Highden Manor Estate
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Highden Manor Estate

I absolutely loved Highden Manor.
It was a little run down but it still had beautiful charm and
Traveller (44)
Bridal suite
Room & Suite (7)
UPSTAIRS LOUNGE
Business Centre & Event Rooms (5)

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About

3.5
#1 of 1 small hotel in Awahuri
4.3 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
We are currently doing repairs and are not open to the public. Situated on 36 acres of manicured parkland and formal rose gardens, Highden Manor Estate is registered as a Category 1 historic landmark property by The New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Built in 1896 as a country home for a Wellington Member of Parliament, The Right Honourable Walter Woods Johnston and his wife Celia, this is now a Hotel & Venue in the Manawatu countryside, just 15 minutes drive from the city of Palmerston North. Restored to its original grandeur, the Manor welcomes guests for overnight stays, conferences, weddings, private functions, retreats, and offers the perfect venue for a multitude of special occasions. Ask about the "Exclusive Use" options for your occasion, or hire the public rooms and garden and create your own event. A truly private retreat property, Highden is "An Experience" not to be missed.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Bar / lounge
Babysitting
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Taxi service
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Parking
Wifi
Restaurant
Special diet menus
Meeting rooms
Massage
BBQ facilities
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Shared kitchen
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun terrace
Express check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Room features
Housekeeping
VIP room facilities
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Room types
Bridal suite
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
3.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Mid-range
Languages Spoken
English, French, Spanish
96Reviews0Q+A29Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
tuesdaygirl2016 wrote a review Apr 2018
Wellington, New Zealand24 contributions6 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We were here for a wedding, and overall it is a really great wedding venue. If we hadn't stayed here we may have had a higher opinion. Unfortunately the stunning old building needs a lot of work, there was a serious leak upstairs (my sister nearly slipped over but was told 'what do you expect, it's 100 years old' by staff), some of the wood in the deck was soggy and unsafe, gutters were leaking and overflowing, windows wouldn't open or stay open etc, and no temperature control.

There were lots of areas where improvement would have been easy - doing the lawns properly, getting rid of the dead sheep in a paddock out the front before the wedding party started arriving, replacing the many blown lightbulbs (in every chandelier), giving it a really good clean and getting rid of the old rag on an outside windowsill etc.

In saying that, the building is stunning, the garden and grounds are really lovely, rooms are huge and the decor and furniture are incredible. Other than the issue with the leak, the staff/owners were really friendly and helpful.
It has huge potential, but it's got a way to go.
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Date of stay: May 2017
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
RBA63 wrote a review Aug 2017
Auckland Central, New Zealand2 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
If you are tired of mainstream motel/hotel accommodation, why not try the querky and eccentric Highden Manor Estate, for that next trip? The Manor was built is 1896, so sure its old and could probably cope with some progressive refreshing, but nevertheless is packed with charm and intrigue. It features mostly period furniture and fittings, but that just adds to the whole experience, with modern ammenities where necessary. The host, Vicki, was welcoming and inviting and nothing was too much trouble. The continental breakfast was healthy, plentiful and good value. Even the Manor cat joined my daughter and I for breakfast, entertaining us both with her friendliness.
I recommend you go into the Highden Manor Estate experience with an open mind and you won't be disappointed. It is a unique experience, not just somewhere to crash for the night. And I can only imagine the grounds and extended gardens would be spectacular in the spring/summer period.
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Date of stay: August 2017
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Lots of internal stairs to negotiate, so be mindful of that if you have mobility issues
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sue B wrote a review Mar 2017
1 contribution2 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
This venue had been booked for a whole weekend for 16 months for a family wedding. The place looked perfect when we first booked. The blurb sold it really well plus the obvious feature of the looks. The price given isn't really the price given. Be aware of add ons like hirage for this and that and corkage. Plants wilting on the magnificent furniture in main entrance. "Lunch provided for our large group" a few bacon and egg toasie sandwiches and a bowl of chippies. had to ask for more plus ask for hot drink. the biggest biggest let down were the gardens for this garden wedding. I had to remove a fallen branch from where the bride and groom would walk, Weeds and thisltles and dead head roses and overgrown edges were disgusting. We were promised everything would be perfect. The place is tired and needs TLC. In the old monks quarters none of the power points worked. Dust lay thickly on fake flowers. I rated it average because of those things but to be fair the actual wedding dinner was fabulous, The ghosts clattered around at 5am....Well, SOMETHING did!
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Date of stay: March 2017
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Stephanie C wrote a review Sept 2017
Thousand Oaks, California54 contributions110 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We arrived after dark and found the whole drive unlit and pretty spooky getting all the way back into the woods. It was only 6:30pm, so we didn't expect to find the whole place totally desolate, dark, and deserted. Literally, no lights on inside or outside.

