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Solitaire Lodge

5.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

The lodge had come highly recommended from friends. I've stayed in a couple of NZ's luxury lodges (including Cape Kidnappers), so I had very high expectations of Solitaire - it was positioned as being close to the same level as CK. It wasn't. Solitaire has a truly beautiful setting, with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets over the lake and a starry sky at night. The hosts, Nick and Pip, were wonderful - kind, welcoming, and easy to talk to. We were upgraded to a suite, given that we were there during the week in shoulder/low season, which was a really nice gesture that we appreciated. The suite was comfortable and the views were incredible. The food was good, but not outstanding, which is what you'd expect for the cost of full tariff. The fully stocked mini bar included bottles of bubbles that sell for less than $10 in the grocery store. It seemed sad, rather than befitting of a luxury lodge. The wine on offer was okay - definitely not one of the better NZ wine selections, which you'd expect at a luxury lodge. If you aren't big into food or wine, you probably won't care, but if you're expecting the knock out food and wine that NZ luxury lodges are known to deliver, you'll be disappointed (as I was). The furnishings and decor are tired - something out of the 80s and 90s - although generally in good condition. It just doesn't feel particularly special or luxurious, just somewhat high end. One thing we were very unimpressed with was the cost of the boat to the Tarawera Falls track. It was $300, which we were told was to cover the cost of fuel. Now, I don't know how much fuel a speedboat uses on a 20 minute trip across the lake (four times - there and back for the drop off and there and back for the pick up) but I find it hard to believe it's $300 worth. Yes - we were told the cost upfront and yes - we decided to do it and yes - the falls track was awesome and a highlight of our time at Solitaire, HOWEVER it seemed like a total rip-off in terms of the boat cost, given how much we were already paying for our full tariff. So yes, while the setting was stunning and the people were great, the lodge was tired and overpriced and I wouldn't recommend it for people looking for a true NZ luxury lodge experience, particularly when it comes to food and drink.

We enjoyed a really wonderful 2 day stay at Solitaire Lodge. The Lodge is wonderful, the rooms spacious and comfortable, the service excellent, and the food and wine superb. The location and views are outstanding. So glad we found this wonderful accommodation.

This is a wonderful lodge in an amazing setting right on the edge of the lake. Excellent attention to detail throughout. The hosts were really welcoming and did all they could to ensure we had the best time. The highlight was an early morning boat trip to the natural thermal pools, a must do!

This was definitely one of the highlights of our holiday in NZ. Made to feel really welcome by Nick who gave us a tour and some background knowledge of the lodge. Set on a bluff above the lake, in a very picturesque setting. Our room was gorgeous, very large and spacious with very comfortable furnishings and great storage. Beautiful views of the grounds, lake and mountains. Gorgeous bathroom suite, again spacious and clean. Aperitifs in the lounge with the other guests was delightful and gave us an opportunity to meet and share journey stories. The dinner was delicious, some of the best food we had in NZ. The staff are all very friendly and professional and made our stay so special. Enjoyed a walk around the area one morning and was invited in for coffee with a really nice resident of the area. Also enjoyed an amazing helicopter tour of White Island with Rachel and also up to the mountain. Wow, what a special place this is. Thank you to all. Would highly recommend.

Excellent lodge, with a nice setting and great service. The kitchen staff are very impressive, and the hosts are great. Less stuffy than Huka Lodge. I think it is a New Zealand thing, but the "all inclusive" on wine and food is a little confusing / misleading, as it isn't actually all inclusive, there seems to be a point at which the Lodge start charging you for wine, for example, although that is not communicated. With candour, my wife and I enjoyed 3 bottles of wine per evening, and I think we were charged for the third, so we aren't complaining, but there could be greater clarity with regards to what all inclusive means.

My husband and I visited Solitaire a few weeks back and it was one of the highlights of our time in New Zealand. The service was great, food was amazing and they created delicious vegetarian meals for us by request. They also had great recommendations for activities, including a mountain bike around the beautiful lakes near the property. Would highly recommend this property to anyone visiting the Rotorua area!

Fabulous scenic location high on a bluff above a lake. Even better than the view is the food, service and the people. Many more amenities than expected. Use of boats, kayak and fishing all available. 5 star all across the board.

My wife and I spent 2 nights at this beautiful place on our visit to the north Island. We stayed in the Tarawera Suite which was huge and with amazing views of the lake. I highly recommend this suite as the views from the giant windows were just incredible. We were the only people staying at the lodge during our stay so we had the entire place to ourselves. The owners were very friendly and quite helpful in planning our time in Rotorua. We went white water rafting which was a lot of fun and used the free kayaks to explore the lake. The breakfast and five course dinner was just great. We enjoyed the pre dinner happy hour as well. It was very warm during our stay and the the large suite had air conditioning in the bedroom which was quite affective but the bathroom area and small dining area did get fairly warm during the day but at night everything cooled off well and the bedroom was quite cool and comfortable in the evening. My only criticism was I just could not understand why the dinner did not include the wine pairings. It was not a big deal as we purchased a bottle of wine each night with dinner but for the price of the room at about 1800 dollars US per night I was expecting the wine to be included. Other than that small issue it was a great place to stay. There are many other activities available through the hotel but we did not use them.

This is a wonderful lodge with warm and efficient service, very beautiful views and quite comfortable rooms. Very good food with total flexibility from chefs. Lodge managers Tip and Nick are helpful, attentive and the staff is excellent.

Stayed here for two nights on the way south. Friendly greeting from Nick. Stunning views over the lake from lounge and our room. All the facilities you would expect in the room. Lovely 5 course dinner and breakfast was great. Service was always helpful and friendly. Did mountain bike package which we felt was slightly expensive with unclear directions.

Room options

Suite (Solitaire Suite)

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Suite (Tarawera Suite)

King 1 | Twin 1 | Sleeps 3


King 1 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

100.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 156 reviews