Update 15 Nov 2012: The All Seasons is the Ibis Styles now
The All Seasons in Auckland (previously Formule 1 hotel) has been rebranded and is now the Ibis Styles. Unfortunately this does not mean it is any better. After my third stay there I cannot recommend to stay there. The rooms are still tiny, badly equipped, the micro-size bathroom is flooded like a lagoon, there is no toilet brush, the front-desk staff are totally desinterested, not lifting their heads if you do not check in or out, and the service has become appalling. And believe it or not: One of the elevators is still not working one year after my first two stays!!! After reading reviews on other sites I consider myself lucky that I never got stuck in the elevator.
The latest inconvenience was the two coffee mugs and glasses not being replaced daily, as there was no dishwasher liquid or a teatowel in the room, so you could have cleaned it yourself. I investigated at the front desk and was told that I could get dishwasher liquid and a teatowel but if I wanted a sponge/scrub I would have to buy it myself. The alternative was to exchange the used cups/glasses at the reception. I chose the latter and was first handed over a mug with coffee stains and a wineglass with lipstick prints... When making up the room the maid threw the bedspread over a pile of clothes. The desk lamp looked as if it had come straight from the rubbish dump.
I shared the room with my husband this time and we managed to store two suitcases along a wall somehow. As we spent a very long weekend in Auckland, we were very relaxed and took it easy. But my verdict is clear: if you want to keep your friends do not tell them to stay at the Ibis Styles.
My previous review
I have stayed at the All Seasons twice for several days lately. The reason for booking there was the incredible low price on Wotif and the fantastic location, just a few steps from the Airbus stop, and every place in the CBD nearby, just easy walks away.
I did not mind having bonsai-sized rooms - but finally have to say that you also get what you pay for. And if you pay all the extras that are charged on top of the Wotif rate (under NZ$ 70 when I stayed there), you get closer to the rates other places might charge you.
You pay NZ$ 20 hire fee (plus a NZ$ 20 deposit) if you want cooking utensils and crockery for the kitchenette. Included in the basic rate are only two coffee mugs and two tablespoons that are stored in a drawer which again was hard to open in the second room I had. Ah, forgot the two glasses ;-)
You pay NZ$ 5 hire fee for a hairdryer...
The desk lamp that was missing in my second stay room was free and delivered without charge when I asked ;-)
Conditioning shampoo and soap were also free ;-)
There was a kind of wardrobe in the room but this space was more used as storage facility for the ironing board (free of charge...). To reach the rail which theoretically could have been used for hanging up your clothes you would have needed to be three metres tall. But even if you were that tall you would still not have clothes hangers... So the hook on the door was the only place where you could hang up something.
The room was so small that I was happy that I was travelling with a handluggage trolley only, otherwise I would have had to jump over the suitcase to reach the bed, or always keep it closed and standing behind the bed.
I would not want to share the room with a second person because there is no real room for more than one person.
The TV had bad reception, and no Sky TV. I did not even have TV3.
The bathrooms are too small to put in proper shower enclosures. In fact the bathroom has about the size of a large shower but still the toilet and a small handwash basin are installed there. When you shower the whole room stands under water, meaning that you have to wipe the floor with towels in order to go to the toilet afterwards and not getting your feet wet again. You can only use the toilet and basin if you leave the shower curtain open or you wrap it around you... You get the idea.
Still I would have accepted all this, had I not had a room on the other side of the building on my second stay, despite my request of a quiet room. I would not have closed an eye had I not had my earplugs. The room was on the Queen Street/Wyndham side of the building where city cleaners use leaf blowers at midnight, and of course, you also hear the traffic noise and the yelling drunken people wandering the streets.
In the first room which was on the backside of the building this was no problem. The only problem was a fellow hotel guest in the room opposite mine who slammed his door every half hour after 3am and virtually ejected me off my bed. When I heard someone slamming the door at an earlier hour during my second stay I raced outside and told the people not to this during the night...
The room was clean apart from a hair pin on the floor beside my bed. On my first stay coffee and milk were not refilled.
Luggage storage for several hours after check-out was free on my first stay. On my second stay I had to use the lockers which cost NZ$ 3 for four hours. If you have a large suitcase storage costs NZ$ 5 per piece.
Staff were friendly enough but not what you would expect in NZ. Also people who were no hotel guests got into the highrise building, with one drunken All Blacks fan who had yelled insults against the Australian rugby team in the neighbourhood for several hours appearing on my floor when I was waiting for the elevator...
There are two elevators but only one worked over a period of two weeks, and as cleaning staff also used them, it happened that you spent ages until it arrived.
Internet use is charged online.
You can get breakfast for NZ$ 10, and it looked quite good. Also sandwiches and other snacks available.
In the vicinity is a fabulous café named Hollywood with the cheapest coffees, food and cakes you can imagine, and more or less next door is a Chinese place named Red Dragon where you can get meals for about NZ$ 10.
Despite the great location I do not intend to go back there in the near future due to the noise. For a break I went to the Mercure instead ;-)
Would you believe it, despite staying there twice for three days I forgot to take photos! But on my final visit (Nov 2012) I have finally taken two :-)
Directions: Between lower Queen and Albert Streets. Airbus stop just around the corner on Queen Street.
For the price which we paid this time, we got a much higher standard of accommodation than we've ever had in Auckland before, which was very pleasing.
To appreciate it, you'd have had to previously stayed at Kiwi International in Queen Street, and a crummy backpackers that had mould all over the floor under the rug (and the smell to go with it). In both these cases, we only paid about $15 less than we did this time!
We only paid $75 NZD for the night (normal Formule 1 prices but we weren't expecting this much quality, based on previous Auckland stays!)
Wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.
Unique Quality: Price was the selling point.
Bed very comfortable.
A little like a caravan experience inside a motel room, but for one night, who really needs to move around much anyway? First time in Auckland city we've had an ensuite in accom we've chosen (a little like a shower/toilet cubicle on a train, except nothing folds away, but it was functional and new and after at first shock over how tiny it was, it was fine).
Directions: a short walk from Queen Street
90 Federal St, P.O. Box 90643, Auckland
Mayoral Dr & Vincent St (formerly Carlton Hotel Auckland), Auckland
147 Quay St, Princes Wharf, Auckland
83 Symonds Street, (formerly Sheraton Auckland), Auckland
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Address: 20 Wyndham Street, City Central, (formerly Formule 1), Auckland, 1011, New Zealand