We let ourselves in and it took a few minutes for anyone to even find us. Once they did, we were told we were the only ones staying in the manor for the night.

When we asked about their usual guests, the manager at the hotel told us that one of the big things the manor is now used for is "Mystery school" which is for "alternative spiritual activities." She was pretty cagey about what this actually meant, which made it sound a lot weirder than I'm sure it actually is, but she said it several times and it left us with kind of a weird feeling.

Once in the rooms, we found the bed sagging and uncomfortable, a large stain on our bathroom mirror, and the internet not working. THEN we read the history of the property, where it detailed all the people who had lived...and died there. Not joking, you couldn't make this up, we read about at least seven people dying on the property over its history in fires and building collapses. Just...a WEIRD thing to advertise in your in-room information sheet. We're not skittish people and have spent the night in hostels, camping, anywhere. But my husband was so unnerved that we actually LEFT the property at about 11pm after a couple hours and stayed in town at a different hotel. When we left, every light in the house was out again and we literally had to stumble our way out in the dark. DO NOT RECOMMEND.
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Date of stay: September 2017
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicole B wrote a review Apr 2014
Palmerston North, New Zealand3 contributions17 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I would not recommend Highden to anyone after the shocking service we received on my wedding day. To the woman who was not kind enough to introduce herself, let me offer you some advice.
When greeting someone, saying hello is normally the way to go. Not storming towards them, standing in front of their photographer and acting in an aggressive way. We paid hundreds of dollars to get photos taken at the Highden on April 20. We called the night before to confirm our attendance. We gave you credit card details for payment. We called you when we were in the car on our way there.
Instead of a warm greeting, you called me a disorganised and rude bride, humiliating me in front of my bridal party. We had just arrived (A little late to be expected on a wedding day), the cars had just been parked, and as the weather was about to turn we thought we would take a quick photo while we were in the driveway before coming inside. Not one photo had been taken before the woman who only described herself as the owner came storming in. She spoke condescendingly to my uncle, one of the drivers of the cars before storming toward me and standing in my personal space. Lady, if you have forgotten who I am – I was the one in the big white dress, the bride, someone who was meant to be having the happiest day of her life.
You demanded that I check in RIGHT AWAY, and despite my polite request that we take one quick photo before heading inside you insisted that you had urgent things to do and that I had to go NOW. I picked up my dress and started heading inside to which you said “Well, no need for that attitude, you can take your photo if it means that much.” Actually, yes it did mean that much to me. It was my wedding day, and before that moment things were going perfect. You continued to try and argue with us despite saying that we could take a photo. It was confusing, you made such a point about having so much to do, yet it seemed all you wanted to do was to make us feel unwelcome, inferior and insignificant.
Never in my life have I been met with such arrogance, rudeness, disrespect and condescension. What confuses me more is that my husband ran to the car, got his wallet to pay you and yet you were standing around, continuing to annoy my drivers despite your insistence that we hurry because you were so busy.
My husband has worked for years in customer service and was gobsmacked as to how we, paying customers, were treated.
We paid the full amount for two hours, despite not having access to the whole building and left quickly as we felt unwelcome and didn’t appreciate the cold looks and terrible attitude directed our way.
My husband was part of a bridal party two years ago and enjoyed the service at the Highden. What has happened? You have lost great staff and our support. As we are a young couple, we have many engaged friends and will be advising that they stay well away from you.
We expect an apology, not only to myself and Steven. But also to our wedding party for the way we were treated. Refunding our money would also be a nice gesture, but most of all, we want to ensure that no-one else will be made to feel the way we did on our special day.
We had a great wedding day, it’s a shame you tried to taint it. Luckily our large number of guests made the day incredible and cheered us up after hearing about the experience we received from you.
I write this in the hopes that you will learn from our feedback. Your attitude did change once we had paid you, but we should never have been treated the way we were in the first place. We are people, not money bags and didn’t appreciate the disdainful and patronizing service we initially received.
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Date of stay: April 2014
