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“Staff, setting and public areas - no complaints!”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Like another reviewer, we were booked in to the Scenic Hotel but were upgraded to Te Waonui as it was still closed. I'm sure the Scenic Hotel will be great once finished (it may even be by now) but we were not disappointed with our stay at Te Waonui. The staff made us feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble for them. The hotel is located off the main road, hidden amongst the trees and the rooms overlook part of the forest (if that's the right term). We didn't eat in the hotel so can't comment but the bedrooms and other public areas were very inviting and beautifully decorated. We did have a bit of trouble with the heating but called reception who tried to rectify the issue - it worked in the end!

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Te Waoni Forest, whether you're stay is for a night or a week!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Paula M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2011

Dear p_m_Worcester

The upgrade to Scenic Hotel was completed and it looks fantastic !

Even so, we would prefer if you stay with us when next in Franz Josef…

Besides, seeing as you did not dine with us on your previous visit the experience is well worthwhile and should definitely make it onto your list for a future holiday.

Best Regards



Karl

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578 - 584 of 666 reviews

Reviewed 7 October 2011

My tour agent made the reservation for another hotel but it was under renovation so we were upgraded to Te Waonui. I'm glad we did. The hotel was beautiful and the room was large and cozy. The room was cold, and we couldn't find the remote to adjust the heater, but in retrospect, we should have just asked the reception.

The best part was the view. The balcony, which was quite private, opened right up to a rainforest. The closest you can come to camping without pitching a tent. :-)

The hotel is located at the edge of the actual town, so you might need a short walk to get to the centre, though it is not very far. There are also a number of restaurants just around the corner.

One incident though. When we found out that we were booked on a twin room, we requested the reception to change us to a double. He replied that there were none available. However, during our stay, we realised that the hotel was practically empty. It turned out to be a non-issue though, because each bed was queen-size, but still, the receptionist's response was puzzling to say the least.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ikuy1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2011

Dear Ikuy1975

Thank you for taking the time to write the review about our hotel. As with our other upgraded guests we were really glad to have you stay with us.

Great to hear that you enjoyed the rainforest setting, it is a pleasure “camping” in luxury.

To clear up the receptionists puzzling response, during the low season we do extensive annual deep cleaning and maintenance of rooms. During your stay a large portion of our rooms inventory were taken out for this purpose and unless a double room was specifically noted by the travel agent we allocated rooms from the available twin pool.

Best Regards



Karl

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Reviewed 7 September 2011

I made a reservation to Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef but they were closed for renovations. They upgraded me to Te Waonui Forest Retreat and gave me an extra room for my family. Absolutely delighted.
I would say it is comfy to sleep and shower was amazingly good. Since it's a 5 star hotel, I believe the usage of Wifi should be complimentary to the guests.

Other than that, this hotel is strategically located in Franz Josef with access to many activities and food. Coming from a tropical climate country , the facade of the hotel just seemed normal to us. Stay here if you want to be pampered with great bed and great shower.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank GideonWai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2011

Dear GideonLeong

Thank you for your positive post regarding your experience at Te Waonui, we were glad to have you stay with us.

It is my pleasure to inform you that our guest internet facility was restructured and is now far more competitive with reasonable pricing for 24 hour uncapped access.

Best Regards



Karl

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Reviewed 24 June 2011

We first stumbled across Te Waonui Forest Retreat last year when we were doing a run down the West Coast. We only stayed one night and were in a rush so didn't get the chance to slow down and enjoy it fully. This time we knew better and went South purely to enjoy what Te Waonui has to offer for a couple of nights.

We actually ended up getting there a bit later than planned due to an accident closing one of the roads and a four-hour detour, and on our arrival we were instantly made to feel welcome and that the staff there cared. The delightful manager (Chris, I think?) welcomed us warmly and brought us each a hot chocolate while we checked in. The cares of the long drive just melted away!

The rest of the two days there carried on in the same vein. The staff are fabulously attentive without being intrusive and sitting in our room looking out at the rainforest is lovely and relaxing.

And of course, there's the food! We were mostly there for the food, we make no pretence otherwise, and the chef at Te Waonui delighted us each night with imaginative creations and brilliant presentation.

The only niggle was the duty manager in the Canopy restaurant at breakfast always wanting to seat us next to another large table of diners, even though the restaurant was almost empty. The second morning we just said no thanks and sat over the other side so we could enjoy a quiet breakfast looking out at the native bush.

