We went to Belle Mer with my two (2) sons and their three (3) wonderful and beautiful friends for what we had hoped would be an enjoyable and relaxing New Year’s break vacation for six (6) nights. I wish I could say that the Belle Mer was everything we had hoped for, it wasn’t.
In fact, the management’s attitude and behavior was unprofessional, rude, crass and just plain old horrifying. It really seemed as if they were operating under the presumption that these innocent young adults were radical in their thoughts and ideas, deeply troubled, reckless, dishonest and unworthy of even lodging in or about the Belle Mer even if for a short stay.
Knowing that we would be ringing in the new year with my beautiful children and their equally beautiful guests, some who happen to be South Pacific / Asian / Maori, I could only have expected that equality is a thing of the present while inequality is very much a thing of the past. Although this is only my opinion, my experience at the Belle Mer would strongly suggest that its management does not embrace nor share the very values and ideals of equality.
At first I thought I was just being an over protective Dad. However, the mere fact that my children and their friends expressed to me that they felt as if the cover of their book was being judged without reading nor appreciating the pages in between, confirmed for me that a philosophy and an attitude that has long since departed civilized society was still being embraced in some places in our world. I did not expect one of those places to be a place people look to for peace and tranquility I did not expect one of these places to be, possibly and according to my children and their friends, The Belle Mer.
I have always taught my children to accept others for who they are, not what they are, just as I have instilled in them the values of racial equality, generosity and simple, random acts of kindness onto unexpecting others. I have been fortunate to have dual citizenship, as do my children, in the United States and New Zealand. We have traveled the world, each time learning, understanding and embracing the beautiful mosaic of cultures that makes up our world. Keeping that in mind, I have stayed in hundreds of hotels around the world and have never, ever, experienced anything like what we experienced at the Belle Mer.
The view from our room was magnificent, however, for an establishment that rates itself as a luxury accommodation that lacks nothing, the quality of the apartment itself would suggest otherwise. The bedrooms are quite small; they have no dressers and the organizational amenity it offers for your clothing are metal racks located in the closets. The units offer two (2) bathrooms, one (1) common bathroom that is small and one (1) larger master bedroom bathroom, however, both are without ventilation and you are free to imagine the unpleasantness of this on your own, as I would rather not describe it nor relive it. The laundry is located just inside the common bathroom and the vents for the clothes dryer are vented directly into the room, making it impossible to dry anything, not to mention how uncomfortably humid this makes it. The living area lounge suites/couches are becoming worn and threadbare. The dining table marred and marked by many water stains. Although I am not one to complain and although these things you would easily ignore for a low or moderately priced apartment, however, I certainly would never expect this type of lack with regards to accommodations for a unit in this price bracket.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the Belle Mer.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
31 January 2012
Yes we remember this guest very well.
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We do not believe this to be a genuine or a sincere complaint.
It’s a real shame that this gentleman feels the need to imply that we are in some way racist or prejudice but we can only assume it’s coming from a place of anger due to the confrontation that occurred between us during his stay here at Belle Mer Apartments.
His ex-wife had booked and paid for an apartment for herself and 5 teenagers over the New Years Period. At the last moment she was unable to come and had therefore asked her ex-husband to come instead of her as the responsible adult to support the 5 teenagers.
On several occasions during his stay when we noticed excessive numbers of additional teenagers coming and going from his apartment, we explained our Body Corporate Rules to this guest but he continued to ignore the rules. The Body Corporate Rules here at Belle Mer Apartments in relation to visitors are a maximum of 4 visitors allowed per apartment at any one time, and ‘registered house guests’ only after 11pm. We also ask all guests to be mindful of the noise they make, in particular between the hours of 10:30pm and 8:00am. These rules apply all year round, including New Years Eve, but this particular guest seemed adamant on allowing excessive numbers of teenagers into the apartment throughout his stay, culminating in a total of 24 teenagers in the apartment on New Years Eve partying and celebrating quite loudly and coming and going from the building quite loudly.
Although we wish for everyone to enjoy their stay here, we simply can not allow one group of people to ruin it for everyone else and so we judged his behavior to need action.
We took the necessary action which included the involvement of the local community police to support us in that process. The guest disliked this and was not very cooperative.
Our concern was purely for the safety and comfort of the rest of our guests and for the building itself which is at risk of damage when large numbers of non registered guests are coming and going, especially where alcohol is also involved.
In terms of equality – we welcome guests of any race, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation and ethnic background. We have lived all our lives in London, England until very recently when we took over the management of this apartment complex and moved to New Zealand.
We are used to living in what is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world and we would very much like to think that we would not be the type of people to discriminate. So it’s a real shame this person feels the need to imply such things.
We do not believe this complaint to be genuine or sincere and we hope that our explanations will allow Trip Advisor Readers to make their own judgment as to whether this complaint was simply a malicious reaction on the part of the guest.
Mike & Anne Gulliver
Belle Mer Management.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC