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All reviewshigh teaold world charmchateau tongariroruapehu roomnew wingmain restaurantgrand old ladynew zealandsconesnational parkpiano playerpihanga cafeafternoon teadining roomlounge areaplunge poolcelebration package
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Reviewed 18 August 2017

we were driving from Lake Taupo to the hotel, and after seeing only trees and fields for a long time, the chateau suddenly came into sight in almost a surreal way.

the hotel has long history, and the interior is kept that way. A glamorous sitting area with lavishly decorated interior, though dated, still retain its charm.

the room we were in was in the old wing, needs some updating, and furniture can be better placed, but the atmosphere was unique, as if taking you back in time.

the dinner served in the restaurant was excellent, highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Douglas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2017 via mobile

We had a family weekend at the snow and stayed in the family apartments beside the hotel, kids loved it. The rooms were warm and even had a heated pool and cinema to relax in after a cold day.
Staff were very friendly and helpfull

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Thank Nathan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2017

My wife and I toured New Zealand for a month during February and March 2017. We have provided reviews of all the places we stayed at during our tour. To see the reviews of the other places we stayed at please click on my name to the left and then when the box comes up click on my name again.

The Chateau Tongariro is located in the Tongariro National Park. The hotel is about five minutes walking from the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre and the start of a number of way marked walks. We stayed for two nights and were able to walk on a number of the footpaths.
The hotel is like a 1920’ or 30s themed hotel with a large open plan restaurant and lounge. The staff are excellent and when we had a problem with the safe in the room we were moved to another room immediately. The room we had was quite large and the fridge was a good size. There were no cooking facilities. The safe was large enough to put a laptop in. The bed linen was excellent, clean and crisp. The bathroom contained a bathtub and a separate shower. The WiFi was very good and I was able to stream British TV live using my tablet.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank TravellerCymruWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2017

We have previously visited for High Tea 3-4 and been impressed and enjoyed it. However,,,,, we took several family members to enjoy High Tea today and we were all Very Disappointed...... The quality & especially the Quantity of the food provided was definitely Not as good as our past visits :(
Not enough sandwiches and I didn't know you could make such miniature scones.... will be reluctant to take visitors back for High Tea again :(

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank LindaDinty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2017

My wife and I booked a 2-night "Winter Retreat Package" online via the hotel's website. This included 2 breakfasts as well as 1 High Tea for each of us, as confirmed both during the booking process on the website and in the confirmation email received after I made the payment. There are approximately equal numbers of "Excellent" and "Very good" reviews on TripAdvisor for The Chateau, and so I made sure that my expectations were not too high (we would normally only stay in hotels with a significantly higher proportion of "Excellent" reviews).

During our stay we interacted with around 20 different members of staff. The vast majority were excellent, 1 or 2 were average, and 1 was completely unacceptable (more about that later). The check-in process was excellent, and the High Tea was also very good (a very nice food selection, but perhaps a bit expensive). The young French lady who served our High Tea was impeccable, and most of the other waiters and waitresses were also great. Most of them appeared to be foreign (and possibly in some sort of trainee capacity), but to me that further improved our experience.

The best feature of The Chateau is the Lounge room. It is rather old-fashioned, but I really liked it, and it was pretty cool having full-size snooker table (yes, we had a game), and the fireplaces and huge windows add further to the ambiance. There is also often a piano player there; a bit cheesy, but still a plus point I think.

We had a corner room on the second floor. The dual window aspect was great, and we would have had a nice view of Mt. Ngauruhoe if the weather had been better. The room itself was 5 star, but the bathroom was a solid 3 stars, and clearly had not been renovated when the bedroom part was---it looked like a 1970s NZ motel bathroom. Everything worked, but the shower head was far too low (and over the bath, though with good pressure). The main problem with the room was the extremely poor noise insulation with the adjacent room. We could clearly hear every time the gentleman next door went to the toilet---it sounded as though he was actually in our room. I would like to suggest that they add some sound insulation when they finally get around to upgrading the bathroom.

We had two dinners in the Ruapehu dining room. The dress code was "smart casual", but this was not enforced, since there were a few people with T-shorts, hoodies and tatty jeans there (though mainly on the first night only). The food was a bit variable but pretty good overall, and at prices that you might expect to pay at a reasonable restaurant. Although the room is nice, and includes an impressive ceiling height, the dining experience would have been enhanced if they lowered the light level somewhat and had candles (or some other form of lighting) in the centre of the tables.

We have two buffet breakfasts, also in the Ruapehu dining room. I thought the room was much nicer in daylight, with the curtains open. The breakfast itself was excellent, and I do not understand why so many people have criticized this on Tripadvisor. There was no explicit dress code for the breakfasts, but there is still a sign at the entrance to the room stating that “a reasonable standard of dress is required”. But there is no enforcement of this, since at one of our breakfasts there was a guy with T-shirt, shorts and bare feet (I kid you not). This was disappointing for us; I might expect this at a back-packers, but not at a hotel where I am spending >$250 per night on a double room.

We also used the gym and sauna once each, as well as the swimming pool, which is definitely "quirky" (but I actually rather liked it). We also took a quick look at the movie room; not really the thing for us, but it's definitely a nice touch to provide this facility.

I was intending to give a 5-star rating (notwithstanding the bathroom and noise problems of our room, and not enforcing any sort of dress code), but then we had a most interesting check-out experience. The two young ladies at reception were very friendly, like all the other staff up to this point, but when I checked the itemized bill I noticed that we had been charged for the High Tea. I mentioned that our packed included this in the cost, and so they said that they would need to see their duty manager. No problem up to that point. But then he came into the reception area, did not look at us or talk to us, instead muttering something like the High Tea should not have been included in our package (despite this being advertised on the hotel's website and also confirmed in the email we received after making the booking, a copy of which I showed them). He then stormed out and left the receptionist to apologize for their error and print out a new invoice for us to pay. So he scored a solid 1 star in my assessment.

It is amazing that all of the relatively inexperienced staff were excellent (with many actually being “impeccable”), and that the only unpleasant person we encountered was one of the duty managers. The hotel management needs to address this problem. Another suggestion relates to tipping. We had to sign about half a dozen bills during our stay (2 for dinner plus for various purchases while we were enjoying the Lounge room). Each bill included an entry for “Gratuity”, and we succumed to this pressure by adding around 10% to each payment. I think the hotel experience would be greatly improved for guests if they removed this and simply increased the prices by the average gratuity received by the hotel.

In summary, The Chateau is a very impressive hotel in a wonderful location and is definitely worth visiting, and probably also staying in. With any luck you will not meet the duty manager that we had an unpleasant 60 seconds with during our check-out.

Room Tip: Ask for one where both the bedroom itself and its bathroom have been renovated
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank PaulK1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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