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“A tale of two hotels (in one)” 2 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
Wellington
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“A tale of two hotels (in one)”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2008

Friends planned a weekend away and I was rapt to finally get to stay at the Chateau after going past it many a time while skiing. A weekend away with great friends makes everything seem rosy but there are some major pros and cons with the Chateau.

Pros - Stunning building. A really olde world foyer with leather armchairs and sofas, grand piano and marble fireplaces that are lit in the late afternoon - feeles like another era altogether.

Probably the best range of eating that I've seen in one hotel. A cheap and cheerful cafe downstairs that prepares all its own (very good food) and a high end restaurant off the foyer. Good wine list and attentative service.

Location - Outstanding. Important to note that while it is not the only hotel in Whakapapa Village it does have superior views - the north facing windows downstairs are breathtakingly beautiful.

Cons - Reception duties were a disappointment. I was arriving via train and while the Chateau puts on a complimentary shuttle, I had to prod them via email to get info like where to go once I got off the train - for anyone else its a small station and they will meet on the platform. Had to wait for staff to finish their chat before being attended to at reception.

Major cons - the hotel has a new wing which is really lovely - but the older part of the hotel is definitely dated - I'll be kind and say the foyer needs freshening up but my room was out of a time warp - the bathroom was all fake marble formica panels and peach coloured fittings, the bedroom suite was direct from Las Vegas in the seventies. Doors and mouldings painted chocolate brown. A bar fridge that rattled when it started up.

This room was advertised as having partial views - as the building has an H shape if you are on the inside of the H then you are looking at the opposite wing. If you are in the middle bar of the H (as I was) then technically you had a partial view - because you weren't looking at another wing of the hotel. In future I would not take the cheapest or partial view rooms as part of the reason I wanted to stay there was to see the surrounding countryside.

Aside (strangely enough) from the reception staff I thought the porters, waiting staff, cleaners and bar staff were excellent - very genuine and friendly, I really liked them.

I would go back to the Chateau but would be very specific about wanting a room in the new wing.

  • Liked — The foyer - its all about olde world charm
  • Disliked — Hotel room as really out of date compared to new wing of hotel.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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dublin
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
105 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2008

Superlatives cannot describe the setting, Set at the foot of Ruapehu the largest volcano in New Zealnd home to the Whakapapa Ski fields. The approach to the hotel in beyond description. Amazing setting, amazing views, the hotel could be shocking heap,and you would still be blown away every time you walked out the door. Happily the hotel does not disappoint.. It is not conventional but is grand in every sense. It is like a mad displaced French chateau dropped in the middle of the wildest of settings. It reminds me of Gleneagles in Scotland somehow, but on testosterone. It is hard to describe, but It is somehow just right for where it is. It is an unlikely mix: half Edwardian spa, half gentlemans club.

It has a weird swimming pool in the basement which is like swimming inside the hull of a ship with columns you swim around, weird and quirky. I love the billiard tables with view out the window of smouldering volcanoes for Gods sake. The elegant dining rooms with slightly disappointing food which somehow is just right in an odd way. The dreadful 9 hole golf course you wouldn't dream playing on (why is it even there?, but which seems oddly appropriate. The bedrooms are comfortable, fine and big especially if you have a view, the fires roaring and very neccessary in the winter.

Do not go expecting American 5 star..it is not that, no never that, and all the better for it. It is more like something one would expect out of season in the Western Isles of Scotland. It seems like it was just dropped randomly into this outrageously beautiful place, yet it is a boon..Incongrous. I love it.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2005, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Kowloon
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2008

Wanted a little luxury and the closest location to the ski slopes hence booked at the Chateau for 3 nights- family deluxe room at a whopping NZ $275 per night, no breakfast! You would be better off at the Skotel around the corner. Paint job on the exterior was much better than the room. The hotel desperately needs a facelift- everything is old and not even quaint old! The beds were too soft and not attached to the headboard, so they constantly shifted out of place.
Carpet was threadbared and stained in places. Bathroom/shower curtain was stained and mildew. Reception staff was neither friendly nor helpful. When you come in the front door each day, not even a smile nor a greeting. We had to haul our luggages ourselves. The cinema had a couple of rows of seats plus a couple of sofas (i recall the description was seatings for 60- not!). Could i emphasize OLD!?! Would not recommend this hotel at this time...
We dined every night at the Tussock Tavern- good pizza and burgers. There is a shuttle bus to take you up and down the mountain that you can catch on the main road.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2008

