Thursday 31 March 2011


It seems there are a few people in the travel industry following the Silver Oaks saga. Including Travelbug the Trademe travel booking site.

They have just tweeted us and have given us a $150 voucher! Thats way better service that we got from

Now thats how you win friends and influence people. The voucher will go to mum and dad who suffered the most at Hotel Hell. Just told mom and dad and they are really happy. These days they make frequent trips to Dunedin as dad needs a bit of attention from some kidney specialists and sometimes they are too tired to make the return journey from Dunedin to Alexandra. So a nites stay will be very welcome.

My parents know how to rough it - we all head to the remote muttonbird islands in a few weeks where we will have a long drop for a toilet, and no hot running water and a coal range for heating and eating in a little tiny place. But it is spotless. Mum is a stickler for cleanliness - Janola is her best friend. They have travelled throughout the country extensively but they reckon Silver Oaks is the crappiest place they have stayed.

Thanks Travelbug for making my parents very happy!


We have documented our appalling experience at what we have dubbed Hotel Hell. The bed bug ridden, filthy, Wellington hotel Silver Oaks on Thorndon.

Well we lodged a complaint with the Hotel at the time and all we got were shrugs from the staff who reckoned that they could do nothing. So we went to Wotif as we booked it through their website.

Anyway we are getting compo of sorts - a free night back on the same floor of the same Hotel Hell.. !!!!!! Yess siree ! For some reason Wotif thinks that a free night in the same shithole is going to make me feel better!

We will not be taking up that offer.

And as for Wotif we wont use them again - we will use Trademes Travel bug or Ezibed.
Here is the correspondence.
To Wotif

#193273## & #193273##

As described on Wotif Silver Oaks Hotel on Thorndon
Business Rooms contain a queen bed & a single bed. All rooms come with Freeview TV, fridge and mini bar.
HI, I would like to make a complaint about this hotel. It falls a long way short of expectations and is not accurately described in the brochure

List of Failings
No milk
No Mini Bar
No TV remotes
No cups
Continuously pouring hot water in the shower -bath that had rotted the boards around the bath and consequently the bathroom smelled bad. ( I did complain to the manager and the did give us another room - that did not have milk or a minibar. )
On request I was given milk. The young man on reception was fantastic - When I asked him why there was no TV remote - he said that " there had been lots of theft and head office was not giving them any money to fund some"
He did go out of his way to find one for my elderly parents.
The place is best described as "grubby"
I would not have booked this hotel at all if I had known how bad it was - it falls short on many levels and I would like to know what I do as I think that it it is not accurately described in the Wotif Advert ( no milk, no minibar ) and its grubby.

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 4:46 PM, Admin <> wrote:
Thank you for your patience.
We have contacted the SilverOaks Hotel on Thorndon with regards to the feedback you have provided our office. The property has sent the below response.
We are greatly disappointed to receive this feedback.
We are pleased to head that our Receptionist was helpful and friendly, the Receptionist is a full time Receptionist and is not actually a student.
We appreciate that the guest did enjoy their breakfast, and I am sure you appreciate the fact the tea bag broke was beyond the control of the Hotel.
I am surprised to hear that you could not find the coffee cups in the room, I do assure you that there are coffee mugs on the shelves above the fridge.
I am most concerned that your father had a fall in the shower, that is certainly of great concern to us, and we are relieved to hear that it was only minor.
You are certainly correct the shower is above the bath, and the shower is fitted with hand rails to hold on to, in addition the base of the bath has a non slip base, so it should not in effect require an additional rubber bath mat, but we do appreciate your comments and will invest in rubber mats as an extra precaution as we certainly do not want our valued guests having a fall in the shower.
I understand you made the assumption the TV was a 15in, I assure you all TV’S in the Hotel are 24 inch, we do not have any 15 in tv’s
We do offer uht milk, and this is normally found in the fridge, I do apologise if the room attendant did not replenish the uht milk.
For some reason in Hotels the remote controls do seem to walk on a regular basis, we do replace all missing remote controls every month, it is amazing how often we do need to do this.
We now have our mini bars on the 3rd and 4th floor, in the guest compendiums we advise guests that if they would like a mini bar to the room they just need to ring 0 and it will be delivered to the room
The guest is correct the sheets are cream, we do not have any brown sheets. The sheets were purchased as a cream colour and they do remain a cream colour.
We do believe the rooms are very clean, and we do agree with the client that if the Hotel is an older Hotel is must be clean, and we do agree with that principal.
If you are not totally satisfied with the outcome from the property or you wish to comment further regarding your booking please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team for further assistance.
Kind Regards,
Kylie Morris
Customer Liason Officer

