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“very grand but very tired” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Waitomo Caves Hotel

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Waitomo Caves Hotel
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Feilding, New Zealand
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“very grand but very tired”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014

We stayed here early April for a weekend away.
After seeing how old dated the rooms were, I asked if we could go onto the other side, this was met with a sorry no, that was ok we will just get to feel like we are staying at nana's house :)
its a very large old place, but needs some work everything is very worn, we had tiles missing from around the dated bathroom and the shower went hot/cold and sprayed everywhere, if you leave your curtains open people can easily see inside your room while standing there. watching tv is was very fuzzy - we got a good laugh I guess.
we met 3 people running this place (owner and 2 staff) and were nice enough over all and to get a drink you have wait at the bar until they have finished at the front desk, so best to order two at a go (the other people outside were talking about the same thing and that it was pretty slack)
come breakfast all was ok, for the cooked you didn't get a choice it was scrambled eggs and bacon - so no choice of how you would like your eggs done. as they had a 100 people coming down to eat, well we saw maybe 20.
We had a good look at the photos of the hotel back in its day but were disappointed there wasnt more on the history - the only real history we got were two ladies telling us 12A was haunted, and some photos
over all if you like places that are very run down but have history and you wont feel like dying of thirst waiting for a drink - this is the place for you :) not for us

Room Tip: ask to be placed on the left hand side if you are not into very very dated worn down rooms
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Marisa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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486 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    75
    67
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2014 via mobile

My family of sister, brother in law, father and husband all stayed at this beautiful historic hotel. Pat the general manager and his son, were very welcoming, friendly and helpful. We had a view over the new zealand bush, and my sister and her husband stayed in the magnificent suite overlooking waitomo. The food in the restaurant was also very good, and they had an extensive wine selection. The hotel is very old so you must expect it to be a little dated. But that does not detract from the magnificence of the place. Overall an excellent place to stay if visiting the caves.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank ippigirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2014

This is a grand old building, and one must make allowances for this when one stays.

The rooms are in need of a great deal of work, and the bathroom is screaming for a makeover [working the shower was an experience in itself!]. The furniture is mostly quite old and not particularly grand, but the bed was new, huge, and perfectly comfortable. The sheets were crisp and clean, the bathroom was spotlessly clean, and the room, although clearly old, was very tidy and clean, and contained everything we could have required for our stay. It was not unlike staying in "Grandma's spare room" but without the back-achingly strectched springs under the slouching mattress!

Any failings one might find with the quality of the rooms were more than made up for by the enthusiasm to please of current owners. Helpful, honest, friendly and a pleasure to talk to, they made our stay in this grand old hotel very comfortable and enjoyable.

Dinner in the restaurant was very pleasant. With basic homely fare and a selection of good wine, I enjoyed one of the best meals of my stay in New Zealand at this hotel. The meals were sizey, and very reasonably priced. The beetroot and chicken salad I ordered was divine and so large I had no room for dessert!

Proximity to the Waitomo Cave is an obvious advantage, and the views from the balcony and gardens were beautiful.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, and look forward to coming back in the future to check on the restoration progress of this beautiful and much in need of love Hotel. With such an extensive and interesting history, she has a right to be a little bumpy around the edges! Go easy on her. She's old!

Room Tip: Having a balcony was a big bonus
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle-under-Lyme, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

DISAPPOINTING
We had a premium king room (No. 17). It appears that the hotel is being modernised but unfortunately they had not yet got round to doing our room which was badly in need of decoration. Wallpaper was missing in patches and was peeling off, the carpet was threadbare in places, there were splashes of paint on the walls and wallpaper and the curtains didn't fully cover the windows. The bathroom had been created out of a corner of the room and there was just enough room to contain a toilet, shower and sink, however the sink was so small it was difficult to wash without spilling water all over the floor and you could hardly get the kettle under the tap to fill it with water. However the bed was clean and comfortable. As we were going to the Spellbound caves for 10 we went downstairs for breakfast promptly at 8am. There were no staff on duty in the dining room so we helped ourselves to cereal and toast. By 8.15 there was still no sign of any staff so I went into the kitchen and gave my order for a cooked breakfast to the lone chef. The food was well cooked and plentiful. This was the only location that we stayed at that charged for internet access. I would certainly look at alternative accommodation if I were staying in this area again..

