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“A grand old hotel in a great spot”

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Whakapapa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 August 2010

The Chateau Tongariro is a fantastic old hotel on the sides of a dormant volcano with plenty of other volcanoes in view. The hotel was built in the 1920s so the decor is a bit dated but that adds to the charm.

The rooms are in good condition if a little small and the bathrooms would benefit from an update, the public spaces are a feast for the eyes as is the view from the large picture window in the lounge area.

The hotel staff are polite and helpful, the front desk has all important weather forecasts and will arrange pickups for day hikes and other excursions. Even if you don’t have the time or the weather for a day hike you should take the drive up the volcano for some stunning views. The air is thin up their especially in bad weather so you might want to give this a miss if you have breathing difficulties; no such problems at the height of the hotel though.

Be sure to get up early in the morning to see if there is any fresh snow on the mountain tops, we had snow even in midsummer but it soon melted away.

The food is expensive, even at the cafe across the road (owned by the hotel) but the local gas station has a good selection of readymade sandwiches, snacks and hiking supplies at a fraction of the cost just 5 minutes back down the hill.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TWMC2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,365 - 1,371 of 1,630 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2010

This 1920's Grand Hotel sits on the slopes of an active volcano, and about as close as you can get to Whakapapa skifield. Most of the well maintained public areas have kept the 1920's character including a magnificent lobby with fireplaces but unfortunately the guest rooms have been 'modernised' about 40 years ago and have lost their charm. The saving grace is the wonderful view of the volcano from the bedroom windows. The hotel has a formal restaurant which serves some pretty good food but is badly let down by the use of frozen and pre-prepared products. In short, avoid the seafood and ravioli and stick to fresh meats. There is also a bar restaurant which is less formal and we thought was pretty good. Staff are attentive, and there is really no better feeling than sitting in front of the fire after a hard days skiing, drinking cocktails or dessert wine to piano music, and soaking up that lost world ambience. Despite the somewhat tatty bedrooms, we would stay here again.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Jafdip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2010

Driving up to the Chateau, it looks incredible. But when you get inside you start to see the age marks. It looks old and outdated.

The furniture has some wear on it and the curtains have been around for t0o long.

I also had problems with the service. It was nice that I got a free upgrade. But when I went into my room to get a drink of water, the first 2 glasses I looked at were filthy. When I was leaving to go hike, I brought them to the front desk and asked for replacements. It never happened.

It is not a bad place to stay. It just did not live up to expectations

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank errantmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2010

I have to confess I've always had a soft spot for "The Chateau" and took the opportunity of a trip back to NZ to introduce my Australian husband and a couple of friends to this unique place. Just a one night stopover but we had a very pleasant stay.

We were upgraded to a room in the new wing, a pity in some ways as I always enjoyed the quirky rooms in the original building, but our room was spacious and comfortable. The decor was a little on the sombre side with dark timber furniture but the bathroom was excellent. Separate shower, a small but very deep bath (great for soaking in after a two-hour walk) and a decent-sized vanity. Unfortunately we were low down in the wing and on the mountain side so only had a view of bush and lawn, complete with rabbits.

But it's the public rooms that really make this place special. Glorious views, especially of Ngauruhoe, comfortable chairs and sofas, magnificent chandeliers, a pianist in the evening, and good bar service. We dined in the main restaurant and had an excellent meal with very good wines to match.

Only complaints - some parts of the public rooms looked as if they needed a bit of freshening up and those wonderful chandeliers needed a good clean - they were very dull instead of bright and sparkling.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank jjester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2010

This hotel holds much promise but sadly does not deliver in some key areas.

The location and the the common areas of this hotel are fantastic. However the rooms ( in our case a Premium room in the new wing) are very small for the price. However the bathroom had both a bath and shower.

The rooms have no airconditioning but do have heaters. Ours was so noisy we had to turn it off and with minimum bed clothing supplied we froze!

Breakfast was adequate at best.

There is no doubt you pay for the location with this hotel!

Unless you are staying for a reasonable period, stay in Taupo and do day trips!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank FreqFly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2010

The weather was awful, cold and wet. Fortunately the Chateau was warm and had drying & laundry rooms. I can see why this hotel is perfect for the Winter Ski season, but not much else to do in the Summer. All that said, it was the best Hotel we stayed at in the North Island, the scenery to it and around it is good, but certainly not worth any hype. All staff were pleasant and friendly except for one barman/waiter who was unnecessarily abrupt. Rooms were comfortable, food was good but expensive, also with an excellent wine sellection. Very large place so easy to get lost, lots of floors and stairs and doors to rooms such as cinema & tiny gym. Only stayed one night, would have cost a fortune to stay a week. All in all, didn't bowl me over, but felt comfortable and rested.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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Thank 4Noels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2010

Let's face it - if you are going to stay in Tongariro National Park this has to be it. It dominates the landscape and has the most amazing 360 degree views of the national park. We stayed here for 2 nights and of course the location is perfect and stunning. You can stroll around the hotel in the evening and get amazing views of the volcanoes and a real sense of tranquillity. Inside its oh so over the top, old fashioned and charming and I loved it for its grandeur, its slight creepiness and for being completely different to any other hotel we stayed in. You can sit in the lounge area in a big old fashined chair with a glass of wine and look out the enormous picture windows to watch an amazing sunset over Ngauruhoe. The staff on reception were very helpful and arranged for the bus to take us to the Tongariro Crossing the next day, so it all went perfectly. The rooms are nothing special in themselves and like the rest of the hotel are old fashioned, but we were given one with a lovely outlook towards Ruapehu which was a pleasant surprise! For meals there are two restaurants - an expensive a la carte and a more reasonably priced cafe. I am sure this hotel wouldn't suit everyone, but for us it was the perfect base for doing the Tongariro Crossing.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank soosiesoosoo
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

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: £101 - £178 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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