The foundation stone was laid in March 1929 and fantastic as it may seem, the building was open for guests by the 1st August the same year, even though it was still unfurnished. The opening of the well-appointed Chateau hotel revolutionised the atmosphere of Ruapehu as a resort.
V.I.Ps from around the world started to hear of the magnificent Chateau and began arriving from the four corners of the globe.
Suddenly dinner jackets and evening dresses were required for after skiwear. Even ski clothes began to be style conscious - navy blue gabardine trousers, cut very full and tied at the ankle, became the fashion. They were worn with a matching jacket of the same material and a peaked cap with flaps which could be let down to tie underneath the chin in bad weather.
A popular item on the hotel’s menu - Oysters - were an absolute luxury in the deprived depression era of the 1930s. Today, a new wing (including 39 stunning rooms), dynamic new bars and restaurants and impressive facilities have been added - all in keeping with this icon’s old-world ambience. The hotel’s most special features have been painstakingly restored.
Visiting the Chateau Tongariro today is like stepping back into that fabulous 1930s period of elegance and luxury.