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.


kehua said...

Bet the management were either Indian, Korean or Chinese.

peteremcc said...

Damian and Wallace stayed there on Wed and told pretty much the same story at Back Benches.

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

Ha! Last Sept., NZ Hotel Council chairman Jennie Langley said, of the Rugby World Cup visitor accomodation: "Even if it comes down to people sleeping on couches, there's a huge selection..."
Sounds from your experience as if consulting the 'NZ Couch Guide' would have been a better option!

Jill baddeley Real Estate said...

Why is this Wotif's fault?

I do a great deal with business with wotif, if there is concern I would like to know?

Anonymous said...

Have a look on next time. It is Trade Me's accommodation website and has lots of guest reviews you can read. You would have been able to tell before you booked what you were going to be getting for your $ with SilverOaks!

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