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“Good, but a bit pricey”
Review of Discovery Lodge

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Discovery Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good, but a bit pricey”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

I'm still not sure how I feel about this property. We went there for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and we had a good chat with the staff who gave us more information that helped us be mentally prepared for the hike than anything we had read. They also lent us a rain jacket, free of charge, that ended up being somewhat of a life saver because it was cold and windy during our hike. On the day of our departure, a different staff gave us tips and recommendations on what we could see and do on our drive from Tongariro to Rotorua. We did as suggested and we had a great time, especially at the restaurant by the shore of Lake Taupo.

That said, I felt like the hotel would have been great value if our stay were 20% cheaper. We paid nearly as much as we did for our hotel in Auckland (Skycity Hotel), but for a visibly old, basic property. Our room at the motel (the chalets are even pricier) was big and clean, but that was it, and what was more disappointing was that our beds weren't made and the kitchen items we had used the night before hadn't been washed by the time we got back tired and hungry from our hike. I think all housekeeping did was to take out the trash. I'm not sure if this is typical of this type of property in New Zealand, but for the price, I think it's only reasonable to expect basic service for guests' comfort.

I read a comment about the property being noisy. That wasn't our experience at all, and I know many if not all of the rooms were occupied during our stay. We had a pretty good sleep. About the restaurant, we had dinner there. We had the lamb and the haloumi for our mains. They were nothing to write home about, but they were certainly satisfying. Maybe a little on the pricey side too.

Overall, for a better price, I would stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank edmarchnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CallumHarland, Owner at Discovery Lodge, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Dear edmarchHK,

Thank you for your comments. I am very pleased our Team were helpful and made a positive difference during your stay and on your travels after your departure. I am very proud of our Team and the way they all go the extra mile to be helpful, in a genuine friendly manner for all our guests. I do apologize for your room not being serviced properly during stay.

I do not know what rate you booked. The best rates available are listed on the Discovery web site. We have three different rates to give guests choice of booking conditions. There are third party web booking sites with higher rates. Overall our rates are mid range for the Tongariro National Park area.

Once again, thank you for your comments. And thank you for choosing to stay with us at Discovery.

Kindest regards, Callum Harland
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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Wellignton
Level Contributor
87 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Very nice location with a lot of accommodation types (from camping to the well appointed chalets where we stayed) that meet basically all the budget. It's also the closest accommodation to the start of the crossing and just few km away from National Park Village and Whakapapa Village.
Super friendly staff and our chalet was warm, full of facilities and big enough to accomodate 5 of us.
Definitely recommended

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank elipuccioni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CallumHarland, Owner at Discovery Lodge, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Dear elipuccioni,

Thank you for your comments. I am very pleased you had a great stay at Discovery.

And a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to give us feedback, both complimentary and constructive. It sure has been a great summer!

A big thank you to the Discovery Team for doing an amazing job. You should all be proud of your efforts and accomplishments. Thank you Jed, Daniel, Maria, Miki & Izzie.

Looking forward to an exciting winter season.

Best wishes, Callum Harland
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
67 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Our friendly hosts could not have been more helpful. The location is superb, especially as we were planning on walking the Tongariro Crossing. (The weather prevented this, unfortunately.)
Our room, a one bedroom motel unit, was huge, spotlessly clean, with large windows giving lots of natural light. At night, the bed was comfortable, the room dark, and we were not disturbed by noise. The only negatives were the showerhead, which needs either descaling or replacing because the jets only went sideways which missed me in the middle; and the cook-top which is made for hobbits rather than humans. A microwave, a hairdryer, and free wireless internet would have been the icing on the cake.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

We stayed two nights - one either side of our walk along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The location is perfect as it is only a short drive to Mangatepopo Car Park. The final part of the Alpine crossing was closed when we went, so we walked to the Blue Lake and back the car park and so avoided having to pay for a shuttle bus.
The staff provided us with thorough guidance about the crossing and we took their advice about starting early to avoid the crowds and the heat. We saw lots of people struggling up the mountains on our way back during the midday sun!
We stayed in one of the chalets without bathroom facilities and it was clean, spacious and the beds were comfortable. The bathroom facilities were approximately a 3 minute walk from our chalet and the route was well lit. The showers were powerful and clean.
As we were on a budget, we did not eat in the restaurant but instead we used their shared kitchen facilities. This was the only thing that let the lodge down - it was inadequately stocked with utensils. There was no tin opener, no forks and one knife! Fortunately we popped to the restaurant and the staff provided us with these utensils. Also the hot plates took about 20 minutes just to get warm so it took us a long time to cook dinner.
Overall though, a nice place to stay with beautiful views.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NikkiClaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

We stayed in a studio chalet and loved it. It was brand new, very clean, and had all the cooking items we needed to make simple dinners and breakfast. (Make sure to stop at a market on the way to the park as we did not see grocery stores within the park.)

The views of the mountain are fantastic. We found the staff to be extremely helpful and friendly. Their advice about how to do the Tongariro Crossing was spot on. They advised us to go early (6 am) and it was great as we did not have large crowds at that time and it was cooler climbing uphill in the early morning. If you want to do the crossing I would highly recommend staying here and listening to their tips about the crossing!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ShelleyBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
111 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We checked in early, and Micki greeted us with a smile and an unexpected upgrade to a one bedroom from a studio :) She offered us a cabin- bit more flash and smaller, but we opted for the 1 bedroom upstairs. We had been traveling for 2 weeks so had alot to bring up, but there was plenty of room to spread items out. The location is the best for the Tongariro crossing, and Micki gave us good information about getting to the parking lot super early for a parking space.
As we had an early wake up call, we decided to eat in the restaurant that night, and it was super good- really unexpected for a place in the woo-wops! The portions of my fish and my husband's lamb was HUGE- I seriously don't know how we finished them. They were also kind enough to let us bring our own wine in (we picked up some good stuff along our travels) and that really capped our meal.
The room is spacious, but dated. The kitchen area has all we needed, but the funky hob/oven was a little disconcerting. The bed was very firm and comfy, and the bathroom very nice, although it took forever to get hot water to the shower- kind of frustrating when you're hot, sweaty and tired after the long crossing tramp.
The property is quite large and well looked after, Micki and Callum seem on it (amazing with a little one running around) and always around to answer a question.
Make sure that you read about Callum's amazing feat in the room guide- especially after you've hiked the Tongariro crossing - you won't believe it! I didn't until I asked Micki........ :)

Room Tip: We had an upstairs far corner room - very quiet and sunny
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank winegirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 31, 2013

I stayed three nights in one of the cabins - normally I prefer to stay in flash hotels so I was a bit apprehensive about this but was pleasantly surprised! - I found it to be really clean and tidy with just the basics that you needed in a small room so it wasn't cramped feeling. The beds were comforable and the sheets and extra quilt were very clean. The place was quiet and I slept soundly. The staff working there were really friendly and helpful. The food was outstanding - im still tempted to contact them for a recipe from our last dinner. Overall Discovery Lodge just has a really nice feel to it and excellent value for money. I will definately return - perhaps next time I will try out one of the new chalets.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Discovery Lodge

Property: Discovery Lodge
Address: State Highway 47, National Park Village 3948, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > National Park Village
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in National Park Village
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Discovery Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chalets & Motels. Surrounded by nature with spectacular panorama of the Tongariro Volcanoes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Discovery Hotel National Park Village

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