Princes Gate is New Zealand's leading historic boutique hotel and offers you the elegance and charm of yesteryear combined with all the modern comforts that you expect to make your stay a pleasurable experience.
Originally built in 1897, Princes Gate was relocated here from Waihi in the 1920s and overlooks the famous Government Gardens and Convention Centre. The hotel's prime location on Arawa Street places guests just a short stroll from central Rotorua's many cafes, bars, shops and attractions, as well as the Tourist Information Centre. It is close to the city centre and a just stone's throw from the edge of beautiful Lake Rotorua. The airport is a convenient 10-minute drive away.
From the outside this is a beautiful colonial style building, very photogenic for holiday snaps. It also has a great location. It is situated in the town centre, next to the beautiful government gardens and Museum. The convention centre and I-site are a stroll across the road.
There are a few free parking spaces outside the hotel which we were lucky to grab but I understand the hotel does offer valet parking.
The interior of the hotel is old 1920s style and reception was welcoming. I have seen other reviews that thought the old-fashioned singer sewing machines and other paraphernalia was tacky but remember this a young country with a recent history . Personally I thought the downstairs was lovely.
Each room is individually styled. For those used to more modern hotels it might seem just dated. A nice touch is that each room is named after a famous Rotorua person (which includes the Elizabeth room named after the current owners daughter, Elizabeth Marvelly, singer). Our room contained a brief history of the hotel which was relocated to its present position. Yes, they can move whole buildings in New Zealand!
As it is an old building, the tea-coffee facilities were squeezed into spaces where possible. Ours was at an odd angle to the wardrobe but manageable. While the sheets and bedding was clean I did notice a few cobwebs hanging off the high ceiling.
The most disappointing aspect of our stay was that breakfast was not included in the price. On the particular morning we stayed there was only a choice of buffet style cooked breakfast and continental breakfast, neither of which had much appetizing variety. The hotel also offers dinner and show packages which did look to be good value however.
The hotel has a small thermally heated pool inside the quadrangle of the building which some of the rooms overlook.
For those with a bigger budget, desiring colonial charm and a central location it's a good choice. If you are looking more at value for money I would look amongst the large choice of motels instead.