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345 The Terrace
Tel : +64 (0-4) 385-9829
Fax : +64 (0-4) 385-2119
Mercure Hotel Wellington is located high on The Terrace, offering spectacular views over the city and harbour. In a quiet setting, this charming boutique hotel features 111 rooms, a restaurant, bar, indoor heated swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna and 6 conference rooms. Guests have only a short walk to theatres, restaurants, the award winning Te Papa Museum and some of New Zealands best shopping.
Room(s) : 111
Non-smoking rooms : 109
Total number of suites : 7
Number of free children in parent's room : 2
Bar(s) : 1
Restaurants in Hotel : 1
• 8 Meeting Rooms
• Indoor Swimming pool
• Public indoor parking
• Private outdoor parking
• Private indoor parking
• Public outdoor parking
• Fitness centre
My husband and I decided to stay at The Mercure on the Terrace in Wellington as we were staying overnight to see 'The Phantom of the Opera'. When I rang to book, I had to wait for a while until I was put through and when I queried the price of $125 I was told that the online price was cheaper at $86, but I had to pay by credit card which I didn't have on me.
We arrived at the top of a very narrow street and there was no street parking available so had to pay an extra $20 to park underneath. The reception area and staff were very chatty and friendly. After parking the car in a very tight spot we used our card given by reception to enter the hotel from the carpark and then made our way to our room.
The room was quite small, but adequate with a double bed, shower over bath, fridge with drinks and eats available from the mini bar. Apart from a big stain on the carpet the room was clean.
We decided to go and have a quick gym session which was freezing cold, but the equipment was new and gave it all a good workout. There are two dressing rooms to get changed and we hopped into our togs for a 10+ length swim which was cool, but good for another workout. After getting out we both went into the sauna which was glorious and heated our cold bones!
We headed up for a quick shower and then decided to have a meal at the restaurant in the hotel which was nearly empty. After choosing a lamb rump and my husband the scotch fillet which were both in the early $30 range we had lovely night views out towards the city. Both meals were sizzling hot when they arrived and absolutely delicious. My husband wanted to try the special of the day dessert which was a baked apple with raisins for $12 and I tried a Chocolate Indulgence which was a huge piece of chocolate mousse for $13 - well worth the money as it was splendid and so full of chocolate. I would certainly recommend the restaurant with the waiters and chef doing a brilliant job and hope that this restaurant has more customers maybe in the summer months as I would certainly return.
Good service, clean room and superb meal.
Travelling south from Palmerston North, I was wondering how I was going to get to this place, since the map told me it was right smack-dab in the middle of all of the roadworks currently happening in that area of Wellington... I need not have feared... I stuck to the motorway, took the "Terrace" turnoff, and after a few moments driving along what appears to be student row, I crested a hill and found the Mecure sitting there proud as can be.
Pulling in to the front foyer wasn't an option, since by this stage my poor beaten up buggy was overheating something chronic and needed shade, so I got a bit cheeky and pulled around and down into the underground parking bays, only to discover that without a keycard, we couldn't enter via the sublevel doors! A short hike back up the ramp to the front reception soon taught me a lesson. -ashamed grin-
Check-in was fairly smooth, with a slight hiccup caused by the pre-booking process being completed on our behalf by a co-worker, but a cash deposit instead of their credit-card solved that issue by taking them right out of the loop. A quick explaination of the circumstances (leaving out that we were actually doing a Mystery Shop of them) had everyone smiling and back on track. I was impressed that the staff asked if we wanted 1, 2 or 3 keycards set up, since we had a youngster with us, to complete the illusion of a 'family holiday'... not that it was MUCH of an illusion. We chose 2 cards, since the little fellow wasn't going to be allowed to wander around alone. Then, we headed up to our room, loaded down with bags.
As we entered the room, our first impressions were very positive. Clean, tidy, spacious, awesome view of the city and harbour... all we could want was there. The bathroom had towels to spare, plenty of toilet paper and even a tissue dispenser built in to the front of the sinktop! Shower and bath combo unit, plenty of soaps, shampoo, and even some bath gel... there was even a hairdryer supplied! I was already seriously starting to think about extending our stay!
The minibar was amply stocked, to the point where I was wondering how they possibly expected 2 adults to go thru it all in one night! The fridge was so full, they had to stack about a third of it on top, with the ample tea, coffee and hot choc supplies! Wowzers, there had to be close on $300 worth of booze available, without needing to head to the bar. On top of this, there were also copious snackfoods supplied as well... room service, take the day off!
As we explored, more great things showed up... not only did we have broadband access in the room, we also had a special plug for dial-up access, selected SkyTV channels available on the 21" TV, and ironing facilities all included. This made it clear that the place was ready for families, or travelling execs... and at less than $100 a night for us, it was well worth it... but we found more too...
