We have just spent two nights in one of the cottages in the grounds of the Grand Chateau at Taupo/Tongariro and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The location is magic. At the base of Mt Ruapehu, the highest mountain on the North Island, which last erupted in 1995, the hotel is set amongst moorland with many wonderful walks available from the front door. In winter it is a great skiing base. You can get to the top of the ski-field in the summer since they keep 2 chairlifts open. The views everywhere around are pretty special, particularly of Mt Ngaurahoe (sp?) which was used as Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings. It is a classic cone volcano rising right out of the moorlands.
Whilst the cottage accommodation was fair (and very fairly priced) the main hotel was great. It is very old fashioned of course, but the lounges are comfortable and look over the mountains. The restaurant is a gem. Living in Australia we are used to superb produce, but this restaurant serves local steak and lamb to die for. We would recommend coming here just for these !! Again, the prices are very fair and the wine list is well thought through.
The spa is currently under renovation so we can't really comment on how it will look when finished. It is a mess right now. Deep within the bowels of the basement is a mysterious large spa (almost swimming pool size) which runs at 36Celcius. The kids loved it, and I'm sure it will be incorporated into the refitted spa.
There are other cafes to take younger members of the family to if they're too fractious for the main restaurant (which insists on relatively decent attire). Although casual the food is decent in both of the other cafes.
- 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