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“Beautiful setting but ....”

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland
Level Contributor
188 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting but ....”
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Stayed here many years ago and returned to support friends competing in "The Goat" over the weekend.

Rainy setting on arrival and it really did look like an opening scene from "The Shining" but there were more positives than negatives.

Old fashioned hotel with good reputation.
Check in was basic but efficient. Rabbit warren of rooms with our group distributed in a range of room types.

Most had attempts for modernisation - old world quirky charm with modern touches that at times just looked odd.
Very basic amenities, no room safe, bad lighting which gave the impression that some areas may have been in need of a good dusting and clean. Rooms were warm.

Rang reception with simple question re: happy hour and got referred to the bar as they were unable to answer this. This seemed to be a basic simple question that I would have expected to be answered.

The rooms were exceptionally varied in quality even for rooms that were priced the same. Our room was satisfactory but others in our group complained of "bumps and thuds" throughout the night. Staff were friendly but attention to detail was missed as mentioned by other guests.

We had dinner in the restaurant which was good, but overall for the quality of overall service, quality of food and beverge and quality of hotel I do think the Chateau is overpriced. It has evidence of some renovation but still gives the impression of an old "has been" hotel and it was disappointing overall.

The setting is spectacular but overall experience was underwhelming.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TLCAUCKLAND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (344)
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English first
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013 via mobile

This hotel is huge and slightly old fashioned overlooked by Mount Doom. You could see the rich and famous from years gone by partying here. It is however a good base for all the outdoor activities that are available in the Tongariro National Park. Very busy the weekend we were here but big enough that you could still find peaceful spots.

Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Maureen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Level Contributor
89 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013

This wonderful hotel from a bygone era gets away with its overall dated décor because the overall ambience is totally special. Our room (premium in the old hotel) was spacious and comfortable. However our view was across to the other wing of the hotel and we did feel disappointed as had requested a "view". The bathroom was basic and has not seen an upgrade in decades. (we were advised there is a programme of renovation underway). Linen allocation was skimpy, and hospitality items minimal.
There is no in room safe.
There is no free wifi.
The dining room is excellent. Good cuisine, service and wine choice (although our waitress's knowledge of wine was limited ) .
The setting however is magical, nestled against Mount Ruapehu with stunning views, wonderful walks, 9 hole golf course, and the lounge bar elegant, comfortable and spacious enough to find a space to nestle in. We could stay here again and again.

Room Tip: When requesting a view be specific eg of the mountains or across the golf course. The new wing has...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ShonaMargaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathy G, General Manager at Chateau Tongariro Hotel, responded to this review, 5 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review after your recent stay at Chateau Tongariro. We are indeed extremely fortunate to have the privilege of operating a hotel in such an iconic setting of the Tongariro National Park.
We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay and that you enjoyed the overall ambience of the Chateau's bygone era of timeless elegance. We look forward to welcoming you back again in the near future and trust your next expereince will be just as memorable.

Kathy Guy
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
436 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 289 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

• Great location within the Tongariro National Park, with great views of the park. From the hotel you can do several walking tours with great views of the area.
• The hotel is an old castle hotel with a certain charming feeling. Unfortunately it is a bit run down and the lobby, the corridors and rooms need an update – you could really make so much out of this place!
• The service does not meet my expectations, yes the staff is friendly but lack some attention to details
• The main restaurant in the hotel is good with good meat quality (excellent beef), but not very creative
• The coffee shop is OK, but not very good (neither the food nor the atmosphere)
• Conclusion: best choice in the National Park, a pity they do not make more out of it because it would have the potential for a special place!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TandTSwitzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Western Australia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

We spent one night at the Chateau which was organised by our friends. They booked the Celebration package which included a 3 course dinner and full breakfast. Our rooms were superb and ours had views of a snow capped mountain. We had a spa in our room which was in the new wing. The lounge overlooked 2 other snow capped mountains and the room was classic and very classy. They had a pianist playing while we sipped our champagne (also provided in the package) as we looked out at the mountains. Our dinner was the finest and the service exceptionally good. Breakfast was equally good and we left feeling utterly pampered and spoilt!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the new wing and one which looks out at the mountains.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Freda17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
88 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Careful what you book. If it says in the fine prints that you will stay at the Fergusson motel, you'll stay behind Chateau Tongariro in a small group of motel suites. As the fine prints in your confirmation e-mail say: this is NOT the standard of the Chateau main building and you are staying in a 2 star motel. Hence the price you paid. You are however allowed to visit the main hotel (lobby, dining etc.).

On the Plus side: very spacious suite. Has a washer and dryer + kitchenette. Very warm and strong shower.

On the Minus side: no light outside, so make sure you arrive before sunset. And parking at the back is tight if there is more than one car. Quite a few bugs in the apartment. No wifi whatsoever. Maid did change half of the towels, but ran away with the other half and the soap while leaving in place the bugs we smashed. One lamp in the bedroom was not working. No actual dresser for clothes. Lots of condensation in bathroom after a shower. Overall, the whole motel looks old and poor quality. Really needs freshening up.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Luc V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013

I stayed for two nights at the Chateau either side of a spell of long distance walking.

Service varied from average to excellent. The two gentlemen who met me at reception on both occasions were excellent.

This is a big hotel and rooms undoubtedly will vary. I had a double bed room on each occasion, once on the 1st Floor and once on the 3rd. While the view from the piano bar, and undoubtedly some rooms, out to Mount Ngauruhoe is nice the views from my rooms were totally unremarkable.

The inside of the hotel is labyrinthine and you travel in a small dark lift then wander along gloomy corridors. The rooms were lighter but relatively small and unprepossessing. The bathroom had been modernised in one but not the other.

The lounge area, while it has the aspect out to the mountains is also dark and drear. Its mood is lifted a little when the piano is being played.

I didn't use the big formal dining area at any time and so cannot comment. I did use the Pihanga and T-Bar Café on the side of the hotel twice for dinner and while the prices were standard and the service of a good standard I found the space ordinary in terms of its décor and on both cases the meal was of distinctly average quality.

For breakfasts I used Fergusson's Café across the road. This is a more airy and approachable space with good and friendly service. It appeared to me that food for this café is also provided by the Chateau kitchens but here the light food options available were more appealing (and the coffee good).

It's not a hotel I could recommend. As long as you have a car and are easily mobile I would suggest, visit the mountains but stay elsewhere.

I paid $180 per night. In my view, this is high for what you get.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JeremyPaul99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Property: Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Address: State Highway 48, Whakapapa, Tongariro National Park 3951, New Zealand (Formerly Bayview Chateau Tongariro)
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > Tongariro National Park > Whakapapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Chateau Tongariro Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Everything we do at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel we believe in providing you with a timeless elegance. We believe that preserving tradition and history is most important and as the hotel is located within a dual World Heritage National Park, conservation and culture are also at the forefront of your experience. Tongariro National Park provides a stunning natural playground bursting with diverse landscapes for visitors to the Chateau Tongariro to discover. Chateau Tongariro provides accommodation, restaurants, bars and conference facilities and is an all-seasons, utterly timeless experience not to be missed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bayview Chateau Tongariro Hotel Tongariro National Park
Bayview Chateau Tongariro National Park

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