We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Gorgeous cottage in lovely setting, perfect for families” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of River Birches Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
River Birches Lodge
Ranked #1 of 8 Turangi B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Gorgeous cottage in lovely setting, perfect for families”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the River Birches Cottage with our two girls (age 3,5) in late July. We chose this location over Taupo due to its closer proximity to the Mt Ruapehu ski areas and I am so glad we did. Turangi is a lovely town right on the Tongariro River. It is small but has all the amenities (restaurants, supermarket etc) that you need on a holiday with a family.

The Cottage was gorgeous. Apparently it recently won an architectural award and I can see why. The living area is big, modern and open with lovely views from each of the numerous windows. It would be wonderful on a warm summer day when you could open the whole house out into the garden. The garden itself had a traditional English feel with a picturesque pond and great sitting area.

There are four bedrooms - a master with ensuite downstairs (which we didn't use because we wanted to be near the girls) and three bedrooms upstairs with a big family bathroom. We stayed in the large upstairs queen bedroom and the girls were in the twin room. The bedrooms are large with very comfortable beds and beautiful bed linen. The bathrooms are spotless, modern and luxurious with fluffy towels, quality natural bath products, heated towel rails(!) and heated tiled floors. The whole house is toasty warm due to the numerous heaters that you can easily adjust to the temperature you want.

I have stayed in a lot of self-contained accommodation particularly in Australia and often it is a bit musty or you feel you want to rinse all the cutlery and crockery before use but not here! The cottage and the kitchenware was immaculate. This is obviously a well managed property. The kitchen had everything you might need for a family visit or in fact to cater an eight course dinner party. When we arrived the fridge was stocked with bacon, eggs, tea, coffee, milk, bread, two types of cereal, butter and on the bench was a full bowl of fruit - none of which we were expecting so it was a lovely surprise. There was also a near new washing machine and dryer with soap powder provided.

Being a 3 minute walk from the river (and a fantastic suspension bridge) was great as was being able to see so many stars at night. We saw three shooting stars in fifteen minutes - a novelty for any city dweller. You can also hear the river from the cottage which is lovely particularly at night.

The drive to the Whakapapa ski fields was an easy 35 minutes and the manager of River Birches had recommended a ski hire place en route which was much cheaper than the on snow hire places (I think it was called Adventure Hut or something similar - service was excellent and very friendly). As we found almost everywhere we went in NZ the service at River Birches was wonderful. Very welcoming, very friendly and very helpful in providing information and tips on the local area. Also very welcoming of our small children.

While we were there we had a look at the rooms in the Lodge and they were also very nice. The Lodge had a warm, luxury feel that would be great for couples. For us though the Cottage was perfect. The rate we paid was not unreasonable either as they did not charge for the children. For what we got, we thought it was a very fair price.

We will definitely be back to this place, hopefully next time with more of the extended family. I can certainly see a Christmas lunch out in the Cottage garden in my future at some point!

Room Tip: For families the Cottage is perfect.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

127 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    107
    10
    8
    2
    0
See reviews for
17
83
4
2
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2011

There is a Wow here. Once we walked in there was a nice relaxing wow feeling. We came to do the Tongariro crossing and some fishing while on our honeymoon. Stayed two nights. First night we ate out because we did not want to commit in advance to eating it. Eating out was a disappointment. Expensive and not great. Second night we ate in. This was the right choice. We should of opted to eat in both nights. The lodge has 3-4 rooms and the owners cottage. We did not go for the Admiral's room because it was the premium room and this was close to the end of the trip and our funds were getting tight. The manager showed us around and we even got to use the wooden hot tub that is connected to the Admiral's since no one was there. The Admiral's rooms looks very nice. However the others are very nice as well. The cottage is pretty private and has a good vibe to it. We surfed the web a lot before the trip. This was the right choice for us. We both will be back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank travelalltime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, NZ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2011

We are a Christchurch New Zealand based family with an 11 year old girl and 7 year old boy.
We embarked on a NZ road trip for our annual holidays this year and stumbled across 'paradise' in River Birches on the edge of the stunning river in Turangi.
A beautiful and peaceful setting, with the gentle sounds of the river and wind in the trees to sooth the busy world our of our minds. Stunning walking tracks in nearby Tongoriro National Park and plenty of activities to experience in any weather condition It rained during our stay) The cottage we stayed in itself was simply stunning. Very comfortable, very well appointed too, we cooked two stunning meals in the beautiful kitchen. In fact it was difficult to leave! We will be back soon without a doubt, and definitely for longer than our initial two nights stay. Maybe a winter trip as well for some skiing. There is just too much to see and do.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vanHfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
195 reviews
149 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2011

There is no doubt that this is physically a very nice property but its pricing and what is provided does not come close to the prices that are charged.

There are three rooms in the main "lodge" - Admirals, Duchess, and Major. The Admirals and Duchess rooms look out onto the garden area at the back of the property. These rooms are relatively small and offer very little privacy when the curtains are open. The Major room is a separate building with a few onto a small garden.

The properties website says to join for drinks and canapes in the summer. In the two days I was there these were not offered.

Breakfast was terrible.

