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“The customer is always wrong !” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet

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Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet
Ranked #19 of 20 Hotels in Wanaka
Verbier
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The customer is always wrong !”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2014

Was very excited 5 star and Relais Château on the beautiful lake at Wanaka but we were quickly disappointed . Hardly any staff when we arrived just a young girl so no one to help with luggage
The room we were shown into was so hot sleeping would have been impossible I asked to see the manager but she could not be bothered to rock up for 2 hours,the assistant manager did appear and told us if we didn't like it go else where!
We were moved to a cooler room but it was for wheel chairs so we felt we were checked into a clinic,
Views are superb ,bed was comfortable but no privacy as people were constantly walking past
Food is beautifully presented and some dishes excellent but tiny portions and fixed tasting menu
They do have a ski lodge which I am sure would be amazing for 3 days with a guide.
We did go there 10 mins by helicopter picnic lunch wine extra for the bargain price of 1500$
When we came to leave there was a double laundry charge which seemed to be a problem to remove
All in all we felt uncomfortable for three days a miserable experience

Room Tip: Ask for a suite they are a bit larger try and not be forced to eat in
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Thomaskerr7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise M, Owner at Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet, responded to this review, 25 March 2014
We are so sorry to hear that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. Please know that our team here at Whare Kea Lodge take great pride in delivering the best experience possible, and therefore your review is taken very seriously.

If any guest notifies us of any concerns, we will always strive to address these as soon as possible. If a guest remains unhappy, we then give them the option of changing rooms or choosing to stay elsewhere – as we want to ensure that they enjoy their time here in Wanaka. I am sorry to hear that this option was perceived as a negative response from us.

Our Chalet is located at 1750m on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park – so there are costs in flying here, with a host and gourmet picnic, from the front lawn of our lodge. These prices are outlined in our compendiums and on our website. Each evening our talented chefs prepare a five course degustation menu which to many is an absolute highlight of their stay with us. They take great attention to detail, and we always ask our guests for their preferences, likes and dislikes and there is always extra food available on request. I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy this style of dining.

Again, we are so sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your time with us, every day we strive to ensure our guests receive the highest level of service and have the best experience possible here in Lake Wanaka. We do hope that you enjoyed the rest of your time here in NZ.
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49 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    37
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    1
    3
    1
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6
28
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Westhampton, Massachusetts, Usa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

On the eve of our departure from Whare Kea, I feel compelled to write and say that our time here was nothing short of delicious... in all ways. The lodge is beautiful. Simple, elegant, light-filled decor amplifies the astounding natural beauty outside its windows. The staff (Gill, Sarah, Anna) are welcoming and accommodating without being intrusive. Meals are a feast for the senses and palate. Both James and Matt created dishes with combinations of fresh, colorful and mouth watering ingredients. The rooms are lovely and the beds are incredibly comfortable. There are all manner of activities available nearby. I feel incredibly lucky to have stayed here and hope to return at some point in the future!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paula M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise M, Owner at Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet, responded to this review, 20 March 2014
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of your time with us here at Whare Kea. It is fantastic to hear that you enjoyed James and Matt’s cuisine, our lovely hosts and our gorgeous surrounds. Lake Wanaka has given us an incredible canvas to work with, and we love sharing this area with our guests. Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamshire
Level Contributor
110 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2014

Being situated slightly out of town on a hillside overlooking the lake, Whare Kea probably occupies the best site in Wanaka. It is possible to walk down to the lake and along the shoreline to several small coves and into Wanaka.
We were welcomed by Gill, who throughout our stay proved herself to be an excellent hostess. Gill was friendly, informative and enthusiastic about the area and it's attractions whilst also making us feel like special guests. The room was well planned and well-equipped but lacked special touches but the communal lounge area more than compensated for this. Wifi was free but for part of our stay out of order.
However the reason why a stay at Whare Kea is a must is the food. Dinner is a 5 course set menu, although dishes can be modified to suit guests dietary preferences. (I suggest you email ahead). Seasonal vegetables feature prominently on the menu, many of which the chef grows in his own garden. On our last night we were the only guests and we requested a vegetarian / fish menu. What we were served was exceptionally good with each course showing the same care and attention as shown when feeding larger numbers.
As my other reviews show we have eaten in many top restaurants. James Stapley is right up there with the very best. If he ever decided to return to the UK and open a restaurant in London I am sure it would be a success.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucyleopard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise M, Owner at Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet, responded to this review, 19 February 2014
It is fantastic to hear that Gill was such an excellent hostess and that you enjoyed Chef James cuisine as much as we do - we are so fortunate to have such an incredible talent creating master pieces from our kitchen. We do welcome any guest dietary requirements and likes/dislikes in advance by email, as James enjoys preparing the perfect 5 course degustation for each guest. Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed our lakeside location, and the walk around the shoreline into Wanaka. We look forward to seeing you again one day.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zug, Switzerland
Level Contributor
65 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2014

Out of the 5 or so luxury lodges we stayed at over a two and a half week trip covering both islands of NZ, Whare Kea represented the best experience. While it does not have the same brand recognition of the likes of Cape Kidnappers and Eagles Nest, in my opinion it delivered a better experience and far better value for money than those. The small number of guests and client-facing staff, the communal dining, the boutique conservation-driven touring company; everything contributed to the feeling of being genuinely taken care of. You forgot that ultimately this is a business, which cannot be said for the more 'famous' competitors mentioned above.

