Otematata Lakes Hotel.

feedback about Otematata Lakes Hotel

C. Geekie | Tectra | Aviemore Classic | Weta Workshop
The Very Useful Picture Company | Telecom | Meridian Energy Ltd | Christchurch Press

I Went to Otematata Lakes Hotel for one night and ended up staying five nights.  Colin and Jane are great hosts and they certainly make you feel very welcome.  Lovely part of the country, a great place and great company.  I can't wait to go back again.  Keep that fire going.

Carol Geekie, Fox Glacier, NZ
April 2008

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Our company has consistently utilized the facilities at Otematata Lakes Hotel over the last 2 years. We have used both the accommodation and the complex for the running of our 3 day apprentice courses. The facilities are perfect for our requirements for both the tutors and the students. With everything easily to hand, including wireless internet, phone, fax and photocopying services, restaurant, accommodation and bar all on the spot.

The location of the hotel in the valley surrounded by farmland and the golf course is also great for our one afternoon set aside for  “outside activities”.

The hospitality is wonderful with both Jane and Colin great hosts and ready to help in any way.

Eric Solomon
Regional Training  Manager Central South Island
(Training provider for apprentice shearers)
March 2008

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Dear Jane and Colin

On behalf of the Meridian Energy Aviemore Classic Committee I wish to thank you for your efforts for our group at Labour Weekend. We realize it is a busy time for you and appreciate the extra effort you put in for us. We received great comments about the lunches provided and the catering at the hotel was superb. All the best for the holiday season.

Ivan Stevenson, Meridian Energy Aviemore Classic
(Annual yachting event held on Lake Aviemore)
December 2006

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Ron & Jude

Please find enclosed a gift from Weta Workshop to thank you for the wonderful hospitality of our technicians staying with you during their work recently on Lion the Witch & Wardrobe. It sounds like they were frantically busy but were well looked after - home away from home! We have an amazing group of dedicated people who work for us and it makes a big difference when the accommodation provided to them comes with a smile and goodwill!!

Hope you enjoy a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Tania Rodger
Richard Taylor
Weta Workshop
September 2005

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Dear Ron,

I am writing to thank you for the wonderful hospitality you extended to our team last weekend.

Our entire crew had a wonderful time and, without exception, really welcomed the professional friendly service. Certainly for most of us the novelty of being `on location' has long passed its `use by date', so we really appreciated the genuine willingness of your staff to understand and accommodate our specific needs.

The presentation of the rooms, service and food were all of an extremely high standard. You are blessed to be living and working in such a beautiful part of the world. The scenery, the golf course and the lake provide the perfect setting for your hotel and I can now understand why your conference facilities are so popular. I was blown away with the facilities and the size of the Conference Centre - but then I guess everything in the region is on a grand scale - scenery, mountain, lakes and farm sizes.

On behalf of our Christchurch and Dunedin crews, please pass on our sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone - we look forward to staying with you soon.

Kind regards,
Wayne Alexander,
The Very Useful Picture Company
September 2004

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Enjoy the tranquil gardens.

`Otematata is an excellent venue for team building conferences due to its size, unique environment and can-do attitudes.'

`The team at the hotel were reliable, friendly and enthusiastic, they really made our conference event possible.

`What a fantastic place to hold a conference, separate dining and conference room facilities, comfortable rooms, great meals and all delivered within a tight budget. The sales team are looking forward to a repeat visit.'

Rob Armstrong
Sales Manager - NZ Business

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`To Whom It May Concern:

I wish to thank Ron Thomas and his team for the efforts they made over the last two years as we developed the early phases of Project Aqua.

The hotel not only housed a number of our staff and contractors for extended stays, it also hosted special events such as overseas specialists and senior management visiting the project area. The hotel never failed to deliver for these occasions and in fact surprised and impressed our guests with the quality of the hospitality they received.

The Otematata Lakes Hotel has been in place for many years from the Benmore Power Station construction days. I first stayed there in early 1970. With the management of Ron and his team he has ensured that the area has a hotel that has served our needs very well and hopefully continues to serve the area well into the future as the Otematata Lakes area gains in popularity.'

Gary Campbell
Project Development Manager
Meridian Energy Ltd

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We stayed here


Mike Crean

The Otematata pub has quite a history, though a short one. It was built 40 years ago, to serve the (mainly) men of the construction village for the Benmore hydro.

In its heyday, the pub was said to pull more beer than any other in New Zealand. So you wouldn’t expect it to be a great place to stay – right?

Wrong! Value for money, it would be hard to go past what is now known as the Otematata Lakes Hotel.

When I rang for a booking, I was quoted $45 for a room ($50 for two people.) I wondered what I was getting myself into.

No need to worry. The friendly manager showed me a reasonable-sized room in the newly renovated main part of the huge complex. It contained a double bed, TV (three channels), telephone, fridge, two comfortable chairs, fan-heater, electric jug, complimentary tea, coffee, milk and soap, and an ensuite with a big bath and separate shower.

The room was at the front of the hotel so I could park right by my window. Yet there was no problem with traffic noise. Boy racers are thin on the ground in Otematata.

Seeking something negative to say, all I found was a high-pitched hum that came and went through the night. The culprit might have been the electricity substation nearby.

The restaurant is within the hotel complex. The chef, resplendent in red floral trousers, proved to be a mine of information, and a darned good cook as well. His tomato soup was superb ($5 with a hot garlic roll). For the main I chose pan-fried snapper with vegetables. The fish was fine and the veges crisp and tasty. That was $18. For dessert I had the biggest strawberry sundae I have ever seen – not real strawberries, but real shipped cream and three scoops of ice cream with strawberry sauce, for $4.50.

After that lot, I opted for the continental breakfast and got the standard fare for $6.50.

Everything about the hotel is big. Huge restaurant. Hugh public bar with giant screen Sky TV. The chef explained they cater for thousands of campers and bach-owners from Labour Weekend to Easter each year, and skiers in the winter. The hotel attracts big groups from jetboat marathons and rowing regattas (at Twizel), to four-wheel-drive clubs and Harley-Davidson clubs, when millions of dollars worth of machines are parked out the back.

It pays to book, as you never know when the place will be packed.

  • Establishments featured in “We stayed Here” are visited anonymously by Press writers who pay their own way.

Otematata Lakes Hotel, State Highway 83, is about halfway between Omarama and Kurow in the Waitaki Valley, phone (03) 438-7899. Attractions: Hydro dams, boating, fishing, tramping. Tremendous value. Rating – 4/5.

Christchurch Press, January 2002

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