Chateau Tongariro Hotel
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Chateau Tongariro Hotel is the perfect accommodation when skiing at Whakapapa ski field. The Chateau Tongariro is a majestic hotel at Whakapapa Village New Zealand, at the foot of Mt Ruapehu, central North Island. It was built in 1929, just before the onset of the Great Depression, and offers luxurious accommodation in a stunning setting.

Formerly known as the Grand Chateau, the 4-star property sits in the heart of the Dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park. The hotel has a total of 106 rooms with unsurpassed views of three volcanic peaks – Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.

The Chateau Tongariro Hotel Whakapapa has 2 restaurants, 2 cafes and 3 bars, and is most popular with those seeking a unique experience in a classy locale.

Where is the Chateau Tongariro?

The Chateau Tongariro is the first building which comes into view when you enter Whakapapa Village via State Highway 48 from National Park Village. Nestled on the snow-capped slopes of Mount Ruapehu, the iconic hotel is an easy and scenic 4-5 hours drive from Auckland or Wellington, and only 10 minutes from the Whakapapa ski field and 70 minutes from the Turoa ski field.

A shuttle to the Whakapapa Ski Field is available.

Whilst the most basic supplies are available at Whakapapa Village and nearby National Park Village, “serious” shoppers need to venture further afield to Ohakune, a 40 minute drive. But then again, you might not need to go anywhere! The Chateau Tongariro has enough dining and entertainment options to satisfy the needs of the most demanding guest. This said, think serenity, romance, grandeur and elegance, not wild parties!


The Chateau Tongariro at Mt Ruapehu has 106 rooms, each with fabulous views of the surrounding national park, and 9 motel units within Whakapapa village, comprising 4 one-bedroom units, and 5 two-bedroom units suited for groups and families.

The 106 hotel rooms in the heritage protected Chateau are divided into 14 standard rooms, 75 premium rooms, 3 superior rooms, 5 executive spa suites, one McLaren suite and one Presidential suite occupying the top floor. There are three disabled and four driver rooms.

The rooms are very comfortable and offer the usual amenities of a 4-star property, such as hair dryer, iron and ironing board, mini bar, safe, sky television, international direct dial telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, high speed internet and in-house movies.

Curiously, when the hotel was built in 1929, it was only given one wing. In 2005, as part of an extensive refurbishment, a second wing was finally added. It contains 40 rooms on five floors and replicates the style of the existing neo-Georgian wing.

Hotel Facilities

The award winning Chateau Tongariro is open year round. It has a nine-hole golf course (New Zealand’s highest golf course!), indoor heated plunge pool (with a very low ceiling, which adds to its character), sauna and gym.

The hotel has a guest laundry, ski storage, and drying room for your ski gear. It also boasts 24-hour room service, a porter service, fax and photocopying service, morning newspapers, train station transfers, and disabled facilities.

There’s wireless internet available. And for those wanting to rest their legs and have a quiet hit instead of a rigorous ski, there are Astroturf tennis courts. Alternatively, you can watch up to three movies each night in the in-house cinema.

The lounge deserves a special mention too. It’s fit for a king and oozes tradition. There are two fire places, a billiard table, you can play chess or read a book in the library. On weekends and during high season, a piano player will entertain you on the grand piano.

Finally, there’s a concierge and 24-hour reception. So even if you arrive way after midnight, you’ll be greeted with a warm and friendly smile.


There are various dining and drinking options at the Chateau Tongariro to tempt the most fastidious tastebuds. The Ruapehu Room is a restaurant that offers fine dining at its best, with international cuisine prepared by celebrated chefs. Breakfast is served here and can be included in the accommodation package. A three course set menu dinner can also be incorporated into the accommodation package.

Alternatively head to the Pihanga café and bar which serves snacks, lunch and dinner in a more casual setting. It comes complete with ski lift artefacts, historic photos and other snow memorabilia.

There’s a third eatery that’s open during the day: Fergusson’s Café. This is a lovely historic locale, serving breakfast, snacks and light lunches, as well as hot chocolate and coffee.

Finally across the road there’s Tussock Tavern, a pub-like venue managed by the same people who run the Chateau Tongariro. It serves gourmet pizzas, burgers and drinks by the rustic fire place. It’s open daily from 3pm until late, with extended hours over winter.

More Reasons to Stay at the Chateau Tongariro

The Chateau Tongariro is New Zealand’s answer to the famous Chateau Lake Louise at Banff National Park. In fact the NZ architect, Herbert Hall (1880-1939), based his model of the Chateau on the design of its namesake in Canada.

So if you’re into tradition, history and class, and enjoy a pristine, remote and awe-inspiring environment, the Chateau Tongariro is definitely for you.