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Reviewed 31 December 2018 via mobile

Like some, I read the reviews here before I booked. After staying here 5 nights, I conclude that they are mostly way, way over-the-top.

My best synopsis is that the Dairy Private Hotel is a place for people who either like staying at an expensive place where other people are without needing to interact with them or see them much (while feeling “polite”), or who have not yet discovered private home rental services.

Here are several points from my experience that may help you make a decision. I do wish I had chosen more wisely. Not upset with anyone but myself.

1. The hotel does (though maybe not always) offer a glass of bubbly upon arrival and give some restaurant/sightseeing opinions. Beyond that, the staff are not generally accessible (even during the day) and communication is by e-mail. No one was on site after 6 pm during my stay. (I did not need them necessarily, so not that big of a deal.)
2. The entry door has a code for entry and exit, providing an extra level of security. The rooms are on old-style keys.
3. There are three parking spaces at the hotel. If you do not get one of these, you will park on the street.
4. The hotel is not all that quiet. It sits on a busy corner and the rooms are not far from the street (see 1st picture). I was awakened most every night from street noise. Inside the hotel a thick (and well-worn) carpet helps to dampen any inside noise, yet also occasionally smells a bit damp.
5. There is a hot tub, though when I was taken out to see it, I noticed the neighbours (10 feet away)underwear hanging on their clothes line. In fairness, once you are down in the hot tub (I never saw it in use.) you likely will not see this.
6. Beyond the hot tub, there is a main sitting area, a small, un-weeded outside patio, and a separate small library room as amenities. (The furnishings are reminiscent of Pottery Barn in North America from a few years back.) That is all. I did use the library room to sit and enjoy a couple of glasses of wine (from a bottle I bought at a winery), which was pleasant on a damp, rainy afternoon.
7. Breakfast is also a part of the experience. It is housed in a nice space with windows accessible by internal stairs. It includes coffee, 3 types of juice, a small selection of self-serve granola, yogurt, charcuterie, and fruit; as well as approximately 6 different made-to-order items involving eggs cooked in different ways (omelette, Benedict, fried, etc) or pancakes that are rather bland. Breakfast is offered at 3 seatings- 7:30, 8:15 or 9:00. The only real interaction I had from staff was being pestered every day at breakfast about what time I wanted to have breakfast the following morning. It is rigid. If you get away without committing, they will slide notes under your door requesting that you e-mail your breakfast time. I would say it is a nice breakfast, yet not any mega-buffet or anything more luxury than eggs and bacon.
8. The rooms are comfortable, yet no larger or more luxurious than anything else among standard hotels. My room included an over-sized armoire (like you put a TV in 20 years ago), a small flat-screen TV, a white dorm fridge, and a reasonably comfortable bed. Without the thick carpet and a heated towel rack in the bathroom, I would say this was like most any other hotel room in a mid-priced chain.
9. The hotel is within 2 blocks to the centre of town and on the walking path to the chair lift to the top of the mountain. It is a rather steep walk (with steps) into the town, yet close distance wise. (If you do not have mobility issues, it is fine.)

I have stayed in a number places at and above this price point around the world. For value, it was the lowest value I have experienced.

The appeal here is simply being close to town, and spending money to be left alone between reading or going out on a hike/bike ride. There are no elevators, no crowded buffets, no visible housekeeping staff from unknown countries, no real/forced effort to make you feel like a valued customer, and no need to interact with others you will never see again anyway.

If that is your thing, you may like it.

Beyond that, it is a pricey place on a corner in Queenstown.

Date of stay: December 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank mbc421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2018 via mobile

There are three accommodation options on the home page of the Dairy Hotel - standard rooms, premier rooms and their on-premises luxury 4 bedroom apartment (as at December 2018, the date of booking and writing this review). As we are a family, we were looking for either a multi room suite or on property apartment. There are a few hotel-based options in Queenstown for this - Millbrook, Hilton, Sofitel and a few others.

We went for the appartment in the Diary Hotel, which as you would expect, is their most expensive space, at $1075 per night at the time we were there between Xmas and New Year.

It all started fine, with a wonderful greeting and the offer of the complimentary bubbles on arrival, as advertised on their site. As it was still morning, we elected to take this later in the day. But when we returned we were stopped at the door of the hotel by an employee and told we could only take this in our room. Not only were we not welcomed into the lounge area of the hotel, we were physically blocked from crossing the threshold as though we were some menacing and unwelcome intruders!

Initially, we thought this was an aberrant service blip, so we raised it with the owner, Richard, in an email. He explained that indeed this is not part of the apartment package and that we should not have been offered the drink in the first place!

