There is a point in time when my patience expires, and I could sense that moment fast approaching. After an increasingly heated exchange I hope that I managed to dissuade the lobby staff that a) I had not watched a movie; and, b) I would never be coming back. Our group's collective experience was a shambles ranging from no booking, to two nights, to the wrong night - we were all staying on the same one night. I am now sifting through receipts, online bookings, and waiting to watch my credit card transactions with intrepidation.
The best advice I can provide is find somewhere else - Auckland has great places to stay, in the CBD or on the North Shore. I can't for the life of me think of any consumer group or guest segment to which this establishment would appeal. Budget conscious? Then stay at a backpackers or the 'Y'. Yes, this was a corporate booking and it is their last. less