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“Beautiful location, great room, very few dining choices”

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The Hermitage Hotel
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, great room, very few dining choices”
Reviewed 21 February 2012

I aboslutely loved our stay in Mt. Cook village in the motel section of the Hermitage. Our room was cozy and we had great views of the mountains, and we had a wonderful time hiking around the area. However, I wish I would have known that there are only 3 or 4 dining choices and that there is no food market in the village. Upon arrival, the reception staff told us that there are only two options: the Panorama Restaurant (horribly overpriced for sub-par food) or the buffet. We tried the Panorama on the first night and it was incredibly disappointing. Do yourself a favor and go to the Old Mountaineer restaurant instead - it's on the other side of the visitor's center outside of the hotel. Much better value and atmosphere. There's also the Chamois bar by the motel rooms that serves food until about 8:30. All restaurants close early, so keep that in mind. If I were to go back, I'd make sure to stock up on food before heading to the village.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank mhunter29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Oxton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2012

The signposting for reception as you approach the Hermitage is not at all clear. We booked a motel studio for 3 days, which had modest but sensibly equipped accommodation within easy distance of the main hotel, where we had adequate continental breakfasts. We had an excellent New Year's Eve dinner in the Panorama restaurant as a treat and had a reasonable buffet supper on another night but it is very expensive so bringing food to cook for oneself in the studio (There are no shops in the vicinity to buy supplies) is well worth it. The good range of walks are well signposted and we were lucky to have magnificent views because the mountains were clearly visible while we were there despite a thick mist one morning when they were invisible! Without the views we would have been very disappointed.

Room Tip: Motel Studios are roomy and clean with all the equipment needed for self catering which is a cheaper...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JKArnold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coleford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
103 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2012

This place has two things going for it - the position, which is simply stunning, and the friendliness of the staff, which is fine. After this, there is little to say that is positive. We found that the Reception Staff were not all fluent in English, which led to confusion and an inability to discuss issues. The term "Village" is simply absurd; it is rather a hotel complex of various types of rooms with nothing special about any of them going by what other people had to say. There is virtually no choice of where to eat and be warned; if you intend to self cater you must bring everything you need from over 60 kilometres away because you can't buy anything there. We stayed for one night (quite a common thing, I imagine) and were unable to visit the famous restaurant because it was booked out for a Wedding. This is simply unbelevable, unacceptable and utterly incompetent. Instead, we were directed (at an unsuitable hour, presumably because the coach parties were all put in during sensible hours) to a buffet which was potentially fair to good but was actually very unappetising because the staff seemed incapable of maintaining it to an acceptable standard after it had been used by earlier guests. The cost of this inferior buffet was enormous - the biggest (and actually the only) rip off we experienced in NZ. The problem is that you simply have to visit this place because of its iconic status - but if I were you I would stay somewhere else and do it as a day trip, at least until they find someone competent to run this potentially wonderful place.

Room Tip: Apparently standard rooms are small; motel rooms are large and have facilities if you bring your own...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank owbutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hermitage_GM, Manager at The Hermitage Hotel, responded to this review, 17 February 2012
Dear valuable guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback regarding your recent stay at the Hermitage Hotel Aoraki Mount Cook on TripAdvisor.com.
Your feedback is important to us as it helps us to understand where we do right and where we can improve our services so that all guests visiting us can enjoy and relax while with us.
In regards to your comments, this time of the year we are fortunate to welcome many different nationalities to the hotel and our aim is to make all of them feel welcome. This requires that we have a multi-lingual team employed to ensure that communication with our guests is not a problem. All of our front office team members are either New Zealander Citizen or totally fluent in English having been resident in this country for some time.
I also would like to clarify that we have at this very moment around 300+ people living at the Aoraki Mount Cook Village. I can only imagine your expectation on a ‘village’ with small shops etc, but would like to advise you that there are strong regulations in place of 'who is' or 'who is not' allowed to operate a business in a National Park. These regulations also regulate the possibility of having a full grocery store onsite. At the hotel’s retail center we offer guests the service to purchase basic grocery items and all those personal items they may have forgotten to bring with them. If you would have asked one of our service professionals we would have advised you on this service which is also advertised on the hotels website and in the in-room compendium.
I understand and share with you the feeling that it is far from ideal to have one of the villages 4 dinner options exclusively booked out with a wedding. The booking has been guaranteed to the wedding party over a year ago by previous management, which has since left the hotel. There was no better way on how the situation could have been dealt with what would have ensured a win-win situation for all of our guests. I sincerely apologies for the inconvenience and can assure you that since then procedures have been put in place which guarantee that a similar situation will not happen again in the future.
I have also taken onboard the comment you made in regards to the value for money aspect of our dinner buffet in the Alpine Restaurant and I am happy to advise that we have since added even more value to the buffet to ensure a dinner experience for all our guests.
Ones again, thank you for your feedback and the positive mentioning of our friendly service team, We will continue to aim for perfection so that all of our guests leaving the hotel with the aim to return back to the Hermitage hotel in the future.