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from 211andrew, Owner at Highden Manor Estate
Responded 5 May 2014
It is with great sadness that an injurious post of this nature has been lodged. First it must be pointed out that it's author did not have her wedding ceremony or reception here. She hired out our "commons areas" for 2 hours of photos on the day of her wedding. She arrived one hour late on the day and was noticeably stressed out, as the light for outdoor photos was beginning to wane, and she was behind schedule, keeping in mind that she had a reception to get to. She did not enter our Hotel and introduce herself but began setting up for photos in the driveway. When she finally entered the Manor, she was asked to settle her account as we would then leave her group to take their photos. She reacted very rudely at this request, which fueled a dis-satisfaction, which led to a post that is clearly without merit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
leeannew218 wrote a review Feb 2014
Lower Hutt, New Zealand1 contribution13 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
My family attended a wedding over the weekend...This was something we had been looking forward to for over a year as my daughter was one of the bridesmaids....i had been up to Highden in April with the groom and his soon to be mother in law and thought what a wonderful place it was...Well when we got there on the Friday i was sadly disappointed....Highden had gone from a beautiful homestead to a place that needed a lot of TLC...the room my family stayed in had to share a bathroom (which was fine) but my daughter got locked in as the handle was broken, then i noticed the broken window down stairs which really shocked me....it got worst from there on in...on the morning after the wedding at breakfast Avril decided it was fine to insult the poor bride in front of her guests which was very unprofessional .i had to watch two people( the Bride and Groom) that i love have their wedding day and weekend ruined by people that have not a lot of understanding or compassion for people...i was most disappointed in Andrew and Avril's behavior.But on a good note the food was very good.
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Date of stay: February 2014
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sonya B wrote a review Feb 2014
Paraparaumu, New Zealand6 contributions12 helpful votes
+1
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Arriving on Friday afternoon as a guest to a wedding on Saturday it took a good 20 minutes for anyone to show up to welcome us to the Manor. This was not a good start to our weekend!
Without looking to hard it was very noticeable that Highden Manor is in a bad state of decline. A broken window in the Manor at the front entrance was not a welcoming site to the luxury weekend advertised on their website of which we had been expecting. The deck out the back was covered in bird dropping and the chairs and tables of which we were expected to sit at also evidencing the birds were not far away and did not look as if they had been cleaned recently. Cracks in the ceilings and walls and plaster on the floor of the boardroom (of which we used over the weekend) near the front entrance. Long life milk with expiry dates dating back 12 months were found in both the rooms in the manor and lodge by the guests. The website does not in anyway portray Highden Manor as we have experienced it this weekend. Also do not think you can use the Chapel for your ceremony (as advertised still on their website on 9 February 2013) this is now a bridal shop. Two bad if it is raining the bride and groom were offered 3 umbrella's off the front deck should the sun not be shining for their special day the night before the wedding! The owners made no effort to arrange an alternative having told the bride and groom 4 days before the wedding the Chapel was no longer part of their package. A public display from the owner in the dining room this morning with the bride over the number of quests eating breakfast. They had run out of food and were not able to supply enough breakfast for all the guests that had stayed at the lodge and manor. The owner was very unprofessional in the way she dealt with this and after upsetting the bride with this public display the owner continued to hail abuse at the bride as she moved around the tables collecting plates. I was sad and embarrassed for the bride and groom who have spent the last two years preparing for their special day to be treated in such an appalling way.
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Date of stay: February 2014
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
David Lewis J wrote a review Feb 2014
