The highlite of a recent trip to New Zealand's North Island was to be a short stay at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel near Mt Ruapehu, to see the snow. The Chateau building is very impressive from the outside but once we entered, the expectations where shattered. The whole place is very tired and needs renovations. They do show a picture in the lobby of proposed room renovations to begin later this year but considering the rates currently changed, we would have expected a lot better. The staff are friendly enough but not enthusiastic, so that doesn't change the experience.
The restaurant and cafe had limited menues and when we tried to eat at the cafe without a reservation, it seemed like we were asking for free meals. The place was almost empty and the receptonist had to ask the chef first?? This was inspite of the fact that we were there at 7 pm, stayed for two hours and during that time the place was about a quarter full at most.
One of the main issues was the lack of guest entertainment for days where the weather keeps you indoors, as we had on one day. There is a large lounge area but no reading material or library for guests. The indoor pool is very small but okay. The Fitness Centre in a misnamed. It only has two simple outdated cardio bikes and a simple rowing machine. The only other entertainment was older movies running during the day, mainly for kids. The TV selection ws terrible.
As seems to be usual in older western hotels, the wifi was not included in the room rate and very difficult to get. You are offered half hour free via a remote service provider and after that its expensive. You have to continually sign on using your very long complicated password. When will hotels realise that wifi in hotel lobbies and guest rooms is now as important,or every more so, in the 21st Century than elephones or TVs. Especially when the weather is bad and the entertainment is limited.
In summary, this hotel is the only large one for kilometres and desperately need competition to force an improvemnt in their attutude and facilities.
- 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