It then got even more bizarre. It became clear that the apartment in fact included NONE of the items advertised on the website - not the welcome drink, no access to the hotel area, no access to the hotel tub and no included breakfast. Oh, and we returned the next day to find the apartment had not been serviced either. No fresh towels, no bed making. And no plugs in the bathroom sinks (even after asking for them) so not possible to shave other than by running the water. Obviously we are not to be trusted with plugs as we'd clearly either steal the plugs or flood the place? Although the space was good, the basics were lacking also - no drawers to store any clothes (only coat hangers), poorly maintained (bathroom fixtures that easily fell off, peeling paint in the master en suite), cheap plastic bathroom fittings.

All this for $1075 per night paid 6 months' in advance of our stay. A total of $4300 for 4 nights.

And as if this is not strange enough....

We received a hand written apology note from the nice gentleman - an employee, not the owner - who greeted us, along with a bottle of wine to complete the apology. He either did this out of a sense of professional pride or was asked to by the owner.

Though this was a very nice gesture, it did not sit right with us for an employee to be taking the fall and in any case completely missed the point - which was that we had booked and paid for a package which was then not delivered.

Though the owner had suggested to me this was clear, I went back through the website including following through the booking process, and reviewed all confirmation correspondence, and this was simply not the case. At best, the site was misleading in its omission. At worst, it actively misled.

Whatever the shortfalls in the site, or errant assumptions we may have made, it is absolutely not acceptable to be paying top dollar for the most expensive space in the Hotel and then be treated like second class citizens with no access to anything in the hotel, not even basic room servicing. We're Kiwi expats who travel frequently all over the world, and know Queenstown well, having stayed many times in this type of accommodation. The whole experience was frankly bizarre and fell a 'Hemisphere' short of expectations in every dimension.

I'm sure the rooms in the hotel are very nice, and the property is well rated (why we booked), but our experience with their on premises luxury family apartment fell Biblically short. We're not looking for money back - just chalking it up to experience and sharing this with others so they don't fall into the same trap.

We also sincerely hope this review is considered deeply by the owners, and they act on the feedback, as this place could so easily be brilliant, and it's so important to support local small business owners. Until then, be warned and ask the questions explicitly before parting with your up front fees.

Date of stay: December 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank craiglepaigle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2018

The rooms were large enough, the staff extremely friendly and check in after hours was a breeze. Breakfast could not be beat with made to order offerings. Jacuzzi was a nice touch after a day of walking. Right at the base of the gondola that will take you to the top of the hill to get a great view. Only a block from downtown with many restaurants to pick from.

Date of stay: November 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TeekyK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2018 via mobile

I was truly looking forward at my stay at the Dairy that I mistakenly ended booking two rooms! It seems like a booked a room in February and then another one two weeks later using two different booking engines. Both reservations were done for two people for November dates. They only have 13 rooms and at no point I got an email checking if the reservation was a duplicate. When we finally arrived, 9 months after the reservation was made we were informed we had two rooms. The issue was the way we were informed “ well, you booked two rooms and they are non refundable at the point, too bad”
The manager was just too abrasive and plain rude that I could not even respond to his comments. He did mention if he resales the room we could talk. Well, that certainly did not happened. The next day I went to talk to the other first desk person about re renting out second room and he had no idea what I was talking. Clearly, they had no plans on re renting a room they were already paid for. It was hard to have a good relaxing time after this welcome! Our rooms was fine, nothing special, the bed was comfortable tho. The main issue with the room was the shower which flooded the bathroom every you showered as the shower door was not long enough. I hate to use too many towels, but you did not have any other choice unless you want water all over the bathroom.
The hot tub was look warm, I certainly could have complained, I just didn’t want to deal with the unpleasant manager. The “ gourmet” breakfast was just plain. The coffee shop across the street was much better... we always enjoy staying at boutique hotel, but this one was literally a double disappointment
Anyways, mistakes happen and I felt the Dairy did not do anything to accommodate us which does not reflect the NZ hospitality. Before our arrival to the Dairy we were all over NZ and it disappointing they managed to leave a sour note at the end of a lifetime trip.

Date of stay: November 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Jgsilva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2018 via mobile

Great location - central yet quiet - staff very caring - moved us to another room as the first one was noisy due to some drain leakage on the roof. They accommodated an early breakfast for us and the owner came in to say hello. We also enjoyed the fireplace in the evening with a cup of tea before going to bed - it felt just like being home.

Date of stay: November 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Jofisch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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