Monday 11 February 2013

Onetangi Beachfront Apartments - review

We booked our week's accommodation at Onetangi Beachfront Apartments online, attracted by their being right across the road from the beach. As they are - although only the upstairs ones have views of the sea that you can enjoy from your apartment, because they're built at right-angles to the beach, behind the owner's house at the front. The website is misleading as it concentrates on photos of the newer Beach Apartments alongside, which have better views and look smarter.
Ours, the first along the drive, turned out to be more ordinary-looking than the ones in the photos on the website - it's a two-bedroom, single storey, and I'm a bit puzzled as to why they call it an apartment when to me it's a motel. Perhaps its the serviced aspect, which I'll get to shortly. Still, looks pretty nice, and one of the fixed seats by that outdoor table allows you to see a bit of the sea. The sheath protecting the umbrella was torn and we had to climb up on a rotating chair and then onto the table to remove it - not my favourite kind of exercise, after falling off a ladder last year. I suppose we could have asked someone to do it for us - equally, a non-torn cover would have come off more easily. Though most of the sliding glass doors had stickers on at eye-level, the main one didn't, and though we are familiar with the operation of glass doors, both of us still managed to walk into it at different times. I cut my nose and the mark's still there - plus, it hurt.
Very small point, this - but why would you stick the number on a pillar so that it's hanging out over the edge on one side, while there's plenty of room on the other? Except to irritate anal people like me? And make them wonder how much care and attention goes into other aspects of the apartment?
Ok, this was perfectly pleasant. The furniture was well-made and much more comfortable than you normally get in this sort of place, the lighting was generous, the kitchen well-appointed, the TV a good size and there was plenty of storage space in the main bedroom. The bed there was hard, though, made of two singles with a really noticeable ridge down the middle.
Sorry, this photo insisted on loading itself sideways. It's the bathroom floor, something there is ample opportunity to study in detail. It doesn't show up very well, but the grout is pretty revolting: totally black in many places, overlaid under the washing machine by granules of washing powder. When was this floor last properly scrubbed? A quick swipe with a mop isn't enough. The bathroom otherwise seemed clean, but though I'm not super-fastidious, the floor put me off. Not enough attention to detail here (see 24 above). While I'm on the subject of floors, why on earth they didn't supply some sort of foot bath at the front door to prevent sand being trailed through the unit, I really don't know. Doesn't have to be a fancy ceramic thing like at Pacific Resort Rarotonga: a plastic bowl would do. More thought needed.
Here's another pointer towards the cleaning team not doing their job as well as they should. A burnt saucepan is hardly a hanging offence, and since there was no scourer supplied, the guests who scorched their baked beans had no way of cleaning it properly themselves. But shouldn't the cleaners coming in between lettings check this sort of thing?

The girls who appeared at the door each day offering to make beds, replace towels, toiletries etc were cheerful and friendly - but I'm thinking they needed to be a lot more professional. This place wasn't cheap: it cost $300 a night, which seems pretty pricey to me. The location is brilliant (especially for the lucky ones upstairs) but the standard of housekeeping wasn't. I didn't feel uncomfortable, I was confident the sheets were clean and so on, and they did do what they called "a full clean" halfway through, but still... There are also dodgy electrics in 24, which kept tripping the switch for the hob - the receptionist showed us what to do. She did say if it happened again they'd call the electrician back to have another go at sorting it. Again, $300 a night for this?

It gets worse. When we first entered, there was a smell immediately apparent: hard to describe, sour, stale, definitely unpleasant, very like cigarettes. It dispersed a bit with everything open, and I hoped that would be it - but it wasn't, it lingered, it came in waves, it was very noticeable in the evening from the sofa, and everyone who came to visit us smelt it too. I complained after a few days and the receptionist was concerned and promised the cleaners would look into it. Yeah, right. We lived with that stink all week. It turned out to be caused by a leaking hot-water cylinder that they promised would be attended to immediately - so we were told in an email that we read back home, several hours after checking out, leaving my business card and telling them that I wouldn't be able to give them a good review. They also offered us a 10% discount on our next stay. Will we take that up? What do you think?


the queen said...

If I'm doing the math correctly, $270 is too much to pay for that.

TravelSkite said...

Yeah - nothing drastically dreadful, but an accumulation of niggles that together make it seem poor value. And I remember when NZ$300 would have been nearer US$120!


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