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“Convenient location and good service; comfortable chalet”
Review of Discovery Lodge

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Discovery Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Traverse City
Level Contributor
164 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Convenient location and good service; comfortable chalet”
Reviewed 3 May 2014

Stayed one night in March (supposed to be two but dual flat tires nixed that). 5 Stars on communication pre-stay, arranging for trail transport and food.

Discovery Lodge is a great base from which to do hiking in the area – their early shuttle option to Tongariro is recommended depending on the day of the week. The chalets are in essence one building split into two accommodations, and were contemporary and spacious with a small but useful kitchen space. The view was nice but not amazing (see ChrisWOwens review written on March 14, 2014 and Discovery team response). I only mention this re: expectations – if you were expecting solo chalets with Mt. Cook-like village views from the inside of the chalet, it isn’t going to be that.

Re: bathroom – note the “shelf” for your shower items is a plate of glass over the shower door – as it is clear you may not notice it at first.

One recommendation to the Discovery team – there is insufficient laundry equipment on site. One (slow) washer/dryer isn’t adequate for the # of guests. We needed to do laundry while there and were unable to due to the backup of people in line.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank JKandAJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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English first
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2014

We stayed here in February 2014 to do the Tongariro Crossing. The customer service was great even dealing with our email queries before we arrived, and they were very accommodating when circumstances changed with our travel party. The check in process was cheerful and easy, the transport to and from the crossing was well organised and punctual. We stayed in the Chalets and although the price was on the high side, when you consider the service and area we were very happy with our stay. The crossing was unbelievable. Thanks guys.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank D0nnabella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Could not recommend this place more!

Stayed 2 nights to walk the Tongariro Crossing but unfortunately this was cancelled due to bad weather including high winds. This didn't stop us from enjoying our stay, plenty more walks to do in the rain, all with amazing scenery.

We stayed in a studio but plenty of choices to suit all budgets. Studio was well equiped for our short stay with Microwave, hotplate and utensils so you could cook if you wanted to - although if you do, bring food from further afield as locally there isn't much choice.

We ate at the onsite restaurant both nights and were impressed with the quality of the food for the price. Packed breakfasts and lunches were also great.

Big thanks to Jed(receptionist, waiter, barman, assistant chef & more) for making us very welcome.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MelburnianO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

we stayed here in April 2014. i chose it cause i wanted to do the tongariro crossing. its a great location - close to multiple trails. our room was excellent- comfortable, with kitchenette, well furnished. the hosts were very knowlegeble. this property has a range of stay options - from chalets to tents. i would recommend it .

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank RMMenon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014 via mobile

We stayed in our campervan at the campsite for 2 nights to do the Tongariro Crossing. It is fantastically convenient for this and offers several morning shuttles to the start of the Crossing and many afternoon return shuttles. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The location of the campsite is beautiful with views of the mountains. The campsite facilities were poor. The toilet and shower facilities were low quality and basic but functional. They could definitely be cleaner and better maintained and replenished with soap and toilet paper more frequently. Signage for the ladies toilet could be clearer as I found a German woman cleaning her teeth when I exited one of cubicles in the gents!

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank mrmatthewcampbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 April 2014

We stayed at Discovery Lodge in Feb 2014 for a friend's birthday and to walk the Tongariro Crossing. We stayed in the studio chalets which were beautifully appointed, very quiet, well equiped and decorated. The choice of accomodation here however is wide from chalets, motel rooms to campervans and tents. The shuttles to and from the crossing were well organised and the frequency of the return trips meant there was no long wait at the end when getting boots off and having a shower was high on the list of priorities! We ate in the restaurant both nights and the food was unexpectedly good with delightful and helpful staff. Breakfast was a DIY cook up in the studios but eaten at the tables on the lawns outside the chalets over looking the National Park. All the staff were approachable and friendly. The only down side was not being able to BYO onto the large deck outside the restaurant/games room area again overlooking the National Park. The location was excellent for the activities we wanted to do and very close to a multitude of walks and ski lifts even in the summer. We will definitely be back. It is great to know of somewhere to stay in this area which meets our needs without having to trawl through the internet hoping to make a good choice.

