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“grand building but impersonal”

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
England
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“grand building but impersonal”
Reviewed January 31, 2010

We were in the Tongariro National Park to do some walking and even though the weather was not very good, we had some great walks. The hotel is a very impressive building that dominates the area and trades on its history. Our room was fine but like a million other bedrooms in large hotels. We booked a package than included dinner, breakfast and a guided walk but the reception staff didn't understand the details and 3 staff gave us wrong information. Dinner in the restaurant was very good though breakfast was a pretty indifferent buffet selection.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EnglishRuthless
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
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Scotland Highlands
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2010

I was 70 in mid January 2010 so myself and partner took off for a treat of a night's stay in the Chateau Tongariro - always wanted an excuse to visit. The hotel is a grand Edwardian building with lovely period furniture and panoranic views from the large windows - a kiwi version of a mini scottish Gleneagles - amazing for a 1920's hotel. The rate was a special one with complimentary bottle of champagne thrown in - $380 dbb. The only hiccup was that as we are both indifferent to bubbles we asked, at the time of booking, for a red wine instead. Well the champagne (actually Lindauer bubbly) was waiting on arrival , but that was speedily replaced with sincerest apologies. We had a fabulously located room on a corner with a view of Ngauruhoe volcano (a perfect cone) from the bed and golf course from the other window. The room was excellent (apart from a large coffee stain on the carpet which I am certain had been ignored by the cleaner). Excellent food there and we were made to feel very much welcome in the bar and dining room by all the staff. There was some noise in the early hours of the morning due to a wedding taking place elsewhere in the building. We even managed before breakfast to have a round of golf, the magnificent views making up for our poor standard of golf. The surrounding area is rich not just with grand mountains and panoramas but there is much geological evidence of the fascinating series of eruptions from these still active volcanoes. There is so much to see on the walks across the barren volcanic slabs, scoria and sand, crossing multi coloured beds of rivers, streams and waterfalls and then the cool shade of forest walks with amazing new plants and trees to explore. An unforgettably brilliant occasion.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank winehills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2010

Have stayed here 3 times with my family including 2 under age 10 kids. First time in December 2007 in the motel apartments at the back, secondtime in October 2008 during the skiing season staying in a family room in main building and most recently again in a family room for 3 nights in the main building at a cost of NZ$250 per night...no breakfast included but we always have a lie in anyway.

We return for the stunning location and access to easy flat two hour walks in the National Park. We also enjoy the main restaurant for dinner and it was noticeably better this time than two years ago. Breakfast which we only took on a couple of occasions was also pretty good for a buffet. Kids are charged much less than adults. There is a good kids menu in the main restaurant.

As a Brit living in NZ, and therefore denied access to historic buildings, I also love the place for its architectural grandeur and history..it gives me my fix.....it can't be beat for relaxing in the main lounge before/after dinner with a drink or cup of coffee listening to the pianist.
I also notice thay have introduced 'high tea' which was sorely needed but we were unable to partake as we were always out on walks.

The coffee was worse than 2 years ago - they have changed the blend unfortunately.

Service can be variable - this time it was pretty good especially in the main restaurant. Can be slow in the Piha one. The Tavern is to be avoided unless you want fast food and pub atmosphere. fergussons is just a simple cafe. The Cafe at the bottom of the cable car is not bad but again more chips and sandwiches.
The pool is more of a glorified hot tub and very strange. The cinema is a good option although since they also show free films on the tv in your room. you may not need to use it.
Great place to blow the cobwebs out of your brain, relax and eat good food (shame about the coffee - still drinkable though - NB people who live in Wellington get very fussy about the standard of latte coffees) so don't read too much into this.

An experience not to be missed if your comparison point is your average NZ Motel. The Skotel behind it looks pretty good though if you are on a tight budget.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EuroCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
101 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2010

I didn't really want to write a review on this hotel more so from the fact that we literally stayed just overnight as we passed through. We drove in close to midnight on a misty, cloudy night and the hotel looked really nice. The room were clean and nice, but like any hotel lacked that charm and sense of wonder that a smaller place offers. Crisp and clean and fairly efficient to stay especially if you are staying for awhile in the reserve. Service is efficient.

Overall a hotel that is good but after the other places we stayed in across South Island this definitely lacked character:(

One thing that would have made it for me was if they provided good breakfast. The breakfast spread was a buffet of insipid hot and cold stuff, that reminded me of a ordinary UK hotel chains that I have frequented during business trips. Given the limited guests, they can try and offer hot counters with the buffet etc. that will be of value for someone staying there, especially since it is middle of nowhere with outside options being almost nothing.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank harrrypot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguas de Lindoia, SP
Level Contributor
166 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2010

My wife and I spent ours wedding anniversary in thsi romantic and well maintained hotel.The loby is wonderful. The modern, well appointed rooms with views to the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park. Our bathroom was well equipped with double bath ,shower and heated floors. The service is nice. The breakfast was very good in the beautiful hotel restaurant. I reccomend this hotel because it´s a charming hotel inside the fabulous national park.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cred68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2009

We stayed here for only one night (this trip) unfortunately. This is an amazing old hotel - so, naturally, there is a bit of luck in terms of your room. Ours was huge, with a magnificent view.
Service keeps getting better - from the porters to the waiters. They were helpful without being obsequious, and everything went smoothly. The food in the Ruapehu Room for dinner was excellent. Unfortunately breakfast was less pleasant - the hot dishes had been sitting too long and the eggs and hash browns were flabby. There was a wide choice for a continental breakfast.
Overall, this is an experience!

  • Stayed December 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JenaC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2009

This hotel was great to experience. The building is amazing and the location can't be beat for taking in the park. Our room was small but clean. The only complaint we had was that the heating wasn't effective enough. The restaurant was one of the best we ate at during out trip.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Birdwatcher33
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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