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“A trip back in time”

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
69 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“A trip back in time”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

This is my second stay at the Chateau, the first time in a standard room that I was perfectly happy with at the time. However this time I was treated to a spa room as a birthday treat, and what a treat it was. The room was beautiful & the whole ambiance at the Chateau is that of a bye- gone era that compels you to relax, whether it is in your room or in the many relaxing comfortable nooks & crannies of the main hotel.
The view of the mountains from the main lounge never ceases to amaze me. The pianist gently singing & tinkling away in the background late in the afternoon was so professional and appropriate I thought it was a CD playing.

The staff in general were polite, happy and attentive.
We had a three course dinner included in our package that truly could not be faulted, it was New Zealand cuisine at its finest (and I am not easily impressed). No stingy portions or restricted menu each course was delicious and I would have been more than happy to pay for it had it not been included in our package.

The usual menu prices & charges for drinks are in my opinion very reasonable. You are somewhat captive in this remote location & the hotel could well have taken advantage of this & hiked their food & beverage prices considerably, but they haven’t.

I really don’t agree with the pervious review that suggests a refurbishment is due, she is indeed a grand old lady with a little flaking plaster just here & there that only adds to her charm.

Following a really hectic week I reluctantly left this sanctuary a much more relaxed and contented person.

I will definitely return to sit in front of those gorgeous log fires in a winged back chair, with my favourite book when the snow starts to fall.
Thank you to you all for what will be a memorable birthday.

Room Tip: If you can afford a spa room, treat yourself it's well worth it, but the hotel is so lovely a st...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lesley094
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,487 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (330)
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Pukekohe, New Zealand
Level Contributor
39 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2012

The weather was atrocious on the day we arrived at the chateau, but the sight of that grand hotel filled us with excitement.
We pulled up under cover at the main door and were somewhat surprised that there wasn't anyone one there to help us with the bags, the receptionist was pleasant and booked us in efficiently giving us clear directions on how to find our room. The room was ok, it had a very comfortable king size bed made up with quality linen, an old television and tea/coffee making facilities. The bathroom was clean & fresh with a deep bath in it.
Once we were settled in we set off to explore the hotel. Down stairs we found a small movie theatre, a games room, an indoor pool and sauna room.
Upstairs we decided to sit in the magnificent lobby and have a coffee, the lobby its self lived up to our expectations with rich colours, heavy drapery, chandeliers and a roaring fire. Unfortunately the coffee that we ordered at the bar was terrible.
We ate dinner at the Pihanga cafe' and enjoyed a good meal and good service there.
We had a buffet breakfast in the Ruapehu restaurant which was of reasonable standard.
Whilst not a perfect stay we were more than happy with the overall experience and will remember it fondly.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ThomKatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
278 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2012

When it comes to hotels that are truly international icons the Bayview Chateau Tongariro is certainly in that class. We know of no other hotel that has the appearance and status of this grand old lady that is situated in the Tongariro National Park in the North Island approximately half way between Auckland and Wellington.
We had visited the Chateau on other occasions, but it is always a thrill to drive up the highway and to round the corner and there is this impressive red brick building with cream colonnades and blue roof standing proudly against the backdrop of mountains and forest.
At reception we were given a friendly welcome by the young lady on reception and a helpful and enthusiastic porter looked after our baggage and showed us to the lift and to our suite. The generous suite had a very comfortable king bed, tea and coffee making, plus a bathroom with separate double spa bath and shower - real luxury accommodation.
We dined in their top restaurant the Ruapehu Room. We had world class service from great waitresses and an excellent three course meal. They have an extensive wine list with both New Zealand and imported wines. After dinner we adjourned to the magnificent lounge, truly it harks back to another era of the grandeur of the 1920’s, where we enjoyed coffee and after-dinner drinks.
We reluctantly left the following day but in hindsight should have stayed at least two nights. The Bayview Chateau Tongaririo offers a hotel experience that is only available in select parts of the world, however the prices are very reasonable and we have paid twice as much of lesser experiences – great value of money and well-recommended.

