The George, Christchurch New Zealand (Bookable via Hyatt SLH). Bottom line review.

6

During our recent trip to New Zealand, my wife and I stayed three nights at The George in Christchurch.  This is a Small Luxury Hotel of the World (SLH) property which is bookable with Hyatt points.  In our case we used Hyatt category 1-4 free night certificates.

The George Christchurch Bottom Line Review

The George is a well run boutique hotel in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Despite the fact that the bathroom sinks were laughably tiny, we had an excellent stay.  We loved the fact that The George provides free laundry facilities, excellent free breakfast, a welcome gift teddy bear, and daily chocolates with turndown service.  The George is also in a great location with easy access to most of what Christchurch has to offer.

  • Price: This SLH property is listed as category 4 on Hyatt’s award chart and so it costs 15,000 Hyatt points per night standard, 12,000 points off-peak, and 18,000 points peak. We used category 1-4 free night certificates for each of our three nights.  With SLH properties, there is no way to combine the certificate free nights into a single reservation and so we booked 3 separate 1 night reservations.
  • Point Value: Usually poor.  The George starts at around $200 per night during New Zealand’s summer and $150 in the winter.  I believe that prices were higher while we were there and so we actually got decent value from our free night certificates.
  • Location: Excellent.
  • Room: Using Hyatt points, we were booked into an “Executive Accessible Room”.  We didn’t need an accessible room, but that was the only room type available with points.  After checking in we discovered that our room had a foul smell and so we asked to be moved.  The hotel was mostly full so they couldn’t move us to one room for all three nights.  Instead we spent the first night in a junior suite (which wasn’t really much of a suite, but it was nice) and the next two nights in a Premium Executive Room.  The hotel staff seamlessly moved our luggage to the new room while we were out.  I couldn’t tell the difference between a Premium and regular Executive Room.  Note that all non-suites are labelled “Executive”.  You can view room types here.
  • Parking: Self parking is complimentary
  • Service: Hotel services were very good (front desk and concierge staff were very friendly and helpful).  Breakfast service, though, was sometimes noticeably slow.
  • Daily housekeeping service: Yep.
  • Turndown service: Yep.  They left chocolates beside the bed each evening.  On the first night of the stay in each room they brought us a teddy bear to keep.  Since we stayed in two different rooms and had separate reservations, we ended up with two bears.
  • Laundry: The George offers a laundry room with washers & dryers and detergent for free for guests.  This is an awesome feature!
  • Breakfast: Free menu service & buffet breakfast was provided daily in the hotel restaurant.
  • Hyatt Benefits:  SLH hotels do not recognize Hyatt elite status, but they offer all guests who book through Hyatt the following perks:
    • Free continental breakfast: Full menu service plus buffet breakfast was included for free.
    • Room upgrade, if available: We were not automatically upgraded.  We were upgraded after complaining about the first room we were given, but I’m sure that would have happened no matter how I had booked the hotel.
    • Early check-in (noon, based upon availability at check-in): We didn’t have the chance to test this since we arrived around 4pm.
    • Late check-out (2:00PM, based upon availability at check-in): We didn’t need late check out so we didn’t request it.
    • Free wifi: All guests get free wifi, so this perk wasn’t relevant.
  • Would I stay again?  Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free laundry room use including free detergent
  • Excellent location across the street from the Avon river and only a 10 minute walk to either the Botanic Gardens or town.
  • Full hot breakfast is included
  • Free teddy bear
  • Free parking
  • Friendly and helpful staff

Cons

  • Bathrooms are small
  • Bathroom micro-sinks are ridiculously small
  • Overall building seems dated

Image Gallery

Exterior

I forgot to take a picture of the outside of the hotel and so I grabbed this photo from the hotel’s website.
View of the Avon river from the Botanic Gardens. This is about a 10 minute walk from The George
You can kayak, canoe, or go punting on the Avon

Welcome Letter & Teddy Bear

The George presents each guest with their own Teddy Bear named George.  The note on the bear reads “hello there, i’m george bear and now i’m in your special care. i’ve had the best of hotel life with warm snuggly rooms and fine food that’s nice. life has been good here but i’m ready to roam so please pack me up and take me home.”  The brown square is the chocolate that is brought to the room every evening.

Bedroom

Our room on our second and third night wasn’t big but it was comfortable enough.

Check out that micro-sink
This is what to expect for your bathroom if you get an accessible room.  We were glad to move on to a regular room.

Breakfast

The breakfast inclusions at The George were terrific.  We could order anything off the menu plus grab whatever we wanted from the buffet.  Coffee was made to order by their barista.

Excellent barista prepared latte

I was surprised that the bacon was placed on top of the French Toast, but it was actually delicious that way!
5 1 vote
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6 Comments
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Michael

Thanks for the timely review. I’ll be staying at both The George and the Park Hyatt Auckland next month. Perhaps you could make a quick trip back to NZ to review the Sofitel in Wellington for me.

Robert

Greg, would you be willing to share your New Zealand itinerary? It looks like this was an awesome trip.

Mike DiNovi

I’m intrigued by the notion that the sink was tiny. Perhaps it is simply my style (67 yo male) that I use the sink pretty much only to wash my hands and brush my teeth. It looks more than adequate to me! I had the pleasure to live in New Zealand (I’m a Baltimoran) during their complete shutdown and visited Christchurch, Queenstown, and Auckland when there were literally no tourists (also stayed at the Park Hyatt Auckland – suite upgrade applied – fabulous stay). It needs to be said how wonderfully warm New Zealanders are! It makes these hotel stays even better.

Kadels

I still have my bear from The George 15 years ago!!

Christian

It sure looks nice. On the bathrooms, I’d argue that while the sinks are on the small side they’re not as <i>quite</i> bad as you make out. The lack of counter space, however, would drive my wife to distraction.

mbh

I’m with your wife on that one, but otherwise it looks like a great place to stay.