Connect with us


‘Looked great on the web-site, thoroughly diverse in fact:’ What are your rights when a lodge doesn’t produce?



“Avoid this resort like the plague,” wrote one particular reviewer. “Beds smelled of wee, mould on the walls, and bedding and towels filthy,” reported a further. One more, merely: “This motel should be closed down.”

“A fantastic choice for a continue to be in Auckland,” provides one particular booking web site. “Quality, self-contained apartment-model motel,” declares its have site.

They are all describing the identical area: the Takapuna Motor Lodge, a low-increase motel in the beachside North Shore suburb, which after boasted of a heated pool, spa and children’s playground. The hero graphic on its internet site (right until our enquiries) was of sun loungers on the lookout throughout at a wonderful blue pool. Google prices it a 4-star affair.

It was Michelle Ward who drew my interest to the Takapuna Motor Lodge. She posted a warning to her buddies on Fb (“Worst motel I have ever stayed at!”), inquiring them to distribute the term, and it identified its way into my feed. It was, suggests Ward, the worst area she’s ever witnessed, and she’s travelled the globe.

Examine More:
* Man states MIQ stay in soiled home at Grand Mercure disgusting, mentally difficult
* When ‘free’ won’t indicate ‘free’: If the resort says it is really absolutely free, you’ve got presently compensated
* Airbnb FOMO is a issue: I want some

In January, Ward and her sister compensated almost $1000 a evening for a a few-night stay for their families to stop by their father at his neighbouring retirement dwelling.

Ward arrived first, opening her bed room doorway to uncover a broken window coated with cardboard, and the shattered glass continue to on the floor. She acquired a robust smell of marijuana, saw considerable mould, soiled bedsheets, discovered condom wrappers and utilized needles exterior the place door and asked for a refund.

As Ward was complaining, Leona Baldwin arrived with her family – and was supplied the keys to the place Ward experienced just rejected.

The Baldwins – their youngest boy or girl just 3 months old – had been setting up to right away at the resort just after a working day out at Butterfly Creek just before returning home to Rotorua.

First unintentionally shown another guest’s room just before being presented Ward’s room, Baldwin informed staff members it was merely unsafe for a few modest small children. She says she observed dust, mould, and a tray of cat litter dumped above the playground right before also asking for a refund, which was not processed until Stuff created enquiries. She suggests: “We drove all the way back again to Rotorua, so upset and so angry, and the young children ended up crying.”

I considered I’d check it out.

Ready for a dip?

“We put in a single evening in this article … and would not have stayed a different.” (on the net review)

The neglected spa pool at the Takapuna Motor Lodge.

Steve Kilgallon/Stuff

The neglected spa pool at the Takapuna Motor Lodge.

I booked in. The sense this wasn’t likely to be a typical resort encounter was clear from check out-in.

I waited while a pair debated their monthly bill, a challenging process as they have been conducting the argument about a cellphone held by the elderly woman at the desk, who appeared to have no purpose in running factors.

Then the cellphone was handed to me, the woman on the other conclude told me a place quantity, and I relayed this to the aged lady, who offered a essential.

Ordinarily, it would seem, there isn’t even this substantially human interaction: symptoms on the doorway discussed how you experienced to call a amount, would be told a place amount and a code, and you took the key from a lockbox. Look at out was the exact: fall your critical in a lockbox and leave.

The place, up a established of steel stairs, was tired, pretty weary. But it was also incredibly clear. I’ll be truthful, it would have been additional spectacular if I had discovered any of the next (all taken from evaluations on a variety of web pages): a broken window cockroaches a broken shower a collapsed bed “more stains on the carpet than carpet”.

But it did not just take extended to find glaring deficiencies: a smoke alarm lying unfastened on a shelf, the battery removed. A tv which didn’t really get the job done, briefly giving me a alternative of Primary and Sky Flicks, and then just snow. What seemed like places of black mould on a quilt address, and on the shower ceiling. An historical circuit box on the wall, and incredibly, a boiler tucked beside the fridge. A comprehensive ashtray on the balcony.

All in all following 8 several years travelling NZ, this is by far the worst location we have ever stayed.” (on-line critique)

Ward suggests she booked for the swimming pool and playground. That pool was obviously final swum in a very long time in the past a patina of grime encrusted the pool protect, and historic, deflated footballs rested on the top rated. The spa pool was vacant and filled with rubbish.

Deep on the motor lodge’s website, at the base of an FAQ web site, was a solitary line warning the pool wasn’t operational, but you would not have recognised otherwise.

The playground consisted of two aged swings and a rusted trampoline with a rip suitable by way of the center of the leaping pad.

Beside it, a get rid of stuffed with previous mattresses, whiteware and browsing trolleys, covered in graffiti and obscenities.

This garage full of junk and covered in obscenities was right outside Michelle Wards’ room (and next to the playground).

Steve Kilgallon/Stuff

This garage whole of junk and lined in obscenities was suitable outside the house Michelle Wards’ place (and following to the playground).

The worst put I’d ever stayed? Surely not. But I spent six months backpacking in the early 2000s, and some of all those areas had been dreadful.

They ended up also only $20 a evening, and the Takapuna Motor Lodge’s exceptional suite had value $200.

