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“Exceptional beginning to an exceptional trip to New Zealand!”
Review of Solitaire Lodge

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Solitaire Lodge
Ranked #22 of 92 Hotels in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Exceptional beginning to an exceptional trip to New Zealand!”
Reviewed 13 February 2013 via mobile

On a two-week tour of North and South Island, my wife and I began following an overnight in Auckland at Solitaire Lodge in Rotorua. The service, hospitality, the tremendous included evening cuisine along with predinner drinks and canapés were absolutely outstanding. The location affords an opportunity to get out on the lake, do some hiking, hot thermal baths, or nothing. Highly recommended.

Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank SLCtraveller25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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137 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 February 2013

I am an experienced international travel guide and have stayed all around New Zealand. Solitaire Lodge is one of the best to sample and a way to understand the beauty of this amazing country – AO TEA ROA.
Comfort and wildness, eco and adventure all come together right here!
The best service, from outstanding room views, to the fantastic dinner.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Permit_in_NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
70 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2013

I can't fault this lodge, Ingrid and Wayne are charming subtle hosts. They listen, which speaks volumes. Rooms are spacious with stunning views, subtle touches. Beautifully presented food by their resident asian chef will delight the pallet.
Nature is your playground and you can immerse yourself in her beauty here. If you are looking to switch off and unwind with the added benefit of a social country house party in the evening then this is the place to stay.

Room Tip: The Tarawana suite if you can get it.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank veritas5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
35 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2013

We spent 4 nights at Solitaire Lodge over the New Year period, and we had a wonderful time. The hotel was our base for exporing the Rotorua area and it is very well located from that perspective - close to the main sights, but away from the sulphur smells, and in an incredibly beautiful location on Lake Tarawera.

Our room was an Executive Suite, which is really a largish King room with a small bathroom. The room is well done up in muted colours and the bathroom is perfectly adequate, with some luxury toches like underfloor heating and Molton Brown amenities. However, the design and size of the room is incidental to the view, which is absolutely outstanding. One whole wall is taken up by a plate glass window which looks onto Lake Tarawera. Stunning!

The service standards were also remarkably high especially for a hotel of this size, and Wayne and Ingrid do whatever they can to make your stay comfortable. Wayne made many recommendations and helped organise some memorable excursions - none more so than a helicopter trip to White Island, which was one of my favourite experiences in NZ. Dinner each night was enoyable and the standard of cooking was uniformly high, though we wouldn't have minded a different type of cuisine after 3 nights.

However, there are some issues and given the price of the rooms, I am factoring these into the overall rating:

1. Very slow wi-fi. It was very difficult to access the internet from either our room or the common areas. Perhaps this has to do with the remote location, but in any event, something that should be fixed.

2. The 4 items on the lunch menu did not change for the 4 days we were there, and although the salmon bagel is outstanding, not something I wanted to eat 4 days running. Lunch was included in our tarrif so I would have expected more variety.

3. We were at the Lodge on New Year's eve and were surprised that no special event / dinner / celebration had been organized to mark the New Year. We would have liked to celebrate in some way and it didn't seem to be possible at the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sohilc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bingil Bay, Australia
Level Contributor
277 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

The views from our room at Solitaire Lodge can only be described as breathtaking. Although the Lodge itself is not as remote as we had envisaged (careful photography makes the website images look like it's miles from anyone else when infact it is part of a small community of houses on Lake Tarawera) the views from the promontory on which it sits are amazing from almost any angle.
Our room was large and very comfortable. The bed was glorious and the bathroom (complete with toasty underfloor heating) a delight.
Drinks and canapes are served in the lounge from about 7pm (included in the tariff) before a good 5 course dinner. The dinner host (Graham) has matched individual wines with the courses which you can have as an alternative to a bottle. Both these selections and the wine list we found were interesting but seriously overpriced. Single glasses of wines that elsewhere we had enjoyed for $10-$15 were up around the $25-$30 range here. When you are operating with an all-inclusive type rate (all meals, pre-dinner drinks, kayaks, and even minibar are included) I think it would make a lot of sense to simply include wine with the meal in the tariff even if that requires adding something to the day rate (when that's already up at $1800 most people wouldn't even notice another $100 and that would be more than sufficient to cover the average cost of wine at dinner). As it is, the absurdly high price of wine took a lot of the gloss off the experience for us. The dining room could use some serious renovation and updating to improve lighting, ventilation and to maximise the spectacular view.
Make sure that you make the time to do the Tarawera Falls walk. The Lodge can drop you off and pick you up by boat and the walk itself is well worth doing.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Missi0nary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Solitaire with our family for Christmas. Wayne and Ingrid made it clear they would do anything to make our stay memorable and special. And it was. We stayed in the Villa Suite and it felt like we had our own home. There was a master bedroom with bath downstairs as well as a large living area. Upstairs was another ensuite bedroom. It was very spacious and comfortable. The view of the lake was stunning. Even though it was Christmas Day, Wayne took us out in the power boat himself across the lake so we could go on a hike. There are numerous activities around the lake as well as the thermal experience of Rotorua. I would highly recommend this quiet refuge for honeymooners.

The dinners tended to be a bit long. I think this was due to lack of staffing available for the holiday.

Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank SevenContinents50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bluffton, South Carolina
Level Contributor
98 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2012

Intimate, refined and peaceful. The lodge and service are truly one of a kind. The views from every room are beautiful. The food is exceptional. Wayne and Graham are attentive and ensure that your holiday is everything you want it to be and more.

One afternoon we kayaked out on the lake and didn't see a soul. Complete privacy. Wayne also took us out on a private boat ride to a trail head where we were able to hike to Tarawera Falls. The following day he suggested we visit some natural hot pools in the area. They packed a nice beach bag for us before we went out on the boat again. The spot was absolutely enchanting and again, complete privacy.

Solitaire Lodge is such a special, peaceful place where you will feel rejuvenated, pampered, and welcomed like family. Stay here and be spoiled...Nothing else compares!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AP_Phoenix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Solitaire Lodge

Property: Solitaire Lodge
Address: 16 Ronald Road | Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Bay of Plenty Region > Rotorua District > Rotorua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Rotorua
#19 Luxury Hotel in Rotorua
#19 Family Hotel in Rotorua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Solitaire Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Solitaire Lodge Rotorua, one of the first New Zealand luxury lodges, offers secluded luxury accommodation and attentive hosting from a spectacular lakeside location.Styled with comfort in mind, all 10 luxurious suites feature panoramic views of the glassy lake and magnificent volcano through grand picture windows. The subtle design brings the outdoors in, inviting you to unwind and soak up the peace and quiet of this tranquil setting.Renowned for its fine dining, Solitaire lodge serves mouth-watering modern New Zealand cuisine prepared with fresh local produce and complemented by superb wines from selected vineyards. Engage in lively conversation with fellow guests in the lodge’s dining room, or choose an intimate dinner for two in your suite.Minutes from your doorstep you will discover secluded private bays, hot water beaches and natural thermal hot springs beckoning you to soak in. Feeling adventurous? Embark on a scenic helicopter ride over volcanic peaks, skim across the lake in a kayak or enjoy world-class trout-fishing. The lodge is also the perfect place to simply relax, indulge and rejuvenate, left in the able hands of your warm, friendly New Zealand hosts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Solitaire Hotel Rotorua

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