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Ventura Inn & Suites Hamilton

While researching hotels and towns for my two days outside of Auckland I stumbled across Hamilton, which is the largest inland city. It’s a two hour drive from Auckland and a good city for excursions to Raglan and Kawhia at the coast line and the Waitomo Caves, Cambridge and even Rotorua. Hamilton offered mot much of chains, there is a Novotel in the city centre and a new opened IBIS right across the street from the Novotel. The later one was not bookable as I looked for the hotels and not even announced on the homepage of the Accor Group. The Novotel not available for the first night and the second night was expensive with 165 NZD.

Looking in an accommodation guide I found the Ventura Inn also has a property in Hamilton – I knew about the one at Auckland airport. The hotel looked really nice from the homepage (but so do hotels the most time). Anyway, I gave them a try.

The hotel has 50 rooms and suites and is located at Clarence Street near the main street Victoria Street and in walkable distance to both this street and the Waikato River. Hamilton Garden is a 30-minutes-walk away.

If you come by car from Auckland follow the 1 and then turn to the city centre via Victoria Street (which is the “4”). Follow Victoria Street till the end (the church on the right side) is a landmark. Turn right into Bridge Street to the roundabout where you turn right and the first crossing turn left. This is right after leaving the roundabout. Clarence Street is a longer street but at this part it’s a “no exit row”.

The hotel is three storeys high (ground floor and two floors) and shaped as a lying T. You enter the hotel through a lobby which is two storeys high and therefore very airy, but of smaller seize. The check-in is right beside the entrance and usually there is one agent on duty. A sofa and some lounge chairs are opposite the check-in area. There is also an internet PC. On the other side of the lobby, divided by some flowers is the breakfast area where in the morning the complimentary continental breakfast is served. The pool could be reached through the lobby; it’s small and covered by a wall and right at the street. There are some lounge chairs but it’s not a nice area, because on the one hand you have to pass the lobby, on the other hand you are lying in front of the hotel looking on a wall and have the sound of the nearby street.

The gym is on the ground floor and really small and only featuring two machines. Not really what I call a gym, but there was no one in it as I passed and therefore it might be okay regarding the fact the hotel has only 50 rooms. The equipment is new and quite modern.

A conference room is also available on the ground floor.

The hotel has no restaurant, but partners with some restaurants in Hamilton, which offers cash back, i.e. you can charge the restaurant bill to your room.

LAN was available for a reasonable 9.50 NZD for 24 hours. It was 24 hours and if you log in and out you could use up the minutes for three month until the account expires. Good for someone often staying in this hotel.

Breakfast is included in all room rates and a continental breakfast offered as buffet. It had hot water for tea (tea bags were available) and coffee as well as two sorts of juice (orange and apple). Toast and pastries were available as well as cereals, yoghurts, pastries.

The floors could be reached by an elevator and two staircases, one of the stairs leads directly to the rear of the parking lot. The parking lot is around the hotel building.

visited on USA + NZ

stays 18 February 2008

Arrival Date: 18 February 2008
Departure Date: 20 February 2008
Room type booked: Deluxe Studio Room
Rate Plan: Best Available Room
Room Number: 220
Room Rate: 119.00 NZD

Status of Guest Program: n/a

I have booked a Deluxe Studio Room. The hotel offered Standard Studio Rooms, Deluxe Studio Room and Two Room Suites with microwave and small kitchen.

Check in was fast and very friendly. I was asked for a credit card and got everything explained, breakfast time and gym. It did not take long and up I was on the way to my room.

My room was located on the second floor facing the front entrance. It had the classical hotel room ground plan. If you enter the room you are standing in a corridor with the entrance to the bathroom. The bathroom consists of toilet, sunk and Jacuzzi. The wall around the Jacuzzi was with tiles, the rest of the bathroom was painted with a waterproof bathroom painting. The floor had no real tiles, but some sort of linoleum. Bathroom amenities (shampoo, conditioner and bath lotion) were provided and restocked daily. Three sorts of towels (small, medium and large) are stocked in the bathrooms. A hairdryer was available.

The room had a bed on the right side with two bedside tables and reading lamps. There was also a central switch for the main lights at the bed. The mattress was a bit too soft for my taste. Opposite the bed were a table with two chairs and the working desk with LAN connection and TV on it. Although the TV took some space of the working desk, it was enough space to work on a laptop. A wardrobe was aside the desk. Plugs were available on and under the desk. A fridge and tea and coffee facilities were stored in the corridor.

The air condition unit was wall mounted at the wall to the bathroom and over the bed. Luckily it was one of the units which caused not that much draught. And it was also possible to open the windows.

The room had some paintings on the wand and painted in a nice beige colour.

There were not really scratches on the furniture or stains in the carpet in the bedroom. It was no exclusive furniture, but a solid and nice one. The bathroom however shows some scratches on the floor and a few stains / scratches on the wall, but nothing really big.

A central switch where on had to put the room key to get power were aside the entrance. Unfortunately this meant the a/c worked only one was in the room.

Check out was again friendly and very fast.

I was very pleased with this hotel. If offered a very good value for money. Downsides are the somehow small pool and gym. On the other hand the location was good and the room was okay. Internet was reasonable priced. I would have liked to have a better and harder mattress, but I prefer a really hard mattress and the most people prefer a softer one and therefore it might be okay for other people.

Having a continental breakfast included was a nice thing and the Jacuzzi very nice, though not really a luxurious one.

I would definitively stay there again and really could recommend the hotel.