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“Not worth it”

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not worth it”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

As soon as we arrived I started to doubt our decision to stay. Slack customer service, we waited a total of almost 2 HOURS for our room (we arrived on time). After 45 minutes we went back to reception and asked how the room was tracking, we were told it would be no more then 15 minutes "But sit in our lounge and I will come and get you" (in a way that implied - don't bug me). We were then forgotten until I went up to reception once again an hour later (my partner had gone up earlier and nothing was mentioned) and was told that yes it had been ready for us.
To be fair, it looks like there had been a shift swap at reception so I understand that we may have been forgotten by them.
We then took the elevator up to our room which was loud and took a few goes to actually get us to the level we had selected.
Topping it off, our room that we had waited so long for had a flickering light outside it and inside was extremely dated (not at all in a classy way) with a bathroom that looked like it hadn't been upgraded for far too many years.
We ended up leaving that next morning not even bothering about trying to get a refund for the 3 nights we had booked - we just wanted out!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Stephm4
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, 17 July 2014
Thank you for your review and comments regarding your recent experience at the Chateau Tongariro. Both the Resident Manager and myself are concerned at the lack of customer service you received from Reception which is certainly not indicative of the service we provide at the Chateau Tongariro.

I was extremely concerned to read that you were required to wait for such a long period of time for your room which should never have been necessary. Even during the busy ski season, it is normal process that any early arrival prior to 3.00pm, has a priority clean placed upon the room if the room type you had booked was not available and regular contact be made with the guest. We sincerely apologize that this process was not followed. I do not accept that the staff changeover at 2.30pm should make any difference to the fact you were left sitting in the lounge and this has been addressed with the Rooms Division Manager and the reception staff to ensure that any such situation such as this is communicated at the staff handover.

As we are unsure of your name and details from this review, we would ask that you make contact with the Resident Manager , who will be happy to refund your nights accommodation as some small way of restoring our goodwill.

Kathy Guy
GENERAL MANAGER
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,490 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (333)
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

The only disappointment was the few rude staff we encountered and the fowl mouth talk we heard from a young blonde lady, yes she may look good in her uniform but she need to realise this is a family hotel and talking about owning strip joints is not okay, im glad me and my partner heard instead of a child/ren. So when representing a hotel dont talk about strip joints. Your manager should be ashamed your talking like that in public.
But on a good note, Everyone talks about this amazing place Whakapapa Village, for a quite village i can see why people would love to be in this enviroment! It Snowed, it was sunny and it was very cold just the break away i wanted. You pull up into the village and all you can stare at is this beautiful building The Chateau Tongariro, thinking to myself im in for a treat.
The moment you walk through the doors the staff are so friendly, Thank you to the front office staff yous sure know how to make us feel very welcoming during our stay.
The room wasnt the best but hey you make do with what is on offer when your full house but other than that i would reccomend trying to get a room with a view.
The was amazing my meal was Venison and it was perfect just the way i wanted it cook. My partner well he was very impressed with his Classic Chateau for two. We didnt get to dine anywhere else but the staff who looked after us in the Ruapehu we exellent they wine and dine us just like we expected, to the indian host keep it up its was a tough weekend but at the end of the day you did an amazing job with staff and guess, you should be proud.
I hope if ever to return again the hotel has improved on restuarant menus, bedrooms, activities inside the hotel. I expected more but made the most of what i could.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RachiieClark
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, 16 July 2014
I appreciate you taking time to review the Chateau Tongariro. I am pleased that overall your experience was positive. We have taken on board the comments regarding the particular blonde staff member, extremely seriously and have addressed with all staff the importance of no personal conversations and opinions being voiced in public spaces. This is also something that our Training Manager will now use at induction as an example of how this can negatively impact on our paying guests. Please accept our sincere apologies. The Hotel prides itself on customer service and I am extremely dissapointed that this was not evident in your dealings with this one staff member.
Kathy Guy
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

A quaint Bed and breakfast that pretends to be a hotel but fails
- no room food service - was told I had to hang my card out by 4am!
- room service apparently had optional service - no replacement towels on one day
- was told at check in that we were allocated 645pm for dinner no flexibility
- then had over officious waitress who felt the need to continue to butt in on our conversations
- then to top off our 3 days and having spent over $1600 the bell hop informed me the hotel was going to charge me 1.8% for the pleasure of spending money at their hick establishment.
- when I questioned the charge he said I could pay cash - excuse me while I unzip my my money belt!
-When I then complained he had the audacity to say it was always best to get things off my chest!
Staying at the Hilton in taupo tonight - a proper hotel that these jerks should stay a night at to understand what is required .

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Hodgey45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
111 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

This hotel is 85 years old. It is very English in character with a huge lounge,open fires,chandeliers,a beautiful dining room and a very big staff. The rooms are fine but only have double size beds which is a negative.
Front desk and wait staff are wonderfully friendly. The dining room has a superb NZ wine list and the signature dish of Chateaubriand for two,should not be missed

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wayne7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
199 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