It's a long way from anywhere, really, and especially a long way from Auckland for a couple of nights' break, but we'd do it again without hesitation (although, hopefully, not while Arthur's Pass is closed!)

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Treadbrook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2011

Dear Treadbrook

We were delighted to welcome you back on your return stay, thank you for your patronage as well as the comments left on our Trip Advisor page.

As our guest you have the freedom to enjoy your dining experience at any unreserved table you prefer, the matter was addressed and will not re-occur.

We strive to improve our services on an ongoing basis and I'm confident that you'll enjoy your next stay even more.

Chef will be rolling out a new summer menu to tantalize your tastebuds in September and Arthurs pass will hopefully be free of snow...

Best Regards



Karl

P.S. Chris, our Concierge certainly has a knack with hot chocolate.

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Reviewed 17 June 2011

While visiting New Zealand we stayed at this hotel. We actually had booked a room at another hotel but the reservation people made a mistake and it wasn't available so they moved us to this hotel. What an awesome place. The staff is friendly, efficient and helpful. The breakfast buffet is well worth the price and the views from the restaurant are spectacular. I would highly recommend that if you visit Franz Josef on the south island of New Zealand, stay here!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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Thank PAB32457
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2011

Dear PAB32457

We were quite happy that a mistake was made and you spent your time with us instead of elsewhere. Hopefully we'll see you again in the near future !

Best Regards



Karl

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Reviewed 28 May 2011

We were shocked to learn this hotel won an architecture award. The rooms are small and dark with nothing to distinguish them. The rainforest location only magnifies the dark dankness. Walking distance to the Glacier Hot Pools which is marginally interesting, but only if you get a private pool, as the public spaces are loud, crowded, and seem unclean. The food was unremarkable and the service poor. It was really more like a motel. I wouldn't stay again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SheaG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2011

Good Day

My name is Karl and I am the manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat. Firstly I would like to apologise that our facility did not meet your expectations, looking at how well travelled you are I respect your judgement in the matter.

In saying that I would ask that some latitude be given for the fact that some of the other units you stayed in command 3 or 4 times the rate that our hotel does.

The hot pools also do not form part of our property and although we go around intermittently to check on the product we are not in a position to inspect their facility on a daily basis and rely heavily on feedback received from our guests.

I am very concerned about your reference to unremarkable product and poor service in our restaurant and I would sincerely appreciate further details in order to correct deficiencies in both these areas.

Thank you for your comments and providing us with the opportunity to improve our services.

With Kind Regards



Karl Snyman

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Reviewed 23 May 2011

One of our most memorable getaways. A 5 star service and probably one of only of its kind on the west coast of South Island in New Zealand. Perfect location for honeymooners and romance getaways. Stone throw away from hot pools and located in the glacier country, the venue is ideal for business and leisure.
The hotel also has a 5 star restaurant with an excellent menu. We tried the 5 course degustation menu which went excellent with the recommended wines.

Room Tip: Ask the hotel staff and they will guide you.
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vivek_anu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2011

Good Day

Thank you very much for the fantastic comments and we look forward to welcoming you back to Te Waonu Forest Retreat !

Best Regards



Karl

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Additional Information about Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Address: 3 Wallace Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Franz Josef
#1 Romantic Hotel in Franz Josef
#2 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range: £347 - £517 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Te Waonui Forest Retreat 5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury hotels in New Zealand don't get any better than this! Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star Qualmark rated retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury. Te Waonui Forest Retreat promises all its guests a truly unique and memorable experience. At one with nature, the five-star Qualmark rated Te Waonui Forest Retreat is the ultimate coming together of luxury escape and environmental awareness. Great care has been taken to ensure this exceptional forest retreat steps lightly upon the earth, from the organic cotton bedspreads to its recycled local building materials. Discerning travellers will appreciate the hotel’s attention to detail, which starts with attentive personal service upon arrival, and continues throughout all the hotel facilities and every aspect of your stay. As our guest you will enjoy exceptional quality and service, including: Luxuriously appointed guest rooms, generously proportioned and featuring the highest standard of room amenities, such as your personal pillow menu, natural wool mattress underlay, and high speed Internet access. Dining among the tres in ‘The Canopy’ restaurant, and savouring quality local cuisine, including an indulgent five-course degustation dinner. Innovative, environmentally sustainable architecture and building materials that create a healthy, warm and quiet haven for you to enjoy. Easy access to many excellent local attractions, including the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Te Waonui Forest Retreat Hotel Franz Josef

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