Room Tip: The chalets are in a separate part of the Lodge Grounds and much quieter than the motel area.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 28beverley58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arizona
Level Contributor
85 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Just returned from a month in NZ and of all the places we stayed this stands out as the absolute worst value. Let's see, where to start ... how 'bout while taking a shower the showerhead blew off. Could've easily broken a toe if I hadn't dodged it on the way down. Give them the benefit of the doubt and let's say they didn't know about it, although it appeared someone had just sort of carelessly stuck it on. Then we've got the missing knob on the bath cabinet, no excuse for something that obvious. To neglect such maintenance issues suggests to me maybe management is having cash flow problems. There's also the microwave oven, conveniently and thoughtfully placed a whole foot off the ground so you have to crouch down to use it, that was really helpful for programming. Dusty cobwebs showed the place hadn't been deeply cleaned in quite awhile. Moths flew around the room at night, and several crawling insects of undetermined type had to be dispatched. In between the sheets, another foreign object, possibly an insect carcass, was found. To use the heater required a master's degree in engineering and of course no instructions were provided. (I did eventually figure it out before we froze). No internet provided, supposedly because of their "remote location". Outside, the rain gutter sat misaligned, and paint peeled from the steps. On the plus side, the room was spacious, bed otherwise comfortable, and the view of Mt. Doom from the front window is a killer. But overall, I think these people have a lot of nerve to charge $165 for this room. To be fairly priced it should be more in the $65 range. Note the chalets received better reviews, maybe they're maintained to a higher standard. Overall I cannot recommend this place, and think your best bet to find a room with a good combination of quality, price, and location for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing probably lies somewhere in the actual village of National Park, in which the Discovery Lodge is not located.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ziggyfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CallumHarland, Owner at Discovery Lodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Dear Ziggyfly,

Thank you for providing us with your feedback. I am unhappy your stay was such a poor experience for you and for this I do sincerely apologise. I will address the issues you have mentioned so you can be rest assured your feedback is not in vain, as I do trust you are giving this feedback so we can improve. Some of the issues I can explain and unfortunately some I cannot. However, I will do my best.

Jed inspected the showerhead after you checked out and found it had been broken somehow. We have since replaced it. The showerheads are brand new and are polished every time the room is cleaned. You made the comment “it appeared someone had just sort of carelessly stuck it on”. I do wonder why you turned the shower on if you had noticed this and not let us know so we could fix the problem for you for you.

The missing knob on the bathroom cabinet was replaced 2 days after your stay. We do not stock spare knobs, and normally for such things we have to travel to Taupo which is a 200km round trip for us. Unfortunately, we cannot purchase knobs in Whakapapa Village or National Park Village. If we could then a problem like a missing knob could be addressed very quickly.

The microwaves are also brand new and replaced old ovens that stood a lot taller in the same place. A local joiner is currently building stands to lift the microwaves to bench height. We are still waiting for this project to be completed. Once the stands are finished they will be installed in all rooms. This should happen within the next month.

I inspected the room you stayed in immediately after I read your feedback. I found the room to be very clean. We are fortunate enough to have an excellent housekeeping team. However, I did indeed find two single strand cobwebs high on the ceiling that I do apologise for.

As you well know Discovery is completely surrounded by wilderness and alpine meadows. This nature is also home to wild life, moths and interesting bugs. We do not use harsh poisons to keep them away. So from time to time a bug or a moth will get into a room, especially if lights are on and windows are open. I cannot explain the insect carcass between the bed sheets. The bed sheets are obviously replaced every time the room is cleaned and the room was cleaned just prior to your stay so this puzzles me. However, in saying all this I do apologise for the bugs Ziggyfly.

The heaters are also brand new, a large investment in the property which have made a significant improvement to the rooms during the winter months. The heater has an On/Off button and an “up” arrow and a “down” arrow to control the temperature. The heater is thematically controlled so if the room temperature is above the setting on the screen the heater will not come on. Once the room temp drops below the setting the heater comes on and heats the room very nicely. Once again I am sorry Ziggyfly this was difficult for you. We will definitely put instructions into each room before the winter.

“No internet provided, supposedly because of their "remote location".” Ziggyfly, for your information there are many places in New Zealand, which cannot access broadband internet. Discovery is one such place. We are too far from either local exchange. Believe me, if we could get broadband internet for our guests and ourselves we would!!

Your comment “To be fairly priced it should be more in the $65 range.” Ziggyfly, because I don’t know you I am not sure if you are being sarcastic or whether you are being serious. All I can say is the room you stayed in has a kitchenette, private bathroom, all bed & bathroom linen is supplied, is equipped with modern central heating, TV, is fairly spacious and enjoys beautiful views of the surrounding nature. The room is comfortable, clean and warm. For $65 in New Zealand for two people you might find a bunk bed in a shared dormitory room at a backpackers. You booked through Booking.com, which lists the most expensive rates for Discovery. Our own web site has the best available rates.

What makes me most unhappy Ziggyfly is when you checked out from Discovery with Jed you did not him know you had such a bad overall experience at Discovery. You would have driven out our front gate unhappy and this is sad for us. Had you given us the opportunity, I can guarantee we would have gone the extra mile to make you as happy as possible. So sad you did not let us know, and left unhappy.

Very sorry Ziggyfly. I realise the chances a slim but I do sincerely hope to see you again.

Kindest wishes, Callum
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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 Discovery Lodge

Property: Discovery Lodge
Address: State Highway 47, National Park Village 3948, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > National Park Village
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Speciality Lodging in National Park Village
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Discovery Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chalets & Motels. Surrounded by nature with spectacular panorama of the Tongariro Volcanoes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Discovery Hotel National Park Village

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