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.
- 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