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“A Fantastic Relaxing Weekend Getaway”
Review of Hillside Hotel

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Hillside Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Huntly
Manukau, New Zealand
Level Contributor
78 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A Fantastic Relaxing Weekend Getaway”
Reviewed 15 July 2013

My wife and I had been under a bit of stress at work and we decided we both needed time out to relax. I knew this hotel existed purely by seeing it perched high up on a hill while travelling state highway one many times and decided to visit their website and tripadvisor to check it out.

Tripadvisor reviewers had nothing but good things to say about the place so I made a booking. I booked one of their three 1 bedroom suites (Mackintosh Suite) which is on the lower level of three - two other suites exist and are at the same end of the complex on the next two levels above. Our suite did look over the carpark but the view beyond was beautiful and a 200 degree panorama. I think one car moved about in the carpark for a minute or so while we were there so no problem. This place is not open to the public for dining or the bar, hotel guests only so it is very peaceful! The higher suites look over the roof of the other suites beneath them but still see the same magnificent view of the countryside. The view to the right (east) is right out to Mount Te Aroha and the Kaimai Ranges - to the west is the undulating Waikato countryside and a partial view of one of the many lakes west of the main highway, several hundred vertical feet below the hotel.

The restaurant and conference centre are on the top of the hotel complex and the views from the restaurant are special. At night we saw the lights of Hamilton glowing clearly to the south. There is an observation room above the restaurant with binoculars provided and the view is even better!

The Mackintosh suite we stayed in was beautiful inside and very spacious. We would stay there again in a heartbeat.
Our "Romance" package included a bottle of bubbles (in the fridge on arrival), a three course dinner and breakfast the next morning. All this and the beautiful suite was $375 NZ and really worth it. We had some drinks in the delightful house bar before our dinner and there was a nice artificial fire going with native bush outside the windows.
The three course meal was one of the finest I have ever had - smoked eel risotto with loads of flavour for an entree, the best eye fillet main I can remember and we both had a feijoa tart tartin with a beautiful sticky sauce and homemade ice-cream for dessert. Nothing could be faulted.
The waitress was very pleasant and I met the chef earlier and he was a really good bloke.

The breakfast lived up to expectations as well. We were told that a blueberry crepe with fresh cream was good but we both had the delicious "hearty" cooked breaky instead. We saw someone else having the crepes as we left and it looked nothing short of magnificent!

The next morning I went for a walk which started from the access road (Rangi's Track) below the hotel. This is a 4wd farm road but it passes through really nice native bush and open areas giving pleasant views. I walked it in July and it was surprisingly good underfoot but obviously no problem away from winter months. I only walked the first 2km of it each way.

All in all, it was a memorable stay and we will be back, especially since this peaceful spot is only an hour's drive south of Auckland where we live.

Thanks Hillside Hotel for a memorable weekend away!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Grant P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Whangarei, New Zealand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2013

This place was great for someone who is wanting to get away from noise and a busy life. View is great once your at the top.
No TV reception so make sure if you have kids you grab some movies from the office on your way in.
Room was so big and very clean and tidy.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank 10AKA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
314 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2013

We were travelling to Waitomo the next day and wanted somewhere quiet and comfortable for the family outside of Hamilton. We arrived on a slightly overcast day and the clouds shrouded the hotel as we drove the winding road up.

We had a large family room - warm and comfortable - and the addition of a separate room with a bath tub was great for bathing our grand-daughter. The large family room was huge and had a lovely panoramic view out over the valley.

It was a very quiet time for the hotel when we stayed so I couldn't comment on times the hotel was booked for a conference or function.

The only thing that may be off-putting for those not as fit as us is the climb up the series of stairs - keeps one fit, but may be a challenge for some. We were on the main reception floor - level 2 - so two flights of stairs. However the hotel has solved this problem with a chair lift - which we were told by the lovely receptionist on the day of departure that we could have used it for out suitcases, but we managed without it.

