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“wonderful break”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Birds Ferry Lodge

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Birds Ferry Lodge
Ranked #1 of 16 Westport B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“wonderful break”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2013

The Cottage was just the perfect place for a realxing,& rejunating short stay. It is a small piece of paradise. If you need to just relaxl & get away,you could not be in a better place ,or better hands.Will definitely be back. Thank You Allison & Andre

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank reg s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this review, 6 September 2014
Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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260 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cheshire
Level Contributor
160 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2013

Of all the reviews I have written this is the most difficult I have compiled to date.
I hope Alison and Andre take my comments in the way in which they are intentioned which is from an objective feeling of our thoughts about our own stay and not a direct criticism.

Reason for Stay:
We travelled from the UK for a planned trip of a lifetime to include a week in Sydney and three plus weeks driving through the North and South Islands.
Our stay in Westport was during our route from Wellington to the Fox Glacier Area. .

Location:
Other TA reviewers can describe the location better than I.
It was helpful to have our own Navigation System as Birds Ferry Lodge is a fair way out of Westport and even though we arrived late afternoon we struggled to find it. In the evening when it was dark following dinner in Westport it was even more challenging.

Reception:
Alison came to the car upon our arrival to greet us and escorted us to our room and gave us a full run down of the facilities and extra services that were available.
A brochure showing a full list of local eating places was made available and Alison kindly made us a reservation at our second choice as the first one was fully booked.
I noted that Alison is also prepared to provide dinner from what looked like a very sophisticated menu. However, it was explained that this could only be booked in advance. This was a shame because if we had been informed of this via email we would have taken up this option.
Excellent advice provided by Alison and Andre about our onward trip led us to change the next nights location and accommodation to somewhere they had stayed themselves. Andre also indicated a less well know route to view the glacier which suited our mode of walking rather than hiking style. This was much appreciated.

Parking:
Plentiful and near the front door for easy transporting of luggage.

Accomodation:
Compared with our other B&B and hotel experiences en route the facilities were rather a let down. There was no co-ordination of the bed linen, blankets on the bed, worn carpet area's and towels for showering were very hard. The reason given for this was that with the objective of conservation they were naturally dried in the sun. That is fine but they could at least have been ironed. Overall the bed and bathroom we had were rather dated.

Breakfast:
I would agree totally with other reviewers about the quality of the breakfast. It was exemplary. I just wondered what we had missed but not being able to have one of Alison's dinners !!!

Value:
Whilst there are so many excellent aspects of Birds Ferry Lodge, my expectation level at a nightly cost of NZ$ 327 were not met. We paid less for a room at the Boltons in Wellington which included valet parking and an evening meal.

Summary:
Whilst I would not book again, other viewers should take notice of the great majority of excellent reviews and book if in the area. They will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HighburyCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this review, 10 March 2013
Thank you for your detailed review of your stay at Birds Ferry Lodge. We are sorry that things did not meet your expectations in some ways.
For the benefit of anyone reading this we would like to address some of those items mentioned.
We supply detailed directions including a google map to all guests who book directly with us. This information is also on the homepage of our website. Driving in rural New Zealand is best accompanied by a map since GPS is not 100% reliable. We chose this very special location because it is off the beaten path which of course means you need to know how to find us!
Guests who book direct with us are advised by email, at every stage of the booking process that Dinner needs to be pre booked. Since this guest booked on Expedia we were unable to email them prior to their arrival but it does state on the Expedia website that Dinner needs to be pre booked. It seems this information was overlooked.

Accommodation:
The guests stayed in a room that was completely refurbished in 2012. The carpets are 6 months old and not worn. The bed linens and blankets are all top of the range items only 6 months old. The choice of colours was a personal decision and possibly not to everyone’s taste! There are pictures of the bed linens here on Trip Advisor and on our website – readers can judge for themselves
Yes we line dry our towels in the sun and have never considered ironing them since you are the first to suggest this.

Value
We feel it is unfair to compare Birds Ferry Lodge with a large hotel in Wellington. We are a small owner operated, highly seasonal establishment with only 2 bedrooms and enjoy none of the “Economies” of scale of a city hotel which has a 12 month demand. However we are in a position to offer a very unique and personal experience but at a higher cost. The rate quoted is a little odd since it is not a rate that we generally charge. The guest paid $295 via Expedia not the rate stated in their review. We consider our room rates to be good value given the unique location. We offer multi night prices for guests staying more than one night. Included in our rates are Wifi, soft drinks, full cooked breakfast, plus your hosts on call for travel advice and local knowledge.
We are delighted that you enjoyed breakfast here and are sorry that Alison missed the opportunity to cook for you since she does rather enjoy preparing Dinners for guests.

We thank you for your kind words and constructive comments We hope that you have enjoyed the remainder of your stay in New Zealand
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2013

This place is really secluded with the only disturbance being the birds and an occassional helicopter. The views across the bush to the sea at sunset are beautiful. The bedroom was spacious, clean and very comfortable and guests also had the use of a huge lounge area as well. There were walks waymarked throughout the huge gardens which although a work-in-process showed a great knowledge of plants, trees and other objects as sculptural and decorative items.

