Bathtime at the Waitomo Hotel

From Ngaire’s journal, 29th January, 1955 (holidaying in Waitomo)
This evening we visited the Waitomo Caves which are very beautiful, the highlight being the wonderful glow-worm caves which we saw from a boat which was taken along by the guide. It was like fairyland.

Ngaire's sketch of Gerald in the hotel bath

Ngaire’s sketch of Gerald in the hotel bath

The Waitomo Hotel is just luxurious and we only wish we could have stayed here a week. In a large cupboard in our room is a sitting bath. It is about 4 ft long and 2 ½ feet wide and shaped like a seat. It is very comfortable. A spray shower may be used in it as well.’

As far as I can tell, the Waitomo Hotel hasn’t changed very much since the Mottram family visited in 1955, though the rooms don’t feature baths in cupboards any more. There may be a reason for that. Apparently the hotel is the ‘fourth most haunted spot, and the most haunted hotel, in New Zealand’. Reported paranormal events include bathtubs dripping blood, the noise of a maid’s trolley in the hallway and the ghost of a Maori princess ‘stalking the corridors’.
All of which makes the sketch of my grandfather in a sitting bath seem rather ho-hum.

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