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“High on a Hill in the Waikato” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hillside Hotel

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Hillside Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Hillside Station, Taupiri Ranges | access from State Hwy 1, Huntly, Huntly 3771, New Zealand   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Huntly
Hamilton, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“High on a Hill in the Waikato”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We had driven past the Hillside Hotel many times and often wondered what it was like. Finally in April 2013 we had the opportunity to stay for a night.
The drive up is exciting as you wind up a gravel road past farmland and into the bush. The setting is breathtaking, 200m up in the bush with spectacular views of the Waikato River and the highway far below.
The hotel is unique, it’s spit into many levels with covered walkways and is a bit like a DOC hut on the outside but like a comfortable apartment on the inside.
Our superior king room was large with a separate shower and bath and a very conformable bed and leather couch. The brand new TV was not yet connected to an aerial, but we were able to watch DVDs which were provided free.
The restaurant and bar occupy the top levels of the hotel and are magnificent. There is beautiful artwork, nice seating and we had a view south all the way to the lights of Hamilton. We had dinner, our meals were hearty and the service was excellent, great selection of beer and wine too.
I highly recommend for a quiet (and quite different) night away from Auckland or Hamilton.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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70 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    8
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10
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Waiuku, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We had a really wonderful stay in this hotel. Very impressive views and whole ensamble of the hotel. It felt like we were on the different planet or at least in a different country! Which is exactly what we were after - get away from the 'usual' views and forget that we were just mere hour by car from the city!!! Highly highly recommended for a 'having a pause and recharge' place. We went with our little daughter - had no problem. Breakfast was awesome - really yummy, fresh and 5start presentation. xx

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

There is no doubt as the hotel comes into view after you long drive up a winding dirt track that it is a remarkable accomplishment: to have the vision and then bring it to life in such a remote location is inspiring. As it happens, we were the only guests that night. That too is understandable. Whatever the esthetics of the location and structure, it is isolated and remote, more sited for a honeymoon then a center of tourism. The isolation leads one to rely on the hotel restauant and the morning and eveng chef (who takes your order) did a wonderful job: my morning "hearty" cbreaqfast was the the mmost woderful bearfast construction I had ever seen or tasted. (Although I was disappointed with the cut of lamb the prior night.)

The best t thing about this hotel would seem to be the view. No doubt it is was a huge panarama, with distant views of the lighted towns in the valley, but for me not esthetic or spiritual. It was nice to see once, but I don't feel a calling to return.

Room Tip: the higher you go the better the view
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

This spectacularly situated hotel is perfectly positioned between Auckland and Hamilton. We were visiting Waitomo Caves the day before we left New Zealand, flying out from Auckland airport. So we wanted somewhere between the two. Perfect. Less than 30 mins to Hamilton, only 90 mins south to the caves, around an hour north to the airport.
OK, it's not your regular hotel chain hotel. I guess you could say it's a little quirky but if you are the type of person that doesn't need everything to be like every other hotel in the world, then give this place a go. We loved spending a couple of nights and would definitely go back. Don't be put off by the reception which needs to be upgraded as it's a bit tired. The rooms are really good. And everybody that works there tries so hard to make your stay comfortable, the rooms are large and all have unbelievable views out over Waikato. The hotel is a little different in that it's built on a hilltop, hence the name. So the rooms are on different levels. Downside is that there is no lift. But there are chairlift things to each floor so if you have very heavy luggage you don't need to lug it. I would say if you have a problem with stairs that may be an issue. But for most people, and my partner has a bad knee, it really wasn't a a problem. The sunset from the observation deck above the bar was amazing. The bar is really stocked too and the food very good.

Room Tip: They all have wonderful views, but the higher floors have better views. But more stairs.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Motueka, New Zealand
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Unless you had looked on the web you wouldn't find the gem. Perched high on the hill it overlooks the valley and river, totally spectacular!
Rooms excellent, and compliments to the chef on producing a superb evening meal, shame we were the only ones in the dining room, other guests that night don't know what they had missed. Also a special note on the wine list, very good and sensibly priced. Would certainly recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hamilton, New Zealand
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

This is a unique place to stay. Its location is unique andtheir accomodation/rooms, service and meals are of a high standard. I have returned a number of times both for business and recreation, and will do so again!! Thanks Hillside team!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ireland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We stayed in Hilside for our first night in NZ. It was a wonderful introduction to the country.
Rosemary and Ray are super hosts, most informative and helpful.
Views from the hotel are amazing. Rooms are spacious,comfortable and quiet.
Food is superb...we had our first taste of NZ lamb in its country of origin..wow!
Piece of advice......do not follow Google directions to hotel from Auckland airport (unless they've been changed recently), we spent 30mins. heading in the wrong direction, but it was worth the detour!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hillside Hotel

Address: Hillside Station, Taupiri Ranges | access from State Hwy 1, Huntly, Huntly 3771, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Huntly
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Huntly
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hillside Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape the city to fresh air and tranquility. Hillside Hotel is a country retreat and eco-lodge, a Qualmark four star boutique hotel with an enviro-gold rating. Nestled amongst native forest on top of the Taupiri Ranges, Hillside offers panoramic views of iconic New Zealand landscape scenery; Every room has a view.On the main tourist route south of Auckland; 1 hour drive from Auckland Airport and just 4km off the highway makes Hillside Hotel an ideal first stop or last stop in New Zealand; lovely stop point on the way to Hobbiton or Waitomo.Situated on Hillside Station -a large working farm with 300 acres of private native rain forest reserve with easy walking trails right from the hotel grounds. Beautiful photography opportunities from anywhere in the hotel.Free Wi-fi and parking; on-site licensed restaurant (reservations essential- may close early if no bookings) and cafes nearby. Rooms are very spacious and open direct to the outside. Rooms are connected by covered walkways and stairs sheltered by native bush. ... more   less 
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