Hi, This is the most outrageous reply I have seen. Its a very sophisticated way of calling me a liar. It is extremely clear that a search of the internet shows very clearly that this hotel is not as it is described and its substandard and its filthy. This is a comment repeated time and time again by people who have had the misfortune to stay there. what was worse is that I also ended up with bed bugs.
It would not have been acceptable at half the price let alone the $135 we paid. I want to know what one has to do to get their money back. I have had one experience with where I was not given the room as described in my booking - yet I was offered an immediate room change and the owners were also happy to inform Lastminute that a refund was warranted.
It is obvious that Wotif is happy to list this type of hotel with out any regard to it being honest about its rooms. Some listing sites have actually refused to book this hotel for what are obvious reasons.
I made it very clear to the hotel that I was appalled yet they would do nothing ( in fact there were three other elderly guests who were also upset with the filth they had encountered)
So I want to know how I go about getting some compensation for an appalling experience.
And the outcome????

Thank you for your reply email.
It is disappointing that you do not feel that the property has been honest and fair regarding your feedback and subsequent request for a refund on your booking.
On this occasion has exhausted all avenues with the accommodation provider to secure a refund as per your request without success. Any refunds for a reservation must be authorised by the accommodation provider that has advertised and sold the accommodation as this has not been gained we will be unable to offer any refund on this occasion.
In light of your recent experience the SilverOaks Hotel on Thorndon would like to offer you one free nights accommodation at the SilverOaks Hotel On Thorndon, room only, in a business room on the 4th floor, valid to the 31 August 2011, or from the 1 November 2011 to the 31 December 2011.
Please note that is a booking agent. As we are an accommodation booking agent and not a travel agent, we are not offering recommendations towards properties. Our website lists available accommodation for guests to compare and contrast the different options available to them before proceeding with a booking that best suits their requirements. is unable to guarantee that the information on the website reflects a true representation of the accommodation advertised. Our office makes every effort to ensure that the information is accurate and that the accommodation providers are providing sufficient information to assist our customers in making an informed decision however as per our terms and conditions we do not guarantee or offer any warranty for the services rendered by the accommodation providers.
Unfortunately we will be unable to offer any further compensation pertaining to your booking.
So for putting up with a NIGHT IN HOTEL HELL YOU GET A FREE NIGHT IN HOTEL HELL! and the rooms we stayed at was on the 4th floor and was a "business room" The only business that would be conducted in these rooms would be drug deals and prostitution.

Wednesday 30 March 2011


This week got off to a wretched start, my son Matt lost a great friend Jason Nilsen and another mate Dan Young is in hospital recovering from serious injuries after a boating accident in Fiordland.
Jason was a man with a good heart. He made sure that whenever he was passing through Central Otago that mum and dad always got a feed of fish.

He was never ever destined to do anything but fish and he was good at it.

He followed the six generations of salt encrusted footsteps of his Maori, English and Norwegian fishermen ancestors.

One branch of his family, the Calders was heavily entrenched in the Bluff oyster industry while the others, Nilsens and Bradshaws were cray and cod harvesters.

Jason had a huge lust for life and was always up to something - his "stealth missions" were legend.

He had a close bond with my son and his mate Dan and the three were plotting and planning world domination of Ernest Island - the muttonbird island where Dan and Mat and often Jason met once a year with their families. Some of Rakiuras finest young guns.

Jason supplied 45 huge crayfish tails for Matts recent wedding and Dan gave an hilarious speech about some of the "missions" that Mat and he had got up to over the years.

And Jason was also a wonderful father to Morgan, who loved his dad very, very much.

Jason was planning a mission of sorts when he was killed. He had bought the boat he was killed in to transport tourists to a big barge he had in Doubtful Sound. He had rigged it up so that you could get TV and watch it in comfort. He planned to take tourists to it for the Rugby World Cup 2011.

We will miss Jason - his wit, loyalty, unfailing good humour, his enormously generous spirit and big big heart.

Sail on Jason.

Tuesday 29 March 2011


Introducing the T-Bomb. At a $162k its a bargain.

