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“Wonderful experience”
Review of Solitaire Lodge

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Solitaire Lodge
Ranked #22 of 92 Hotels in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
tucson
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
Reviewed 1 May 2010

My husband and I spent 3 nights and loved every minute of it. Wayne and the staff were just great. From the moment we arrived, we felt welcome and our every expectation was met. Graham the general manager was always helpful and Chef Bruce served meals that were outstanding and beautifully presented. He has even sent me some recipes since I returned home.

The location of the Solitaire Lodge is stunning. Our suite overlooked Lake Tarawera and could not have been better. Large picture windows provided a beautiful setting. The beauty of the area is hard to describe.

The lodge owns several boats, so access to the Lake Tarawera is easy. We hiked, fished and just explored each day. The Lodge is happy to arrange excursions for you. They don't know the word "no".

We had a marvelous time, highly recommend Solitaire Lodge, and hope to return someday.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank debjenjes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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141 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Leavenworth Washington
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2010

My husband and I just returned from a 3 week trip to NZ. First a 14 day cruise on a 6 star ship followed by a 5 day stay at Solitaire Lodge on Lake Tarawera outside of Rotorua.
Solitaire Lodge was the highlight of our trip. The setting is beautiful, and if you love the outdoors, as we do, the fishing, hiking, boating, and swiming will keep you very busy; however it's also a lovely place to just kick back and read a book.

One of the true highlights of our stay was dinner each evening where Chef Bruce Thomason's ever changing menus showcased the wonderful foods grown and raised in NZ. Sommelier Graeme Fairey then paired a special NZ wine to compliment each course. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Owner Wayne Tomlinson and his staff attend to your every need and desire.

We have traveled extensively and stayed in many lovely Inns and Hotels around the world. We enjoyed Solitaire Lodge so much we plan to return for a special celebration in 2011.

\

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JAS41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2009

Location: gorgeous, with rooms optimising the view of the lake and mountains. Staff: couldn't ask for a better experience- they noticed our flat tire when we arrived and had it fixed by the time we got up the next morning! Food: very nice, and accomodating to our tastes and needs- the chef had formerly worked at Huka Lodge. A real highlight of our holiday, we were only disappointed that we couldn't stay longer! Highly recommended for relaxation, peace and quiet (though a bit of a drive from town- at least it smells clean unlike sulphery Rotorua town!) We were a bit perplexed earlier by some dischordant tripadvisor reviews until we realised the negative reviews were about a Solitaire Lodge in Namibia!

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank rdkanga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beverly Hills, California
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2008

Comparison: We chose Solitaire over Treetops because having a nice view in the room is important.

The best part of the hotel was the dinner. The food was fabulous. The mushroom soup and chocolate ice cream was the best we’ve ever tasted. I’d say it’s as good as Per Se in New York and I’d give a Zagat score of 28. We chartered a boat to go fishing and visited the natural hot water spring at the other side of the lake. We brought a fish back and the chef made its magic and turned it into half sashimi and half cooked fish, delicious. All the staffs were friendly and professional and Jacque was an awesome host. They even brought a translator (without my request) because my family didn’t speak English. The lake view with a volcano mountain in the distant was serene and relaxing. Solitaire provides complementary kayak and dingies. Breakfast served at the terrace was nice.

Room: Room was not spacious compared to other luxury resorts we’ve stayed, roughly 500sqf. But it has everything you need. Bathroom has interesting design.

Location: 20 minutes from Rotorua. You need a rental car to get around.

Conclusion: Beautiful resort, great staffs and fabulous meals. Make it on your list if you visit Rotorua.

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank MindWideOpen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2008

My husband, baby and I stayed at Solitaire Lodge last month, and had a wonderful time. I've just read the other posting and can't really understand the negative comments made, as we found Solitaire Lodge to be exactly as we had hoped - a beautiful quiet getaway that was in such a special spot with so much natural beauty.

Our suite (the Miller suite) was really nice. It had fantastic views over the lagoon, and we found it to have plenty of room for our baby as well.The staff were friendly and helpful - always going out of their way to ensure we had a pleasant stay (eg organising a babysitter for us so we could enjoy a quality dinner together and cleaning our car).

We loved the artwork in the Lodge and room - the Kiwi painting near the dining table is particularly outstanding. So too is the terraces painting.

The food and wine were really good too and gave us a great taste of the NZ produce. The chef even prepared a special meal for our baby! (He loved it - I've never been able to replicate anything like it!)

If you go to Solitaire, be sure to go for a walk down to the jetty, and then around the penisular. Even though it was drizzling when we walked around, it really was spectacular. And the swans on the lake are really tame (we got some great pictures within a metre of them).

We would really recommend Solitaire Lodge to anyone considering a great relaxing getaway in such a special place. Enjoy!

  • Liked — Location, food & friendly staff
  • Disliked — That we had to leave. Also, the weather was a little average.
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sparkfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Infinate in all directions
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2007

I was not going to write a review of this property until I read what has already been written. I think that the other reviewers might lead you away from a special experience. I must tell you that the lodge and service that my family of 5 experienced was completely different. First of all, if I recall, there are only approximately 10 rooms. I am not sure what the other reviewer was talking about when he stated that this property is large and not intimate. We too stayed in the Tarawara Suite. It was not spectacular from a decor point of view but I am sure that was by design. The emphasis is on its sense of place. As to the comment about cheap landscape paintings on the wall, I do recall in a painting of the lake in the entry done by Patrick Hughes - Mr. Hughes is a hugely accomplished painter who has paintings in major museums and private collections worldwide. I was actually quite surprised and pleased to see what Mr. Hughes did with the spectacular view from the veranda of this beautiful suite.

We were there in the winter months. The staff was fantastic. They took care of all of our needs but knew how not to be effusive. They adored my children. The food was great. We discovered wonderful NZ wines at the lodge that were pared beautifully with local fresh produce.

The lodge has its own dock on the lake and the lodge offered up its luxury pontoon boat to my family for a day on the lake. It is a gorgeous lake! They also took the liberty to have a floatplane waiting at the dock to take my family on an exhilarating tour of Rotorua and the unique geology that prevails in this part of NZ. There is so much to do with kids from the Agridome to the land luge to the Kiwi Encounter. All within a short drive.

This was the first SLH (Small Luxury Hotel's of World) property we stayed in. The Solitare experience motivated us to stay in SLH properties in Ireland and Italy. Each has been unique and has reinforced our desire to avoid the hyped chain hotels and find the unique and intimate stays when we travel.

We have been blessed to have traveled on 4 continents with our children. When we began to plan our next adventure we asked our children of all the places we have visited so far, what was the most special - the answer was "Solitare Lodge'"

Cheers from the road - TFRW

  • Liked — Beautiful setting, great service
  • Disliked — No complaints.
  • Stayed August 2005, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TheFussyRoadWarrior
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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