We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lots of fun and excellent staff!”
Review of River Valley Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
River Valley Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Visited River Valley somewhat reluctantly with the Kiwi bus as me and my friends had never heard of it before and were short on time in new zealand and had other places we wanted to go to, however, after leaving we all agreed it was the highlight of our trip! Situated well off the beaten track and surrounded by incredible scenery which alone could've kept us entertained for the duration of our stay. Activities offered were so much fun and the staff were even better, they drank and played games with us all night in the homely and comfortable lounge area by the open fire, making us all feel completely at home and we enjoyed a relaxing sit in the sauna. Daniel, Spencer and Tommy were brilliant and very entertaining, and the girls at reception and the kitchen were lovely too. Couldn't have asked for more! Staying in the 'orgy room' was a good laugh and an even better way to keep warm on a cold nz night! Definitely planning a return visit.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank gds-94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rivervalley1, Owner at River Valley Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2013

Hi

Thanks for your great review of River Valley, and your experiences here. It is always refreshing to have reviews from people who "get" what the River Valley experience is all about.

Go well with your travels.

Brian

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (195)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

142 - 148 of 195 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2013

I visited River Valley Lodge as part of a tour. I told our driver that I understood after staying there why it was at the end of the trip: after River Valley, everything else would pale in comparison. My room was well-appointed and quite comfortable. I travel for the experience of it, not the places I stay, so a bed and a blanket and something like breakfast suits me well.

River Valley was so much more than that. The grounds were stunning, the river alluring, the ride into the hills refreshing. And the two meals I enjoyed there were among the best I had while visiting.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TomDurango_Colorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rivervalley1, Owner at River Valley Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 14, 2013

Hi Tom

Thanks for your very positive review of River Valley. It is always wonderful to hear from people who make the most of their River Valley experience, and get something out of interacting with the beautiful surrounding landscape.

All the best on your travels

Brian

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

We're a couple in our 20s and we stayed here for one night with the Kiwi Experience...

Good
- Beautiful surroundings, right by a river, go for a swim if you want or go hiking up the hills
- Big roasting fireplace with a nice communal area
- Lots of games, poker set, cards etc.

Bad
- The kitchen is worthless. Don't bring your own food here and expect to be able to cook, because you won't. Nothing works and it's tiny....
- ...which leads to the second problem, if you want food from the bar, it's very expensive.
- I stayed in a 6-bed family room, which was nice enough, but some of our team stayed in the big communal bunks, and apparently had some pretty nasty experiences. Something to keep in mind.

If you're on kiwi experience, then you've not got a choice whether to stay here! But if you're looking to go independently, then it's nice enough as long as you don't expect a hostel experience.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Miles D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rivervalley1, Owner at River Valley Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 4, 2013

Hello Miles

Thanks for your review which in some ways hits the River Valley experience right on the head. No we are NOT a Hostel, never have been a Hostel, never will be a Hostel. If you want a Hostel experience stay somewhere like Base.

I would be interested to know when you stayed. While the customer kitchen is small, and we have no plans to make it any bigger, we have recently put in new equipment which I am assured by staff is all working satisfactorily.

On the price of food being expensive. I am sorry, but I do not think a lunch dish which could be as an example a beautiful pie baked that morning and accompanied with a fresh green salad, possibly straight out the garden, all for $10 as being expensive. In most cafes you would pay up to $15 for the same dish.

I hope the rest of your travels went well.

Brian

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

My visit to the River Valley Lodge was a secret surprise in more ways than one - my husband had booked it as the surprise venue for my 60th birthday party and the location and amenities of the lodge are a surprise when you get there. I wondered where we could possibly be going when we headed east out of Taihape and spent nearly an hour on back country roads - all sealed but very windy in places - with no sign of civilization! The road deteriorated into a very steep dirt track for a short distance before the Lodge came into view, nestled in a valley between sheer cliffs with the diminutive Rangitikei River at the bottom. We were booked in for two nights and had a very modern comfortable ensuite room by the river and had our evening meals cooked and a picnic lunch provided by the Lodge - very good home made fare and plenty of it! Unknown to me, family groups attending my birthday party were also accommodated in the variety of accommodation facilities around the Lodge, as well as a bus full of young tourists on the "Kiwi Experience" (bunk rooms for them!). The staff were very helpful with the preparation for the party and it was lovely and warm thanks to the big open fire in the centre of the main lodge (where the dining and party took place) and heating in the accommodation, even though there was a good frost. We were treated to the spa pool (which was very hot, so could only stay in a short while) and could have had a sauna and/or massage if wanted too. Great time was had by all (48 guests, most bused in for the party) but forget about TV and cell phone reception - there isn't any!

Room Tip: Ensuite rooms by the river are new and cosy - not cheap though.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank geminigirl53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rivervalley1, Owner at River Valley Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 9, 2013

Hi Geminigirl

Thanks for your review. I am pleased that you guys had so much fun. As I remember it there were quite a few great costumes and a great deal of laughter.

All the best

Brian

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Stayed here with the kiwi experience and had a great time. The surrounding area is one of the most beautiful in NZ and you really felt you were in Lord of the Rings territory driving through all the hills. The main building was really homely with a lovely great big fire in the middle that was so welcoming and the staff were good fun. Had a really delicious home cooked roast dinner which was another nice touch and the staff were good fun and had a couple of drinks with us. Was a bit annoying the bar shut so early but probably for the best as we had white water rafting in the morning!
The guides for the white water rafting were absolutely hilarious and really good at alleviating any worries etc. had a great time and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank K_T_J_24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rivervalley1, Owner at River Valley Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 4, 2013

Hi there

Thank you so much for your very positive review of River Valley.

