So…. we went to waingaro hot pools last night for a nephews birthday party… I should go back in time first… Back in the late 90’s, we used to go to waingaro hot pools nearly every weekend. It was the ‘place to go’. It was always packed full of people, facilities were modern and clean. I loved the bumper boats and the slide. The last time I was there (back in the late 1990’s), I brought a bag of chips and when I opened them, they were completly stale. No crunch. I took them back and asked if I could swap them or get my money back. The male indian owner, took a chip out of the bag, put it in his mouth and chewed that rubbery chip (no crunch) then proceeded to tell me that there was nothing wrong with the chips and i should just eat them. I couldnt believe it! Ended up in a stand off, I wasnt leaving without a full refund of the chips, he wasnt going to give me my couple of bucks back. In the end he did. Worst customer service ever. So due to bad customer service combined with falling standards of hygiene and tired looking facilities, I havent been back since then. If we went to the hot pools we went to Te Aroha. Same distance from Hamilton, they are smaller, but are much nicer. Great service and the private spas are amazing. Anyway, back to last night. So I pull up, go inside the little office, there is the same indian man who gave me bad customer service 14 or so years ago. Is he going to wow me this time around? I stand and wait to be served… and wait… and wait… he is on a phone call. Speaking in indian, so I’m going to assume its not a customer. So after he finished his phone call that was obviously far more important then a paying customer standing right infrount of him, I am finally served. When I drive in I immediatly notice a couple of things. The first is, NOTHING has changed since I was last there, NOTHING! Well… except the log is gone. The second is that there is practically noone there! There were maybe three cars in the parking lot. Says a lot. Guess I’m not the only one to not come back after bad service… This is what a place looks like when it has had no cash investment in it for a long time. Everything is tired. It could be such an awesome place again if some serious money was spent on it. The pools were nice and hot. We all jumped strait in and immediatly had fun. As we had lots of little kids it was a little annoying when the little kids pool was empited at about 6pm (we stayed till nearly 9pm). The water was nice and hot, and seemed clean. And once the sun went down you couldnt see how tired everthing was. We actually had a really good time. And I loved that noone was there. We practically had the pool to ourselves. The lifeguard was nice and friendly, but I thought it was a bit dodgy that a couple of times I looked around and I couldnt see him anywhere… ? And once I looked up and he was sitting up in a building watching us out the window eating a huge bag of chips. If a kid drowned there is no way he could have got to us in time… I’m sure there are some rules about that…? We had to laugh though, as when it got dark they turned the tv on, and you’ll never guess what was playing… a latest release movie…? Comedy? Romance? A funny reality show? Something for the kids maybe…? No, coronation st. The tv screen above the pool at Waingaro hot pools played coronation st. Hilarious! So overall, if you want a ride in the bumper boats, forget it, there was no water in the pool. If you want flash facilities, this is not the place for you. If you want to relax in a hot pool and have a bit of fun with the family, and have low expectations with regards to facilities and customer serivce, then this is your place. We would go again. My advice, go with low expectations and you’ll have a good time.