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River Birches Lodge
Ranked #1 of 8 Turangi B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Loved it.”
Reviewed 29 April 2010

I stayed at the Cottage at the River Birches for five days over Easter with my two sons, one of their girlfriends and a fishing buddy. We needed four rooms and the cottage accommodated everyone in style.
The well-appointed cottage is in a beautiful setting within steps of the Tongariro river, famous for it’s fly-fishing. It lived up to it’s reputation as we caught plenty of big Rainbow trout and my sixteen year old even landed a six and half pound Brown Trout! Wow, great fun. Ours was more of a family trip than fishing trip and there was plenty for us to do. The first day saw us river running and it was another “Wow” experience. Fun but safe rapids down a beautiful stretch of river without being to extreme for my eleven year old. I highly recommend this. We took advantage of the mountain bike rentals down the road and spent lots of time riding the tracks along the river and around town. One day found us at the swimming at the hot pools and yes we even found some time to just lounged around the cottage.
As an extended group wanting to do our own cooking the cottage worked very well for us. It’s well lain out and large enough that we never felt like we were on top of one another. The living room is comfortable with a great view of the grounds while the kitchen is big and easily worked by two cooks, it’s equipped with more conveniences you can think of. The bedrooms are also spacious, nicely appointed and with comfy beds. Kids being modern kids, they took full advantage of the wireless Internet connection and DVD player. I took advantage of the laundry room and did all the dirty clothes, what a good dad.
This is a great place to stay in a great location. There was plenty for us to do and it’s right on the doorstep. It was a wonderful little vacation and we’ll be staying at the cottage again.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank SmithCreek_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2010

After spending 2 days at the beautiful River Birches, we left with a sense that New Zealand can really deliver a true Five Star treatment.

The place is a secluded travel lodge right on the bank of the Turangui River. I'm a pretty fussy customer and i have found in the past that particularly the Australian Travelers are quite forgiving and accommodating when it comes to rating their hotels. I'm originally from the Caribbean, so having grown up amongst the best 5 star resorts in the world. I have grown costumed to be disappointed constantly every time. This however was a greatly pleasing surprise.

There are only 4 bedrooms in the whole place, so essentially you get the feeling that you're staying at one of your really rich friend's chalet. There's the amazing Cooking by the manager/chef Anthea, who lives next to the property and is on call 24/7. As soon as me and my wife were greeted we were given a glass of wine, and followed by a selection of cheeses and just relaxed in a big comfy couch just staring at the gorgeous award-winning garden.

We chose to have dinner at the lodge that night and were treated by an amazing grilled lamb, concured together by Anthea once again. Then followed by a gorgeous fresh strawberries truffle. Did i mention everything is made fresh and on the spot?

The Rooms are incredible, great huge comfy beds, egyptian linen, very private and unique. The bathrooms have a big tubs which they ran for us every night with candles and flowers throughout the room. The attention to detail is Impeccable.

Around the area of Turangui there's lots to do and to see. You don't have to be an outdoorsy type of person to truly appreciate the magnificence of the area (i'm not) But the scenery is SO AMAZING you cannot help but to feel like you're in the set of AVATAR, LORD OF THE RINGS, ETC.

The manager is happy to organise every type of adventure for you, from Nice and quiet Fly fishing lessons at the river banks by a professional fisherman, or perhaps a professional masseuse is more your thing. To a high rush of bungee jumping or white water river rafting cat 5.

The only downside is that the town of Turangui is NOT, party central. So make sure you bring your entertainment with you (i brought my laptop and the latest season of Family Guy). However, River Birches has a great selection of DVDs, if you feel like staying in and chilling out in your room.

So if you're in your late 20's to mid 30's, and have no kids. Or Simply want to get away for a weekend. This is your place. Tell them the crazy Dominican guy sent you.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank andresphabian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 January 2010

we loved this place! it is very zen like... super clean... very tranquil... and very, very comfortable! the beds are the best... the linens also... i think that the owners live in thailand and have imported them... it is right on the river which was full of huge trout and was less than 100 yards away.... we fished it every day... there are also some great walking trails nearby.... i have recommended this place to many of my friends and fellow travelers... it is a good find... (also there is some great white water rafting in the area)

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank bigbrowntrout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2009

We wanted a few days of "time out" from our trip around the North Island, and we couldn't have found a better place to spend them! River Birches is wonderful. The rooms, the garden setting, the service - it was all first class. Our host Anthea made us feel so welcome, and our three day stay flew by. Her breakfasts are a great start to the day, and you shouldn't miss the chance to dine in one night - Anthea's dinner was a real highlight on a holiday full of great food. The river is only a short stroll away, which would be particularly good if you love fly fishing. Tongariro National Park is close by, and there are planty of walks and drives through beautiful countryside. Even in October, an evening by the fire with a glass of wine was a treat. River Birches isn't cheap, but we thought the experience was woth it...

