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“Neat cabin and great food”

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Skotel Alpine Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Reviewed March 23, 2014

Myself, my wife, and my 2 adult kids stayed in the cabins for 2 nights in Mar. 2014. The cabin was sort of neat but a little old and rustic looking. The double bed was ok but the mattresses were only foam in the bunk beds. Probably ok for little kids but not older ones. The cabin did have a kitchen but we did not use it. They did have 100mb of free internet but it didn't last long. I can't remember the manager's name at the front desk but she was very friendly and helpful. The dining room was sort of expensive but the food was excellent and you can't beat the views of Mt. Doom from the bar.There are not a lot of other places to eat or to buy groceries in the village as this is basically a skiing village. There is a great 2 hour walking trail right next to the lodge while we also climbed the mountain at the top of the ski lift. The main lodge looks like it needs some repairs but I definitely would stay in the cabin again because it is different and you can't beat the views of the volcanoes during the day and the stars at night.

Room Tip: stay In the cabins for something different
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank phoenix1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 27, 2014

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights - with the principal objective of completing the Tongariro Alpine crossing on one of the days, then relaxing. We booked a superior room at the "i" site in Taupo, including a deal which allowed us to use the hotel's spa, with packed lunches for our day's walking. When we arrived, we were disappointed with the room; it was rather dowdy and old-fashioned - and in our view not at all "superior". Wi-Fi was available but rather than being free, it was charged at a prohibitive rate.

So then we tried out the "spa", which turned out to be only as large as my jaccuzi at home (just big enough for two people) and bookable by the half-hour. It was also dark and dingy so we retreated again to our room, determined to find out if we'd been given a standard room by mistake - there was no mistake!

Now for the positives: The staff were, without exception, welcoming and attentive; the breakfast was perfectly adequate and the dinners were excellent (we dined in the restaurant two nights out of the three). And the views from out patio were quite spectacular.
As for the hotel itself, after a couple of days we realised that the mistake we made was to have unrealistic expectations about the level of luxury and the physical nature of the building. Once we had read the brief history of the place that is described in the restaurant menus, we warmed towards the hotel and began to appreciate its unique charm.

All in all? Pretty good really................

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Seenoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2014

4 of us stayed at the Skotel last week before and after our 4 day tramp of the Northern Circuit. We were a little bit dubious given some of the recent reviews but I have to say we enjoyed our stay. The room that was booked before the tramp was clean and very comfortable. The cabin we stayed in after the tramp was clean, tidy and very cosy (walking into a lovely warm room after arriving back on a wet and miserable day was very welcome) and the location is excellent for this tramp. Staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful at Reception and the restaurant / bar. The food was much better than expected. Apart from a seafood chowder that didn't have half the ingredients the menu says it has and being far too thin in consistency for a chowder, the rest of the food was well above average. My pasta was the best fettucini I've had in a while and the side salad was nice and fresh. Desserts were also good but the menu is misleading because the sauces / custards listed on the menu are just a tiny drizzle and more of a decoration rather than an accompaniment.
The one thing manaement REALLY needs to take care of is the matresses in the cabins (on the bunk beds). They were so useless all you could feel was the planks of wood underneath. We had just spent 3 nights sleeping on matresses in DOC huts which were far superior.
Overall we would definitely stay again but a few minor things could do with being tidied up.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank 879DebbieH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We stayed two nights before and after the Tongariro Alpine Crossing,with two of our adult children and partners, in a chalet/cabin which accomodated 6 people comfortably.
Good features: friendly and helpful reception staff; wonderful setting with amazing views to Ngaurahoe; large fridge,excellent heating; fairly comfortable beds.Easy booking of transport to start the crossing
Areas for improvement: the website describes 'a full kitchen' but the absence of an oven made it very difficult to reheat a large premade lasagne we had brought down for dinner.The small microwave could only heat it plate by plate.Suggest they change the website wording.The shower room floor was needing some maintenance and the toilet had no working light.We were also bemused by the presence of a window in the toilet door and absence of a lock.Keeps you alert I guess.Would also like to have had a recycle bin for our bottles and cans.As others have noted, the hot tub is due a makeover.
Overall, we were very happy with our choice of accomodation,would stay there again and recommend you do too.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank rabbit001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