Room Tip: We had a room on the main reception floor - level 2 I think. Whilst there is a chair lift we found...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank GlobeTrotters4001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2013

Now I am a little biased about this hotel because I didn't have to pay to stay there. Our son & his girlfriend shouted my husband and I a night's stay, with dinner, drinks and breakfast included. However, in saying that, this resort is so worth a review. The hosts are lovely! The rooms are divine, we had the MacIntosh Suite which included a spa bath and separate lounge. The restaurant meals are superb and the views out over Hamilton and surrounding areas is wonderful! If you want a night away from the hustle and bustle then this is the place to stay. You can do some forest walks or just sit on your balcony (weather permitting) and enjoy a glass of wine/bubbles or whatever you fancy. Do as little or as much as you want. The resort was fairly quiet guest wise so that was nice too but I can imagine it could be really busy if a function was being held there.

Room Tip: We were on Level 2 and the views were great...level's 3 or 4 would be great too I think. Maybe...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fieryred33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, New Zealand
Level Contributor
72 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2013

We had driven past the Hillside Hotel many times and often wondered what it was like. Finally in April 2013 we had the opportunity to stay for a night.
The drive up is exciting as you wind up a gravel road past farmland and into the bush. The setting is breathtaking, 200m up in the bush with spectacular views of the Waikato River and the highway far below.
The hotel is unique, it’s spit into many levels with covered walkways and is a bit like a DOC hut on the outside but like a comfortable apartment on the inside.
Our superior king room was large with a separate shower and bath and a very conformable bed and leather couch. The brand new TV was not yet connected to an aerial, but we were able to watch DVDs which were provided free.
The restaurant and bar occupy the top levels of the hotel and are magnificent. There is beautiful artwork, nice seating and we had a view south all the way to the lights of Hamilton. We had dinner, our meals were hearty and the service was excellent, great selection of beer and wine too.
I highly recommend for a quiet (and quite different) night away from Auckland or Hamilton.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank martindbnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waiuku, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2013

We had a really wonderful stay in this hotel. Very impressive views and whole ensamble of the hotel. It felt like we were on the different planet or at least in a different country! Which is exactly what we were after - get away from the 'usual' views and forget that we were just mere hour by car from the city!!! Highly highly recommended for a 'having a pause and recharge' place. We went with our little daughter - had no problem. Breakfast was awesome - really yummy, fresh and 5start presentation. xx

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BenAnna99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
97 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

There is no doubt as the hotel comes into view after you long drive up a winding dirt track that it is a remarkable accomplishment: to have the vision and then bring it to life in such a remote location is inspiring. As it happens, we were the only guests that night. That too is understandable. Whatever the esthetics of the location and structure, it is isolated and remote, more sited for a honeymoon then a center of tourism. The isolation leads one to rely on the hotel restauant and the morning and eveng chef (who takes your order) did a wonderful job: my morning "hearty" cbreaqfast was the the mmost woderful bearfast construction I had ever seen or tasted. (Although I was disappointed with the cut of lamb the prior night.)

The best t thing about this hotel would seem to be the view. No doubt it is was a huge panarama, with distant views of the lighted towns in the valley, but for me not esthetic or spiritual. It was nice to see once, but I don't feel a calling to return.

Room Tip: the higher you go the better the view
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank 29grapes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hillside Hotel

Property: Hillside Hotel
Address: Hillside Station, Taupiri Ranges | access from State Hwy 1, Huntly, Huntly 3771, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Huntly
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Huntly
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hillside Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape the city to fresh air and tranquility. Hillside Hotel is a country retreat and eco-lodge, a Qualmark four star boutique hotel with an enviro-gold rating. Nestled amongst native forest on top of the Taupiri Ranges, Hillside offers panoramic views of iconic New Zealand landscape scenery; Every room has a view.On the main tourist route south of Auckland; 1 hour drive from Auckland Airport and just 4km off the highway makes Hillside Hotel an ideal first stop or last stop in New Zealand; lovely stop point on the way to Hobbiton or Waitomo.Situated on Hillside Station -a large working farm with 300 acres of private native rain forest reserve with easy walking trails right from the hotel grounds. Beautiful photography opportunities from anywhere in the hotel.Free Wi-fi and parking; on-site licensed restaurant (reservations essential- may close early if no bookings) and cafes nearby. Rooms are very spacious and open direct to the outside. Rooms are connected by covered walkways and stairs sheltered by native bush. ... more   less 
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