I was after a quick breakfast on Saturday morning. Walked in just after 7:30am. No maître d - no problem. Looked promising - only 1 couple in the restaurant. Good smells and noise from the kitchen. Waiter said take a table and I’ll be with you soon. Good. Comes over and says “Room Number” as though he has 100s to serve and had a bad nights sleep. Told him I was not in the house, just after a fast breakfast. He almost smiled and told me the house was full so he couldn’t serve me. I pointed out the restaurant (which must seat 80) only had 2 people in it and I would be as quick as possible. He appeared to absolutely enjoy repeating that they wouldn’t serve me. No sensible reason, no apology and a rude demeanour. I get that at peak times you might protect space for your houseguests but again - only 1 couple in the room. Rude server and ridiculous rules.
Feeling ripped off about our Round The World trip being cancelled on us (due to Covid19) we hunted for somewhere within NZ that we could travel to that would lift our spirits without breaking the bank and that we'd never been to before. The Duke of Marlborough was chosen over a few other contenders, flights and rental car were booked. I tried not to get my hopes up as I didn't want to invite further disappointment. From the moment we checked in to the moment we checked out it was nothing short of outstanding. It's like stepping back in time as you meander around the building looking at all the old photos and memorabilia on the walls, a living museum in the context of NZ history. The service that we received from every single staff member we encountered was exemplary.
Our room was delightful, I particularly loved the bathroom, the comfortable bed and the gorgeous chandelier. The food and beverage menu was outstanding, and the prices more reasonable than I'd feared. The restaurant staff are just brilliant, world class service! Every dish we had was devine.
If you want to treat yourselves and enjoy a very special slice of NZ then get yourselves here. You won't regret it! It certainly lifted our spirits and made a memory that will stay with us forever.
Wow what a hotel right on the beach front full of history and the room had a outside deck
We also had a meal at the hotel which was great nice food and friendly staff
Also we had the full English breakfast in the morning and again a great meal plenty of food
We have had meals here before which are excellent so chose to stay one night as a birthday treat for me. We booked late so had a room at the back of the hotel looking over the road. There was very little traffic noise. The room was smaller than I thought it would be but clean and comfortable. Had an evening meal here which was good. Chose not to have breakfast here. The staff are very obliging and the waiter gave me good advise re my wine choice.
Next time I would book earlier and go for a sea view room.
We got married at The Duke on 2017 so going back we always had high expectations - these were surpassed. The refurb they have done is outstanding, every things looks clean and new yet still holds its old romantic charms. The amenities and room fit-out cant be faulted, the respectful though Kiwiana manners of the staff make you feel most welcome.
The lunch menu is fantastic, try the seafood chowder.
Dinner for 15 people (including a toddler) was no challenge for them. The shared lamb was sensational and all guests were impressed.
See you again soon Team Duke - thanks for a wonderful weekend.