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“Beautiful heritage hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chateau Tongariro Hotel

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   State Highway 48, Whakapapa, Tongariro National Park 3951, New Zealand (Formerly Bayview Chateau Tongariro)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Hamilton, New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful heritage hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

The minute you walk into the hotel you know you’re somewhere special. The large lounge area is plush with history and old world decadence. The rooms although comfortable are in need of renovation. Parts of the hotel have been newly renovated, but not ours. Great value though as we only paid $160 for the night, so can’t complain. We were on the top floor with very squeaky floor boards. However, why spend time in your room when you can soak up the atmosphere down stairs, with an open fire, pianist and views of Mount Ngauruhoe from the huge lounge window. The skiing was awesome to.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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798 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Melbourne
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

We've just had a spectacular week of skiing at Whakapapa and Turoa (both ski fields on the majestic Mt Ruapehu) all of which was wrapped up a brilliant package of experience as we stayed at Bayview Chateau Tongariro. The Chateau is only a 10 minute drive up the mountain to the nearest ski field Whakapapa. The Chateau has recently refurbished rooms (and built new ones) which are very well appointed and have some excellent finessing touches such as heated floors in the bathroom, good beds, and great room heating when you want to thaw out after a day on the slopes. The whole place is geared to families with multiple activities for everyone to enjoy of all ages. The graciousness of the building also equally suits retired and elderly couples who may prefer to read books by the fire or play scrabble while the young family set head off the the mountains to ski or explore.

The meals at the restaurant onsite were also of a high standard and over the 5 nights we were there we tried everything and nothing disappointed. Staff are pleasant but at times a little under trained (no idea how to get the wine aspect of a meal sorted and were clueless about their own wine list). The inclusive breakfast was fine but unimaginative and lacked some of the finesse the evening dining experience did have. Fine for hungry kids though.

A pleasant surprise from the whole experience was the live piano player/singer that they have in the very grand parlour outside the dining room who sang an impressive and broad repertoire of songs. Other highlights of our stay were just having a drink by the massive north facing windows overlooking the impressive Mt Ngauruhoe - which gets mistaken for being Tongariro I'm sure given the name of the Chateau. Ngauruhoe is like a not so mini Mt Fuji with its stunning symmetry and unmistakable volcanic origins.

Skip the high afternoon devonshire tea, it is over priced and underwhelming. But, everything else at Chateau Tongariro will be sure to impress you and be a memorable holiday for anyone who stays.

Room Tip: If you can, try to snare a room with a view of Mr Ngauruhoe, or get one with an open fire. All are...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

Shame on Bayview not to make good use of such a beautiful heritage hotel. The hotel is iconic and the new extension was well done. However, the rooms are in absolute desperate need of maintenance or even better a complete overhaul. We stayed in the family room in the original wing. The room had a double bed and two single beds, two small chairs, an old cheapish wardrobe, ready to be transported to the tip, and a cabinet, containing the small fridge, that was even worse. Absolute desperate state of maintenance.
When we arrived at the hotel at 18.00 hrs there was nobody to welcome us – reception desk was empty, no doorman, bellboy – nobody. The receptionist turned up after a while – she gave us the impression that she blamed us for disturbing her from sitting in the back office. She gave us the key cards and pointed to the lift. We can carry our own stuff to the room, but we expect a bit more customer focus in a multiple star hotel. Staff attitude was overall a problem. With a few exceptions they gave the impression that the guests were a nuisance and should not disturb them. Noticeable was also the large number of trainees. In principle no problem, but they need some basic training first, before they are let loose on customers. They should not be allowed to be able to mess up food orders and bills and spill drinks. There is a difference between hotel school interns and travelers wanting to earn some money.
The main restaurant requires customers to make a reservation and be dressed properly – no problem. However, their menu is almost exclusively meat dominated and leaves hardly any choice for vegetarians or fish eaters. The café was not much better. If you are a bit snotty about your restaurant make sure you have a balanced menu.
Was it all bad? No. The foyer is beautiful and the high tea we had there was great, certainly after we swopped the tea for mulled wine. Pity the staff refused to light the large beautiful log fire. And the building is beautiful and fantastically positioned with the mountain as a perfect backdrop. A picture postcard.
Overall a very poorly managed hotel, with rooms in desperate need of refurbishment. New Zealand does not have many iconic hotels, so what a disgrace that Bayview does not look better after it. Shame on them.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathy G, General Manager at Chateau Tongariro Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post a comment on Tripadvisor we do appreciate your constructive criticism. I was extremely concerned from your comments re your lack of welcome and I have addressed your arrival with the Resident Manager and the Front Office Manager. You can be assurred that this has been taken very seriously as the lack of basic customer service you experienced, is not idicative of the Chateau service we pride ourselves on. Please accept our sincere apologies.
I am at a loss to explain why a staff member would not light the fire as this is usually going throughout winter to not only create warmth but also the ambience of the lounge. I am dissapointed that some of the aspects of your experience did not meet your expectations and this will be acted upon.
The Management and Owners are well aware that the Hotel is aging and in need of refurbishment however, this is a process that takes time due to its historic status. I can assure you that Bayview Int. Hotels and Resorts are very proud of owning this icon and have in the past years invested greatly in ensuring the historic intergrity of this building is not lost.
Thank you once again for your posting.
Kathy Guy
GENERAL MANAGER
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Papamoa, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

