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“Rude Manager ripped us off”

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Howards Mountain Lodge
Auckland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Rude Manager ripped us off”
Reviewed April 5, 2010

We had a really bad experience with this establishment and would absolutely advise against staying here. We paid $30 each for 5 people to get dropped off and picked up from the 42 traverse. The Manager was extremely casual about how long it would take to complete the track and didnt mention anything about what might happen if we missed the pickup or any extra costs and gave us 6 hours to get to the pick up point. We had not done the track before and trusted that the manager knew what was an acceptable amount of time to complete the track.
On the ride we had some technical problems with the bikes and a few minor crashes and ended up reaching the pick up point just half an hour later than the allotted time. We arrived to find that the bus had not waited for us and then had to wait 3 hours to get picked up again. While waiting we talked to some of the locals and found that this place had a terrible reputation within the tongariro community. When we arrived back to the lodge we found that the manager had already charged us all for another bus ride to my credit card without any permission or without any discussion.
His attitude was extremely rude and arrogant. We later read on the howards lodge website that the track usually takes 6 to 8 hours to complete, so the manager had only given us the minimum amount of time to do it. This manager will rip you off, find alternate accommodation in National Park.

Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank oprime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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New Hampshire
Level Contributor
79 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2010

Booked this from the US online--they don't have a secure web page, but I had no problems--because we wanted to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and they offered a package of 2 nights, 2 breakfasts, a packed lunch on the day of crossing and transport to and from.

Everything worked out well, including Grant's recommendation for dinner (The Station, a former railroad station that still sees a few trains come by, within walking distance).

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kapiti Coast
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2009

My partner and I booked to stay in a dorm together which we were told by a lovely lady on the phone that there would be us two and 5 others in the room, when we checked in, the Manager at the desk put us in two seperate dorms and told us it wasn't his problem and that the woman didn't know what she was talking about when we quieried this, when we asked where the facilities were, bathromm etc.. he just pointed to a direction saying they are in there - we basically had to wander around the complex to find drying rooms ect.. We paid $33 each to stay in tiny beds which felt like they would colapse at any moment in dorm rooms with at least 9 beds in, very expensive. We also meet a group travelling who encountered this man who double booked one of their beds less than two hours after they had checked in! They were then told when they went to sort it out that it wasn't his problem! Yet he was the one who doubled booked in both of the people! If we hadn't of already parted with our $66 we would have left! Definitly wouldn't stay again and encourgae others to find a more freindly helpful place where the managers actually are pleased to have your business.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RellKapitiCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
97 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2009

We were referred to Howard's lodge from the I-site and it proved to be a decent and comfortable place to stay for one night. The communal kitchen was large, clean, and well stocked with cooking utensils. We had a double ensuite room which was more expensive than others in NZ at $100 but it did have a nice roomy shower. If I was in the area again I'd probably look for something cheaper.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ciaoamy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2009

We stayed two nights at Howards lodge and would recommend finding accommodation elsewhere in National Park.

When we came to pay for our accommodation we were met by a sour/surly guy at the front desk. He immediately accused us of making a phone booking for two seats on the Tongario Crossing bus and not turning up for bus trip. The fact was that I never made a booking for the trip and all correspondence I had with Howards Lodge was via email, not phone.

Very disappointing.

National Park offers plenty of accommodation with great Kiwi service so look elsewhere before staying at Howards Lodge.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AoteroaKiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
1 review
Reviewed January 14, 2009

My sister's and I stayed at Howards Lodge to experience the Tongariro Crossing. We were told we must be back by 4.30pm, unfortunately due to my sister having a panic attack on the top of the Red Crater we missed the bus back. The weather was not too good and we did not have mobile reception due to this, so when we finally finished the hike we phoned Howards Lodge to let them know we had completed the track. The guy who runs the place was very annoyed and charged us each $30 for having to come out, pick us up and take us back to the lodge. At no time did he ask why we were late. I did say to the guy their, if you would like some feedback on why we were late, I'm quite happy to supply it, he was not interested at all even though he made and extra $150 to pick us up. For goodness sakes get some feedback ask your clients what they want. We heard from one person that they had to run the last 3 kms to make the bus. Oh boy is this an accident just waiting to happen. If you market your business a bit better you may have loads of people coming down and using your services. But alas I feel Tongariro is just a quick cash pool.
If you want a real good look around go on an earlier service but you may need to ask because you're certainly not told.

Stayed January 2009
Helpful?
Thank Riversnot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2008

I am almost at a loss for words when it comes to writing a review on a place that I could not wait to leave. The man at reception was the most unfriendly and unhelpful person I have ever had to deal with and that alone was enough to put us off ever booking there again.

Then came the next unpleasant surprise. We booked the family en suite room and were completely shocked at how tiny it actually was. It has 1 x Queen size bed and 2 x single beds in a room about 13ft by 9ft (we guessed this by using my husband’s height). The one bed was so worn out that even after being made up you could not hide the huge dip in the middle.

Is there anything good about Howard's Lodge? Well, Yes! The Bathroom was fine and the shower was lovely. That unfortunately is the only nice thing about this place.

The lounge was alright but the T.V. stations were limited and had a very poor sky reception. The communal kitchen was clean and spacious.

We had booked for a couple of nights but after our first night there we were already contemplating cutting our holiday and our losses short and leaving. This had been a terrible disappointment and we will never book at Howard’s Lodge again.

  • Liked — The shower
  • Disliked — The unfriendly people at recption and the size of the rooms
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WellingtonHellcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howards Mountain Lodge

Property: Howards Mountain Lodge
Address: 43-45 Carroll Street, National Park Village 3948, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > National Park Village
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Specialty Lodging in National Park Village
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Howards Mountain Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the secrets of the volcanic plateau. Walk the legendary Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Bike the popular 42 Traverse track. Canoe the wilderness of the Whanganui River. Ski the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. Howard's Lodge is the ultimate start for all outdoor adventure in Tongariro National Park, Ruapehu Skifields and Whanganui National Park. The lodge offers a broad variety of accommodation ranging from budget rooms to en-suite rooms. Daily transport to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the 42 Traverse Mountain bike track, Rental of ski equipment, tramping boots and walking poles and mountain bikes. Enjoy a fantastic summer experience or an exhilarating winter getaway; we have just what you need. ... more   less 
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