Mount Ruapehu – from the luxury side

Winter is fast approaching and as we sadly store away our bikini’s Chelsey thought that it was time to remind you why winter can be so fab – snow! Even if you’re a virgin snow bunny you can still get a lot out of a trip to the mountain and for those of us who are a bit more experienced we have all done our time in either the campervan or with ten friends piled into one bunkroom of a hostel. It was all about getting up the mountain and having a good time.

As time has moved on many of us have grown more particular with our tastes, so we thought it was time that Chelsey went grown up on the mountain and explored some of the accommodation greats that little old Ruapehu has to offer.

Powderhorn Chateau

Our week of snow adventure started at one of Ohakune’s infamous hotels and landmarks - situated at the doorstep of the spectacular World Heritage Tongariro National Park and Mount Ruapehu’s Turoa ski field it is hard to match the Powderhorn Chateau for its location and facilities.

Chelsey enjoyed two fantastic nights in the Powderhorn – never has hanging with friends in the Powderkeg been so much fun when we knew our room was a mere hallway away.

Combining all the features of a hotel with the ambience of a European alpine lodge, the Powderhorn sports an incredible (massive) indoor spa,  two restaurants, 30 ensuited rooms, Ski & Snowboard Store, and a ‘mansion’ which can sleep between six and eight adults.

The Powderkeg and the Matterhorn restaurants offer a high standard of dining, after a hard day out on the slopes elegantly face-planting yourself down the mountain there’s nothing like kicking back with the complimentary mulled wine next to the open fire upstairs in the immaculate Matterhorn restaurant.

The Powederkeg has become the heart of Ohakune’s nightlife with open fires, great drink specials, coffees and bar snacks, including a delicious après ski cheese platter. Any Friday or Saturday will see you being dragged up onto the tables to let loose to the likes of Kora’s Flow with a diverse range of North Island snow enthusiasts.

Each suite features unique individual touches, specifically the timbered interiors, queen-sized beds and large bathrooms (with their own mini drying room!) create a homely feel. Combining all modern facilities with the ambience of a friendly accommodation, the Powderhorn Chateau is an ideal choice for those seeking adventure mixed with a little class and a lot of fun.

Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Taking the leisurely drive 45 minutes around the other side of our great mountain you come across National Park – definitely doesn’t have the same après ski allure and nightlife of Ohakune with fewer bars and restaurants, but instead entices you with its dual listed World Heritage status.

The obvious choice for accommodation here is the The Bayview Chateau Tongariro. The Chateau is an icon hotel that grandly holds its position at the base of the mountain with three volcanoes as a backdrop. Its neo-Georgian style allows it to sit elegantly without being monstered by the natural scenery.

It’s the largest hotel in the area with 106 rooms – each with their own spectacular view of the surrounding national park, there are also nine motel units within the Whakapapa Village.

We saved this place for our last night, knowing we could relax our aching muscles in the sauna and hot plunge pool or even our own jet spa in the room, and as an added bonus we were delighted to find our lavish room contained its own gas fire to curl up in front of with a well deserved bottle of red.

Dinner was in the Mt Ruapehu room, probably one of the most formal restaurant settings on the mountain. Silver service, heavy drapes and an overall atmosphere that reminds you of genteel days in times gone past makes for a delightful evening!

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  • Lauren says
    Wow that looks very nice!
  • KH says
    Ooooh this does look nice!
  • Cinty says
    Very nice. Maybe Chelsey should do a promo? I could never afford anything luxurious :(
    • 5 Star Chikita says
      I agree Cinty. Around 4 hears ago they did a deal that my partner and i snapped up for our anniversary. Great plus to stay been even on special it wasnt cheap.
    • coco says
      Powderhorn Chateau
      I think it would be so nice to stay there, possibly just out of my budget range lol :)
    • Anna says
      we have a house near ruapehu... its such a nice area!!
    • KH says
      Awww nice!!
    • Wice says
      I love National Park in the summer too. There are the most amazing walks to do. You can easily spend a week there and do something different every day – waterfalls, springs, climbing, caves, wildlife – all free! You can also canoe, kayak, mountain bike, climb the mountain, take a chairlift ride, play golf, fly kites, go fishing… If the price of accommodation is problem, then stay a bit further afield – lots of cheap places to rent or stay for bit (don’t know if you can camp as well). DOC runs fantastic summer programmes and there are activities suitable no matter what your age or fitness. For those with a jingle in their pockets there are loads of adventures activities to spend it on – 4x4 vehicles, horse riding, jet boating... Go National Park. I t really is a wonderful change from summer at the beach!
    • flowery3 says
      I ended up with knee surgery and crutches for ages after ski-ing lessons, so wont be doing that again - but still love the snow. I hear they have tobogganing up there, does anyone know if thats true?!
      That would be ace - snow fun, but sat down!
      • 5 Star Chikita says
        There is definitely tobogganing there :) Its great fun and last time i went they had special sloap for it on Whakapapa
        side :)
      • flowery3 says
        BTW Is the powderhorn up in the mountains and snow, or do you have to drive to get up to the snow? Im sure some of you folks that have been kiwis longer than me will know!
      • Wice says
        I just had a look at accomodation prices at the Chateau Tongariro and honestly, it's not expensive with rooms advertised on a number of websites from $143 + GST ($165) and most sites advertising double rooms at under $200. There are also lots of inexpensive places to eat nearby if you want to save money.

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