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“Lovely views but overpriced restaurant”

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 31, 2011

We got a very last minute room for our one-night stay (booked the same morning on a whim) at a reasonable rate for such a grand hotel and were happy with our old-fashioned but clean and comfortable bedroom. We decided to splash out and have dinner in the Ruapehu restaurant, which was like going back in time - the atmosphere was rather formal and the diners hardly dared to speak above a whisper. The food was beautifully presented but not particularly good and very overpriced. We were surprised, when we both ordered rack of lamb, that the waiter didn't ask us how we wanted it cooked, and presumed it would be "medium" or even "medium rare", but it actually turned out to be so rare that even my husband, who normally likes quite rare meat, couldn't finish his. It was virtually raw in the middle.

However, one thing which can't be faulted were the views from both the lounge area and dining room, which were very memorable despite the cloudy weather.

Unfortunately we didn't get a good night's sleep, despite the comfortable bed, because there seemed to be a loud party going on in some nearby accommodation, and we were hoping someone from the hotel would ask the revellers to turn the noise down, but this didn't happen so we had a very disturbed night. Not what we were expecting in remote Tongariro National Park!

Because of our disappointing dinner we decided not to have breakfast at the Chateau but stopped for coffee and croissants at Ohakune, not far away by car.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank paulaEastAnglia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,338 - 1,344 of 1,628 reviews

Reviewed March 27, 2011

We spent a fantastic weekend at the hotel when we went to explore the National Park. We were most pleased with our decision to stay at the Chateau as it is a truely magical place. The main lounge is the perfect spot to relax, listen to the pianist and enjoy a glass of wine after a tiring day outdoors. Dinner was also superb with very attentive friendly staff. Had a great sleep although the room was rather dated especially for the price although friends had a nicer room.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank AventureSeeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2011

After experiencing similar properties such as the Banff Springs Hotel and the Lake Louise Chateau in Canada we thought we knew what to expect. Like the previous this hotel is located in a National park and was purpose built for the well heeled travelers of the early 20th century. As it was late March and mid week there were not a lot of guests in residence and we received a high level of friendly customer service combined with value for money rates via of one of the hotel's special accommodation packages. Our room was located in the "new" wing of the hotel and was both spacious and comfortable. The hotel restaurant provided an extensive buffet breakfast and the evening meals never failed to delight in both quality and portion size. We were staying with other family members and needless to say none left disappointed!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PMcG2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2011

Had a very memorable stay, very helpful staff who were always friendly & had a welcoming smile. A very enjoyable weekend. Look forward to the next time

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank mw66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2011

My husband and I stayed at this hotel as part of an anniversary trip and decided to splurge on accomodation since we planned on doing the crossing. At $250/night incl. breakfast (which in my opinion was uneventful and nothing beyond a continental meal), we expected the hospitality that would go with that price tag. Well, we didn't get it. We are not picky travellers but we don't like being taken advantage of. As soon as we checked in we were told that the crossing for the next day was closed due to weather conditions. You can imagine our disappointment but did not blame the hotel at all. But did blame the hotel when they were not helpful at all in making suggestions of what to do instead. We later found out (and did) another intense hike but not due to their help at all. They were uncooperative and didn't want to entertain spending time helping the guests. We had prepaid for 2 nights and asked if we could leave the next day and they promptly told us no, not even engaging in conversation about it. I know there are "rules" and that they are stated on the website, blah blah blah. However, having relatives who are in the hotel business, these rules can be bent with personal consideration. Having said that, we ended up staying the 2 nights as we did a beautiful 6 hour hike to the Upper and Lower Tamas Lakes. The beds were wonderful, I must say that.........though we did get woken up on the second night at 4 am in the morning due to the fire alarm. So there we were, all 100 guests on the front lawn of the hotel waiting for an hour only to find out it was a sprinkler issue and there was no danger. That was icing on the cake. Did I mention that for $250/night, the water in the bar is $5/bottle? ludicrous especially when you can go across the street and buy the same bottle for $3. We've stayed at $99/night accomodations that were gracious enough to give us water. B/c we felt cheated by the hotel, we refused to have any other meals there and went to the local bar and the neighbouring skotel. The hotel is a nice landmark but the rooms are nothing special (we stayed in the upgraded wing). The pool was a joke, it was in the cellar where the ceilings were at 5ft. tall. The fitness room was embarrasing. I understand that it is an old building and that there are limitations to upgrading....then don't charge me that much.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank dmgirl66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2011

We should have stayed at a B&B in town but when we made our plans, we thought this was one of our only choices if we wanted a convenient place to do the Tongariro Crossing. There are other choices in town. This was opened in 1929 and you can tell it must have been grand at that time. It is old and worn and needs a major facelift. The furniture in the room was old but it was clean. However, our room room was not worth what we paid for it. They are to begin rennovations this year.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jsr6961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BayviewHotels, Public Relations Manager at Chateau Tongariro Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2011

Thank you jsr6961 for taking the time to review your stay at Bayview Chateau Tongariro. A room refurbishment is planned for 2011 on the original wing rooms which we hope will lift the image of these rooms. The Bayview Chateau Tongariro is a historic hotel and does require a lot of love and attention which is continually ongoing. We do hope that if you are able to experience the hotel again in the future, you will notice an improvement from your last stay.

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Reviewed March 4, 2011

Relative to everywhere else that we stayed in New Zealand over 4 weeks, this hotel was completely out of step in terms of service, friendliness and a genuine welcome. When booking in, the receptionist didn’t really want to know: surly would be too polite a description. The porter stood by and watched us struggle up the compulsory flight of stairs without so much as a comment. We could go on in this vein. We would have filed this TripAdvisor report whilst still at the hotel but NZ$29 for 24 hours access to wi-fi?. Get real Bayview. If you do find yourself staying here do try dining at The Station at National Park Village (15min drive)

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this hotel is your only option for walking the Crossing. If you stay in Turangi, your journey might be a little longer to start the walk, but the location offers so much more in terms of amenities and activities.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Were-rabbit101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BayviewHotels, Public Relations Manager at Chateau Tongariro Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2011

Thank you Were-rabbit101 for taking the time to review your stay at Bayview Chateau Tongariro. Management is addressing the staffing issues that you experienced. This is not the standard that is expected of the hotel's employees and measures will be put in place to lift the standards. In regards to the wi-fi, these services are being reviewed and the hotel hopes to supply free wi-fi in the near future.

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Additional Information about Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Address: State Highway 48, Whakapapa, Tongariro National Park 3951, New Zealand (Formerly Bayview Chateau Tongariro)
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > Tongariro National Park > Whakapapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Price Range: $132 - $222 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Chateau Tongariro Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 106
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

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