I stayed here for one night as part of my 2-week honeymoon in NZ. Being the only hotel in Mt Cook Village (the other forms of accommodation were chalets and backpackers), it has managed to monopolise the market here. When we went, it was peak season so there were busloads of tourists checking in and out during the day, which made the hotel rather congested and noisy in the middle of the day.
Out of all the accommodation I stayed at in my entire NZ trip, this hotel had the slowest, least efficient checking in process for me. I tried to check in early at 1.30pm but they told me to come back at 2pm which was the designated check-in time as the room wasn't ready. At 2pm, I tried to check in again, and they told me my room still wasn't ready. I had to wait another 15 minutes to finally get my keys.
The room itself was only average, with just the basic amenities you'd expect at a hotel. There was really nothing special, despite the enormous price tag we had to pay for the room. When we entered the room, I was surprised to see two double beds instead of one so I called reception to ask why - they told us that we'd been upgraded from a Standard Mt Cook View room to a Premium room because they had out-booked the Standard rooms. I was pleased with this, but thought they should have informed me at the counter earlier to avoid misunderstandings.
The room had an absolutely amazing view of Mt. Cook and the surrounding mountain range, of course, which, as many have mentioned, was the highlight of the stay there. On our first day, the cloud cover meant we couldn't really see Mt. Cook, but on the morning of the second day, the clouds had moved and there it was, in all its majesty. It was an utterly fantastic experience to wake up to a view like this, while still lying on your bed. We needed more than a few moments to just take it all in.
We did not have any meals at the hotel. We opted instead to drive to the (cheaper) Old Mountaineers cafe and the Chamois for lunch and dinner respectively. These had great food at a more reasonable price.
The hotel is directly connected to the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre which had loads of things to do. We decided not to go for any activities here, but it really is a great place to hang out and do things without having to leave the hotel premises. This would be an extremely convenient way to pass the time if the weather did not permit any outdoor activities, and I think is a really strong selling point of the hotel. We went on the Kea Point Walk which was just outside the hotel. It was a really nice late afternoon stroll, weather permitting.
We had drinks at the Snowline Lounge which opened till late. It had a nice ambience at night, which was very different from what it was during the day with all the noisy tourists. Staff throughout our stay here were polite, nothing outstanding. The hotel itself lacks the charm you would expect from a hotel so rich in history, but unless you are the backpacker-type, there's really not much choice for you in terms of accommodation in Mt. Cook Village besides this.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From an intrepid journey through glacial valleys to a mouth-watering culinary dining adventure, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect 'base camp' to discover your Peak Experience. Choose from premium hotel rooms, motel units or cozy chalets. Add world-class activities such as Glacier Explorers, Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours, Big Sky Stargazing, Encounter Day Walks, scenic flights or the visual extravaganza of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and you have a unique, year-round alpine adventure perfect for the family holiday or your next romantic getaway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook Village
- Hermitage New Zealand
- The Hermitage Hotel New Zealand/Mt. Cook Village