Hotel review: What it’s like to stay at the Hilton Lake Taupō


The resort-style heritage hotel built in 1889 is situated on a hilltop with beautiful sprawling views in the distance of the lake – and on a clear day, of Mt Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngāuruhoe. The short cab drive from the airport costs around $20. The hotel does a great transfer service, too. It’s a 10-minute drive away from the main town centre, so you’re in prime position here.

Check-in experience: Having only officially re-opened post lockdown on July 1, our check in at the tail-end of July was still fresh with excitement, with that buzz of being back in business. Staff were quick and helpful to check us in, despite being rushed off their feet because of 100 per cent occupancy the weekend we visited. There’s herbal tea and fresh water in the foyer if you need refreshment. If your room isn’t ready, the main eatery, Bistro Lago, offers sprawling fireplaces and leather couches to hang out.

What’s in the neighbourhood? It’s conveniently situated right next to Taupō De Bretts Hot Springs, with a waterpark and day spa facilities. Take a short, five-minute drive to the start of a two-hour hike up Mt Tauhara, or take a morning stroll to Industrie French Kitchen for fresh croissants and coffee.

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