Ratings shame

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Reavers Lodge "Awful, Awful, awful place - even one star is far too many'' - r0bynmm543

Used toilets, ‘haunted’ rooms, and a guest claiming she was told to go to a shop for bandages after cutting herself on a rusty fridge.

These are just a few of the bugbears of visitors who have stayed at the three worst-rated Queenstown accommodation places in TripAdvisor’s hotels section.

Out of nearly 60 ‘hotels’ listed on the website, the worst-rated based on customer reviews are Reavers Lodge, Lakeside Motel and Rydges Lakeland Resort hotel.

A shocking 41 per cent of reviewers rated Reavers Lodge as either poor or terrible. Almost 37 per cent gave the same ratings to Lakeside, while about a quarter of reviewers lambasted Rydges.

Reavers Lodge declined to comment and Lakeside Motel didn’t respond to requests for comment before deadline.

But Rydges Queenstown general manager Vince Santoro was brave enough to front up. He says the hotel plans to update its bathrooms and fit rooms with new carpets and furnishings in the next year.

“We are always sorry to hear that some guests have been disappointed and we encourage guests to share their feedback directly with us if they have any concerns so we can resolve them immediately,” Santoro says.

“We have 100,000-plus guests a year at Rydges Queenstown and as a team we are continually discussing our service standards to ensure we can deliver and strive to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Lakeside Motel
“We have stayed in some crappy places around the world and this ranks right up there” -Gav2407

Bottom-of-the-pile Reavers Lodge, in Hamilton Road, has 453 reviews.

Some of the latest comments include complaints about irritating noise heard through “paper-thin walls”, slow service and a large, steep driveway.

One guest says they were “so terrified” and questions whether the place is haunted after seeing a man in white pants and shoes walking towards them in a dorm room late at night, before he “disappeared” moments later.

Dorm rooms start at $32, while twin or double rooms start at $99.

Lakeside Motel, in Lake Esplanade, has just 117 reviews.

With rooms starting at $139 per night, reviewers claim the place is outdated and unclean, with many saying the facilities were far too cold to enjoy.

One reviewer, whose username is Sophie 7708, writes: “The kitchen smelt like urine, but at least it masked the smell of the other room, which incidentally never got cleaned or vacuumed the whole week we were there.”

Rydges Lakeland Resort hotel, also on Lake Esplanade, one of Queenstown’s largest hotels, has been reviewed by 2266 people.

Rydges Lakeland Resort
“One of the worst hotels I’ve stayed in. The lobby is so beautiful and the room is horrendous” – Sarah T

The experience was rated either poor or terrible by 27 per cent of reviewers.

With views over Lake Wakatipu, the hotel’s website shows rooms are available from $189 a night and promises the hotel will “take care of all your needs”.

Reviewers include disappointed honeymooners and one guest who says she sliced her finger on a rusty fridge in her “outdated” room and was told by a receptionist they had no bandages, before being pointed to the nearest supermarket.

The disgruntled reviewer, whose account name is Erin G, writes she was very upset because “this service is absolutely unacceptable and it impacted our holiday in Queenstown”.

Advisory Council chairman Nigel Humphries says all three are mid-scale properties that “do not oversell what they are”, but that improvements can always be made.

“In a very busy market like Queenstown, accommodation properties are busy and consumers won’t always secure their preferred option.

“This might impact their perception of where they end up staying.

“Queenstown does not have any accommodation with one or two star ratings – ratings which are not uncommon in other parts of the world.”

Destination Queenstown, the regional tourism organisation promoting the town, wouldn’t comment.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz