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“A Special kind of luxury” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Te Waonui Forest Retreat

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Ely, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“A Special kind of luxury”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2012

We were welcomed at check in with a moist flanel and glass of iced tea which was a nice way of getting the check in formalites attended to and a welcome refreshment to the end of a long day. Nothing appeared to be too much trouble and the service was very good. Our cases were taken and were in our room when we got there.

We were shown to our room and all the various features explained, such as the air conditioning and the heated bathroom floor. The rooms were very well appointed, very comfortable and clean.

The evening meal which was included was a five course degustation. The menu was fine, except we had to ask to see the vegitarian menu. In these days the vegitarian options should be included on the main menu. I would have skipped a course but there was an item of appeal on the vegitarian menu. All in all the service was very good and the food was excellent.

Having had superb evening meal, breakfast was a bit of a let down. Having stayed in an airport hotel the night before that could provide a tea pot with fresh leaf tea at breakfast, we were expecting something of the same quality from this establishment. Being poured tea from a flask that looked like dishwater was not what we wanted or indeed having asked for a tea pot just gettinga pot with hot water to put our own tea bags in from a tray on the table. The hot food was fine, although some back/middle back bacon would have been better than streaky only. Some other parts were a bit limited.

Check out was efficent and friendly, we were offered assistance with our bags but we declined, however as we made our way to the car a groundsman through down his brush and insisted he take our bags to the car, putting them into the car and shaking our hands and bidding us a good journey.

We would definately return to this hotel for the superb service and comfort, but would ask that they look at the breakfast, more so the tea than the offerings.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Southdown_Man
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 review, 20 February 2012
Dear Southdown_Man

Thank you for the comments on your stay. We look forward to welcoming you back to Te Waonui and to present to you, our expanded breakfast selection and tea service.

Kind Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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644 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

After researching 5 star accomadation we chose to stay at the resort. Although the service was very friendly, the cleanliness of the floors in the dining room and our room was not up to scratch. The meals in the dining room were a little complicated, but the wine list was very comprehensiv

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RHONDA48
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 review, 20 February 2012
Dear RHONDA48

We appreciate your feedback, the floors were all double-checked and received a thorough deep cleaning where required. The ongoing cleaning cycle was also reviewed and adjusted for much higher occupancies.

Our chef takes pride in pushing the envelope where the menu is concerned and although the result can at times be complicated we hope the dishes tantalise and delight both the eyes and taste buds.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future !

Kind Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2012

Although this hotel is quite expensive, it is no more so than an ordinary hotel in Europe, and the service and experience is FAR better. The hotel itself is really enchanting, our balcony looked out onto beautiful tropical looking greenery.
The check-in was personal and thorough, we were treated to canapes and champagne upon arrival. The hotpools is just at the back of the hotel, making it easy to relax and unwind after a big day hiking.
One day we decided not to have the room serviced and were surprised to find a basket of goodies and towels to replenish the bathroom with.

I would also recommend the hotel restaurant, they do an excellent degustation dinner. We had breakfast included in our stay and the food was delicious and of a very high standard. There was a wide variety of hot breakfast options as well as continental buffet, you can even order off a menu and get a personalised omelette or salmon bagel.

The only downside was the night turndown, the staff member didn't knock and walked straight into the room, which is a bit of an intrusion to privacy.

Highly recommend this hotel to anyone wishing to go to Franz Josef. Worth the little extra $$.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cc_traveller_2012
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 review, 4 January 2012
Dear cc_traveller_2012

Thank you for the superb feedback on your stay with us.

As a result of the turndown incident we immediately amended the procedure by adjusting the timing of the service to prevent the possibility of any intrusions on privacy.

We hope you will visit us again when next you are on the South Island !

Best Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
129 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2012

Outstanding location in a building that blends happily into the rainforest that surrounds it, with rooms connected to the reception and restaurant area by a covered aerial walkway so that you can admire the forest in which you are embedded. The rooms are large and well equipped, and the sound of birdsong from the forest is enchanting. I was served an excellent dinner where great care was taken to prepare and present the dishes in an attractive and appetising manner. At breakfast, one of the hotel management staff came to my table to ask how I was enjoying my stay. This is a unique hotel that I certainly plan to stay in once again when I return to New Zealand later this year.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sanuk6991
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 review, 4 January 2012
Dear sanuk6991

Thank you for your fantastic review !

Each member of our kitchen brigade takes great pride in every plate of food served and they will definitely appreciate your recognition of their efforts.

We look forward to welcoming back later this year.

Kind Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
213 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2011

Te Waonui is a hotel built and run with green credentials in a wonderful location. The rooms are generous and of very high standard, with the whole buiding set hard against the rainforest. The staff are very pleasant and much better trained than in most of the hotels we stayed in. The dinner on the first night was excellent, the meal the second evening not quite as good. As was usually the case in NZ the cooked breakfast was far from hot, although the choice of fruit etc was excellent.

Overall, however, we had a very enjoyable stay - enhanced by seeing juvenile kiwis that were about to be released into the wild - not your everyday hotel experience!

The hotel is an upmarket option if you wish to visit the Franz Josef Glacier (highly recommended) or do any of the walks in the area. We would be very happy to stay there again if we ever get the opportunity.

Room Tip: All rooms face the rainforest due to the way the hotel is laid out.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Barbara41
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 review, 4 January 2012
Dear Barbara41

We appreciate your time taken in writing this review.

During your stay the hot line on our breakfast buffet gave us significant headaches but the problem was resolved and since then the hot items have been maintained at the optimum temperatures.

I am also happy to report, the Kiwis that came to see you at the hotel were successfully released and are all doing well in their new home out in the Okarito forest.

Should the opportunity ever present itself we would love to see you back again.

Kind Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2011

This is a truly magnificient property which is located walking distance to the Franz Josef Glacier. The hotel is set in beautiful rainforest location, the staff a truly amazing and ever so helpful and then the bed and the rooms and just stunning. If that isn't enough, the food in their restaurant is 5++ service, food, and appearance truly wonderful.

I cannot wait to go back and to all the Management and staff thank you for making my stay at Te Waonui truly wonderful. Till I come back... J. Metzner

Room Tip: All rooms are good as they all face the Rainforest.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jackie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2011

When our touring group arrived at this hotel we were offered a welcome drink, and the staff couldn't do enough for us. I had a large room and a large bed, which was complete with Possum Pillows! (there were also plenty of other pillows on the bed too). The glass doors opened out directly onto the rainforest. I had a top quality dinner, which was beautifully presented. One night in this hotel wasn't enough!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen R
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 review, 4 January 2012
Dear Karen R

Thank you for your great feedback, if one night wasn't enough... We are still here if you would like to visit again !

Best Regards



Karl
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 Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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