Radioactive with a half life of 6 months.
Will poison all those who come into contact with the fallout.

We think that Judith will not be able to resist the pay cheque and the chance to have a say on who the next leader of Labour will be.

Monday 28 March 2011


Well for some reason sex seems to be the topic of the month, with the Darren Hughes affair, and the mad rooter and Charlie Sheen all dominating the headlines.

Well now we have a promiscuous chook. We bought a chook with ten little chickie babes on Trademe. But it appears we have purchased a hen hussy. It is obvious there are many fathers involved. Now it appears that she is a good mother, but we are wondering that when we finally purchase a rooster - will he keep her satisfied or will she go walk about in search of more cocks to to satisfy her laying lust.

The good thing is the Department of Rangitumau Hen Housing CEO - The Rock, has built our chooks a Hen Hilton.

Fancy as - it is. Boards, perches, dust, light, air, boxes and an acre to run around in.

We are hoping that our chooks do not end up feeling dependant on our wheaty welfare handouts and accomodation suppliments.

We would prefer that they find the main bulk of food themselves with us giving them a top up.

However we will provide free room and board during egg laying and egg hatching.

And then we might forgive them their hen hussiness.

We dont want socialist chooks who have a sense of entitlement but instead we want hens who are self sufficient.

And if they are really good we will get our chookies a decent cock. A big self important rampant Red rooster Cock called Howdy Doody.

We just hope that for the sake of our chicken breeding programme he doesn't turn out to be gay.


A great funny video with the PM a the Napier Art Deco weekend - it will be legend. We love the bits about not knowing what he is signing.

Apparently unscripted..Unlike Clark who could only find a job in the backroom of the largest corrupt organisation in the world, Key would do well on the stand up circuit.

Sunday 27 March 2011


Crikey even Kiwipolitico is expressing disgust in the rudderless, leaderless, powerless, characterless Labour Party.. A real sense of exasperation on the left in how the Darren Hughes Affair has been handled.

Poor buggers - we really feel for them - really....


Lindsay Mitchell always has a considered take on political events and today is no exception.

She puts politics and the Darren Hughes Affair in its place.

We also watched Goff on Q and A today - he was not impressive. And tonight TVone news focussed on the disconnect between Goff and party prez Andrew Little.

While we think that Labour would be stupid to replace Goff leading up to the election we were quite surprised to see a clip on Marae of Shane Jones in a potae and a tie today -and he was minus the humourous banter. He was all serious and statesman like. So what, we wonder is he up to?

He has been a numbers man in the past and will be again. He is one of the few in Labour to have an ok relationship with Cunliffe.

And of course the Tizard factor is delicious.. We are confident that she will not step aside.

One thing we think is for certain it aint over for Labour until the fat lady sings

Saturday 26 March 2011


Sunlight is always the best disinfectant. We think that there is some required on revelations that the home of Annette King, where the alleged incident between Darren Hughes and an 18 year old occured, is probably the cleanest house in the whole of Wellington.

According to reports by Jonothan Marshall, King gets her house cleaned three times a week.

No one was home at King's residence today but a cleaner, who said she services the home three times each week, said Hughes' bedroom was in the upstairs part of the large villa but he had not used it for several days.

Police have already searched the home


Thats a lot - we have had cleaners before and once a week is good for your average household with kids. With just three adults - all of whom work long hours - apparently, then its hardly likely that there will be much in the way of dust fairies under the bed.

Not sure about fairies in the bed though but we digress.

So there needs to be more questions asked about this cleaner.

  • Are they paid cash perhaps?
  • Just what do they do 3 times a week?
  • Who does the paying - the taxpayer or Ms King and is it subsidised by Mr Hughes.
  • And will they still be in their job after they let slip with the revelations?
  • Will this lead to an employment court case?

And we also want to make mention of a comment that Trevor Mallard has made on Matthew Hootons facebook page - We think it will offend every hard working, good living blue collar worker out there who stuggles to make ends meet while bringing up kids. Apparently Mallard reckons that this very busy cleaner is needed because Ms King is a very very busy woman..

