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Skotel Alpine Resort, Whakapapa Village, New Zealand

by Gaycation Magazine

Skotel Alpine Resort

For summer hiking and winter skiing, Whakapapa Village is a grand place to stay. The volcanic slopes of Mount Ruapehu are close at hand. The Village is located at the base of the access road to Whakapapa ski field on the western side of Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano. In winter, shuttle buses operate to and from the ski field, which has more than thirty runs, equipment rental, ski schools, cafés, and crèche facilities. Summer is a time for canoeing, white water rafting and hiking in the Tongariro National Park. Expeditions include the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro Northern Circuit, and the Crater Rim.

Established in 1887, Tongariro was the first national park in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. It is also a dual World Heritage area, a status which recognises the park’s important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features. It is a place of extremes and surprises, a place to explore and remember. From herb fields to forests, from tranquil lakes to desert-like plateau and active volcanoes—Tongariro has them all.

Games Room

Enjoy the clear waters of the Tongariro National Park from your base at the Skotel Alpine Resort, the highest hotel in New Zealand. Indulge yourself at a true alpine retreat nestled in the tussock on the edge of the Whakapapa Village in the heart of the Tongariro National Park. Skotel’s wood décor will allow you to appreciate the natural wonder of the Tongariro National Park. After an exciting day of skiing, tramping, mountain biking, or exploring, come back to the Skotel and relax in the sauna and spa pool, unwind at the Terrace Bar by the fire, or enjoy dinner at the Terrace Restaurant.

Hot Tub

Lodge Facilities:

The friendly house-bar is a place to relax after a long walk or a day’s skiing. A wide range of New Zealand beers and wines from various parts of the country will give you the opportunity to try something new. The bar is open in the evenings from 5pm to late and in the busy times, or if the weather is keeping guests inside, it opens early.

A drying room is available in the hotel. It is locked and accessed by means of a room key but any belongings are left there at your own risk.

A games room is located on the lower ground floor, a table tennis table and other activities provide entertainment in any weather.

The Mezzanine lounge above the dining room, provides comfortable chairs and a quiet atmosphere in front of the fire or try your hand at a little pool.

The fully licenced restaurant is renowned for the chef’s creative use of national produce for the A la Carte menu. The menu also includes a range of old favorites which will suit everyone. Reservations are necessary. Dinner hours are 6pm till 9pm. April, May, June hours are 6pm till 8pm. They offer both table d’hote and full menu options to tour groups. On the weekends the Skotel puts on a buffet—on Saturdays take a trip to the Orient with the Asian buffet and on Sundays they take you back with a good old carvery roast. The restaurant is not open for lunch except for special bookings. Packed lunches are available if ordered the night before. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the Skotel recognises this. So before you head out for a full day of adventure and fun, fill your every need with a buffet breakfast where a chef will cook your eggs the way you want them.

Resort Reception

After a full day on the slopes or tramping across the Tongariro come back to the Skotel and unwind in the private spa pool or catch up with friends you’ve made during the day in the unisex Sauna.

The Skotel ski rental facility is justly famous for the quality of  equipment and service. There is a complete range of skies and boards together with clothing for winter and hiking gear for summer.

The Skotel can store you luggage for you before you check in or after you check out. The Skotel has a public Laundry for hotel guests. The washing machines and dryers are coin operated ($2.00) and change for the machines and laundry powder ($1.50 per bag) is available at reception. An iron and ironing board are supplied to all superior rooms. If you are not staying in the superior rooms an iron and ironing board is available in the laundry for all other guests.

Spacious Rooms

A qualified masseuse is available by appointment. Mail is collected from the hotel at 10:30am Monday – Saturday. Please drop off any mail for position before 10:00am. The Skotel can also assist you with stamps, envelopes and post cards. The reception has a small range of things you may need including snack bars and toiletries. A larger range of groceries is available at the motor camp store in the village.

Rooms With Views

Superior rooms and Standard rooms all have direct dial telephones. Local calls are free, the surcharge on toll costs is modest. The connection can be used by a lap-top to access the internet. Cabins do not have telephones. There is a card phone in the hotel and a phone to make free local calls in the foyer.

This is a land of strong contrasts. Chaotic, barren lava flows, winter snowfields, hot springs and active craters can be seen side by side. Its plants also vary considerably, from alpine herbs to thick swathes of tussocks and flax, from the hardy, low-growing shrubs of the Rangipo gravel-field to dense beech forests. It is a harsh environment for plants; poor pumice soils and volcanic activity slows the development of diverse forests yet some pockets of magnificent podocarp forest can be found. They survived the eruption of Lake Taupo (1800 years ago) because they were sheltered on southwest slopes of Ruapehu.

Mother Nature is ready and waiting for you to enjoy.

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