Matai Lodge is a fairly large hostel that is spread over a couple of different buildings. This place has all the standard hostel features -- two well equipped kitchens, laundry, payphone, internet kiosks and wireless, many bathrooms, several TV lounges, pool table, fireplace, dining room, and drying room. DVDs and videos can be borrowed for free and there is an xBox. Facilities are clean and tidy and well maintained. There is an emphasis on being environmentally friendly and great recycling system in place. Showers are not hot as the hot water seems to run out easily.
Rooms are well heated in winter. The beds are ok but not the most comfortable. The bunks are homemade wooden ones with soft foam mattresses on them and linen is provided. The main building is quite noisy when people are up and about. The doors are loud when people go in and out of bathrooms and rooms and voices travel quite a bit through the halls and the walls.
Matai Lodge is well located. It's on the main road through town. Very close to the bus stop, supermarket, and information centre. The hostel will pick you up from the train station if you come by train. They have a shuttle service to various places in the local area, including Turoa ski field in winter and the Tongariro crossing. Parking is available.