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Reviewed 20 March 2013

First of all, let me please advise anyone who is visiting Tongariro, do spend some extra cash and stay at the Chateau or any other accommodation, rather than this one. I think I have never seen such a bad service in such a short period of time. I arrived one night at 8. 30 and checked in. I was told that the kitchen would only close at 9 and therefore I was there at 8.45. Surprisingly one of the staff members informed me that I could only have a pizza (pre cooked by the way) and since I was hungry I decided to order and so I sat down. He brought the pizza in a box and I asked if I could have a cutlery. This was followed by an upset and boring look from the waiter. He did not even ask what I wanted to drink?!? The next day, while trying to pay, the receptionist informed me that I had to pay three extra items which I had not eaten, probably as I a kind of vengeance from the waiter's behalf. The receptionist was then upset when I informed that it hadnt been me and started arguing. Overall, really bad rooms fro wha you pay, awful bathrooms and the worst staff ever!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Hans B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2013

First and foremost: they should consider putting the "backpakers" sign on every room that is in this standard. Secondly, divide it into sections separately reviewed in TripAdvisor. This would prevent confusion. I will tell you about my experience in the "cheap" area. For a hotel - terrible, for hostel - average.
You are being informed on the website that this is a budget room. Nevertheless, nothing prepares you for the shock of seeing someone’s menstrual blood on the toilet. Apparently they are not cleaned between customers.
Nice things about this place – restaurant with good food and very nice terrace with great volcano view. There is also guest lounge where you can prepare breakfast yourself.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Anna_Maria_Estera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2013

Incredibly cheap deal online - but the room (301) was right by entrance/reception and walls are thin so it was very noisy..BUT...reception staffer was helpful and spent time finding an alternative room (305) which was excellent for me: a spacious twin single room with sliding door to a small deck (2 chairs and small table) overlooking the extraordinary landscape of the central plateau. Active volcano over to the right, downlands falling away to distant ranges of hills in front and the iconic 'Bayview Chateau Tongariro' (a stately old hotel) amongst the mountain beech trees to the left. Magical.
Room was well equipped: bed was very comfortable, bathroom was fine, pillows were all the same type (a bit firm and high for me), tea and coffee making facilities, a good sized fridge.
Pleasant cleaning staff.
Only quibble is the very thin walls - I could hear my neighbours clearly. In the summer many visitors to the area are hiking/tramping so they get up early but don't party late. In winter (skiing just up the road at Whakapapa skifield) it might be a bit rowdier in the evenings.
There is no food shop at Whakapapa village: bring your food with you OR eat at either the Skotel restaurant (which I didn't try), the Tussock Bar and Restaurant (standard pub fare), the Chateau Tongariro restaurant (we had a conference deal, the food we were served was a bit old-fashioned) or the Pihanga cafe (cafe-restaurant style meals, open fairly late).

Room Tip: Ask for a view overlooking the plateau and away from the reception area.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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Thank thoughtfuldancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2013

People treated us like they were always doing us a favour. One thing that for me is personally unacceptable is when you pay for a service or a product and still no one respects you. There was always an arrogant attitude coming from the staff and actually rude. I stayed there two nights, and I got seriously annoyed and upset by the treatment that was given to us especially from the restaurant staff. I would not recommend this place. If I had know better, I would have just rented a campervan instead of a car and slept in the car. At least I wouldnt have been upset by anyone rude!!

Hate hotels that have no sense of what the word HOSPITALITY mean.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank AntoniaRebelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yuxiang, General Manager at Skotel Alpine Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2013

The vast majority of our hotel reviews are very positive about the helpfulness of our staff. Please come back to me with some specific issue for me to investigate since this is uncharacteristic of our staff.

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Reviewed 17 February 2013

My friends and I had a horrible experience at Skotel this weekend. It is located in the national park but the scenery on our ride up from Wellington was much more beautiful than Skotel's surroundings. We arrived on Friday at 8:45 PM and were told we could not order anything at the restaurant because the kitchen was closed. We then asked where we could go nearby to order something and our waiter told us that everywhere else was closed. He then said, "Fine, you can order from a limited menu--just pizza." So, we ordered two pizzas which he proceeded to give us in take-away containers. When we told him we planned on eating in the restaurant like everyone else, he came back 5 minutes later with tiny plates and no silverware. We had to ask three times for everything necessary to eat our food and the pizza slices were too big for the plates he gave us. The pizza itself was greasy and disgusting. The next day we ate there for breakfast. The prices were exorbitant--9 dollars for toast and coffee/tea/juice. The waitress was very rude and after some confusion in ordering, we saw the next day that she had charged us more than three times what was correct for the experience! We were not pleased. We also later discovered that there a great number of restaurants in the nearby area, all of which stay open past nine. So, the waiter lied to us so that we would eat there.

The front desk staff were also rude and unknowledgeable. They gave us wrong information about everything from the shuttle to the surrounding area, and we almost missed the (expensive) shuttle to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing because of it. This hotel specializes in people coming to hike the area, so they should know things as simple as how to get there and how much it will cost. Also, it would be nice if they offered hikers granola bars or water for free. Instead, they sell a limited variety for very high prices and when we asked about a nearby grocery store they once again gave us false information.

The room itself was pretty nice. The beds were very comfortable and it was relatively clean. We had a backpacking room with four beds and we each paid 25 a night.

Nevertheless, I did not enjoy my experience here at all. People would have better luck at one of the many hotels/backpackers in National Park village. Do not go here!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank dcteen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yuxiang, General Manager at Skotel Alpine Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2013

It was unfair to suggest our waiter was lying to get extra business. He gained no benefit from an extra meal order. Our kitchen had shut and he was trying to be helpful by offering pizza. He was correct that all of our restaurants in our Village shut before we do, but he should have informed the guests that in another village, 14 km away, there were restaurants still open. We apologise for that omission and for the mistake in double billing - partly caused by a change in order, mid-service.
The high NZ dollar does make food seem expensive in New Zealand but the Skotel price of $9NZD for one person of unlimited quantities of help-yourself varieties of toast, spreads, coffee or tea, plus juice is good value. In the hotel two hundred metres down the road a similar breakfast also costs $9 and in the local coffee shop it is more. It was necessary for our waitress to explain that, if only one has ordered, two people should not be eating from the buffet.

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