Ate at Huhu restaurant - excellent.

If you are travelling to New Zealand I suggest you take sufficient reading material, I ran out and a paperback cost £19.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Waitomo Caves hotels

Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

The structure is old but the present owners are trying hard to freshen the place. Everything was clean and staff were helpful and friendly. The rooms are plain but the bed was the best of three we used during this trip. The restaurant provided a good evening meal and the breakfast was buffet style. Only toast, cereal and fruit - we didn't see any bacon and eggs etc. This was our second stay here and it is a pleasure to stay in this relic from the early days of New Zealand's tourist industry. It is a pleasant contrast to many modern hotels that have the appearance and ambiance of battery hen cages. Value for money.

  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dennis R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waihi, New Zealand
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2014

We had the pleasure of staying a night there, for my 70th Birthday (we usually motorhome, but I love Historic buildings.) We had a lovely room, with ensuite to balcony, and enjoyed the light meal we had. Loved the history, ambience, comfort and views of the area, and enjoyed wandering around the property. Recommend to anyone, especially for a special occasion. Very helpful staff, and doing well upgrading back to its glory days. Keep up the good work!!

  • Stayed April 2013, 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 Binnie2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sudarg
Level Contributor
102 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

A purchase on NZ site 'Grabit'. A package which gave an overnight stay at the Hotel with a Twilight trip down into one of the glowworm caves.
We arrived mid-afternoon to book in and asked about departure time for our walk, duty manager didn't really know but found out.
We asked if we could dine at the hotel on our return at 8pm and we were told that there was no food as the chef was sick.
We asked if there were other places where we could eat afterwards, once again he was not sure.
We decided to risk it and try for food afterward.
Our rooms can only be described as 'adequate' as they had the basics but for a hotel which describes itself as of 'historic interest', they were poorly maintained, or should I say, 'preserved'.
All the furniture had seen better days as had, indeed, the carpets and curtains. The paintwork had, clearly, not been attended to for some time. French doors led out to a small balcony which was shared with the occupants of the next room.
Unfortunately, a floodlight fixed to the upper edge of the balcony shone into our room making any sort of blackout impossible.
The bathroom was an eclectic mixture of fittings of differing age & provenance.

The room was, however, clean and the bed comfortable. Sleep might have been good given tolerable lighting conditions.

Breakfast was substantial and tasty and consisted of eggs & bacon with cereals, toast, juice, fruit etc. nothing wrong there!

Finally, the whole place clearly needs some money spending on it, HM The Queen may have stayed there in the 60's but the redecoration undertaken prior to her visit need attending to again.

The grounds are good, given that they have one gardener - two would be better.

They should have a staff car park, as the duty managers car was parked under the canopy outside the front door for the entire length of our stay. This can be seen in our picture. At present, this practice does indicate a lack of discipline and organisation within.

Given a renovation plan and a modest investment, this place could be made to shine again.

Having said all this, awe would not be averse to a return stay when next in NZ.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Sudarg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Waitomo Caves Hotel

Property: Waitomo Caves Hotel
Address: Lemon Point Road | RD7, Waitomo Caves 9999, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Waitomo Caves
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Waitomo Caves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Waitomo Caves Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waitomo Caves Hotel provides a taste of the early 19th Century grand tour hotel experience in our own time. Majestically positioned on a promontory above the Waitomo village and the world famous Waitomo caves the hotel offers sweeping views across the lush farmland, the hills and bush of the King Country. The hotel boasts sparkling crystal chandeliers, a vast art collection, spacious clean rooms, deliciously comfortable beds and a decadent spa area. Stay with us and experience the elegance of travel from a bygone era. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Waitomo Caves
Waitomo Caves Otorohanga

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