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sdc69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2009

Firstly, this is NOT in Taupo, it's a good 1hour drive from Taupo.
We found it a little difficult to book our stay a few months ahead, emails not ebing responded to initially but it all came together in the end.
The gardens and rooms are amazing. It's an absolute paradise.
My partner and I felt that we were being constantly watched by the host though and that it was a little inconvenient in us being there as she felt she needed to talk to us when we really just wanted our own space more than anything.

Wouldn't stay here again but it really was lovely when we did.

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Pinkybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jason_bleibtreu, Owner at River Birches Lodge, responded to this review, 11 December 2010
Thank you for bring up these issues. I am delighted to hear that you found us to be "an absolute paradise" and that our "gardens and rooms are amazing".
We work very hard at River Birches so that our guests may relax and feel at home. I am sorry to hear about some aspects that did not meet your expectations. Unfortunately TripAdvisor use to have our geographic location as Taupo. It is true we are in the Taupo district but we are not located in the large town of "Lake Taupo". Instead we are located along the banks of a the beautiful Tongariro River. This may of caused some confusion. We advised TripAdvisor to change this and we are now correctly located in Turangi. It is so hard for us to always suss out the mood of our guests. Usually we get this right. In your case I can understand that you wanted a little "chill time" and that our staff may have been too attentive in trying to show you all of the wonderful things our area has to offer.
Again thank you for your comments and for bringing these matters to my attention.

Sincerely,

Jason Bleibtreu
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
1 review
Reviewed 23 March 2009

River Birches was exactly what I was looking for after a busy two weeks on the south island. A place that I could come and relax when I wanted to and great base to get out and participate in the many activities that the area has to offer. Originally I had booked two nights, but enjoyed the tranquility and the wonderful hosts that I stayed for two more nights! Anthea is an awesome cook providing a better dinner then the local 5 Star Tongariro Lodge restaurant. Anthea and Bill were also genuinely interested in assisting me with my activities making many and excellent suggestions. A wonderful place!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ScubaAnnimal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney and Hong Kong
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2009

My boyfriend (of the time) and I had an incredible holiday at the River Birches. We found the lodge incredibly cosy, with luxuriously sleek modern finishes (such as heated bathroom tiles, spa baths, a mini fitness centre and mini business centre), adorned by subtle thai hints that made it impossible not to feel relaxed very quickly. The lodge is surrounded by a sizable beautiful garden and overlooks the River itself. We used to go for walks through the forest, across the suspended bridge over the river and then wandre along the river. Also, if you like fishing, or in our case, just enjoy eating trout, there is a lot of it swimming there. You really feel like you're in the Lord of the Rings, surrounded by dse greenery and all you can hear is the river rushing by. There is something semi-ethereal about this part of New Zealand. Just 15 minutes drive away from our serene lodge is the hot springs, where you can sit in minal water heated by the volcanic earth around the region. We did this after enjoying a bottle of gorgeous regional red wine and cheese (regularly served at the lodge). We also enjoyed white water rafting and kayaking through a company reccomended by the River Birches staff, as well as black wer rafting (underground) which was amazing. We walked through serene fields with gentle horses and ended up at a mini golf place having a blast. The most amazing thing was that on top of all the exciting water sports, we were also able to go snowboarding off a volcano! The view from the mountain was truly breathtaking and the snow was beautifully powdery. I would definately stay at the River Birches again. It was one of the most memorable, magical holidays I have ever had.

  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Grace-Isobel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about River Birches Lodge

Property: River Birches Lodge
Address: 19 Koura Street | Taupo, Turangi 3334, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Taupo District > Turangi
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Turangi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — River Birches Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Superbly located for the Tongariro crossing, fishing, and skiing getaways. River Birches is an exclusive retreat alongside the Tongariro River. Listed in Travel & Leisure Magazine’s Best of 2007. It features luxury accommodation equipped with Wi-Fi, fitness room and onsite chef. Qualmark: Five Star rated. ... more   less 
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