In early March of this year, the Takaro Peace Resort was raided by New Zealand immigration and all of the staff deported after interviews. Besides removing all the staff in police vans, immigration interrogated the guests after rousting them from bed.
It does seem odd that all the staff had these visa difficulties and that NZ authorities felt it necessary to send a 50 person team for a pre-dawn unannounced raid on an expensive resort, essentially putting it out of business for a while.
While the owner implied to us that he could accommodate our stay it soon became apparent that he was without any staff at all, so we left and did receive an apology along with a promise to return most the pre-payment.
Even presuming that the staff problems will get repaired I still don’t think I could recommend the resort.
First, the hotel is about an hours drive down a partial gravel road, to the closet town, Te Anua. So this is extremely remote and far from any of the local touristic attractions including the lakes and sounds, boating, fishing and hiking. Given that, there is a lovely wide-open view of their pastures and mountains in the distance. It’s reminiscent of a Montana fishing or hiking lodge with the 5 (or so) separate cabins for guest – 2 guest rooms per cabin.
Unfortunately the resort just doesn’t have the facilities or entertainment of a resort with this pricing or remoteness. There is no fitness room (this is incorrectly noted in Frommers), no well maintained hiking trails, no stunning views, no fishing guides with trout filled river. The resort does have an indoor pool, not a lap type, which presumably can be heated. It has a steam room and the ‘spa’ is a Jacuzzi.
Regarding the rooms, I thought the shared deck per cabin a privacy problem – if you have a neighbor.
The rooms each have a huge plasma TV with an impressive sound system. There are only 2 TV stations available – forget CNN – and a collection of DVDs, no CDs – except for their label CD which is sort of massage music. Our bathroom had a Jacuzzi and no separate shower and nowhere to clip the hand held for a shower. The bed, décor, linens and decoration are new age modern but not stunning. Obviously we didn’t get to try out the food or any spa services.
There are good restaurants and serviceable hotels in Te Anau. We had a great dinner at Redcliff Café, and while there aren’t any great hotels here, the hotels are better located for enjoying Fiordland.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Takaro - ultimate rejuvenation retreat. Enjoy your own luxury lodge with complete peace and privacy, this beautiful private organic estate is between Milford and doubtful Sound at the gateway to Fiordland. Use of whole Lodge and 5 double Luxury Chalets includes daily complimentary natural relaxation classes and fresh seasonal organic farm and garden produce, your choice of self catering or professional chefs. The combination of Western luxury and Chinese knowledge about health, the wide range of activities available make Takaro a perfect getaway for rejuvenation, honeymoons, corporate retreats and other venues. Rejuvenation is the natural process of becoming younger, happier, healthier, more peaceful! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Takaro Peace Hotel
- Takaro Lodge Te Anau, Fiordland National Park