Trevor Mallard Matthew sometimes I think you are perceptive and then you do something like this. Annette is generally at parliament by 8am, she generally leaves about 10.30pm. She works seven days most weeks - something that is reflected in her electorate majority in a seat (extended from one) that she won from a national member and has turned into a fortress. The worst thing is that I'm pretty sure if she was a man you wouldn't complain about her getting regular cleaning help.
about an hour ago ·

Its an outrageous claim to make - implying that politicians work harder than normal folk - the sort of wage earning folk who often vote Labour. The sort of workers who will have two jobs, a huge mortgage, and the stress of bringing up young kids in this uncertain time. Mallards comments implies that politicians are so important and so busy that they need domestic help. that they are more important than the rest of the great unwashed.

It is more astounding that this sort of comment comes from someone known to be on the lefty end of the Labour spectrum. It shows that the sense of entitlement and superiority runs deep in the Labour Party.

Or is this a subtle way for Mallard to let the media know that this story requires greater scrutiny. Further destabilisation of the Labour Party only benefits Mallard. Or are wee suffereing from the same conspiratorial delusions as this woman?

Friday 25 March 2011


The leftie loons think that the Darren Hughes Affair is a Right Wing  Honey Trap Plot..

This on someones Facebook page.....

Is the Darren Hughes affair a covert American style (National Party) sting?
2 hours ago ·  · 

    • roflomao!!!!!!!!!!!! you silly bint
      2 hours ago · 

    • Geoff Lealand It would be reassuring to think so but it is probably just a foolish moment.
      2 hours ago · 

    • Sumner Burstyn of course a foolish moment but is anyone investigating the complainant? I'd like to know. Was he set up, exploit a weak moment - it smells very much a Republican style set-up.
      about an hour ago · 

Sad really that people could even think that..  So National ,who have a recession, an earthquake, an unstable global economy, the Middle East rocking and rolling and the West Coast still reeling from an awful mining accident - apparently  have the time to indulge in setting up a yet to be proven politician in the opposition party??
The Honey Trap using Swallows  were the stuff of legend  in the days when spies really were spies and a poke from an umbrella meant you were dead.

Hughes and Goff are in a sticky mess but its been of their own making. And as for Goffs future? Gone by next week. But Parker as the next leader ???  Wow  Joe Ninety  is even more colourless and souless than Goff.

If there really is a right wing plot its been perpetrated on Labour by the Tartan Mafia of Dunedin. Parker is their man and they are not socialists.


We use the shortened version of the word pokokohua (Hua) a bit. Its a well used southern curse of the vilest kind. Its a bit like saying motherf**king C**t - it invokes a sense of outraged gravitas that lends punch to a decent insult.

As a child, we once got a smack for using it.

So it seems that Outspoken Nga Puhi fella David Rankin is a bit hoha at Marama Davidison, a human rights commissioner calling him the Maori equivalent of a C**t.

He is right to be outraged and he is right to take Ms Davidson to task. After all, if she had called him a c**t then white people would be outraged.

So in her capacity as an arbiter of moral decency, Ms Davidson has no right to be flinging around insults about people who do not espouse what are obviously her strong left wing views.

So good on Rankin for calling her out.


We are awaiting replies form both the owners, Silver Oaks Ltd and the online marketers Wotif to the dreadful experience we had staying at the Silver Oaks Hotel in Wellington. Both had said they will get back to us.
It was an appallingly grubby hotel and out sentiments were echoed by all but one of the reviewers on Tripadvisor.

And this site has stopped referring it.

We worry about this sort of establishments ability to tarnish our reputation leading up to the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Anyway it appears the whole chain is up for sale by Collliers. The sales blurb mentions the fact that some hotels are due for refurbishment. We have stayed at many hotels undergoing refurbishment but all were clean. The Silver Oaks was not. It was filthy.

Do not stay at this hotel until someone new has bought it and manages it to a standard that Kiwis expect.

Wednesday 23 March 2011


We have a saying in New Zealand and its about what is most important to us as a nation - its a Maori proverb and its this.. "what is the most important thing?" It is people , it is people , it is people.

He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.

So we need you to come to New Zealand – its already full of good people. People who are open, friendly, keen to tell a yarn, have a laugh, find out about your world, find out what you do.

And we have our share of characters. Crazy mayors like Tim Shadbolt down in Invercargill. Amazing chefs like Fleur Sullivan who created a restaurant on the end of a wharf in Moeraki to guarantee the fish she serves at Fleurs place is as fresh as you can get.

Or head to Te Anau and take a flight with legendary Richard “Hannibal” Hayes.