Your comments exactly sum up the River Valley experience - good food, comfy surroundings and outside adventure - in your case on a Grade 5 white water rafting trip.

We do shut the bar relatively early (a late night is mid night), as being out on the river or on the horses is so much more enjoyable without a hangover.

All the best

Brian

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2013

My friend and I stayed here while doing the kiwi experience. The lodge is literally in the middle of nowhere but its amazing. we had to load our bags in the back of an old pick up at the top of the hill and walk down a steep hill to get the lodge. it has a nice cabin feel with a big fireplace in the middle of the common areas. great views and a river running out front. we had the 6 person family room while was a bit hidden behind some bushes. our room was quite roomy and the beds were pretty comfortable. there was a group meal that was offered but we decided to make our own. the kitchen was pretty small and only had hot plates, some of which didnt work. it took us over an hour to make our pasta dinner. there was 2 full buses of kiwi experiencers staying at the lodge so when it came time for a shower it was cold water but other than that this place is great! the staff are super friendly and theres some nice hikes to do. we opted for the horse trek which was a blast despite the clouds and slight rain. would definately stay here again and recommend it to others!!

Room Tip: the "family dorm" room has more room than the other 6 person dorm rooms. if you walk to th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Taryn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rivervalley1, Owner at River Valley Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 4, 2013

Hi Taryn

Thanks for your review of your River Valley experience. It is always so nice to get reviews from people who appreciate River Valley for what it really is - an Adventure Lodge set in beautiful surroundings with great outdoor experiences to go and do.

As I have mentioned in several other recent replies to other reviews, we have replaced a lot of the equipment in the customer kitchen.

We don't normally run out of hot water, but by the same token, we rarely have two Kiwi Experience buses at one time. That many people really puts the pressure on everything.

I hope the rest of your New Zealand holiday went well.

Brian

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for one night, it is litterly in the middle of nowhere but the views were stunning! The accommodation was basic and like living on a farm we stayed in the 32 bed dorm which was an experience but really fun if you know everyone like we did! Unfortunately you have to hire a duvet which is odd as when we went it was freezing, however the room doesn't get that cold and you can do without! The showers aren't great and mostly cold but the toilets are okay. The kitchen was extremely small and ill equipped with not enough bowls, cutlery, work surfaces or hobs and so it was a struggle to cook. However the living area was lovely with a huge fire and sofas to chill on and board games to play you can also buy good and cheap wine from the bar if you fancy a drink. I didn't do any of the activities however some of my friends did the rafting which they said was brilliant and the walk around the area was stunning too! I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank charxcx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rivervalley1, Owner at River Valley Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Hi Charxcx

Thank for your review. I suppose traveling with Kiwi Experience you viewed River Valley as a hostel. It is probably the last thing we view it as.

River Valley Lodge grew as a solution for somewhere for people to stay when they were rafting or horse trekking with us. Hence the range of accommodation options from backpacker through to deluxe riverside guest rooms.

The big dorms are modeled on what you find in back country tramping huts throughout New Zealand. A good fit for an Adventure Lodge.

The customer kitchen. When we built the kitchen the British pound bought 3 NZ dollars. Hardly anybody ever used the kitchen as buying meals was quite affordable. It was never designed to handle bus loads of people wanting to cook all at one time. However you will be pleased to know that recently we installed new gas hobs to make group cooking easier.

Thanks again for the review and we hope to see you back at River Valley one day.

Brian Megaw

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Taihape hotels
13.2 mi away
Rusty Nail Backpackers
Rusty Nail Backpackers
#2 of 2 in Taihape
31 reviews
13.3 mi away
Aspen Court Taihape
Aspen Court Taihape
#1 of 4 in Taihape
448 reviews
13.3 mi away
Safari Motel
Safari Motel
#3 of 4 in Taihape
55 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Coachman Motel
Coachman Motel
#4 of 4 in Taihape
50 reviews
13.1 mi away
Gretna Hotel
Gretna Hotel
#2 of 2 in Taihape
3 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to River Valley Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about River Valley Lodge

Address: 266 Mangahoata Road | Pukeokaku, RD 2, Taihape 4792, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > Rangitikei District > Taihape
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Taihape
Price Range: $112 - $121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — River Valley Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The basis of the River Valley Experience is what happens outside the Lodge. A family run business now into its 3rd generation of raft guides, River Valley started as a rafting company on a family farm, in the back blocks of Taihape. With one of the world's top half day Grade 5 rafting trips literally on the doorstep, it was a natural progression. A horse trekking stables was added over time, and it is these two adventurous activities, rafting the beautiful Rangitikei River, and exploring the magnificent hill country which is at core of River Valley. River Valley Lodge is an Adventure Lodge. It was built as a base for rafting and horse back riding, and this has not changed. What has changed is the clientele! The Lodge caters for young backpackers after an adrenaline fueled Grade 5 rafting trip, through to veteran mature adventurers, with an accommodation mix from bunk rooms to en-suited riverside suites. The Lodge restaurant and cafe serves a selection of fresh country style food, much not only prepared on site, but also grown in the extensive vegetable gardens. If shopping and cell phone reception are critical to your daily existence, then River Valley is certainly not the place for you. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets and Expedia so you can book your River Valley Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing