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Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand

Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand

Old Jan 4, 18, 10:38 pm
  #1  
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Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand

Huka Lodge

Map| 3 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Huka Lodge

271 Huka Falls Road Taupo, NZ 3384

Huka Lodge (10 Photos)

Huka Lodge

Service

Excellent service.  Everyone remembered our names.  Pre dinner drinks were included and remembered every night.  Housekeeping was thourough and excellent.  Meal service also excellent.  We like rom service breakfast and although " not the norm" they happily accommodated and would bring you anything you desired!  Dinner service was excellent, activities ourptstanding.  Although like many hotels they outsource their activities these were of the best quality. Particularly memorable was a half day boat cruise which included fishing, sightseeing and lunch.  This competed on the best of levels with all Aman ventures we have done.  Boat was gorgeous - a 44 foot power fishing boat relatively new and very, very comfortable . Fully shaded areas protected from inclement weather ad well as outdoor space.  Wonderfully comfortable area to eat lunch and nice lower quarters as well.  As boat people we were very impressed!

 The two person staff could not have been more professional, friendly, and Just great.  I had not been fishing for awhile and caught 4 trout - as many as my husband who has fished much more than me!  They made it easy doing all the rigging, set ups, everything.  We just waited for a bite and reeled it in!  I must say my kind of fishing although I am sure many of you are more hard core and of course Huka offers river fly fishing as well!

Although you can legally bring in 6 trout this season we brought in two and released the rest.  It was excellent fishing made very easy and very push button thanks to Pete and V from Chris Jolly's charter service which Huka uses and I would highly recommend.  Agiain much more challenges no fishing, helicopter fishing, etc is also offered.

 

Overall we were extremely impressed by the service at the hotel and by their activity providers!  Huge thumbs up.

Check In

Good check in.  We arrived with several others at same time and were offered lunch or to the room.  It did seem they were a bit overwhelmed having 3 couples arrive at same time and kind of pushed us to lunch but was ok for us as we were hungry!  Once finished they showed us our room and gave us a general overview/ tour of the property and its amenities and activities.  We already had a couple of things pre booked anyway.  They gave us an option of two rooms the difference being a fireplace vs a bit better view of the river and slightly larger size.  Despite the known coming inclement weather we went for the better view and slight extra space.  The units are in clusters of 2 or 3 and we also opted for our unit as it was on an end with a private entrance.  At the end of the day either would have been fine!  And many would have ordered the fireplace.

CRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_8659.jpg

Location

As you come in from the airport the Lake Taupo area does not look very attractive.  Lots of KFC type enterprises.  However when you arrive at Huka it all melts away and is gorgeous. The property is smaller than one might think but still beautiful - a little slice of paradise.  The boating expeditions and heli activities, etc take you to some beautiful remote locations away from the crowds. Fishing is one of the main if not the main attraction which you can do by boat or fly fishing in the river.  They will also take you via helicopter to many remote great fishing spots or you can just opt for a scenic flight or boat cruise.  Lake Taupo is the largest lake on North Island and it is beautiful to get out on it via boat away from the shoreline that is crowded.  One activity we did was to combine a scenic lake cruise with fishing and a wonderful lunch.  Huka Lodge has clearly chosen great vendors to work with as we had a very plush 50' power fishing boat with all the amenities and a great crew of 2.  We did the half day which worked out perfectly and I highly recommend.

CRAY-Helena Bay Resort-IMG_2107.jpg

Room

Room was lovely.  Large king bed, large deck with seating and beautiful view of river.  Comfortable seating area with loads of blankets and pillows.  Large wardrobe area with full mini bar ( tea kettle and coffee maker, well stocked alcohol and non alcohol as well as snacks). Bath area had two sinks, walk in shower ( strong pressure, but cubicle a bit tight), nice bath, and overall everything you would like!  We were very happy with our room. 

1_CRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_8644.jpg The outside of the rooms.

CRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_5033.jpgLovely open room with bed area, living area, bath, and outdoor patio overlooking the river

CRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_5035.jpgCRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_5036.jpg

Day bed with view to the river

 

Dining

Food was great as was dining service.  Breakfast, pre dinner drinks with canepes and dinner included.  After the first night our drinks were  remembered by the staff.  Dinner can be customized in advance or on  the night of dinner when  they come around at drinks to take your order.  The day we returned to the hotel with fresh trout we discussed various preparations with the chef and had gorgeous, delicious sashimi and grilled  trout in addition to the tasting menu!  ( and smoked trout for breakfast the next morning). 

The breakfasts were great with the std items like a full English breakfast eggs Benedict, etc, but also some interesting additions like baked eggs with beans, onions, cheeses etc.

1_CRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_2136.jpgBreakfast which we had served in room - poached eggs with the trout we caught smoked and avacado.  There is also a full buffet and a la carte menu served in the lodge but we always had breakfast in our room.

  Dinners were 5 courses ( 7 with trout extras from fishing) including 2 starters, fish, meat, cheese and desert.  They served the British way of salt after sweet, but we opted for the salt then sweet and they were happy to accommodate.  The wine list was a great representation of NZ wines - not inexpensive, but a good list and we  enjoyed some very good bottles thanks to the help of a good sommelier.

1_CRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_5080.jpgOur freshly caught trout sashmi style at dinner - highly recommended!!

CRAY-HukaLodge-IMG_5020.jpgThere are many different dining areas.  This is one of the private areas we had dinner one night - really nice view of the river and the fireplace!

We are quite spoiled on food coming from San Francisco ( IMHO), but found the food to be excellent! 

Overall

Thumbs up!  Still will call Saffire Freycinet number one but this close!  Highly recommend!  

CRAY-Helena Bay Resort-IMG_2093.jpg

Loads more pix at https://justaskkim.smugmug.com/

 

Huka Lodge

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Old Jan 4, 18, 11:56 pm
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Thanks for sharing @Larkin! Hereís hoping you figure out how to add photos eventually. Canít wait to see. Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time.

Two questions:

(1) How was the air con in the room if you used it...?

(2) Did the dinner restaurant dress code still enforce jackets for men?
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Old Jan 5, 18, 3:27 am
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As above would love to see your photos. We only looked at Huka lodge a few days ago. Considering this Annandale or Eagle's Nest for part of our NZ trip.

As for jackets for men, if this is a rule it's a dealbreaker.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Thanks for sharing @Larkin! Hereís hoping you figure out how to add photos eventually. Canít wait to see. Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time.

Two questions:

(1) How was the air con in the room if you used it...?

(2) Did the dinner restaurant dress code still enforce jackets for men?
Air con worked well although was not needed much as the temp was on the cool side.

Jackets for men at dinner were Not required. You see everything from very casual ( right back from fishing) to a very few with jackets at dinner so jacket not necessary at all!

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Old Jan 5, 18, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
As above would love to see your photos. We only looked at Huka lodge a few days ago. Considering this Annandale or Eagle's Nest for part of our NZ trip.

As for jackets for men, if this is a rule it's a dealbreaker.
jackets not required! Most people were dressed very casually at dinner - a few with jackets but very few and definitely not required!
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Old Jan 5, 18, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
Air con worked well although was not needed much as the temp was on the cool side.

Jackets for men at dinner were Not required. You see everything from very casual ( right back from fishing) to a very few with jackets at dinner so jacket not necessary at all!
Thanks! Huka still required jackets for dinner in Sept 2009, so my husband wisely avoided including Huka in our surprise trip to New Zealand. It's good to see that management finally caught up with the times...especially for a hunting/fishing lodge in the great outdoors where such a requirement was always ridiculous.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Thanks! Huka still required jackets for dinner in Sept 2009, so my husband wisely avoided including Huka in our surprise trip to New Zealand. It's good to see that management finally caught up with the times...especially for a hunting/fishing lodge in the great outdoors where such a requirement was always ridiculous.
Agree about the jackets. However now we are at Cape Kidnappers where they very explicitly require jackets. ( one of the first things they said to us when we checked in). My husband not happy but I did pack one for him! Now I'll see tonight if everyone complies!
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:58 pm
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Oh dear .. Larkin , please let us know how dinner goes , was thinking of leaving dressier items in Auckland .
Thanks for the review , enjoy NZ !!
Will be staying in March .
Considering Huka Lodge too which we have missed on various trips - decades ago , including one to the day when the Commonwealth Games were on !
We went on Chris Jolly too , January 1990 !!
And another of his fleet during the RWC ..