Meet interesting wine makers and characters like Alan Brady, in Gibbston valley,

Dlont forget the young helicopter pilots who will take you skiing and sightseeing, and the pilots who fly the Stewart Island Air service.

The drovers on the Central Otago Cavalcade - a horse lovers dream ride.

Young Jack Topi who has a flash big boat called the Awesome who takes fishing and hunting charters out of Bluff and around Stewart Island.

The skippers of the Bluff Oyster fleet . Follow the Bluff residents around to the “point” to watch the boats come up the harbour. Follow them back round to the Bluff wharf and watch them unload.

They are all our people, all different and they will all welcome you to our place. Because they know that more than ever, in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake - the answer to the question what is the most important thing?

It is people, its is people , it is people.


New Zealand is now firmly entrenched as one of the worlds leading producers of great wines.

New Zealand is now a must visit destination for wine lovers of the world.
Even today Martinborough Pinot Noir - trumped some of the leading and much more expensive wines in a blind tasting in Pasadena California.

We think it is in the South Island that some of our greatest vinos are being produced.

And there is an innovation and an adventurous spirit in our winemakers that sees them experiment and create new taste sensations.

Some of our favourites:

They are but a few of best of New Zealand has on offer

Our vineyards are small, each vine lovingly tended and the wines are crafted with an artisans touch.

Try out the Wooing Trees Blanc de Noir "Blondie" and fall in love with its sophisticated sassiness.

Or Seresins finely crafted and delicate Pinot Gris, a wine to talk about and with.

Or Carricks off dry Riesling - A good wine with shellfish.

And for a cold day quaffer try the blended red "Robert the Bruce" from Olssens.

The vineyards themselves are places to visit and tarry a while.

Artisan food production is starting to grow as our country seeks to match its good food with our stellar wine.

Try our cheeses - Gibbston, Whitestone and Neudorf are three that have been created to match the wines of their regions. Our favourite is the Neudorf Richmond red.

There are now wine regions tucked into many corners of the South Island - all good all worth a visit and all waiting for you to call, say hello, drink a bit, talk a bit eat a bit, and drink a bit more.


There are many ways to travel New Zealand but to get a feel for the land and its people - hiring a van or camper is the best way to go.

The time is yours - you choose the journey the pace and the places. Nothing is better at finding the nooks and crannies of the South Island than a motorhome.

I have travelled the length and breadth of the South Island with my parents, living off the land seeing something new - no matter how frequent a road is travelled.

Some of our favourite places are the most remote. Jacksons Bay is a remote fishing village tucked away in the South West corner of New Zealand. Seals and fishermen fight it out to call it home. Try the famous fish and chips from the old caravan there - there is none better . Close your eyes as you eat and taste the sea.

A trip around the South Island means that you can end up parked up for the night under a wind sheltering hillock next to a vast lake, like Tekapo with no one in sight. The world feels like yours alone as you wander to the shore and see your reflection in the chilly turquoise waters.

Or you can buddy up with others and go on a great adventure as we have done many times.
Hanging out, fishing, walking, drinking damn fine wine made with an artisans tender touch. Cooking simple meals of trout, salmon, flounders from the coast, mussels from the rocks and eels from the rivers.

All along the highways and byways are people offering their home produce for you to buy.

Take a trip - take it slowly and you will feel your heart rate drop and your head clear.

Only problem you might have is calling the next day your last day in New Zealand.


Little New Zealand is the best country in the world and a wee corner of it, Christchurch, is a little battered and bruised after an earthquake shook much of the central city apart.
Christchurch will be rebuilt. What we need most is for tourists to realise that New Zealand is still open for business! So we are one of a worldwide team asking you to come and visit. We need you, we are laying down a fern mat of welcome and will greet you with a nation of smiles.

I’m a sixth generation Southlander so I’m fiercely proud of my country and love with every breath, the Mainland – which is what us folks down south called the South Island – Te Waipounamu – the land of Greenstone waters that are found in the rich verdant ribbons of waterways that braid our Southern land.
So I have decided to invite you to some of my favourite places in the South Island. Land of my birth, my ancestors and my heart.
First, to the very deepest of the South and the last of the great ocean and wildlife experiences in the world. A place that can make you feel like you are the only one left in the world. Stewart Island is an island of extremes – tall majestic old man Rimu trees shading black water rivers that lead to deep blue bays teeming with one of the great seafood delicacies - Stewart Island Blue Cod.
It is also home to one of the most intelligent of the marine mega fauna, Hooker's Sea lions. Baleful creatures who guard their sandy domains with a passion - yet are happy to play with you as you dive along the rocky shores.

Stewart Island's Maori moniker is Rakiura – the land of the glowing skies. And glow it does, a fierce fire of icy light that rises in the dawn and folds into the horizon in the long twilights.
You can take a fishing trip on a local boat skippered by a local crusty old sea dog who will have brine on his breath and a spin a yarn from the westerly wind.

Try kayaking, swimming, tramping or you just can hop off the Bluff – Stewart Island ferry or Stewart Island plane and mix and mingle with the 400 locals who call Rakiura home. Chill, eat, drink talk, learn, sleep a deep and contended sleep.

You can hire a water taxi to Ulva island, which is a pristine haven for noisy birds and is such a peaceful, tranquil place it will gently blow away all the city dust left clinging to any world weary traveller.

So fly on in to Christchurch, take a trip to the South, stop at Rakiura and fall in love with life again.


The Sydney Morning Herald has asked a few notable foodies what they would prepare if they had $1000 to spend.

For us it would be an intimate dinner for 4.

There would be Cloudy Bay Pelorous bubbles to start
Bluff oysters with Paulownia Rose
Sauted baby paua with a grassy Olssens Gewurztraminer
Lobster Thermadore with Wooing tree Blondie
And for dessert poached pluots with creme fraiche with schoc chilli chocolate shavings and a nice Forrests The Doctors Nobile Chenin Blanc

For a Wild Food alternative

A starter of Pan Fried Blue cod livers on Vogels 12 grain. Trinity Hill Viognier

Wild fallow deer back steaks with Huakararo Maori potatoes and sauteed puha -Te Motu Dunleavy 2005 Cab blend

And for dessert freshly picked blackberry shortcake with titoki infused icecream with a Seresin late harvest riesling

Nothing too fussy..


John Key has sent a strong message - life in the public service is going to change - because it has to.
We say - make a super policy Ministry - so out with Ministry of Women's Affairs, Ministry of Maori Affairs, and the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and the Families Commission Pacific Island Affairs.

One of the drivers of this government is to get the public service to act like a well oiled machine - So housing all policy under one umbrella is sensible. At the moment the development of policy requires endless hours of consultation with other departments about their thoughts and feelings on various initiatives. Putting it all into one big melting pot is just common sense. So any department where the core aim is to increase the economic and social well being of people should be housed together.

The Government has already started on the super groupings with Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fish - which will probably end up as the Ministry for Primary Industries.

There are already moves to look at bulk purchasing, streamlining tendering processes and taking a good hard look at what is nice to do as opposed what is necessary. So the job of getting greater efficiencies from the public sector is well under way. But there is still a lot more that can be done.

The next few years will be interesting and challenging. But changes to the public sector are not in the Governments " nice to do projects" they are an absolutely necessity if we are to climb out of the economic troughs we can expect to face in the next few years.

Monday 21 March 2011


We travel a fair bit in Australasia.

We quite like Most of the time the hotels they list are well described and up to scratch.

But we are becoming very cynical about

For a host of reasons, we worked out on Saturday that we needed 2 rooms for mom and dad and me to overnite in Wellington on Sunday.

We turned to Wotif and because we looked at the best value we opted for a place called Silver Oaks for $135 for the room which came with a free continental breakfast each and free parking and free wireless. The latter was of no real consequence. It was the free parking and breakkie for ma and pa and me that clinched it.

This is how it was described . Sounds fine on the first read.

We had the "business " rooms. We remembered the place as it used to be called the Sharella and it was once a classy place to stay in the 80's.
Heres what they said they offered:

Business Rooms contain a queen bed & a single bed. All rooms come with Freeview TV, fridge and mini bar.
Rates are for 2 people. Extra adults $20.00. Extra children $10.00. The room caters for a maximum of 3 adults, and a maximum of 2 children but cannot exceed 3 guests in total.

So the rooms sounded okay. We tossed up with the James Cook but it was a standard room with no parking and no breakfasts for $145 - so we did the economy thing, in an effort to show our mum our frugality.

We knew we were in trouble when our partner, who had to spend an unexpected night in town recently and ended up at the same place, said, on hearing that we had booked the Silver Oaks, that is was " rough."

I should have looked at Trip advisor - "disgusting' and "slightly better than sleeping on the street" would have warned us and there are a couple of dozne comments saying the same thing

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2.0 of 5 stars33 Reviews
“Disgusting”Mar 7, 2011 - MELIOS_9

To rub salt into the wound - it is called a "Quality Hotel"

So how bad was it?

First the good stuff.

  • The young fellow who was on reception , obviously a student who did try and fix things.

And thats it for the good stuff.

So to the bad stuff.

We started off by asking for the keys to both rooms. The first room stunk and we opened the closed bathroom door , only to find the hot tap in the bathroom could not be turned off and the steam and heat had bulged all the boards and it was mould city. There was no way you could have had a shower without getting burned feet.

Sorry we have no pics of it . But we raced out of there without getting the evidence.

The young fellow on reception then gave me keys to another room.

The two rooms were both extremely grubby - I'm not entirely confident the sheets had been changed as they were wrinkled and stunk a comment echoed many times in Trip Advisor. Both sheets and pillow cases were cream not brown.
Although it was clear that they had been in their past a lovely bright white. We think we may have been tucked in by those same sheets back in "87 when we stayed there nearly every week.

So when we arrived in the rooms - dad tried to find the remote for the 15inch TV- It wasn't there.

A call to reception and our student helper . He told us they were always getting stolen and "head office" wouldnt give them any money for new ones.

There was no remote in my room either. So I told him not to worry about me but as dad struggles to walk anywhere, he better scour the hotel for a remote. He did and he found one.

Then dad said there was also no milk for a cuppa
No Milk at all.
Again the nice reception boy got us some.
Meanwhile in my room , I thought I would get some chilled water from the minibar. - There was none. There was no mini bar at all. Not what was described in the blurb on Wotif.

I was surprised when in the morning mum was up and dressed at about 7am knocking on my door.

She told me that dad went to make a pre bedtime cuppa - only to find no cups!.

They knew at that point that if they told me I would probably do my block. So they went to bed with out a cuppa. Bbut they woke up gaging for a cup of tea so decided to get me out of bed early to go and get some breakfast.

Mum told me over Breakfast that dad had slipped in the shower which was a shower over the bath. There was only one grip handle and no rubber mat.

Luckily he only hit his head a wee bit on the way down but he was a bit vague for the rest of the morning.

The final straw came when dad got a cup of tea in the restaurant. He came to the table after visiting the breakfast buffet with a face like a dropped pie.

His tea bag had broken..

We could only laugh at that point..
It was the least consequential thing but seemed to sum up the whole horrible experience.

The breakfast, other than that was ok.
In fact it was the only thing that was okay.
And judging by the comments on trip advisor we are probably being kind in our criticism.

If you are staying at a cheaper hotel - you can expect it to be a little warn and tired.
You can expect that you might not get the best of food.

But you do expect the basis things for a cup of tea and you do expect cleanliness. I have stayed in places much older and tired than the Silver Oaks but they were spotless and the linen had a fresh clean smell.I am pretty sure that the Silver Oaks is re-using sheets and pillowcases.
And we are very angry with Wotif.
We listed our concerns at 10pm last night and have yet to hear from them.
We think that they could do way better in vetting hotels like this.

So why didnt we just tell them it was not good enough ? Or ring Wotif? We were simply too tired. Knackered in fact . And if you have ever tried to complain about an online booking you will know its not easy.

So please travellers of the world - there are other nicer places in Wellington to stay. DO NOT stay here.

We hope that it is pulled down before the Rugby World Cup. Not because it is tired or old - but simply because it is not up to the standard of cleanliness that kiwis expect from a basic hotel like this.

Silver Oaks is an insult to the frequent traveller looking for budget accommodation.
It would be the worst value accommodation we have stayed at in a very very long time.

UPDATE: As you can see from the comments this hotel is fast developing a seriously bad reputation. Damien Christie and Wallace Chapman of BackBenches Fame have also slated the place. As have some of our Facebook mates.

We also worked out that we have stayed in two other Silver Oaks motels - the Ambassador in Hamilton and the Oaks Motor inn in Mangere ( we have stayed there 4 times on our way to Aussie) which is very popular and very well managed.

We have also pinged off a message to the chain that owns the Silver Oaks . We await the reply with interest.