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“Tired and old, not up to speed with customer service requirements” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Waitomo Caves Hotel

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Waitomo Caves Hotel
Lemon Point Road | RD7, Waitomo Caves 9999, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Frederiksberg, Denmark
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Tired and old, not up to speed with customer service requirements”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

We spent a couple of nights here, in the big old room at the top of the tower. Honestly - this has the worst, oldest, most appallingly sprung double bed I've ever encountered. But apart from that, when we checked in, we were met by a rather curt attitude, the owner of which neglected to mention that even as hotel guests, we had to actually book a table in the dining room for dinner. Consequently we rolled down for dinner at about 5.30 pm, to be turned away. That was unexpected, and not fun, because had we actually been told about this, we would certainly have booked. Luckily we had picnic ingredients in our room (which did have a good and capacious fridge). So we ate, and watched a movie on our laptop. We didn't bother with the breakfast, feeling very put out by the offhand and unwelcoming attitude of the staff (who seem to think that they work in a grand, exclusive resort). The bathroom & shower were OK though, and the carpark is very handy, the view from the windows at the top is pretty good and if it wasn't for the 100 year old bed and dining room nonsense, I would have felt happy staying there. Waitomo is a great place to visit, and this hotel would be OK if you have the right expectations (i.e. low) - there is internet access (although it wasn't free when we stayed there) - and it's in exactly the right spot. I'd go here again, with the right expectations, and use it as a very handy base for exploring the area - but it's not a good hotel, bearing in mind it's prices (and the smell - the hotel smells like my Grandma's house...old apples...sweetish and decaying. Not unpleasant actually, but definitely old).

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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183 reviews from our community

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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

I first visited NZ 17 years ago and one of my fondest memories was visiting the Waitomo Caves and staying at the Waitomo Caves Hotel where we enjoyed an amazing BBQ and bubbles on the terrace. It's a memory that has stayed with me, and one, I wished to re-live when we visited earlier this year.

The only way I could describe our stay was disappointing. The hotel gave the impression that it was tired, faded and unloved. Rooms where basic and seemed to be stuck in a 70’s time warp. Cleanliness was also a problem in some pats of the hotel – a good dust and clean wouldn’t go a miss!!

There was one member of staff on duty when we arrived, 10 mins later she appeared (with a jacket on) as our waitress in the ‘Dining Room’ only to turn up in the bar (with a waistcoat) as our barmaid. The next morning she was back in the Dining Room serving our Breakfast and finally was on the desk again when we checked out – which added a certain surreal aspect to our stay – and reminded us of ‘Faulty Towers’!

This historic old dame of a hotel deserves so much more than the faded décor, peeling wallpaper and fake wood panelling which meets guests. With its history and setting could so easily be a 5 or 5 star hotel – and for the view alone people would pay – where currently I’ve stayed in better Youth Hostels.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Toowoomba, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We stayed here for one night in a family room - 2 adults and 2 children paying $235 which included breakfast (Continental. Cereal, stale toast and a bit of fruit).
We were greeted by a female hotel staff member who was not overly friendly.
The entrance of the building looking grand and inviting......it ended there!
We had to drag our 3 heavy suitcase's up 3 flights of narrow stairs - no assistance. There were dead flies everywhere (which when I pointed out to the hotel staff she just shrugged it off).
Our room floor was on such an angle we felt like we were walking up a hill - at least it took our minds off the faded 70's decor!
The shower was the worst I have ever been in - over a bath, low (so I had to squat to try and wash my hair) with no water pressure.
The Hotel is in the process of being done up, however, we have come away feeling ripped off and angry that we paid so much for such a shocking hotel - it even admits on the Hotel profile in the room that "we are a limited service hotel"! Why charge so much then?
Be Aware that you also have to pay for WIFI on top of your room charge!!

There is also only 1 staff member on at a time - they are the receptionist, waiter and you get the feeling that it is pretty much a scene from Faulty Towers!

Overall, the character of the place can easily be felt from the outside.....my advice stay outside and save your money!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We stayed here for three nights. The room was tiny, cramped, cold and the facilities were old. It took 20 minutes for the hot water to come through the shower!! Not impressed. The website pictures of rooms are better than the reality. We were so disappointed. It was beautiful on the outside though!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Edinburgh
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at this hotel a number of years ago when visiting New Zealand and it was an amazing place, so vibrant and a joy to stay. Because of this we were so looking forward to a return stay this year. From the outside it looks as lovely as ever, however once inside it really didn't live up to our expectation

On arrival we were greeted by a very charming and helpful receptionist, who upgraded us. Although a superior room it still needed some time and money spent on it.

It soon became clear that the receptionist was a jack of all trades and appeared to be the only member of staff on duty, also serving in the bar and restaurant. Indeed she also ran things at breakfast too.

All in all a nice quiet stay but the hotel can be beautiful once again if brought up to its previous granduar

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed one night so we could have a full day at The Caves, which were fantastic, and we couldn't of been happier with our stay. The Hotel is fantastic, be it a little dated, but the Family are now seeing to that with a new dinning room being under renovation at time we were there. This didn't deture from the experience which for us was very personal and we felt incredibly welcome and well looked after for our entire stay. Looking forward to returning and seeing how they progressing and having a lovely meal in the new dinning room.

Room Tip: Two choices, looking over the caves or have a balcony?
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
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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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): $
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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