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.
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?