Kind regards,

Alexander Tschampel
Operations Manager
The Hermitage Hotel
Aoraki Mount Cook
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
55 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

This hotel complex is pretty much the only game around. It's a hotel complex with tourist grade rooms and large groups coming and going. The rooms are okay and nothing more as we expected. It did the job and one should not expect more.
The complex is large with a movie theater showing films of interest such as the life story of Sir Edmond Hillary the great New Zealand mountain climber. There is a small museum dedicated to his life as well. The theater also transforms into a planetarium and 3D theater for other shows. It's all very helpful if you are interested in the local environment.
Staff are helpful if a bit under-experienced but they got the job done with smiles.
Our main problem was the food. The Panorama restaurant, their upscale choice was exemplary. However, their regular dining buffet at breakfast and dinner, where most travellers would dine, was disappointing. The food was mostly without much flavor and was designed to please as many travelers from as many places as possible. We tasted virtually all of it but found little to recommend.
Mt. Cook is a great place to visit and this hotel will not disappoint if one doesn't expect too much.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank shoemouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Preston, Lancs
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2012

We stayed at The Hermitage in January 2012. We were very excited as it has an amazing location and advertises itself as a bit special. We booked a chalet at $269 AUD for the night, so were expecting something pretty good. We were so disappointed. The chalet was totally dated, the facilities were average and it wasn't clean. Having paid so much, we rang reception and asked to be moved to the main hotel. They tried to sell us a Mount Cook view room for over $300, despite the fact it was extremely cloudy and you couldn't see the mountain! We settled for a normal room with was $209 (and previously had been advertised as not available on the website). The room was fine, clean and spacious, apart from the bathroom which was tiny.

We ate in the buffet restaurant but ordered from the al a carte Panorama menu. We were supposed to eat in the Panarama restaurant but there was a wedding on, so we had to sit next door. The food was good, although my main course came out cold.

Overall I just expected a bit more. The Hermitage monopolises the trade in the area, being the only hotel really, so its like they think they don't have to make an effort. It's also massively overpriced. Probably wouldn't go back.

Room Tip: Don't book the chalets!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank WeeDougie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hermitage Hotel

Property: The Hermitage Hotel
Address: 89 Terrace Road | Alpine Village, Mt. Cook Village, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7999, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Mackenzie District > Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Mt. Cook Village
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mt. Cook Village
Price range (per night): $149 - $513
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Hermitage Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 164
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From an intrepid journey through glacial valleys to a mouth-watering culinary dining adventure, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect 'base camp' to discover your Peak Experience. Choose from premium hotel rooms, motel units or cozy chalets. Add world-class activities such as Glacier Explorers, Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours, Big Sky Stargazing, Encounter Day Walks, scenic flights or the visual extravaganza of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and you have a unique, year-round alpine adventure perfect for the family holiday or your next romantic getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook Village
Hermitage New Zealand
The Hermitage Hotel New Zealand/Mt. Cook Village

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