Chateau Tongariiro, Tongariiro NP

Château Tongariiro

It has been 20 years since our last visit and we were really looking forward to a couple of nice days at the Château. The Château had impressed in style back then and we thought the restaurant innovative all those years ago. On our arrival, evidence of renewal was everywhere and we decided to upgrade and splurge a bit here, for old times sake. 

Unfortunately, it seems, the management has not evolved much and kept up with the times. Firstly the charming restaurant seems to be in a time warp. 20 years on and same menu. Bluff oysters were a special because of the season, but otherwise we saw rack of lamb, venison, free range chook, all done the traditional way, same old, same old. The quality was probably quite good but we felt the repetition was not justified, we would try something else.

And then there were the hotel rooms. We saw lots of rooms unfortunately. Our premium room in the old wing was quite charming, we loved it, for a little while. And then they turned the cold water off. 4 times the management assured us they had fixed it and 5 times we had to trudge down to seek a solution. And then someone tried to move us. Much lesser room, no price adjustment offered, no water, no explanation, no hope. We saw half the hotel this way. Until a senior manager saw the light and moved us to a slightly better room in the new wing. This finally worked, but it was getting quite dark now.

Next morning the management team couldn’t see that we were inconvenienced … for how many hours? Ironically another couple occupying a room in the same old wing let it be known that they also had no water for a couple of days either, to mild amusement from the management … “you are all right aren’t you?” whats the problem? With management like this maybe we won’t be back soon, which will be a bit of a shame – we love the location and the tramping.

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