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“Improving” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Waitomo Caves Hotel

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Waitomo Caves Hotel
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Auckland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Improving”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2012

Was great to go back to the hotel after a year and to see the work continues in a positive direction. The grounds are looking great and the hotel was exceptionally clean. It is still an old hotel but a very pleasant experience, good food and wine, a lovely open fire - perfect way to spend a Saturday night away from Auckland.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kiwitvlr55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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486 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    64
    149
    131
    75
    67
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Bay of Plenty
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2012

A revisit to the hotel where my husband and I stayed on our honeymoon 50 yrs ago. This time we took the family all 10 of us and had a wonderful time. the rooms were great, bathrooms large, beds comfortable, no complaints at all. Food very good and a great social time was spent in the large lounge in front of the fire.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the turret room where Queen Elizabeth stayed in 1954. Room had the sun all day.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank carryon70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2012

Waitomo Caves Hotel is truly a step back in time. We chose the Victorian wing built in the 1920's and really didn't mind the three flights of stairs we dragged our suitcases up to get a room with a view over the town. This part of the hotel has seen little updating since it was first built but that is its charm. The family room we were in was large, and the bath enormous: and the two attic style windows offered us a great view. There is a path from the hotel directly to the town which was handy if you felt like a walk. There are now tea making facilities in the rooms and a plasma television and toiletries but I can honestly say they would be the only concessions made for modern day expectations. We really enjoyed our encounter with the past and all thought of the many stories which could be told by the variety of guests who had stayed in our room before us.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank garzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard H, General Manager at Waitomo Caves Hotel, responded to this review, May 30, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to provide such an extensive informed and postive review which we always welcome. Too often people focus on what is not here and small issues and miss the abundance of charm and old world features we do offer - which is a shame. It is quite true that anyone looking for the glitz of modern hotel should probably think twice about booking with us at this time - we can't offer that and in fact we don't want to offer that. Our service is based on heart, character, quirk and charm (even if a somewhat faded charm at this point in time) We are also a work in progress - towards a place of pride and beauty once again - although we a very proud of what we have and resurrected already!. You are quite right Josie is a real gem and very capable in all areas of the hotel - I do ocassionally give her a day off! Fortunately we have others on the staff like her to fill the gap when she is not here. Come and see us again - we like you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2012

We booked in here with other family members celebrating my parents 50th Wedding anniversary as this is the place they honeymooned. It was neat to experience it with them all those years later and probably for them, to see it look the same as it did 50 years ago! yes, the decor is old, but I kinda liked that about the place. I think we are too used to modern flash buildings, instead this is full of old character with large rooms, and lots of little stairwells. We loved it. The kids totally loved exploring the place, it was hugely different than the usual motels/hotels we have stayed in and that made the weekend all the more enjoyable. The restaurant setup our table of 10 and we all had fabulous meals and good service. We spent time in the lounge area playing chess by the fire and enjoying the atmosphere (and the chandellers to die for!!!). i hope my kids come back when they are older and enjoy it once again.

Room Tip: Dont worry about needing a balcony. I dont think they add any value to your stay. We stayed in Rm...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Margot A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2012

