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Annemarie / November 2010 / New Zealand Selfdrive Vacation
I’ll take care of the payment right now.
About the Sebel Suites… you were right, a very different feel from deBrett and St. Moritz. It had two things going for it– the view and all the space. It was very big and the patios looking out over the harbor were amazing. We definitely felt like we were in the middle of everything. We were surprised how noisy the harbor was. Beyond the noise of the people there was a lot of noise from the piers and the machinery loading onto the ships. It quieted down at night, so it wasn’t a problem for us. We loved hanging out people watching and drinking wine from our balcony– there were three of them! (balconies)
If we hadn’t just come from St. Moritz where the staff is astoundingly helpful, from deBrett where it’s got loads of character, color and attention to the smallest detail, or from Dunluce where Wendy and Roger were two of the nicest, most welcoming hosts I’ve ever come across, we probably would’ve thought more of Sebel Suites. It had a lot going for it. But since St. Moritz, deBrett and Dunluce were so wonderful, we were a bit snobbish about Sebel’s less-desirable attributes. The staff was not helpful– their customer service was lacking entirely. They only helped when we approached them directly and asked specific questions and didn’t seem to know the city very well or the interesting places to go. They couldn’t even tell us how to get to the Auckland Museum. Whereas the deBrett and St. Moritz would greet us as we came and went and ask how things were, the Sebel staff seemed to not even notice us. They didn’t even look up when we walked by much less know our names or remember how we took our coffee (deBrett staff remembered). I asked them if they had an adapter I could use and they said, “yes, it is in the minibar. You have to buy it.” They charged for everything, even local phone calls– a $1.00 a minute! I know that’s normal for most city hotels, but this place went overboard charging for things. It would’ve been different if they were generous with the free, value-added services, like saying hello to us in the morning, calling each morning to ask if we had preferences for the minibar restocking (both St. Moritz and deBrett did that), or leaving extra sugars in the kitchen when they could see that we used all of them up the day before (St. Moritz did). In short, by the time we made it to Sebel Suits we were spoiled rotten. But overall, it was a lovely place that suited our needs at the time.
I’ve written enough now to put you to sleep so I’ll wrap this up.