Last edited by FlyerEC; Jan 28, 18 at 12:42 am
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Old Jan 27, 18, 7:27 pm
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I have edited and added photos to my Huka Lodge review per requests.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 12:48 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post
Oh dear .. Larkin , please let us know how dinner goes , was thinking of leaving dressier items in Auckland .
Thanks for the review , enjoy NZ !!
Will be staying in March .
Considering Huka Lodge too which we have missed on various trips - decades ago , including one to the day when the Commonwealth Games were on !

We went on Chris Jolly too , January 1990 !!
And another of his fleet during the RWC ..


Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
I have edited and added photos to my Huka Lodge review per requests.
Thanks so much Larkin .
We have cancelled Cape Kidnappers because of the jacket requirement but keeping Matakauri as jacket is not required

No thanks to the International Dateline , we are now driving straight on landing in Auckland from Papeete to Huka Lodge .
Will figure out about picking stored luggage & dropping off cruise luggage .. as domestic flights are only economy with restrictions on checked luggage ??

Sure looking forward to our long aborted Huka Lodge stay !


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Old Jan 28, 18, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post




Thanks so much Larkin .
We have cancelled Cape Kidnappers because of the jacket requirement but keeping Matakauri as jacket is not required

No thanks to the International Dateline , we are now driving straight on landing in Auckland from Papeete to Huka Lodge .
Will figure out about picking stored luggage & dropping off cruise luggage .. as domestic flights are only economy with restrictions on checked luggage ??

Sure looking forward to our long aborted Huka Lodge stay !


i believe you will be happy at Huka lodge. It is really great. Regional domestic flights in NZ are really easy. No security. You arrive 30 min in advance. No need to pull out liquids or anything. The whole thing was very lose when we were there - especially in Auckland. They do have restrictions on weight but if you pay for the higher fare you can check more luggage with at higher weight with no problem. . The cost to upgrade the fare is minimal. Flights are very short! You can also pay for higher weight at the airport. Let me know if you have questions. Feel free to PM.

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Old Jan 30, 18, 12:41 am
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Thanks for the review! Did you/will you write one of Cape Kidnappers as well?
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Old Jan 30, 18, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by Fliar View Post
Thanks for the review! Did you/will you write one of Cape Kidnappers as well?
I did. It is on here comparing Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Lodge. I have not added photos yet but plan to do so when I get a chance - likely this weekend if not before.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by Fliar View Post
Thanks for the review! Did you/will you write one of Cape Kidnappers as well?
I did. It is on here comparing Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Lodge. I have not added photos yet but plan to do so when I get a chance - likely this weekend if not before.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post
We have cancelled Cape Kidnappers because of the jacket requirement but keeping Matakauri as jacket is not required
^^^
I don't blame you at all!

I'm very much looking forward to your Matakauri report, as it hadn't yet opened when we were there in Sept 2009. We had a very pleasant stay at the Spire instead.

I also highly recommend doing a little bungy jump outside of Queenstown--it was the 3rd biggest free bungy jump in the world when I did it. It was fabulous!


No thanks to the International Dateline , we are now driving straight on landing in Auckland from Papeete to Huka Lodge.
Definitely looking forward to your thoughts on Huka, too. But on your return to Auckland, I highly recommend if you get a chance to visit Waiheke Island. It's spectacularly beautiful and has truly wonderful wineries (with amazing Syrahs especially) and restaurants. Mudbrick immediately comes to mind. It was one of the biggest unexpected treasured memories of our trip to New Zealand, actually.

Have a wonderful trip!
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