Princes Gate Hotel

Princes Gate Hotel

Location: 1057 Arawa Street, Rotorua.  Historic Places Category: 2

Built by Mr E Morgan in 1897 some 120 km's away in Waihi, the New Central Hotel was the finest hotel with a distinguished guest register and quite the place to stay! Owned by Mr & Mrs M G Power it boasted 75 bedrooms along with excellent hospitality and saw many large weddings and social functions held here.  Their daughter, Nellie Budd and her husband took over the hotel with many a guest being entertained by Nellie's beautiful singing voice.  After the Powers left, Mr Power became the Mayor of Waihi until both he and his wife passed away from the Spanish Influenza in 1918.

The hotel was sold by Nellie and her husband in 1906 and passed into the hands of Mr Moss Davis but unfortunately due to unruly behaviour and discontented wives amongst other things, bars in Waihi lost their liquor licenses in 1909 and the New Central Hotel saw a steady decline in business for the next 3 years.  1912 saw it once more busy when it was used for housing for the police that were sent from Auckland to help with the riots during the infamous miners strike.  The period after saw many move away to locate better jobs and once again the hotel was losing trade.  Then came the tragedy of the Spanish Influenza which saw the hotel transformed into a temporary hospital due to Waihi hospital overflowing with patients.  There are 26 deaths recorded in Waihi from the Spanish Influenza.  How many, if any,  occurred in this building is unknown.  But it has been said that too many were taken down the curved staircase in coffins.

In 1920 it was decided to move the hotel to the expanding tourist town of Rotorua! The hotel was dismantled and transported by rail to Rotorua where it is believed the original builder, Mr Morgan was employed to reassemble the hotel board by board and the structure has remained almost unchanged from the original.  You can still see the the numbers and letters on the kauri boards to this day that assisted in the reassembly process. The hotel opened it's doors in 1921 and was erected opposite the entrance to the government gardens. Access to the gardens was through wooden arches that were erected in 1901 to honour the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York.  Hence the name 'The Princes Gate Hotel'.


In 2009 The Herald newspaper reported the then owner Brett Marvelly, as stating he has never seen any ghost at the hotel.  However he does say that on 3 or 4 occasions people have cut short there stay saying they had seen a ghost.  Allegedly the ghost is a female and comes in through the window in Room 29.  What is interesting is that the room used to be the female ablution block prior to their renovating.  She only ever appears to young single men so to solve the problem they have put couples in that room.  

Our Case Manager has been contacted by an ex staff member who says the urban legend is that the ghost is a woman with long dark hair wearing a green dress.  She is referred to as the "Green Lady" because of this.  Her lover died in WW2 and she appears to those single young men who resemble her lover.  Room 25 and Room 16 were also mentioned as having a presence of some kind.

The details around the 'what' or 'who' haunts this establishment are very scant.  So for now, in the urban legends basket it goes!

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