Wednesday Review – Kiwi International Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand

Hey folks, today is my last accommodation review for my recent trip to New Zealand and Sydney. After four nights in Rotorua my wife and I took a bus to Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, and we had two nights there.

Looking for a budget option was not easy or particularly fruitful. We’d already spent a lot of money on the Sydney hotel so I hoped to find something for less than $100 for a double room (with ensuite), but it was not to be. Even the hostels with double rooms priced them at above $100 (Australian). One hotel that appeared in almost every web search that I did (and boy did I do a LOT) was this Kiwi International. It was hard to get a gauge on just what the place was like, it seemed to be part hostel and part hotel. There were lots of rooms with four beds (two bunks) and also many rooms with shared bathroom, but as a couple we didn’t really want to share a bathroom. So in the end we went with a room with an ensuite.

Exterior from the street.
Exterior from the street.

The total for the room for two nights was a little over $200 Australia. It was definitely more than we wanted to pay, but we had little choice in the matter it seemed. We arrived by bus, and couldn’t really work out the buses in central Auckland despite having planned it all via maps and the web from Rotorua so we ended up trudging up a big hill to get to the hotel.

It’s location isn’t right in the centre, but it’s close enough to make walking into town only around a 20 minute quick stroll. It helps that that is the downhill journey. From the centre to the Kiwi International with all your bags is a different story all together! It’s a suitably big building behind another. It’s got a big reception area, and I found all the staff I encountered to be friendly and helpful.

Twin room.
Twin room.

The place is a bit musty and looks a little dated. We took the lift up to our floor, and it was quite a little maze up there to finally get to the room. There was only a twin room available, but remembering the size of the double bed in Rotorua that may have been a blessing. The room we pretty basic, and not nearly a spacious as the rooms on the website (which is kinda always the case whatever hotel you are booking).

Shower in one corner.
Shower in one corner.
Toilet in one corner of the bathroom.
Toilet in one corner of the bathroom.

The bathroom was seriously a cupboard, that would be my biggest complaint. There was a kettle and TV in the bedroom. The beds were pretty soft which isn’t to my personal taste, but everyone is different. There was room service. The carpet seemed pretty thin. The walls were thin too – I remember sitting on the loo able to hear every word clearly of the couple next door’s conversation.

It is a bit for the young party goers. I imagine you get much better bang for your buck with the rooms with no bathrooms. And the four-bed rooms are probably the cheapest per person. So for those popping into town on the weekend to party, this is the place to stay. There were certainly a lot of young girls dressed up ready to party there when we stayed there – a Ssturday and Sunday night.

The Saturday night proved very hard to sleep through. Outside the room and only a couple of metres down the corridors someone had used the fire extinguisher for fun. The entire corridor floor was covered in white foam. Staff knocked on the doors at 12am or so asking people to come down stairs, worried about the fumes, but most including us refused. I rolled a towel up and put it at the bottom of the door and opened the window as much as I could. It seemed to work.

I couldn’t rate this hotel very highly to be honest, the noise from the corridor was probably the worst thing although the rooms really do have a budget feel about them. If you go to Trip Advisor and see the reviews there, people are very critical and the owner responds to them all by reminding them that they won’t find a cheaper place in Auckland which you know, doesn’t impress me.

Budget travel is not what it once was when people are supposed to consider $100 a night a bargain. Yes, New Zealand is expensive and this is the biggest city in New Zealand, but it still doesn’t represent good value for money. If I had my time again I’d spend $30 more a night and stay somewhere substantially nicer. However, if you are a group of four and just want to party, it probably is great value. Personally, I was disappointed.

Andy’s Ratings

Value For Money – 2.5/5

Noise – 1.5/5

Cleanliness – 2.5/5

Friendliness – 4/5

Location – 3/5


TOTAL: 13.5/25 (54/100)

Thanks for reading! May the Journey Never End!

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