No service and dirty
There are not a lot of places to stay in Waitomo. This one looked really amazing from the picture on the website. When I called, they didn't seem terribly organised but then everyone has a bad day. When I arrived, I received a quick hello and was issued with a room key and pointed in the general direction of the room. No offer of assistance or showing me the room. I was a bit taken aback. At checkout, they basically took the money and said goodbye. There was no offer of breakfast or enquiry as to how my stay was. Very rude to say the least! The place does look great at night. In the day, the facade is peeling. The corridors smell damp and the place is in need of a good clean. There was dust on all the fittings and mould on the bathroom ceiling. Reminded me of the Adam's Family!
This hotel must have been stunning in its day. When you are in the dining room you can easily imagine that you are back in the 1920's surrounded by great and the good of the time.
These days the hotel is in need of some work, but still retains a huge amount of character. It certainly isn't the most luxurious hotel I have ever stayed in, but I would highly recommend it if you go to Waitomo Caves to see the glow worms. There is also a wing for backpackers which is quite a bit cheaper.
The restaurant serves a mean meal too - worth eating in, which I find is rare in hotels.
The hotel these days is run by the Moaris on reclaimed land and appears to be slowly being renovated.
One word of warning if you are a smoker however is that due to the structure of the building (it is all wood) it is not allowed to smoke inside. The dining room is spectacular. The rooms are a little basic but have a very unique feel to them. The views down from the top of the hill are very good too, especially on a misty morning at sunrise.