I have rated this hotel highly not for its high tech, modern accommodations (there are none), or its swish decor and abundance of guest luxuries. (also not a feature), but for its lovely olde worlde historical experience, charm and passion to recreate what must have been one of the worlds lovely hotels in its day. If one only looks at the outer shell of this hotel, they would see, as others have reviewed, a paint peeling, tired, out-of-date place to stay. It does not have all the glitz and glamour travellers have come to expect from 24hr available plastic and chrome multi national establishments, that can cater for your every whim, but see you as dollar signs in their marketing strategy only.
With this in mind, we have just had 2 of the best days as a family ever. From booking our two rooms and talking to Josie on the phone, to the time we bid farewell to the "ever on duty" Josie, we felt welcomed into an extended family who had just put us up for the weekend. The food in the restaurant was lovely, served again by Josie.The roaring fire lulled us into a feeling of comfort. Nothing we asked for was too much trouble, so desserts and drinks, while watching our kids play chess between mouthfuls of chocolate, cheese and liqueurs set us up for a relaxing night. We didnt meet any ghosts, we did have rooms that were pleasant, provided all the usual neccessities, had lovely old bathrooms with huge baths, lovely toiletries and towels. And heaters turned on to take the chill off on our arrival, little gift bags of cookies and plenty of blankets for our midwinter visit. Yes there was peeling paint on the restaurant ceiling and some paper doing the same on the walls. But the knowledge of how the hotel had fallen into dissrepair over many years of leasing to hotel chains and government departments, who because of uncertainty of length of lease had allowed this wonderful old dame to begin to show her age, helped us to appreciate the family trust who have now bought the building back and are slowly trying to save the hotel from the ravages of time with a fragile balancing act of keeping the hotel functioning and restoring her to her former glamour, with limited means, meant that we appreciated the bigger picture, like the wonderful views from the breakfast room or the gardens and didnt mind the lack of room service or tempermental shower. We then understood the dedication of Josie, who was receptionist, dinner waitress, breakfast server, heater turner on person etc etc. Then was the person who checked us out again on our departure. That girl never seems to take time off, but then why would she, because she is part of a dedicated team who are honouring their ancestors and reclaiming this lovely old part of New Zealand history before its too late.
So after all this long winded review the bottom line is... if you want to be pampered in a superficial manner by staff who see you as a pay check dont stay here, because it will never meet your expectations. If you want to step back in time to an era where we were more self sufficient, but aware of the past, and be looked after by folk who are genuinely interested in doing their best to make your stay enjoyable go to Waitomo Caves Hotel. One day you will be able to tell your friends that you stayed here before it looked as fabulous as it is destined to be.

Room Tip: We stayed in the art deco side in twin rooms these are roomy with huge baths for old fashioned soaks...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dicowan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2012

My partner and I have stayed twice at Waitomo Caves Hotel. It is one of the only places I know that has tried to keep the 'old school' look, and to be honest, if it lost that, I probably wouldn't go back.
You definitely feel as though you have slipped back in time. It really is magnificant, and well worth the visit.
The manager Richard is lovely!! And the staff are very helpful (especially when you are wanting some ghost stories).
We love the hotel so much, we have decided to get married there next year!
Is sad to see many people give this hotel bad feedback stating "the wallpaper is peeling, its old, its cold, rah rah rah". I mean, come on! Look at the place!! It's meant to look 'old'. I personally, cannot find anything to put down about this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Danielle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2012

worth the stay as it has its own charm and history including the ghost of a maori princess. Bf and i took photos of our rm (rm 12) and found orbs in the photos. We were told the ghosts were friendly and we werent bothered my them. The bathroom needs a revamp and the doors are a bit noisy. Restaurant looked good however meals wer 30dollars plus. We dined at the pizzeria which was fantastic

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Danielle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard H, General Manager at Waitomo Caves Hotel, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
A nice review of our lovely old hotel - thank you. You were honoured indeed to be visited by the orbs which I have seen myself a number of time in photographs dancing around people with good or excitable engeries; all very friendly as you say. I assume by noisy doors you are referring to the comings and goings of guests - so I will see what we can do to soften their closing. The bathrooms although clean and tidy will be redone with the proposed refurbishment. Sounds like our dining room was slightly outside your budget but next time I encourgae you to try because it is all very delicious and a charming experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waitomo Caves Hotel

Property: Waitomo Caves Hotel
Address: Lemon Point Road | RD7, Waitomo Caves 9999, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Waitomo Caves
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Waitomo Caves Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waitomo Caves Hotel provides a taste of the early 19th Century grand tour hotel experience in our own time. Majestically positioned on a promontory above the Waitomo village and the world famous Waitomo caves the hotel offers sweeping views across the lush farmland, the hills and bush of the King Country. The hotel boasts sparkling crystal chandeliers, a vast art collection, spacious clean rooms, deliciously comfortable beds and a decadent spa area. Stay with us and experience the elegance of travel from a bygone era. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Waitomo Caves
Waitomo Caves Otorohanga

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