Our hosts, Alison and Andre were very welcoming, providing tea and homemade shortbread on arrival. Andre was very knowledgable of the local, and indeed wider, areas giving us maps and points of interest of various walks and beaches. Alisons forte was obviously the kitchen! She provided excellent breakfasts with much use of homemade produce. She also provided a 3 course dinner on 1 night and a cold platter on the 2nd night. Whilst these were a little more expensive than we had experienced in local restaurants, there was the added bonus that we didn't have to walk or drive anywhere. Most of the food was fresh from their own garden and Alison is truly an excellent cook! All in all therefore probably well worth it.

Andre also gave us many tips for our onward trip to Christchurch including scenic routes, places to stop for short walks and/or viewpoints and even places to eat on route. He made our last free day in New Zealand far more memorable than we could have expected.

Many Thanks, Carol & Phil Rickhuss, UK

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Philipo261048
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this review, 25 March 2013
Great to hear that you enjoyed your stay and especially my cooking and home grown produce! Thank you for your review.
Alison Gygax
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2013

Loved it! Alison and Andre are the perfect hosts, making you feel so welcome. Alison's food is brilliant, and best of all was the luxurios bed. I thought I was back home after sleeping in that bed. The lodge is in a beautiful location and the planting is well designed, you can tell they love their work. They have created a perfect escape from it all. We were only here for one night and wished we had longer. Andre gave us a few tips about where to stop the next day which was very useful as we saw the driftwood art at Hokitika. Amazing!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this review, 25 March 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a review - Andre and Alison take great pride in guest satisfaction and you just summed it up perfectly. Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2013

Imagine being in a cottage that's in the middle of nowhere with a lake, an outdoor bath, an orchard and a forest in your backyard..you will be welcomed by a row of ducks walking around the outdoor garden.. Birds Ferry Lodge gives you an unmatched sense of peace - you can walk around the nearby forest, take a tour of Alison's lovely garden and if you're lucky like us - enjoy fresh Manuka honey off the nearby bee farm. Andre and Alison have created their own world away from the hustle and bustle of the city..the rooms are comfortable and nicely designed, the kitchen is very well equipped too. We'd love to return and enjoy the seclusion. It has been the perfect honeymoon accommodation.

Room Tip: Pick the cottage if you are on your honeymoon.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 20supriya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this review, 6 September 2014
Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2013

This is an extraordinarily beautiful place! Add to the exquisite location and scenery, a beautiful cottage and large bright very nicely furnished bedrooms (we stayed in both) and a lovely, very warm welcome by Andre and Alison and.....you have it all!! Oh, and.... I forgot, an outdoor hot bath under the stars, sipping on a gorgeous wine, a fabulous breakfast and a whole day out with Andre showing us the entire region, isolated beaches, rain forests, pancake rocks, local baches......powerful and very sweet memories; we will be back!! (And try the Bay House Cafe; it's very delicious too!)

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank freespirit13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this review, 6 September 2014
Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2013 via mobile

After a drive from Hamner Springs we received a warm welcome from Andres and were blown away by the magnificent views. Very comfortable room thoroughly enjoyed watching the sunset whilst in the hot tub. We enjoyed the best breakfast of our whole Holiday would thoroughly recommend staying with Andres and Alison.

Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank RICHIEJACKMORE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this review, 6 September 2014
Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Birds Ferry Lodge

Property: Birds Ferry Lodge
Address: Birds Ferry Road, RD 2, Westport 7865, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westport
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Westport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Birds Ferry Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Birds Ferry Lodge where you will enjoy a wilderness location just North of Punakaiki. This modern and stylish solid timber lodge features comfortable en-suite rooms with baths & balconies with superb mountain, bush and ocean views. The Self-contained cottage "Ferry Man’s Cottage" in its own private garden is perfect for couples seeking privacy or families needing space for children to run. The twin garden baths with hot piped water are a popular ‘kiwiana’ feature! On-site masseuse and day spa. Alison enjoys sourcing local fish and lamb for use in the Lodge kitchen. We grow almost all of the fresh produce used in the kitchen in our 1 hectare vegetable garden along with our own free range eggs from very happy chickens. Be sure to book a dinner which will be a highlight of your stay! FREE WIFI. Nearby are Norwest Adventures, Charleston where you can explore ancient limestone caves and see millions of glow worms. Stay 2 nights to enjoy 10% off the price of this tour. Also nearby is Tauranga Bay where you can view one of New Zealand’s large fur seal colonies and enjoy a scenic cliff top walk to the light house. Stay 2 nights & enjoy a complimentary tailor made local tour with Andre as well as a reduced tariff. NEW for 2011/12 is the "Denniston Experience" which is a short drive from Birds Ferry Lodge. This is a guided trip into a historic coal mine and is outstanding. ... more   less 
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