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“Keep your expectations low”
Review of The Spa Hotel

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The Spa Hotel
Ranked #35 of 41 Taupo B&B and Inns
Reviewed 2 January 2013

I booked our accommodation through Wotif which provided the option of a studio unit for $85 or a one bedroom for $95. I chose the latter but we were directed to a studio and which only corrected after my insistence with the lady who checked us in..

Our unit had the moniker "The Pondy" and was positioned alongside the studios. It was in a poor state of repair, seemingly being held together with cobwebs that adorned the exterior. The floor was badly uneven, fittings very dated, bed uncomfortable and had a number of light fittings without bulbs. The toilet cistern overflowed. We found a dead cockroach in the utensil draw and the window sills were gritty and was the resting place for dead bugs. On the positive side it was spacious and the appliances (including the tiny ancient TV) all worked.

Surrounding the studios were a number of derelict and uninhabitable buildings. There were some more modern units alongside Spa Road which based on the photos in the website is what I assumed I had booked. However other Trip Advisor reviews of these units have not been glowing either.

The word "hotel" is a misnomer. The units are well overdue for renovation whilst other buildings in the grounds should be demolished. This is one star accommodation and whilst $95 per night is at the budget end for Taupo I do not view our stay at Spa Hotel as value for money. Accordingly I can not recommend it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank John_M255115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 - 30 of 46 reviews

Reviewed 27 December 2012

At $5 per person per night for camping you can't really grumble, the bar is reasonable with pool and darts to keep you entertained and the food is really good - we were even given free mussels! The toilet/shower arrangement is slightly odd though - they have a couple of WWOOFers who use an apartment and campers share their facilities with them. All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ian_the_Squid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2012

My son and I working on a new Power Station near by decided at the last minute that this hotel would be ok. Friendly welcome by the owner/manager Adrian and team. Upon seeing our studio we decided to upgrade to a chalet (middle 1 of 3) and for the extra 30 per night. More room all round, comfy beds with electric blankets and a spa bath. Adequate kitchen for meals and making next day lunches.

Negatives would be the numerous cobwebs, large stain on 1 of the sheets, poor sound proofing between ajoining chalets and general tired appearance. Obviously one of the older accomodation joints in Taupo. The maintenance program will be long and costly one.

Overall I would recommend in its current condition definetely a place for the lads, trades and not so for the couples for a romantic getaway. We did think the 'Hills Have Eyes' was occurring at 3am on our last night - turned out to be an overgrown possum on our roof :-)

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank silvabeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2012

I had just been for lunch with an old friend in Rotorua and has dressed nicely. I then drove down to Taupo via Huka Falls and rocked up at the Spa hotel as it got dark. I took my suitcase from the car and battled through the door into the bar in my pretty dress and wedges and the piano may as well have stopped playing! Everyone stared at me as the middle table had about 12 local builder types all drinking after work, still in their high vis jackets and work boots. I tottered up to the bar to ask for my room key and the barman was very helpful and friendly and told me to drive around the back to my chalet number 9. So I dragged my case back to the car, passing the workmen again. One even raised his hat and said "good evening ma'm". To which I just replied in a confident 'young single girl travelling on her own, but not to be messed with' "Hello".
the chalet was clean, the tv was the size of a playing card and there was 3 place settings and a fridge and kettle etc. The shower was stainless steel and the heating is actually thermal (with a window that opens in the bathroom to let in the hot thermal air).
I can imaging packpackers uing this as a place to rest their heads but if you can afford a bit more, then maybe try somewhere else. I got the hotel on a 'mystery deal' through a website but it wasn't all that bad.
I chuckled outloud at someone elses 'Hills have eyes' statement!! HAHAHAHA, quite true but more importantly, joking aside, I did not ever feel unsafe or threatened, even in the bar.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Gillchelt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights to do some hiking in the area with my dog. I booked a studio through Jasons travel.

Location wise it is good if you want a base to get out and about around Taupo. There are foot/cycle paths straight from the hotel to Huka Falls. It is not ideal if you are wanting somewhere in the centre of town as its too far to walk for a night out. Its in a very quiet location, set a good distance from the main road. I didnt hear any traffic noise in the room.

The hotels biggest plus for me was that it is pet-friendly. A rariety in NZ. I would not have booked here if I couldn't have had my dog stay.

The room was spacious enough to accomodate 3 people easily. My room had a double and a single bed. The beds were comfortable and had adequate linen. The room itself was clean and there was a heater for if it got cold. The bathroom was in need of a refubishment though and wasnt very clean. It was obvious that the shower had not been cleaned since the last guest and the showerhead had never seen a cloth! There were also large cobwebs hanging from several of the beams.

The bar was large and has specials on every night. The staff were very friendly. The meals were good value and perfect if you couldnt be bothered heading into town. Just a note when walking back from the bar, take a torch. The road is pitch black to the point where you can't see two feet in front of you. There are pool tables, TV, Newspapers and game machines in the bar area.

Overall, if you are looking for a cheap base around Taupo and not overly fussy then this place is ideal. If you are looking for luxury you need to be upping your budget and looking elsewhere.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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Thank studly1_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2012

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! I have never seen such an appalling place in all my life. We booked online after seeing the quaint photos on their website. Talk about false advertising!!! We should have read Trip Advisor first. We actually forfeited our money and left. We were lucky to find alternative accommodation on a holiday weekend but there is no way I could have slept in that place and was actually afraid of being there. I would have slept in the car on the side of the road before staying there. That place makes "Once Were Warriors" look tame! Our new hotelier tells us that even truckies wont stay there. The place should be shut down and they have no right to charge people to stay there.

Room Tip: Find somewhere else - ANYWHERE else
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 1Tostka_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2012

We fondly remember this hotel as 'the hills have eyes'. It is by far the worst place we have stayed in New Zealand (North or South). I'm generally very careful to check reviews before booking but it was getting late and we booked a nice looking 'spa chalet' over the phone for a premium price and gave a credit card. When we arrived the reception was at the bar of a hotel. It was packed with truckies eating counter meals who looked at us like we were from the moon. Aside from truckies the place was deserted. When we got to the 'chalet' the furnishings and fit out were well past their use by date. We didn't go up to the loft (no need to and the stairs flexed / groaned). The bed was horribly uncomfortable. The bathroom and cooking facilities were woeful and the romantic 'thermal spa' was in a separate room that had the ambiance of a public toilet block, so we didn't use. The grounds of the property give you the sense that 30 years ago this was a fun place for families. Most facilities are abandoned including a huge drive through bottle shop. The whole place made my GF uneasy so we slept on the dodgy bed, got up early and left. I'd rather sleep in my car at a truck stop than stay at this sad reminder of good times long gone.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BartholemewH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Spa Hotel

Address: 281 Spa Road, Taupo 3330, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Taupo District > Taupo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 41 B&Bs / Inns in Taupo
Price Range: £50 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Spa Hotel offers budget friendly accommodation, close to everything Taupo has to offer. The hotel is opposite the famous AC Baths and close to the new bypass. It's also handy to most Taupo sporting facilities including golf courses, motor and cycling tracks and the Owen Delaney Sports fields. Set in tranquil park like grounds, the Spa Hotel occupies a quiet, sheltered position. A unique and intriguing slice of Taupo. ... more   less 

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