Advantages Super facilities, luxury, great breakfast
Disadvantages Soulless, expensive
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
It isn't very often that I'm idly playing around with one of my reviews and look to the bottom of the page to see a "Products you may be interested in" item and think "Oh yes, I've stayed at that particular luxury hotel, haven't I?". But that's what has just happened to me - my eye alighted on the Millennium Hotel, Rotorua and I noticed it had had no reviews yet. Splendid.I went here on a group touring holiday last year. My friends keep pointing out to me that anyone who finds when they are taking part in conversations on holidays to New Zealand and has to specify which trip to New Zealand it was needs to seriously reconsider their green credentials. So yes, last year when I was holidaying with my mother, we stayed in luxury hotels like this; this year when I was travelling alone, I stayed in hostels.
This hotel is a green (eco-friendly) four and a half star deluxe hotel with 227 rooms of which a small number (eight according to their website) are wheelchair accessible. It's a bit of a hike around the building but lifts do go to every floor, which was just as well as we were up on the fourth floor!
After a while, I stopped noticing the smell as much anyway. A chemist friend tells me that if you can smell rotten egg smell then it's not poisonous, it's only if you stop smelling it that it means it's reached toxic levels and you are about to die. However, I'm still here, not dead, (not undead either), which means that either I've destroyed my nose or you do just stop noticing the smell after a while. Either which way, the area immediately around the hotel was not too whiffy, but I wouldn't like to be there with car sickness or a hangover.
The one downside of being part of a group booking was once we got up to the rooms and discovered that they had mixed up the rooms - my mother and I had ended up in a room with only one bed. But that was soon sorted out within the group without having to go back to reception. Which would have been an epic hike indeed!
The en suite bathroom was large and came supplied with a standard set of toiletries that were the same as all the other Millennium hotels I'd stayed at - shampoo, conditioner, shower cap, shoeshine brush, soaps and more towels than you could ever use. If you had no qualms about that sort of thing, you could supply yourself with all the travel sized bottles that you could want for a lifetime and just refill them when you get home. No matter how many times people tell me "Oh they just bin those half-full little bottles, you may as well take them", I still think "No, that's terrible, I couldn't possibly take them, they're not mine! That would be wrong!". Anyway, you make up your own mind on that one. From the website, apparently the bathrooms are recently refurbished in marble and are fitted with baths now, which is quite a rarity in my experiences of New Zealand where showers are much more the norm.What marked this room out as being one of the better rooms in the hotel was that it had a stunning view of the lake and a balcony. The grid-like nature of the rest of the town means that the other rooms must have had a very disappointing view of boring roads and identikit buildings. As we were on nearly the top floor, it means that our views were not affected by any of the other nearby buildings and could instead get a full view of the lake.
They had a wide selection of cold foods (meats, cheeses, fruit, cereal, yoghurt and the like) as well as a good range of cooked foods (sausages, bacon, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, beans, hash browns, fried potato, scrambled eggs and many more things). They also would cook to order - I asked for some poached eggs and they didn't bat an eyelid but just brought them to my table when they were done together with our pots of breakfast tea. Add in the cakes and breads (bread, a toasting machine, muffins, bagels, croissants, pastries) and you may get some idea of how I managed to put on three kilos during this this holiday.This was pretty typical of my breakfasting experience in New Zealand hotels in general actually - they really know how to make a good breakfast that sets you up for the day. But this breakfast bar was particularly pleasant as it was in a light airy room right next to the hotel's indoor pool.
As well as breakfast, which was included in the cost of our room, there is also a bar and restaurant available in the hotel with lunch options ranging from 14-26 NZD (about 7-10 pounds) and dinner from 17-65 NZD (about 8-30 pounds). We did not eat at this restaurant because we were enjoying a hangi meal over at Mitai Maori village instead.
The hotel seems very geared up for business clientelle. As we were there on holiday, we did not make use of the conference rooms available in the hotel. However, they were there and could cater to between 6 and 350 guests should you so wish.According to their website there are several facilities for children here - from mountain bike hire to child minding facilities. But in all honesty, I'd find it hard to imagine taking children here - it just seemed so corporate that I'd be afraid they'd break something expensive!
Those people who know me know that my usual haunts are youth hostels, camp sites and staying on friends' sofas. If I hadn't been on a tour, there's no way in the world I would have spent this much at this hotel especially when I knew I wouldn't have time to make use of its facilities. I enjoyed it very much when I was there and I do see that the facilities are good and offer added value and that the hotel isn't overpriced for a luxury business hotel.But the thing is that if I'm travelling alone then I usually figure that I can stay in a private en suite room in a hostel for a quarter of the price and just use my own soap and bath towel. When I'm travelling, I usually just use the room I'm staying in as a base from which to explore the local area rather than the point of my holiday and so I really don't need all those added extras. Of course, if I could get one of the 100 dollars a night deals, was travelling with a buddy, and I had the time then I'd be back here like a shot for a nice pamper break!
The hotel kindly lent us some additional towels for use in the spa. Which I thought was good service because the minerals in the water made the towels really nasty afterwards.
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This deluxe hotel is perfectly situated next to mystical Lake Rotorua and the Polynesian Spa and offers rooms with views over Lake Rotorua, the...
Shipping: refer to website
Availability: Price is per double room per night and may vary depending on date booked