We stayed 4 days at the Skotel, during new year's eve. An initial reservation problem was very quickly solved by the management. We have appreciated this quality of service which has made our stay very enjoyable. Excellent welcome, team always ready to help.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Michel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

We stayed here in late December, the night before and the night after the Tongariro crossing. The staff had been very accommodating with most our requests - we arrived for check-in after the front desk was already closed, and the room key was left for us in the bar. The following morning, they were able to arrange for the transportation for us to the Tongariro crossing, for the 7am departure with just a few minutes' notice.

The room we stayed in was fair for the price - we stayed in a room with private bathroom, but in the part of the hotel that was not renovated. As mentioned, things were not renovated, however, nothing major was missing. The space heater worked - even though we had fears that it would not, based on its appearance.

We ate at the restaurant just once (and one time too many), on the second evening. The food was more expensive than our room (per night), and it was also the worst and the most expensive food that we had during our 2-week trip. From past reviews, our expectations were low, and they were met. My veggie lasagna was overcooked and oversalted. My husband ordered some type of meat that was also overcooked. Unfortunately, there are not any other options for food nearby. I think a freeze-dried camping meal would have been equivalent or better in taste to what I had for dinner that night, and less expensive.

Skotel does have an excellent location for Tongariro crossing or for doing other things in Tongariro National Park - because they are so close. I would recommend to stay here only because of its location and lack of other reasonably-priced options nearby.

Room Tip: If you are staying in non-renovated part of the hotel in private rooms - the further away from the b...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank N R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

I spent two nights at this hotel at the recommendation from some friends who had done the same. My main goal was the Tongariro Crossing and I needed a nearby base.

The first thing to meet me was a very friendly and smiling receptionist, Marie or Mary, couldn't quite catch her name, but she quickly gave me a room in the backpacker section and supplied me with all the information I needed about the crossing, the hotel and the restaurant. She also promptly booked me a spot on the shuttle that takes you to the start of the crossing and picks you up at the other end.

The hotel room was clean and nice, there was room for three in there with a small sink for brushing your teeth and the basic necessities. Bathroom with nice showers is close by (allthough it felt like they were a mile a way after coming back from the crossing, but I blame that on my shape, rather than the hotel) ;-)

THe reestaurant served good food, not too cheap, but I got an excellent burger the first night and a really great fish of the day the next night.

They had run out of wifi coupons when I got there, but I just bought minutes on one of the three PCs they have above the restaurant, which actually worked out better for me as these PCs have SD-card readers so I could upload my images from the camera onto Facebook.

Every person I met from the staff was smiling and friendly, serviceminded. Sometimes wish there had been more than one poor soul in reception as there was often a bit of a queue there.

Also sorely missed a socket in my room. Seemed the other backpackers had the same problem as we all took turns charging our phones in the hall.

NEGATIVE: Queue at reception, no sockets in the room (backpacker section)
POSITIVE: Location, staff, food, good beds and clean bathrooms

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Bakoyma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Skotel Alpine Resort

Address: Tongariro National Park, Whakapapa, Tongariro National Park 3951, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > Tongariro National Park > Whakapapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Price Range: $45 - $154 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Skotel Alpine Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Skotel was established in the early 60s by a group of keen skiers who wanted the convenience of accommodation close to the ski-fields but more comfort than the ski lodges of that time. In 1986 it underwent a major expansion with the addition of restaurant, bar and other facilities. The old part of the building became the backpacker’s wing. Skotel has maintained its friendly informal atmosphere but now provides Qualmark three star accommodation and the exciting cuisine experiences of our new dinner menu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Skotel Alpine Hotel Whakapapa Village
Holiday Inn Tongariro National Park

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