For that price the following Friday evening, could get you numerous Ramada motels, the Parnell Pines, and a Wyndham Suites.

While Google suggests it is a 4-star hotel, the hotel, in fairness, tends to make no this sort of claim it’s not component of the only ranking method for New Zealand inns, Qualmark, which charges an once-a-year ranking cost.

You could eliminate by yourself for times in the on the net critiques that complain of uncomfortable beds, stained sheets, torn towels, dents in the doorways and partitions, missing sink plugs, a cutlery range consisting of 3 teaspoons, soiled dishes, mouldy showers, chewing gum on a espresso table, pie crumbs in a mattress, even another person making an attempt to syphon gas from their car as they slept.

“We still left the subsequent day experience that we may well have experienced a additional cozy stay if we had slept in the car… this motel should really be shut down,” wrote just one.

”Avoid this spot at all charges.” (on the net overview)

“Looked good on the web-site, but it was absolutely distinct in truth.”

The worst remain we have at any time experienced. We are getting this disgusting place to Reasonable Go and trying to find a refund.”

​Some rooms are let as emergency housing the Ministry for Social Progress [MSD} has been using the motor lodge since 2016. In a statement, MSD regional commissioner Dan Brunt said, “we expect our clients to get the same quality of service as any other paying guest”.

Many were dismayed at the disparity between the website and reality. One wrote: “The only thing true was the location.”

Ward’s room was next to that shed of crap and the playground, where she’d expected her kids to hang out. “We’d chosen it based on the facilities available to keep the kids amused – there was no indication they weren’t working, and they had clearly not been working for a long time,” she says.

“To me, it is disingenuous: we’ve been sold a service that wasn’t available … that playground – there’s no way you’d let children anywhere near it.”

The very neglected swimming pool....

Steve Kilgallon/Stuff

The very neglected swimming pool….

Consumer NZ’s Jessica Walker says Ward and other guests have grounds to complain under the Consumer Guarantees and Fair Trading Acts and ask for their money back.

If not, they can file in the Disputes Tribunal (a non-refundable $45 fee applies). She says accommodation providers are “required to exercise care and skill when providing their services, and shouldn’t mislead their customers”. Complaints about cleanliness also fell under those provisions.

And “if they go expecting a playground and a swimming pool, they are within their rights to say they are being deceived.”

‘Yes, there are problems’

“After room had been cleaned again the floor still had the same mess of potato chips and crumbs, so maybe their vacuum doesn’t work or the staff don’t know how to use it.” (online review)

The hotel’s affable general manager, Kerr Singh, knows things aren’t right.

First, the pool and spa: Singh says they’ve been closed because they are no longer economic to run, and he’s removed any mention from the booking sites.

After our first conversation, he deletes their photos from his own website, claiming it’s old and drives so few bookings, they simply forgot about it: “It is not a conscious effort to deceive. It’s not our intention to hide it.” (They are still advertised on the big sign outside, but he says: “That’s an old sign”.)

Takapuna Motor Lodge website


Takapuna Motor Lodge website

He also actioned Baldwin’s refund, saying a third-party booking site was to blame for the delay. He also admits Ward’s room wasn’t up to standard, but he says she was offered a full refund by co-owner Amrit Singh (Ward says Singh was rude and dismissive).

Ward says her bank records show the hotel tried to process payment for the second night of their booking later that evening, but Kerr Singh says that had happened earlier that day and they were always going to honour the refund.

The other stuff is a longer term fix. He intends to chuck out the playground equipment, and hopes for some modest renovations, including new carpet in some rooms, but says as lessees of the hotel, owners Ritz Enterprises (directors Harjinder Kaur, Amrit Singh and Karandeep Singh) have struggled with underinvestment from owner Carolyn Smale (part of the Smale family behind the nearby Smales Farm Business Park).

The trampoline at the Motor Lodge.

Steve Kilgallon/Stuff

The trampoline at the Motor Lodge.

He sounds pained when asked about the reviews. He argues that if you look at the most recent reviews on, “you’ll see not all are horrible. Mary has given us a 9 out of ten. Someone has given us a 7 out of 10. Ian has given us ‘pleasant’.”

He pauses. “There’s no two ways about it. It’s not glowing… but we are not the worst motel in Auckland.” They are rated 5/10 on, and he finds a couple with lower reviews. “We want this to be better. We want our hotel to be eight out of 10. Unfortunately, it is five. We are working to improve it.

“There’s nothing nefarious going on. It is a really old motel which hasn’t had major refurbishments…and that’s reflected [in the prices]. Our charges, in terms of Takapuna, it’s not like we are a 4-star, 5-star resort so in some cases I don’t know if the expectation of the customer is [excessive]… we can get disgruntled shoppers who aren’t often telling the complete tale.”

But past word to Ward. “Imagine holidaymakers coming into the place, possessing witnessed it on the net and considered ‘how lovely’ and that’s their to start with quit off the airplane? Horrendous. I just want to prevent someone else keeping there and acquiring the exact encounter.”

Resource connection



Follow Us on Social.


Copyright ©2021 Hemp News Online
HempNews Online is a content aggregator website that collects different content including news articles, social media posts, images, and videos on particular related to hemp and cannabis from around the web and makes them accessible in one place. if you wish to remove content please email