Venue Reviews

Professional, caring and discrete service

Remember how we said what a lovely looking place, when we were all younger, AND broke, driving south past the Taupo, Millennium Hotel? Well, not so broke now, so I stayed there on my way north (1400 km in total, wow) as a treat for myself as I was travelling alone.

After two days driving in a noisy van full of my earthly possessions – first day driving 12 hours with stops only for petrol and coffee. (THEN being grossly overcharged at a ho-hum motel with a gracious smile as he’d taken my money, the last two hours on a completely unfamiliar road in a pitch black of a night with NO street lights, NO house lights or even other traffic, with road works every 200 metres). On being shown my room, I just fell into bed after the concierge left me to it.

Second day I relaxed on the ferry for four hours, bliss, then drove on again for a further four hours, the last hour and a half on the road down from the Desert Road, which contained several 35km, 45km, and even 25km bends frazzling my nerves even further. Note to self, never drive that road when tired.

I arrived at the hotel pretty tired and had a mishap just outside the front doors. Very embarrassing, but receptionist treated this as just another normal day, provided a large towel and guest laundry to rectify problem.

Lovely shower in beautiful room overlooking the enclosed outdoor pool.  Then (in bathrobe, clothes still not ready) down to Lakefront bar for a drink, Baileys and Cointreau, a new favourite. The beautiful restaurant where I finally went in to dinner overlooked the very large lake of 238 square miles, in the caldera of the Taupo volcano (mostly benign). When I entered, there was already a large table occupied by a group of male diners who were closer to the floor to ceiling windows. Fortunately for me however, my table was in a raised area so that I could see the sparkling lights of the town and surrounding hills across the water reflecting in the moonlight. From the wonderful menu where, after spending some time deciding between Slow Roasted Duck, Eye Fillet among others, I finally chose the Vegetarian Curry, Tandoori Cauliflower served with chickpea pancakes and 3 beautiful sauces. Followed by Chocolate Silk, with mandarin segments and orange caviar, gorgeous and not too sweet. I must confess I’ve never had orange caviar before, quite a pleasant experience. As I really wanted a dessert, I passed on the large selection of entrees, although if I could have managed to eat one, I’d have definitely gone for the Oysters, served four different ways. And if you had been with me I know we would both have sampled the freshly baked bread.

Breakfast in the lake front restaurant was a dream. I had chosen the full breakfast, and discovered on entering that not only was there a full table of cereals, fruit, yoghurt etc., but there was an even larger array of cooked food. Funnily enough however, I couldn’t find any eggs (horrors) so, after loading my plate with bacon, sausage, hash browns to mention just a few, I asked about eggs. ‘Oh yes,” I was told, ‘you just choose how you like them and we will cook them’. My heroes –  and heroines.

The whole meal was so YUM, I am trying to think of an excuse to go there again for further indulgences. Battery was flat on my phone so I don’t have photos I’m afraid, still we can take heaps when we meet up in ten days, or less.

Oh, by the way, did I mention the jetty you can see off to the right of the restaurant where you can catch a boat for a tour of the lake, where if you are inclined, you can go fishing and even, after catching the fish, get it cooked. Yum!