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Solitaire Lodge

5.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We stayed at the small lodge (only 9 or 10 rooms/suites) for three nights to explore the sights and culture around Rotorua. It‘s a beautiful 20 minute drive to town. Our solitaire suite was one of the oldest in the complex and rather plush, not exactly what we had expected. The view was great but the flooring and the bedroom and living room could use a makeover, it‘s all clean and nice but very outdated and stuffed with too much furniture. We had to leave the windows open all the time to cover the „old“ smell with fresh air. The bathroom had been renovated and lived up to high standards with a free standing tub and floor heating and a modern design. If they renovated the rest of the suite in the same style it would be the perfect Home away from Home. The managers were super nice and very outgoing and helpful as was the rest of the team. They all provided helpful information on the surroundings and what to do and where to go. The lodge offers many fully organized tours which we enjoyed a lot although bookings through the lodge were slightly more expensive than booking it via the i Site Information Center in Rotorua or directly with the tour companies. The atmosphere is more like a luxurious bed and breakfast than a hotel: in the evenings guests meet in the living room with great views of Lake Tarawera for drinks and canapés from 7pm on, to mix and mingle if they want, before dinner is being served at 8pm. The adjoining small restaurant with an open kitchen offers great food, a 5 course menu each night, which was really excellent. The fixed dinner time is something we had to get used to at first. Breakfast was also very good with many delicious options from the a la carte menu. Everything tasted great and was lovingly arranged. The lunch menu offers a variety of light choices and if you‘re on a day tour you get a nicely packed lunch box. We will definitely stay here again if they modernize the older suites, otherwise we feel that the place is a bit overpriced but in a beautiful location.

The Lodge is set on a small peninsula on Lake Tarawera, which means that it is very private and serene but also has spectacular views. I could feel the tension melt away after our long and tortuous trip (missed connection, confusion at Sydney immigration because Qantas representative failed to show up at our gate, unexpected overnight stay in Sydney due to Qantas delay, and mad drive from Aukland because we were one day late). Everybody was warm and welcoming and the food was very good. The rooms were huge and immaculate and...did I mention the view?

We had a terrific stay at the Solitaire Lodge. Extremely comfortable room and excellent food. The Lodge structure is a sort of classic ‘80s architecture, now a bit dated, but warm, welcoming and very relaxing. It felt like we’d been invited to someone’s comfortable country house for the weekend. Views are spectacular across the lake. Enjoyed the hike to Tarawera Falls. Friendly staff and a beautiful setting!

It is true that Solitaire is showing it's age and does not provide the amenities and modernity of some of the North Island's alternative 'five star' lodges, but the setting and intimacy the property affords with the lake and the volcanic mountains is unmatched. To wake early and hear the birds and see the sun rising over Lake Tarawera is one of the most wonderful travel experiences that I have had. The drive in from Rotorua offers some incredible views and the food was top notch.

My wife and I decided to take a short break in New Zealand and selected Solitaire Lodge primarily because it was an easy 3 hour drive from Auckland. We certainly made the right choice. Our hosts, Wayne and Ingrid, were wonderful from the moment we arrived at the car park as were all the other staff at Solitaire Lodge. Set on a beautiful point on a lake about 20 minutes out of Rotorua the Lodge is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The room we stayed in, the Tarawera Suite, was fantastic with sweeping 180 degree views over the lake and mountains. The meals, prepared by David and Monica, were first rate. If New Zealand is on your list of places to visit then spend a few nights at Solitaire Lodge. Definitely worth the visit.

We took the Solitaire Suite which had two rooms and also took the thermal spa pool experience in the morning, which was excellent. The rooms were extremely well appointed and comfortable with a great view over the lake. Dinner, canapes and drinks were all superb as was breakfast and they even provided us a nice packed lunch for the road. Our hosts, led by Pippa, were excellent!

Solitaire lodge is a deluxe all inclusive lodge in a delightful location. Staff were friendly and service was excellent. We would have no hesitation in recommending it. The only BUT is that it is 50% more expensive than an equivalent place in U.K./Ireland. A 2 night break in a UK deluxe boutique hotel with a Michelin star restaurant and having done 'damage' to the wine list would cost £1200-1400 (say NZ$2,000). Solitaire costs nz $3000 and dinner is very good but well short of Michelin star

Our 2 day stay at Solitaire Lodge was perfect! From the moment Nick met us when we arrived after a long day of travelling, to the moment we left we could not fault a thing. We loved the way Nick and Pip looked after our every need without fussing or being intrusive, they gave us just the right amount of attention. Our room was spacious and luxuriously beautiful and had the most amazing view of the lake (Room #2). The food was absolutely wonderful; great quality and showcasing local in-season produce (taking into account my food allergies as if it were no bother at all). We loved the complimentary pre-dinner drinks and the chance to chat for a short time with others staying at the lodge. As others have mentioned, yes it would have been great if the dinner wines were included, but the complimentary in room beverages and snacks made up for that. We really appreciated the nice touch of supplying us with a picnic lunch on the day we checked out, it really made things easy. We loved our time here and would definitely recommend it as a beautiful place to stay if you visit NZ. The only problem for us was that every place we stayed at after this lodge couldn't measure up, so if you are travelling make sure you got to Solitaire at the end so you leave the best for last.

Quick Overview: Solitaire Lodge is located on the beautiful Lake Tarawera and is in close proximity to Te Puia for geothermal wonders and Māori cultural learnings. We loved everything about our stay and would highly recommend if headed to Rotorua. Staff: Nick, Pip, & Graham were exceptional hosts during our stay. All three were extremely knowledgeable about the surrounding area, and they really went out of their way to ensure our comfort. Accommodations: We stayed in the Tarawera Suite in the property's main lodge, which was very convenient for meals and cocktails. In addition to the convenience, the views from the suite are absolutely stunning! Panoramic views of the lake and the nearby Mount Tarawera, an extremely comfortable king sized bed, and a clean bathroom that featured Molton Brown products all made for quite the relaxing stay. To Note: When you arrive at a property for the first time there is always a bit of a feeling out period. Truthfully, I felt like the feeling out period was a little bit longer at Solitaire than at most of the other places I've stayed. However, once we settled in and absorbed the vibes I must say that the level of comfort was higher than at most any place I've stayed. I give credit to our hosts for such a warm welcome. I also feel like I need to give a special 'tip of the hat' to Graham - he's good! Graham was our host during both dinners we ate on property (which by the way, I must recommend eating on property because the food and service are both top notch and are anything but boring). Graham knows his wines (all spirits, really), he grew up in the area, and is a kind and hilarious soul. Final Thoughts: If you're headed to Rotorua then you should really consider staying at Solitaire Lodge.

From the moment we arrived until our departure, a first rate experience. The rooms are spacious, fresh and clean with stunning lake views, including from our room 4 outside bath! Complimentary mini bar is an added bonus. The standard of the food, cooking and quality of ingedients, was first class for breakfast, lunch and the five course dinner. An easy walk to the lake offers opportunities to take a kayak or boat out onto the lake or just relax by the shore. Nick and Pip are gracious and welcoming hosts who set a relaxing tone for our stay, thank you.

16 Ronald Road Lake Tarawera

Hotel highlights

  • Free full breakfast
  • Free WiFi and wired Internet in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining

Located 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Lake Tarawera, Solitaire Lodge is within a 15-minute drive of Buried Village. This 5-star lodge has 9 guestrooms and offers conveniences like free breakfast, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking. It's on a lake and also close to Lake Okareka.


Start your day off right with a free full breakfast. Sit down for a leisurely bite to eat at the onsite restaurant, or enjoy a drink at the bar/lounge. Satisfy your hunger from the comfort of your room with room service.


All of Solitaire Lodge's 9 rooms are air-conditioned and have an array of amenities, including free minibar items, balconies, and refrigerators. Guests can expect LCD TVs with satellite channels, along with free WiFi and wired Internet. Bathrooms offer hair dryers and designer toiletries, and beds sport premium bedding. Other standard amenities include coffee makers, free bottled water, and ceiling fans.

Property features

Renovated in 2014, Solitaire Lodge offers free WiFi in public areas, conference space, and a terrace. If you plan to drive, free parking is available. Front-desk staff can answer questions 24/7, and assist with dry cleaning/laundry, concierge services, and luggage storage. Other amenities at this beach lodge include a garden, a picnic area, and a fireplace in the lobby.

Room options

Suite (Solitaire Suite)

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Suite (Tarawera Suite)

King 1 | Twin 1 | Sleeps 3


King 1 | Sleeps 3

Standard Room

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

100% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 145 reviews