Wellington, New Zealand6 contributions13 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We attended a wedding here yesterday. When we checked the website we thought it looked beautiful. The food at the wedding was lovely. However, when we turned into the driveway first impressions were disappointment. There were pot holes along the drive - large ones. Not a good start on entering. Driving to the house from a distance it looked grand and has the 'wow factor'. But as walked towards the front door we noticed a broken window and the exterior had seen better days. On entering our hopes rose again as it is stately with beautiful wooden walls and floors and huge chandeliers. Then we walked upstairs and I noticed a huge magnificent painting balanced delicately on a narrow ledge right above my head. I would not want to be on the stairwell if an earthquake struck! Next we went out to the verandah where I almost caught the heel of my shoe in a hole in the floor. On closer inspection the floor was dirty. In the center of the pagoda where the ceremony took place were four crooked paving slabs. Not very sightly and I would not think it adheres to health & safety requirements. I just want to raise these matters as they are important and it is such a shame as this place could be amazing if thought, care and attention were given to the venue and customers.
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Date of stay: February 2014
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
kylie66408 wrote a review Dec 2015
Palmerston North, New Zealand1 contribution6 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
the xmas dinner was the worst meal i have ever had. There was no roast vegs / fish cakes that were cold /chicken that was tough/ boiled potatoes and carrots that were hard / rice dishs were crap. Was turely unedible . what a disapointing xmas dinner for 85 dollars a head. hope to read from others who went there xmas day.
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1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sheryl T wrote a review Dec 2012
Hamilton, New Zealand1 contribution7 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
The Manor itself is full of style but the lodge is a very poor cousin - no comparison. The whole place was booked out for a family wedding. Our main bug-bear was the lack of any kitchen facility. My parents are on medication and there was not a glass, mug or any vessel to put water in. The double rooms are charged at $130 with continental breakfast - our room was the only one with a tv (basic 3 channels and no batteries in remote). Some rooms only had one blanket and no heating in their room. We were on the ground floor and heard every footstep taken on the floor above. We understood it was shared facilities in the lodge but thought that would include at least a jug and cups. Felt like we were in an episode of Faulty Towers minus John Cleese. The wedding itself was lovely but recommend avoiding the lodge as accommodation as it presently is.
I understand the owners are taking over as of this week so hopefully they wil make necessary changes to improve visitors stay.
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Date of stay: December 2012
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Don't stay in the lodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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robert w wrote a tip Nov 2017
Auckland, New Zealand207 contributions71 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"We found that our room (both rooms) and the landing area outside had VERY C REAKY wooden floors ! :-("
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RBA63 wrote a tip Aug 2017
Auckland Central, New Zealand2 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Lots of internal stairs to negotiate, so be mindful of that if you have mobility issues"
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Michelle M wrote a tip Mar 2017
Brisbane, Australia27 contributions11 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"Another property."
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Kim M wrote a tip Mar 2017
Brisbane, Australia6 contributions2 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"Looks good from the outside, nice surrounding grounds"
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tmmayo wrote a tip Mar 2017
Mercer, New Zealand28 contributions7 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Upstairs was good - numbers 12 and 14. 10 is next to the toilets. Can't help you with rooms in the main house sorry!"
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LOCATION
New ZealandNorth IslandManawatu-Wanganui RegionAwahuri
NUMBER OF ROOMS
22
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HIGHDEN MANOR ESTATE - Hotel Reviews (Awahuri) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Highden Manor Estate
Which popular attractions are close to Highden Manor Estate?
Nearby attractions include Manfeild Park Trust (7.7 km), Mapua Maritime Museum (5.1 km), and Mt Stewart Centennial Memorial Reserve (5.5 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Highden Manor Estate?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Highden Manor Estate?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and barbeque facilities during their stay.
Is parking available at Highden Manor Estate?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are any cleaning services offered at Highden Manor Estate?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are pets allowed at Highden Manor Estate?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Does Highden Manor Estate offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers meeting rooms, a banquet room, and conference facilities.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Highden Manor Estate?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and French.
Is Highden Manor Estate accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.