The room was bright, clean, with a stunning view. Service was spotless and the overall feeling of authenticity made our stay stand out from the rest.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank max_demian_gg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise M, Owner at Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of your time here in Wanaka. To hear that Whare Kea was your favourite experience throughout your luxury lodge tour of New Zealand, is simply fantastic. Our staff do truly enjoy sharing our wonderful region with our guests, and many of the local touring companies are owner-operated – ensuring that every experience is genuine. Thank you again for your review, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Whare Kea again one day soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2013

We have travelled the world over many times, but nothing is comparable with Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet. The accommodation is extremely comfortable and the staff are outstanding, every thing we wanted was taken care of. Special mention of Jillian who made our stay perfect ,Craig who was there at all times to ensure our comfort, and James for the exquisite food. Sarah provided us with a Lamb dinner which can only be described as memorable. All staff were exceptional! .
We will return.
Ken & Jill Harrison

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ken H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise M, Owner at Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet, responded to this review, 5 December 2013
Dear Ken and Jill. It is so wonderful to hear that you had an exceptional stay at Whare Kea here in Wanaka and that our team made your stay perfect. Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us and for your lovely review. We look forwarding to welcoming you back to Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2013

We travel reasonably frequently and you always hold your breathe when you first sight where you have chosen to stay. The beautifully designed website looks impressive, the brochure charms you with its eloquence and expectations are at fever pitch. A recent stay at an Island in Malaysia almost had me wishing I had held my breathe however Whare Kea Lodge ticked all the boxes of our expectation. Stunning location lakeside framed against a backdrop of the breathtaking Mt Aspiring National Park, warm unobtrusive service that relaxes you instantly & an incredible inspired degustation menu of the best produce N.Z. can offer.You also happen to be situated central to one of the best Pinot growing regions in the world &, if the wine doesn't relax you too much, you are immediate to thrill centre central - should you feel partial to jumping off a bridge attached to a rubber band ; or heli-skiing down impossible slopes; or paragliding off a semi-paralyzing cliff...it's all within reach.
As luck would have it we had the good fortune of having much of the Lodge to ourselves; which enabled us to have the wonderfully talented chef, James Stapely, talk us through our culinary experience. It also meant Sous Chef Sarah & hostess Gillian were casually harrassed about where to visit, what adventure to undertake or what gem on the extensive wine we might have overlooked. All advice was perfect but particularly the recommendation to visit the breathtakingly beautiful Whare Kea Chalet. Impossibly situated at around 8000ft & within the shadows of the spectacular Mt Aspiring (9000ft) it can only be reached by helicopter but you surely can only appreciate how magnificent the terrain & overall experience is if you take the ride...whatever you do ...take the ride! (& ask for local legend Charlie Ewing to pilot you)
Enough said. Truly one of the best holiday decisions we've made.

Paul Robinson & Ruth Hobson

Room Tip: All are great
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise M, Owner at Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet, responded to this review, 29 November 2013
Dear Paul and Ruth, thank you so much for your lovely review of your time spent in Wanaka. It is so wonderful to hear how much you enjoyed your stay at Whare Kea, our friendly team, James’s cuisine and local wines – and it was truly special to have you visit our gorgeous mountain chalet. We really do love sharing our slice of paradise with our guests, and ensuring that they get the most out of their time here. To be one of the best holiday decisions that you have made, is just so fantastic to hear – and thank you for choosing to come stay with us. We look forward to having you visit us again one day soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
36 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2013 via mobile

We were invited for dinner by friends who were staying at Wharekea just after Easter, the second time we have been for dinner at the lodge. This time was no different to last, the staff were amazingly friendly and professional treating us like long lost family friends wanting to make us at home. An amazing glass of wine slid in to our hands while we looked over the lake and mountains from the lawn, before retreating back inside to the open fire and pre dinner snacks. The chefs are extraordinary and it was hard to pick out a dish but the first time we have had Crayfish & Mango Tacos and they were to die for. I am not easy to impress with food - but the meal was faultless. The Chefs were generous with their enthusiasm talking through the dishes at the end of the meal and we even got expert hints on perfecting homemade Easter buns.
When it was time to leave we were jealous of our friends who would wake up to that view and hospitality. In a world of hotels without personality this was like being relaxed in your own holiday home.

Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank HaweaBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet

Property: Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet
Address: 494 Mt. Aspiring Road, Wanaka 9343, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Wanaka
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Wanaka
#9 Luxury Hotel in Wanaka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet 4.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sitting above the shores of Lake Wanaka, Whare Kea is the perfect luxury accommodation for families or groups of friends wishing to soak up the splendour of the area a private location. Our superbly comfortable lakeside lodge offers an ideal combination of shared and also private spaces well suited to accommodate small groups of up to 12 guest whether you prefer rest & relaxation or want to experience Wanaka's myriad of outdoor pursuits. Our fully equipped kitchen at Whare Kea allows guests to self-cater whilst looking out at the stunning vistas over Lake Wanaka. Alternatively, catering can be arranged. Additional Services to compliment your stay are extensive & unlimited with our property manager available to tailor make your exclusive retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whare Kea Hotel

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