We had stayed in the Chateau before and loved it so when we decided to go for a Ski Holiday, the Chateau was our first choice. We were incredibly disappointed. The cleaning service apparently happens between 9am and 3pm every day. This is not all together true! We had to phone each and every day to find out what happened to the cleaning service. We waited until 3pm every day before calling and one day it took 2 phone calls before they actually arrived. We had problems with the heating system and it took 3 days to get it right. The dehumidifier leaked all over the carpet and had 2 broken wheels. The heater in the second room was broken. The blind on the one window was completely missing. On our 4th day there I wrote a letter of complaint to the Chateaus Management and on the 6th day (Our Last Night there!) I received a phone call from a Manager to discuss my complaints. The general feeling was one of excuses and trying to justify the tardy cleaning service. At no time did I feel that this Manager was taking heed of what had been said in order to improve the service and Standards.

There is no way that we will ever return to the Chateau as we feel it is over priced, over rated and sorely lacking in Customer service.

It is so sad as the actual Hotel looks lovely and has a strong history. It would be worth putting in new management and giving it the attention it needs as it could be a wonderful place!

  • Liked — The Linen was good quality and the Beds were very comfortable
  • Disliked — It felt run down and ther service was shocking
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2008

This hotel has all the potential to provide for a wonderful stay however, there are problems. The cleaning staff seem to think it is acceptable to chat at the top of their voices down corridors to each other at 7.30am and wake those of us who fancied a bit of a lie in. Secondly the cost of the hot buffet breakfast at $27.50 is not good value. There is a wide choice but the foods are of cheap quality, tasteless, not hot, basically badly prepared and I have had better in a greasy spoon cafe! So if you want to stay here enjoy the cosy rooms but be wary of the noisy cleaners and poor food. I wouldn't go back.

  • Liked — leaving
  • Disliked — noisy cleaners
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Townsville, Australia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2008

We (family of 5) stayed at the Chateau for 1 night. After hyping it up so much the children were eager for the luxurious hotel that the website advertises.
It is not that luxurious.
We booked 2 rooms for our family. They were not located near each other even though the hotel knew we were a family group. The rooms are large and ours had a view of the snow covered mountains. But when we walked into our room it was freezing because the windows were open - probably trying to rid the room of the foul stench of cigarette smoke. More hotels should should adopt the practice of fining guests that leave a room stinking of smoke - an automatic charge just as if they had used the mini bar. It is the subsequent guest who pays instead. I woke in the middle of the night with a splitting headache because the pillow was smoke filled. Swapping to another pillow from the cupboard didn't help, it was smelly as well. I had to take pills for the headache, but of course had to use (ergo buy) the mini bar water because there was a water filtering problem and tap water had to be boiled before consumed.
The bathroom in the second room was cracked and stained. But at least they had shampoo etc, which the first room did not have. A hotel that calls itself luxurious should have more than just the basic miniature cake of soap as it's complimentary items. The room rate was certainly not basic!
However we dined at the restaurant and it was lovely with very fine food. The restaurant staff were efficient, knowledgeable and kind. I wish the reception staff were half as friendly. We received a perfunctory greeting and no help with luggage etc. The morning we left the lifts were out of order, so we had to trudge down 3 flights with our luggage. No offer of assistance anywhere to be seen. We were not made to feel welcome at this hotel.
There is so much an establishment like this, in this particular location, could offer to the discerning traveller. It seems such as waste that the service did not match the potential.

  • Liked — Restaurant
  • Disliked — Smoke filled room
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2008

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Chateau even though the weather was horrible. We were lucky enough to glimpse one of the smaller volcanoes on our arrival however that was the last as the fog and rain rolled in not long after our arrival.

We stayed for 2 nights in a premium room which included breakfast. We had a bit of a problem at check in as they only had us down for a 1 night stay even though I had already paid for 2 with wotif. It was quickly sorted but then found we were locked out of our room the following day. When we went back to tell them we but had to go through the whole 2 day booking scenario once again. I also had to ask for the bathrobes that should have been in the room however we did arrive early and the housekeeping staff were trying to catch up from a group of 180 which had just left after a special event held that long weekend.

This all sounds negative however they were just minor. Our room was very nice with a huge comfy bed. We loved sitting in the lounge area on the wet afternoon having scones, tea and coffee. It was also a lovely way to end the day with a glass or 2 of wine.

Breakfast was in the main dining room. The selection was very good.

We ate at the cafe attached to the outside of the hotel on our first night and the formal dining room on our second. Both had excellent food and a warm friendly atmosphere which was welcome on a cold rainy night.

I would not hesitate to return to the Chateau and hope the weather is kinder to us next time.

Stayed April 2008
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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*
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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