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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Hermitage Hotel

There aren't too many hotel choices at Mt. Cook Village & The Hermitage has several different types of rooms/lodging. I'm sure these decks are a wonderful place to dine when you have the stunning views. We upgraded to the very top floor & the corner room on the left, which was worth the upgrade.

We had a giant picture window & a coach to relax. One thing that surprised me is that there is NO room service. We also upgraded to include a bottle of wine & cheese tray- I thought it would be perfect after our hike through the rain. However, this is intended to be consumed in their bar/lounge area & I had to go pick it up downstairs and bring it back to our room. No big deal, but I was frustrated at the time nobody explained that to me.

We enjoyed the side lights and the great view they provided. I was slightly annoyed that there was no Internet in the rooms & we had to go purchase intervals of 30 minutes a time and sit in the lobby to check our work email.

There are several trails that start out right at the main hotel & we drove to the Hooker Valley Track, which was just a few minute drive (you can easily walk if you wanted to do so).

I was fully prepared to treat this as a *resort* hotel- special place, inflated prices, large groups of tourists/buses, etc. It's fully worth the increased price for the views & proximity to Mt Cook and Lake Tasman (we did the glacier boat ride the following morning).

On our way out of the park, we caught an elusive glimpse of the actual Mt. Cook. Typically there were snow/clouds/wind/fog that covered much of the mountains.

In the hotel, is the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Museum, which is worth spending an hour looking at some of the history of the area & his climbing feats around the world. We caught a very short IMAX film explaining some of the Maori legends about the mountains which was enlightening.

On a clear night, I'm sure the star-gazing out there is also quite spectacular. We only stayed 1 night and departed after the morning glacier boat ride. I'd highly encourage others to forget about the price, hope for good weather and enjoy a stay at the Hermitage Hotel.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Seafood dinner on the Seawall in Galveston watching the sunset over the Gulf.

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