Room Tip: Regardless of the style or layout of the rooms all the rooms we have used have been excellent
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Winetourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2012

My wife and I had a very enjoyable 2 night stay at the Chateau. We were on a package deal, Celebration Package or similar which provided a standard room, breakfast and dinner. We were without asking, upgraded with our room which provided us with a front of the hotel view and immediate access to the balcony. We throughly enjoyed dinner on both nights, the service was first class. In contrast to another recent review, I am glad that there is a dress code in the dining room, heavens this is a special treat for my wife and I, surely a pair of shoes, trousers and a short sleeve collared shirt is not too much to ask, even I could find something in the suitcase. I certainly don't want our special evening degraded. We consider that what we paid was very good value. We loved the old style hotel, the food, the service, young Jeremy on keyboard/piano in the evening, the billiard table and of course the surrounding national park and walks. We even enjoyed what is called the swimming pool (the tomb) but of course in association with the sauna. Thanks, Bayview Chateau T, we loved it.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CanberraSenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minchinhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2012

The drive up to this hotel sets expectations very high. The backdrop is stunning, the location remote but excellent to explore the National Park. Inside, all is just "okay", needing a good dose of refurbishment. Everything was clean but tired. However, please don't ruin it by going ultra modern, just wake it up a bit. Food and service in the cafe bar was very good and good value. The prices in the main restaurant (and the cheek to impose a dress code!) were above what should be expected from the feel of the rest of the hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tony N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast Australia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

Recently enjoyed a superb two night stay in a Superior room on an excellent value 'Celebrations Package'.
The room was the most spacious hotel room we have ever experienced - virtually a suite in itself- with an equally large modern bathroom and adjoining dressing alcove. The room had been renovated and all fittings including TV and sound system were new and modern.
The view from the large picture window looking directly at Mt.Ruapehu was spectacular.
The 'Chateau' has so much 'old world charm' and character but has all the services expected in a contemporary hotel. The food and service in the dining room at dinner was outstanding.
The ambience at breakfast, especially if there are coach groups staying in the hotel, can be a little less relaxed and the buffet offerings could be a little more sophisticated.
After some days of trekking this was a well earned bit of luxury to get recharged.
Overall a wonderful and memorable experience.

Room Tip: Look for packages and upgrades to Superior rooms
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Errol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
60 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

We stayed here back in 2005 and found it incredibly romantic and "old world". We had a nice room, enjoyed drinks in the main lobby area, and ate a delicious dinner in the restaurant. It has the look and feel of a proper old hotel - think The Shining during peak season, minus the scary stuff! This is one of a kind!

We returned in Jan 2012 and were dismayed at how much it's gone downhill. First of all, what the heck is "Bayview"? This is obviously the company that bought the hotel but why is the name first in all of their branding? No one know who they are. It's like someone buying the Waldorf-Astoria and renaming it. The brand (The Chateau) is famous! Work with that!

It appears that Bayview has done little or nothing to improve the place. Gone was the wonderful bar staff wandering through the lobby taking drink orders. Instead we had a lonely kid behind the bar and an almost empty lobby -- what a waste!! Put some music on, hire some staff, turn on some lights for atmosphere! The lobby is the BEST part of the hotel and it's a completely missed opportunity! We wanted to sit and enjoy the ambience like we did in 2005 - and pay for some drinks! - but it was so quiet and empty we just went back to our room!

I've read some reviews on here about the refurbished rooms -- this makes me glad, as that was going to be my next comment. We obviously didn't get one of those rooms, but I'm pleased they're doing renovations. Our room was spacious but very outdated.

(TIP: Get wifi! No one wants to plug in their computer anymore.)

We ordered room service and it was just as good as the last time - so they're definitely doing the food right. We wandered through a maze of hallways and stairs to find the little bar that another reviewer complained about - it was pretty shabby and had a real "basement" feel. I hope this is on the list of refurbishments!

The service was good, and I'd love to go back. But it's sad that the hotel isn't doing more to maximise what an incredibly beautiful, historic property this is. Open up a café on the roof - it's this big bare expanse of wasted space! Market it as a premiere skiing and hiking destination! They're barely in the 3-star category! There's so much they could be doing. Instead, the only change I saw was the name "Bayview" added to all of the same old menus and brochures. Clunky and lazy!

Room Tip: Ask for a refurbished one!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BlueKitsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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