From the moment you are laden with luggage and have to put everything down because the main door says "PULL" and theres no PUSH option you know its not a user friendly hotel. The concierge staff wait until youve got all your luggage loaded onto the gurney before then offering to take it to your room, the reception staff try and take as little time to tell you about the room and hotel stuff as possible ( hey buddy I just drove through torrential rain for 6 hours to get here to start my honeymoon, give me a break!) and the rooms, whilst a good size, are dated in a bad way.
Then, because you cant remember what super mouth said so quickly at reception you open up the compendium to find very little. Now, if they want me to eat in their restaurants they can give me a menu and prices in my room like EVERY other hotel Ive ever stayed in, not make me go down to the restaurants, check the menus down there and try and remember the details so we can study them back in the room. Two restaurants, one hideously overpriced and one serving overpriced pub grub. We chose to starve and go to breakfast the next day elsewhere.
When you arrive in a hotel and get to your room and youve travelled a long way often the first thing you want to do is to grab a beer from the mini fridge and relax. Not here, there is a sign on the empty mini bar fridge saying if you want to use their mini bar service, just call reception and they will deliver and stock it for you as long as you buy $7.50 of product. Cool, so you are obliged to use it sight unseen and then presumably wait until the beer is chilled before you can drink it, for $7.50. A tired old hotel, with tired management at outlandish prices for a two plus star establishment trying to pass itself off as a four star. There are three star motor lodges 20km away that have better service, decor, manners, food and prices. Thats where Ill be staying next time I want to see snow!

Room Tip: I cant give a y tips for this hotel apart from stay somewhere else
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank shower1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

This is an iconic hotel that sits deeply in the heart and minds of most New Zealanders. Generations of Kiwi have seen it in photos or driven past it and longed to treat themselves with stay at the Chateau. Nestled at the base of Mt Ruapehu it sits proud at the entrance to a the Whakapapa Ski Field. I booked a surprise birthday weekend for my wife on 27/28 June 2014. We had planned to be married at the Chateau 3 years earlier but eloped overseas instead. My expectation of the quality of service was rather high after receiving baggage and door assistance from the doorman as we entered. It went down hill rather fast after that. Check in at reception was vague, returned smiles we not forthcoming from the staff. We were upgraded to a "disabled suite" on the ground floor because of a wedding party in attendance that weekend. The fact that it was a disabled suite did not need to be communicated to us, If the hotel is under upgrade then it is expected that a percentage of the rooms will be "universally accessible," We shouldn't need an apology from the desk staff for that. But that is just us nit picking. Our room was very large and very comfortable although it was freezing as it did not have central heating, only a panel/fan heater on the wall, which had to remain on most of the stay to keep the room warm. Dinner in the Ruapehu Room was very good. The venison was perfect, the lamb rack a little over done, with a satisfactory wine list. The service was timely and attentive, although you could see the staff struggling. The highlight of the evening was the entertainment, a singer named Craig. We were able to sit by the blazing open fireside with drink in hand and listen to the singing and music, this was a good evening. The downside was that if you wanted a drink you had to line up at a small bar for service. Which with 200 guests can be quite a line and wait. I would suggest that wait staff could be trained to take orders and clear the empty glasses from the tables. Breakfast Saturday morning was a rather unsettling experience, the food was good and satisfactory but the buffet layout could be better, it was too crammed and slightly dangerous around the coffee station for so many people, we skipped breakfast Sunday morning. Dinner the following night was at Fergussons Cafe down stairs, a very relaxed and friendly experienced that surpassed expectations with the variety and quality of food. I would recommend a visit downstairs to the view little movie theatre and a warm up in the sauna. But watch your head as you step into the pool, it was tepid so don't expect a "hot" pool. The fitness centre was very disappointing, with only two bikes and a rowing machine. There was no entertainment on Saturday night which was again a small disappointment but a night by the fire again soothed our worries. Fergussons Bar offer a "sports bar" for if you are having withdrawal from the game on the weekend. I would highly recommend that you navigate your way through the internal hallways to get to Fergussons. Too cold and dark to walk outside at night. Again the same Doorman on the second night provided exceptional service and seem to be everywhere at once. Overall sadly it was a pedestrian experience at a unique hotel, with tiny glimmers of potential. She is crying out for a make-over sympathetic to the era in the public area's, and service staff that would lift it elevate her from an ski lodge to grand lady that she deserves to be treated as. Then the guests will come and worship her.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cankiwi27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2014

We went to "Chateau Tongariro" for a short break in the beginning of school holiday in early July. We have been wanting to stay in Chateau, since the hotel was named "Grand Chateau" a couple years ago. for some reason we never been able to stay there until now. My teenager kid is enchanted by the hotel's beautiful appearance. It is the first thing that we see when we go up to Whakapapa village. My teenager kid says in the middle of nowhere suddenly appears this beautiful building. The scenery is really enchanting. On the second day we woke up and when we looked out of the window it was white like winter wonderland. For me who grew up in tropical country, this view is magical.
Staying in the hotel is a good experience for us. The lounge is grand with high ceiling and huge glass window with comfortable big sofa where we can sit and look outside to the beautiful view while enjoying a cup of tea. In the evening there is a man playing piano and singing. Very relaxing atmosphere.
The Ruapehu restaurant is at the same floor with the lounge. Dinner has 3 course menu that we can choose. The apricot Melba pudding for my dessert was really yummy. When we were there there was a group of seniors celebrating mid winter Christmas. All wearing Colourful paper crown that you usually found in Christmas crackers, very very festive. Our deal also includes breakfast. It was buffet style with lots of choices including cooked breakfast.
Our room is a standard room and located in the old wing. So the bathroom was a little bit old. However the room was quite warm with old style heater and the bed is comfortable.
In one morning the sky is clear and the ground was covered in snow. Outside children running around, some building snow man with their parents, teenager started snow ball fight. With all the excitement, I feel like Christmas in July.
I recommend this experience for anyone who will visit Mt Ruapehu.

Room Tip: Choose a room in the corner, as you will get more windows and more views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mellymd
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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