We headed down to the reception desk to ask directions into town, and were told that our keycards allowed us access to, and free use of, the VIP elevator, which actually dropped down an extra level to the VIP parking bay tucked away discretely in a sidestreet, allowing us to chop most of the vertical hike off the hillclimb to and from town. Since they thought we were just Joe Publics with a young kid in tow, I thought this was an astoundingly generous service, one which became much appreciated as the day's heat grew into the mid-20's...
After our return from a fun day in town shopping and playing in the Flight Sim, we decided to try out the hotel's own restaurant for dinner. Now this was a bit of a gamble for us, considering how our dinner went the night before, but we figured it couldn't be much worse, after all. We began by ordering a garlic bread as a starter, and when it arrived I thought it was a bit small for the price... but then, they often are. So we let that slide...
The entree of choice for me was the Soup of the Day, which was a delightful Pumpkin and Bacon soup, with a crusty bread roll on the side... a nice touch really. Just a shame that what used to be commonplace has now become a highlight. The soup had a very nice, creamy taste, but I added a bit of pepper to give it a bit more life, then it became stunning!
Shortly after, our mains arrived... I had chosen the Sirloin Steak, and was glad when our waitress asked how I wanted it cooked. I requested 'medium' but when it arrived it was closer to 'well done' and had some burnt bits on one edge. However, it was still quite tasty, if a little tough. I think I am going to avoid steaks at restaurants from now on. The kumara chips that came as the side dish were reasonable, but nothing special.
As part of our meal, we used an AdvantagePlus members-only wine voucher to receive a bottle of the house wine, and we selected the Settlers Hill 05 Chardonnay, which was a delightful wine, easy to drink with no acid afterbite... just what we needed to sip with our dinner.
For dessert I chose the apple pie with butterscotch and whipped cream. It was melt-in-my-mouth deliscious, with rich flavours but without being overpowering, strong cinnemon flavour and walnuts for texture. Delightful!
The staff were wonderful... our waitress had a great sense of humour, took the jokes with good grace, and gave a few good ones back too, which was a rare gem... and as we left we spoke to the restaurant manager, who displayed a clear passion for the job, commenting on future upgrades to the kids menu (Note to management: She has some stunning ideas, please give them serious consideration!) and some general improvements to the overall operation. Such passion and drive is a truly wonderful asset to have, and the hotel has a diamond there.
Afterwards we decided to pop down to check out the indoor heated pool and gym... as we entered, the heavy burn of chlorine struck us like a wall... the pool had just been treated only a few hours before, and the sting was still in the air... however our little fellow decided he would brave it, and was into the water before we could decide otherwise... so, we shrugged our shoulders and joined him, and it wasn't too bad. I would much rather swim in water with a bit too much chlorine than not enough.
While the others continued their swim, I popped out to check out the gym. Not too bad really... some weights benches, a fairly advanced treadmill (that needs some maintenance on some of the buttons), a standing cycle and a some other assorted free-standing self-abuse gear, plus a stereo and a TV even! Not really designed as a gym, but more a toning-studio... but either way, an excellent feature that just made it more value-for-money to stay here. There was even a sauna available, but no spa pool... personally, I think a spa would have been a wonderful addition, and there could easily have been room for it, with a bit of shuffling of the gym equipment.
As we all returned to our room to collapse on the comfy double beds and watch some TV, my partner noticed that the room's smoke alarm was missing. Must have been a VERY determined thief, because it had to be about 8ft above the ground! A quick word to the reception staff and a replacement was on it's way... as we checked out the next day at noon.
Breakfast in the restaurant was buffet-style, with pancakes, baked beans, eggs, hash browns, cereal, fruit, assorted juices and hot beverages... a great way to start any day, and not bad value at $23.00 for 2 adults and a child... though this was a special rate apparently. It seems I got spotted taking notes at dinner the night before and the morning crew had suspicions as to my purpose there... d'oh!
Check-out was just as smooth and quick as check-in, if not more so, and I was VERY impressed with the courteous offer from the staff that I was welcome to leave the car in their garage until 4pm which was our estimated time of departure from Wellington... so we all went for a wander through town to do some more shopping and exploring, since my partner hadn't really seen much of our nation's capitol city. Just before 4pm we collected the car, returned our keycards, and headed north again, homeward bound.
Overall, a stunning experience, and if this place only ranks a 3-star by their standards, I can't wait to see what a 4-star hotel is like... let's just hope it rates better than their 4-star restaurants! By using the AdvantagePlus membership we saved enough on this stay to make another one affordable in the near future. Accommodation and dining were both heavily discount for members.
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William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), As You Like It