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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
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Reviews (1,819)
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Reviewed March 31, 2009

The Bayview Chateau is deep in some of New Zealand’s most dramatic scenery. Unfortunately, it was the only seriously poor hotel we stayed at on our tour around the country. It is a handsome building, loosely modelled on a hotel that sits overlooking Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. It has had a rather mixed history and now it is run by a Malaysian outfit called Bayview. Judging from our experience, Bayview is a corner-cutting concern that doesn’t engender many management skills or even cheerfulness in its staff.

Our room, 806, didn’t have much of a view and was decidedly gloomy. The TV set and minibar sat inside a hulking mahogany unit but the doors to the TV didn’t open properly, or fold back, so two people couldn’t watch it simultaneously. Not that there was anything to watch because the satellite system wasn’t working properly. Neither was the internet which was totally unobtainable from our room. There was a dark, heavily chipped coffee table, two monstrously heavy and dark leather chairs, a dowdy-looking bedspread. Lighting was terrible. The bathroom had been modernised fairly recently, with a walk-in shower, a spa bath and the other usuals but it had been done very cheaply in plastic. We found evidence of previous occupiers - toenails on the floor.

There is a ghostly lobby lounge and a vaguely ornate dining room. It was all amusingly reminiscent of The Shining. My meal of rack of lamb was rather good, though my wife’s duck confit was not confit at all - it was impossible to cut and impossible to eat, so they gave us a refund. Breakfast the next morning was absolutely dire - on a level with the cheapest motels.

This isn’t an especially expensive hotel, so expectations were not that high. But, really, this isn’t good enough. Not good at all.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Pausanias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2009

From 2 kms. away the Bayview Chateau looks mightily impressive against the magnificent mountain skyline.
One's hopes optimistically but foolishly rise in anticipation. "Surely all the damning reports one has read on Tripadvisor & elsewhere can't be true" goes through your mind.
Once you set foot in the place your heart sinks as you are abruptly transported back in time some 70 years or more and realize that your worst fears are about to be fulfilled.
The "Mary Celeste" would have been fun in comparison but this establishment is populated with some of the weirdest staff imaginable who must have been either rejects from the hotel training school or former members of the Addams Family or both! All the while in the vast and cavernous lobby is a manic pianist performing "gems from..." to an audience of three geriatrics.
It's a great shame. Tongariro is a magnificent location and warrants the very best that New Zealand has to offer. Sadly, whilst the Bayview Chateau may have had its glory days in the 30's it is today a hollow shell and morgue of a place that is so depressingly awful that even Gustav von Ascenbach would have given this hotel a miss!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank nigor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2009

The location is spectacular but the Hotel as well as being the most expensive of our two weeks North Island tour was by far the worst. We were in a "Premium" room at $215/night, however breakfast was extra so total with continental breakfast was $257. Inside it is clear that it was once a hotel in the "grand" style but it is looking very tired, faded drapes, unwiped tables and the room was not particularly clean. For dinner in the hotel you have the choice between an overpriced "fine dining" restaurant or a "café style" restaurant. Most people opt for the latter but it is small and understaffed which means
there are long waits for a table and also for food once seated. I wanted to use the internet and was charged $15 for a 30 minute card, not only that but when it came to pay the bill they also tried to bill me with a metered charge as well which I had deleted from the bill. Normal Internet Café charge for a wireless connection is $2 for 40 minutes use!
It is a great pity that this hotel is not better managed it deserves better. The highlight of our stay was completing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a life changing experience!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank dandjt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2009

Not bad , Not great.

Booked a Premium Run of the house. -Great bed! , Room was mediocre.

For the money you can get much better value at other hotels, But for a night I suppose it was OK.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brentykb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2009

A high-lying, stately, castle-like hotel that abruptly rises from the slopes of a volcano. It looks a bit forlorn but has a certain olde world charm. Many people would love it; others might hate it.
Nice walks nearby if the wind does not blow too hard.
The rooms are spacious but on the dark side. Our bathroom even boasted a jacuzzi.
The hotel has a good restaurant with very friendly service.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank VanRiebeeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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