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“Great stay, friendly staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Waitomo Caves Hotel

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Waitomo Caves Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Lemon Point Road | RD7, Waitomo Caves 9999, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Great stay, friendly staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

One night here on trip around New Zealand. Got upgraded room, really friendly staff. Room was dated but clean and ideal for the stay. If you want the latest mod cons then this isn't for you. If you want a friendly, chilled out hotel with no pretensions then this is ideal. Evening meal and breakfast both great and no complaints. Situated 500m from Caves entrance so great for visiting the caves and black water rafting etc.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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231 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
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  • Portuguese first
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English first
Market Harborough, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed for just one night at this hotel whilst visiting the caves at Waitomo; could happily have stayed longer! After a long walk up the hill (we were travelling by bus, and later discovered there was a quicker way back down to the road via a small wooded garden) our first view of the hotel was pleasant surprise, it was proudly shining in the sun. Welcomed with a friendly greeting we were shown to our room, which, although lacking in storage facilities (must be something common to NZ hotels as they all seemed to have a lack of cupboards!) was clean, beds comfortable with brilliantly white sheets (I mention this as many, more modern, hotels I have stayed in have clean but not new looking sheets). The bathroom, small but adequate, was sparkling clean with an excellent shower. We also had an evening meal which was well cooked but from an unexciting menu; the buffet style breakfast, (cooked breakfast available) made up for this lack. All the staff were pleasant and very helpful. The gardens at the front are colourful and well tended, with another small garden providing a cool place to sit. Overall a good, reasonably priced, place to stay. The drawback being that it all needed modernising; like looking at an old Beauty Queen....the bone structure is still there, and you can see that she must have been a stunner in her youth, but time has caught up and a visit to the cosmetic surgeon is advised!

Room Tip: Ask for a front room, as the view is great.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ashburton, New Zealand
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

we stayed for a night here after a long day, were greeted with a friendly face( thanx anna), given a room upstairs, which was fine, just needs a little repair work, bed was comfy and service wondeful what a grand old place this is

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

My wife and I stayed one night as part of a $248 overnight “Grabone” package which included dinner, breakfast and an evening visit to the Footwhistle glow worm cave. For the price it was fair value, especially the tour of the cave, which needed the night-time visit to properly appreciate the many glow worms in the banks of the cutting through which you descended into the cave entrance.

As other reviewers have indicated, the Waitomo Caves Hotel is in a magnificent location with a special charm felt as we sat out on the balcony in the early evening sun for a pre-dinner drink. The hotel would once have rivalled The Chateau and The Hermitage as one of New Zealand’s tourism gems, but inadequate attempts many years ago to provide en-suite bathrooms which are now shoddy like the rest of our room (#19) make the accommodation adequate, but only 3 star value.

The staff were friendly and helpful, but one senses lacking in training and experience which reflected through into a mix of excellent and poor dining room service. The soup was delicious, but the main fish dish was meant to be served with jacket potatoes and steamed vegetables. However, the chef had prepared roasted vegetables which we accepted from the apologetic manager (doubling as maître d), rather than wait for some vegetables to be steamed. The roasted vegetables were too greasy and did not include any greens. Desert was an apple strudel with vanilla bean ice cream which would have come with custard had the waiter not alerted me to the proposed menu departure.

Breakfast included a lovely fruit selection, but there was not a choice of low fat milk and the hot water (for tea) and coffee obtained via pump action flasks pretty poor options.

My last grizzle relates to the Wifi (free up to 75Mb) which varied from frustratingly slow to zero at night through until around the time the reception and dining opened at 8.00am when the download was the expected fast service.

One hopes that significant money will be put into restoring the hotel to something like its former glory, but my observation was that the renovations underway appear to be happening piece meal so it is likely to be several years before changes appear and unless the service standards can also be lifted, then the Waitomo Caves Hotel will only represent value for money if you get significant discounts on the rack rates. All in all it was an interesting experience and an enjoyable break from our regular routine.

One final observation. The old wooden building appears to have sprinklers through-out, but as an engineer who has gone through the Christchurch earthquakes it was concerning to note two large brick chimneys rising above the roof in the Art Deco wing.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Caloundra, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Majestic old heritage mansion. Needs repair but clean with heaps of character. Big comfy beds and friendly service. Felt like a member of the family. Didnt see any ghosts ;-( but reportedly there are some. Would definately stay there again. Most relaxing stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We only had time to stay 1 night wished we could of stayed longer. Yes the hotel is a bit dated, but this just gives it character, very neat old building lots of history. The owners are starting to renovate so hopefully they can retain some of the character. Great location handy to the caves etc, staff were great very friendly and helpful. Nice menu and wine selection in the bar/restaurant. Great breakfast also available. We will definitely be staying again. Steve & Christine, Whangaparaoa NZ.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Wellington, New Zealand
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

the staff were a little thin on the ground, i tried to check in shortly after 12noon but was told the room was not ready yet, i explained we had an activity at 2pm and would not be able to check in until the evening-checking that front of house would still be around then i returned later in the evening.

after checking in: the 1st room had a leak on the bathroom floor after investigating it seemed to be the shower dripping pooling water to the floor.
5mins after checking in i returned to the front desk not finding anyone i rang the bell, TWICE * then called out and had a wander, the reception staff was the waiter in the restaraunt too.
i stood there for another 5mins while he talked to the couple he was waiting on in the restaraunt,

i said if we can switch rooms to one exactly the same - i did not want someone to mop up the leak and us to make do. we got switched to a room two doors down.

the tv in the 2nd room was not working and
I found out after ringing reception that the reception/waiter was also the on duty manager. he said he'd be up shortly.

after he tested the TV too, i explained that the tv in the other room (with the leak) was working and we proceded to switch it.

overall the hotel is run down, (i know it's over a 100 years old) but everything has not been maintained, carpets worn/fixtures old fashioned, paint peeling. no air con in the rooms, thin walls.

for the price in summer that was all that was available, i wish i had read some more reviews, i would say poor value for money, perhaps if it was $100 a night it would be acceptable for one night, not what i paid for it.

i was planing on dinning in but having a look at the inflated tourist prices $30+ a main, i asked for some other recomendations- I can Highly recomended the HUHU cafe just up the road, fantastic quality food a reasonable prices-mabey a bit more than fish and chips, but then again cheaper than you'd pay in big city, with large filling portions

IT's not recommended to stay at this hotel, it's a fantastic location, but not worth it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Waitomo Caves Hotel

Address: Lemon Point Road | RD7, Waitomo Caves 9999, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Waitomo Caves
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Waitomo Caves Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waitomo Caves Hotel has now upgraded rooms, with Super King Beds, new linen, carpets, curtains, furniture and more. Make the most of a 100 year old hotel with amazing views, comfortable rooms and a charm you won't find anywhere else in New Zealand. With a fine dinning restaurant you can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet at your leisure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Waitomo Caves
Waitomo Caves Otorohanga

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