We stayed at the Chateau last weekend with a large group as part of a work social function. The check in process was extreemly smooth and the staff were wonderful to deal with.
Our room was a suite on the 3rd floor - lovely.... even had its own fireplace - not that we attempted to use it because the hotel is really quite toasty. Bed was very soft which wasnt great for my back but it was comfy all the same.
We had dinner in the main restaurant and have to say that the meal served was of a very high standard - thoroughly enjoyed it.
The bar area is huge with lots of different seating areas and the gentleman playing on the piano did a great job in adding to the calm relaxed atmosphere.
We woke up on Sunday morning feeling very chilled out and could have stayed another night very easily. Highly recommend

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

We booked the celebration package which included a bottle of quality cava and a small box of handmade chocolates in the room. Also included was dinner for 2 and full buffet breakfast. The room was very well appointed and I would say refurbished in the last year or so. Dinner was superb with an excellent selection. Especially impressive was the fact that my wife must eat gluten free and they were even able to provide gf bread and dips as an appetiser. We will certainly stay again.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathy G, General Manager at Chateau Tongariro Hotel, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your review after your recent stay at Chateau Tongariro. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and that our staff were able to accommodate your wifes dietary needs. We do look forward to welcoming you back again for another celebration in the near future.
Kathy Guy General Manager
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Palmerston North
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

This was our first visit here in over 5 years and the Chateau is still as grand as ever! We stayed in the old wing but it has been well maintained since our last visit. The rooms are decorated in an "olde worlde" style in keeping with the style and age of the Chateau. The room we had was of average size with a huge bathroom with the shower over the bath. Central heating keeps you warm in this mountain climate but we found it a bit too cosy and when we tried to turn the radiator off it didn't seem to make any difference. So we ended up opening the window a little-the double glazing arrangement of an outer opening window and an innner sliding window makes this easier to do. Pre dinner drinks in the grand old ballroom with wing backed chairs and glorious alpine views plus a real open fire are part of the experience here. A musician started up as well and provided very pleasant background music. We ate in the Pihanga Cafe which provides a less formal family dining experience than the main Ruapehu dining room. It was reasonably priced and a good selection was avilable to choose from. The basement theatre was showing movies and they also show a documentary about the Chateau every evening between 5-6pm. Another hidden gem here is the basement swimming pool-always warm and an interesting experience. Virtually every staff member spoke with a foreign accent-makes you wonder where the Kiwi hospitality staff are working?

Room Tip: Old wing units are original and well maintained-the newer wing is fashioned in the same style but is...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathy G, General Manager at Chateau Tongariro Hotel, responded to this review, July 18, 2012
It is always a pleasure to have return guests. I am delighted that you found the Chateau to be as you had remembered albeit with some subtle chnages since your previous visit 5 years ago. The Hotel does try hard top maintain the historic intergrity that the Chateau is known for and the the little touches like the pianist in the lounge creates this feeling of timeless tradition.
Kathy Guy
GENERAL MANAGER
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Kapiti Coast
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

we recently took a small group (12) for two nights and three days up to stay at Chateau Tongariro just before the start of the ski season (our group was mostly seniors with lots of memories of years past at this resort) One lady remembers it opening and the excitement for all her young friends.back in the 1930's. If you haven't been before the Chateau is an elegant get away and does require "tidy dress" esp for dinner in the fine dining-room. Try to get a package that includes three course dinner and lovely breakfast next day. Rooms are nice with heated floor in the bathroom and very hot towel warmers (good to dry out damp clothes as well...) Roaring open fire places in two of the lounge areas and plenty of places to sit and relax with wine etc. They also provide high tea by request...Big picture window shows mountain on a clear day, it was misty our first day, then it cleared and we enjoyed some snow up by the chair lift.
Well worth a visit (adults of all ages mostly as it wasn't school holidays) We went July 19-21 2012 so mid week...
Glynis from Kapiti 4 Seasons Tours Travel Club.

Room Tip: We had very nice standard superior rooms which all looked similar, group had six rooms. Level two an...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Chateau Tongariro Hotel, responded to this review, July 11, 2012
I am delighted that your Sentimental Journey was exactly that and that your group enjoyed their stay. We look forward to creating more memories on your next visit
Kathy Guy
GENERAL MANAGER
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Address: State Highway 48, Whakapapa, Tongariro National Park 3951, New Zealand (Formerly Bayview Chateau Tongariro)
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > Tongariro National Park > Whakapapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Chateau Tongariro Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Everything we do at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel we believe in providing you with a timeless elegance. We believe that preserving tradition and history is most important and as the hotel is located within a dual World Heritage National Park, conservation and culture are also at the forefront of your experience. Tongariro National Park provides a stunning natural playground bursting with diverse landscapes for visitors to the Chateau Tongariro to discover. Chateau Tongariro provides accommodation, restaurants, bars and conference facilities and is an all-seasons, utterly timeless experience not to be missed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bayview Chateau Tongariro Hotel Tongariro National Park
Bayview Chateau Tongariro National Park

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