On my first day I was given a bowl of fruit - cantaloupe and blueberries. The cantaloupe was over ripe - mushy. No cereals were offered - more on this later. The eggs which I requested - scrambled with salmon were undercooked. The flat white coffee was served near cold. This was because the hostess, Anthea, made the coffee and then spent 10 minutes searching for an appropriate milk. The end result was a tepid coffee. Could I have asked for all of this to be redone - yes - but I chose to go on my hike for the day. I asked about fresh fruit juice - none. I stayed at several upper end properties in New Zealand at half the price - fresh juice and more.

The next breakfast was not any better. Juice was once again bottlled Apple or Orange. My attempts to get unsweetened cereal resulted in Anthea bringing me a tub of grains - yes, raw seeds and grains. I guess I could have toasted these and made a cereal. I passed. My "eggs over easy" were cooked to solid yolks.

It is amusing that the owner says Anthea is a good cook. That is certainly not what I experienced. It took a while to find her on my last day. I came close to cooking my own breakfast.

The bottom line is easy. Very expensive and not worth what is paid. Breakfast is a sham. Anthea would make a nice grandmother. By the way, her first words were "could I book you a flightseeing trip?". Perhaps she was looking for some income enhancement through a commission.

Consider other options unless you have money to burn.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AlwaysOnTheAirplane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2011

We stayed at Riverbirches over Christmas and had an amazing time. We stayed in the Admirals room which was fab and also a bit away from the kitchen/living area space so a bit more private. Since we were there on our own we had the whole house to ourselves and so that was fantastic as if shared with other couple I guess you could be in each others way a bit if you both want to hang out in the living room. Having said that the bedroom was so nice that we could happily have stayed there all the time as well. The outside hottub that comes with the Admirals room was amazing and I would def opt for the Admirals room if you can although it is a bit more pricey. Anthea took great care of us and cooked us a lovely breakfast and was very helpful with suggestions on where to go etc. A true 5 star and hope to go there again with a couple of friends so you can share the house that way.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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?
2 Thank Swede2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2011

We enjoyed our stay at River Birches Lodge but felt that it was very overpriced for what we received for $615/night (Admiral's room); for this price, you would expect that dinner and maybe canapes would be included. Dinner was not offered as an option, however, this would be recommended, as the dining options in Turangi are quite limited. We went to Oreti restaurant (a 20 minute drive on a twisty road) and were very disappointed with the food, despite having heard good things about it.

On the plus side, Anthea made lovely breakfasts and was very helpful in suggesting local sites to visit.

River Birches is indeed a beautiful lodge, but we would not recommend it because of the high price.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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 Scout_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jason_bleibtreu, Owner at River Birches Lodge, responded to this review, January 5, 2011
We are glad that you enjoyed your stay. It is great to hear that you liked Anthea’s breakfast. Anthea takes pride in this and makes a great deal from local and organic produce.
We understand that you did not dine in and were displeased with one of the local restaurants. We do understand this disappointment. Anthea is a fine cook and I am sure she would have been delighted to have prepared dinner for you. On our website we recommend that guests let us know in advance if they would like to dine in. This way we can cater to their needs.
Regarding your view that the Admiral’s room is very expensive. This room is our most sough after room as well as our most expensive on. As it includes its own private cedar hot tube, very large bathroom and many other features it is priced higher than the other rooms. We do have other options, which are less expensive. The Duchesses room or the newly opened Cottage at River Birches is priced less than the Admiral’s.
Sorry to hear that you did not have a chance to try the lodge’s cuisine. We are delighted to hear that you thought the lodge was beautiful, Anthea was very helpful and that the breakfast was lovely.

Sincerely,

Jason Bleibtreu
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2010

Perfect place to go and stay with a group of like minded gents interested in fly fishing. River on your door step and our every need attended to. Fantastic food and lovely accommodation. We stayed in the cottage which can comfortably take 7 or 8 of us. If we were looking for luxury we would stay next door in one of the beautifully appointed holiday suites but only with our wives not a bunch of drinkers who fish.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MelbourneChad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Turangi
6.1 mi away
Oreti Village
Oreti Village
#7 of 9 in Turangi
4.5 of 5 bubbles 114 reviews
20.2 mi away
Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Chateau Tongariro Hotel
#1 of 2 in Whakapapa
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,453 reviews
0.9 mi away
Turangi Bridge Motel
Turangi Bridge Motel
#2 of 9 in Turangi
4.5 of 5 bubbles 270 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.5 mi away
Tongariro Lodge
Tongariro Lodge
#2 of 17 in Turangi
4.0 of 5 bubbles 171 reviews
0.5 mi away
Asure Parklands Motor Lodge
0.4 mi away
Creel Lodge Motel
Creel Lodge Motel
#1 of 9 in Turangi
4.5 of 5 bubbles 277 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to River Birches Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about River Birches Lodge

Property: River Birches Lodge
Address: 19 Koura Street | Taupo, Turangi 3334, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Taupo District > Turangi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Turangi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — River Birches Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Superbly located for the Tongariro crossing, fishing, and skiing getaways. River Birches is an exclusive retreat alongside the Tongariro River. Listed in Travel & Leisure Magazine’s Best of 2007. It features luxury accommodation equipped with Wi-Fi, fitness room and onsite chef. Qualmark: Five Star rated. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Priceline and Agoda so you can book your River Birches Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing