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“Fantastic views and fantastic service”
Review of Tongariro Lodge

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Tongariro Lodge
Ranked #9 of 10 Hotels in Turangi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 June 2013

Just back from 3 nights in a 4 bedroom villa at the Lodge with its fantastic views of the mountains as a backdrop across the river. We were extremely well looked after by Andrew and his team who couldn't do enough enough for us. The lounge in the lodge is a great place for relaxing in front of the roaring log fire after a day out, before sitting down to exceptional food in the restaurant. My son and I went out fishing with Tim McCarthy who is an excellent guide and I can thoroughly recommend his services especially when fishing a river as big as the Tongariro.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Des T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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114 - 120 of 196 reviews

Reviewed 1 June 2013

My wife and I stayed one night in a 'Chalet', and can only speak about those units. We were expecting a 'luxurious' nights accommodation having paid a 'special' rate of $200, down from $400 per night. Well, that's where the 'luxury' ended!
We stood in a rather small but adequately furnished room (with ensuite) looking round for the 'luxury' - finding nothing that would escalate it to that level: thin plastic toilet seat; standard bulk-produced hand basin; no refrigerator; no full length mirror; a rather dated ambience; the electric blanket stuffed in a cupboard (great for the first night of winter!); limited view - all trees, no river!.
In summary this unit was very adequate (good shower; comfy bed; free WiFi; etc.) but terribly over-priced, and over-advertised. We would have priced this unit's worth at around $140, with a 'special' discount of about $100.
The manager (Andrew) and staff who we had contact with were all very friendly and helpful.
The establishment had many 'extras' (spa room; restaurant; communial lounge; etc.), but we didn't require nor think we needed to pay for those.
There was nobody in the unit next door on this night, so we were unable to confirm/negate the lack of privacy mentioned in other reviews.

Room Tip: Don't book a 'Chalet' expecting luxury - all you'll do is pay plenty for an average...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mpward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2013

We recently spent two nights at Tongariro Lodge for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and we found everything from the food to service just exceptional! The atmosphere and ambience of the place was truly relaxing and enjoyable. We were blessed to have lovely weather so this was an extra bonus! A big thanks to Michelle and Andrew the Acting Manager, who were both extremely friendly as well as professional and all the other staff also. Thanks also for the lovely bottle of champagne for our anniversary! - Maurice & Deb Dodunski, NZ.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Debs12268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2013

We were only able to stay two nights, but every aspect of our visit was truly exceptional.
Especially, the above and beyond professionalism and hospitality extended to us by Andrew, the acting General Manager.
The Chef is clearly first class.
We hope to return.
Brent and Sarita Eastman, San Diego, Ca and Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank brent e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2013

I came to Tongariro Lodge for a weekend business retreat and I will most certainly be back on my own time. I am here in late autumn and the setting is perfect for colder weather with beautiful wooden lodges and chalets, lots of open fires and a genuine wilderness feel. The staff are among the friendliest I've seen anywhere and the food is excellent. Unfortunately it was all work this time around but I'll definitely be back with some friends to experience the outdoor activities of which there are many - fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, etc.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled on business
1  Thank MikeSydney_Australia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2013

Tangariro Lodge advertises itself as a "luxury lodge". This is ludicrous. We spent three nights at the Tongariro Lodge as part of a seven-week trip to New Zealand. We have a basis for comparing the Lodge to other properties. Our room and breakfast at the luxury Tongariro Lodge were by far the worst of our seven-week stay. In fact, this was our only truly bad experience in New Zealand. And we paid dearly for this privilege.

We were booked in a room that is billed as a "chalet" room. All this means is that the room is a very tiny room in a building with two or three other tiny rooms. Not only was our room tiny, but it was furnished with cheap furnishings, and a very poor bed. For example, the drawers pulled right out of the nightstand. The lamps were incredibly awkward. The lighting was terrible. Just as well, I guess, since the room wasn't even clean when we checked in - as an example, the bathroom mirror was dirty when we checked in and it was not cleaned once by daily housekeeping during our stay. Also, when we checked in, the room smelled of smoke.

Then there is the issue of how the Lodge is run. When we checked in, we were barely greeted, and given our key. We walked to the room, tried it, and it didn't work. So we came back to the office. We were given another key and told "try this one". It worked, but it seemed a strange thing to tell guests at a "luxury" lodge to figure it which key worked. Oh, and there was no offer to help with bags. Again, just as well. But there were none of the niceties that are offered even in establishments that don't make the "luxury" claim.

More on how the lodge is run. In our small room, there was a small entry area where one can hang clothes and put clothes in drawers. We noticed once it got dark that the lightbulb in that area was broken. So we took down the lightbulb and brought it with us to the lodge when we went for dinner. We asked if it could be replaced. The gentleman we talked to said he could try to find one so that we could replace it. I suggested that maybe, since it required standing on a chair, the staff might replace it. He agreed. Then he reported that no one knew where the spare lightbulbs were stored. (Really????). The next morning we asked again about a bulb, and later that afternoon yet again, and we were told that someone was "on the way with a bulb". Well, that person must have gotten lost, because she never arrived. Finally, we just walked into the neighboring "chalet", which had been unlocked and unoccupied since we arrived, took one of the bulbs from that room, and installed it ourselves.

We also asked for a two-outlet adaptor the first night that we arrived, since outlets are few and inconveniently placed. We were assured that we would get one, but that never arrived either.

Our rate included breakfast and dinner. Dinners were absolutely wonderful. The chef (Richard Atkinson) is amazing, and he belongs in a lodge that is a true luxury lodge. But service both at dinner and breakfast was haphazard at best. One night, when leaving from dinner, we had a quick exchange with the lodge manager, Graeme. He was seated, and never bothered to get up to introduce himself or to ask how our stay was going. That's the first time that a proprietor at a property where we stayed was that uncordial.

Breakfast was a different matter. It was below ordinary. Nothing at all interesting or special. Cereal in small packages that all guests struggled to open. For three days we watched this, and nothing was done to ameliorate the situation. (How about buying - or making??? - bulk muesli and putting it in a bowl? Almost all establishments that we visited do this.). Bread for toast came from a bag and the jams were those low quality ones that come in small plastic containers. There was one kind of Danish and at least that was freshly baked. The cooked breakfast was ordinary, but again, nothing special.

But here is something that just completely annoyed me. Our stay had been below mediocre, and we had paid a lot of money that would have bought a much more enjoyable and longer stay elsewhere. When we checked out, on our invoice, every coffee that we had consumed was charged. I asked, "doesn't coffee come with breakfast?" I was told no. Also, coffees that we had after dinner were charged. Let me see, they charge a huge amount of money per night for a basic room and breakfast and dinner, and the lodge charges extra for coffee at breakfast and dinner??? Really??? And this is a luxury lodge??? Wherever we stayed on our trip where breakfast was included, coffee was also included. The same with dinner. And if the Tongariro Lodge wants to differ from the norm, they have an obligation to tell the customer that they will be charged for coffee. In the face of the prices they charge, to charge for coffee is petty and offensive.

Needless to say, I would not suggest this property as a place to stay. The dinners are wonderful, though, but you may need to deal with haphazard service. If you want a wonderful lodge experience in New Zealand, try Wilderness Lodge at Arthur's Pass.

Room Tip: Don't book a "chalet" room Maybe their "villas" are nicer.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Marie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We had a family holiday which took in the Tongariro Crossing,White Water rafting and the jet boating at Huka Falls.
We were looked after superbly by Graeme and his staff where nothing was to much trouble.
The accomadation was excellent,well appointed,idylliic location and the food was great.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank 4RichardV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Graeme1964, General Manager at Tongariro Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2013

Thank you so much for your feedback. It was indeed a pleasure to host your wonderful family here at the Tongariro Lodge and I am so glad that all the activities met with your approval. As you know from your time here that the Lodge is a very special and tranquil location making it a perfect spot for a vacation.We hope you take the time to return one day. Enjoy the rest of your holiday in our beautiful country and may I wish you safe travels back to the UK.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tongariro Lodge

Address: 83 Grace Road, Turangi 3334, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Taupo District > Turangi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 10 Hotels in Turangi
Price Range: £90 - £218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tongariro Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tongariro Lodge offers a unique fishing lodge atmosphere with an international reputation for providing guests with intimate friendly service, the best of food and wine and private exclusive accommodation. There is a secluded spa and all weather tennis court on park like grounds. The Lodge specialises in providing personally guided trout fishing or outdoor experiences with resident guides.Tongariro is the ideal holiday destination for trout fishermen, outdoor enthusiasts and family adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tongariro Hotel Turangi

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