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“Brilliant experience”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 November 2012

On arrival we were greeted with nibbles and sparkling wine. Our room was large with plenty of sumptuous extras including a bath robe and slippers. The hotel is right next to the hot pools and there is a beauty spa on site. The food in the restraint for breakfast and the 5 course degustation meal was delicious. Overall a fantastic trip on the West Coast of New Zealand

Room Tip: A ground floor room leads right out into the forest.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Elizabeth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2012

Dear Elizabeth W,

Thank you for your kind feedback. Thank you as well for making the trip from Christchurch to come and visit.We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Bungeroth

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541 - 547 of 681 reviews

Reviewed 17 November 2012

We stayed at Te Waonui for 2 nights as part of our honeymoon trip around New Zealand. The hotel room was nice but not spectacular compared to other '5 star' places that we stayed. The bathrooms were also a bit too basic. Bed was very comfy and the view into the forest was beautiful.

It is very handily located next to the hot pools which we visited twice. That was lovely!

Our rate included an evening meal so we sampled the degustation menu twice. It was a very unusual experience for us but the service was great, food was fantastic and we had some excellent wines. It does take over two hours though which we thought was a little too long, particularly the second time around.

Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank JB246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2012

Dear JB246,

Thank you for this feedback. We do have options for guests who do not want to enjoy our Degustation Menu on both nights. We should have clarified this with you prior to your arrival and something that we will concentrate on in future.

We appreciate your response.

Yours sincerely,

Richard

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Reviewed 5 November 2012

This place had it all, the rooms were fantastic overlooking the natural bush outside, peaceful and very a comfortable bed.
The restaurant food was great and the service was fantastic as we had a four coarse meal the night we stayed.
The room felt like we were sleeping in heaven.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank LoveTassie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2012

Dear Love Tassie1

Pleasing to read that you had such a wonderful stay with us at Te Waonui Forrest Retreat. Thank you as well for sharing your time with others on Tripadvisor.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Bungeroth

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Reviewed 5 November 2012 via mobile

We got to Te Waonui afterca long drive from queenstown and were introduced to Gwen, the most friendliest concierge in the world. After getting a welcome beverage and a few appetizers. We enjoyed the hot pools next store. Gwen seems to know who what where and when. Dinner was wonderful as was breakfast

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank Mark L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2012

Dear Malevi1947

Thanks to your kind response Gwen was recognised at the highest level winning a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence at our recent Staff Awards. Thank you once again for this valued feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back to Te Waonui Forest Retreat in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Richard

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Reviewed 28 October 2012

We had an unfortunate welcome at Te Waonui being greeted by a staff member in training who had limited English and was clearly new to the concierge role. We were confused (as was she) and almost cancelled our booking on the spot. Not a 5 star welcome and the greeting did set the tone for our arrival. She was quickly backed up by the real concierge who was wonderful and gave us hope - the service from this point on was excellent. Just a tip to Scenic circle, you should probably not let inexperienced staff cut their teeth greeting guests on arrival at your 5 star retreat !

The rooms were nice although less impressive than most 5 star hotels we have stayed in around the world or in New Zealand - the location made up for it and the view out our window to the forest was beautiful. The food at the restaurant was exquisite and the service as expected for fine dining although the dining room atmosphere was noisy (tile floor under wooden chairs) and could be more intimate by utilising the sound system for background music more effectively. We would have liked the option of a faster and more casual breakfast so we could get out and explore the surrounds quicker in the morning and our main issue with breakfast was the terrible coffee - a barista would make a great addition to the team. The village provides plenty of casual dining experiences and we suggest guests enjoy the degustation menu or one in house evening meal and then explore the rest of the village for other meals. Certainly get your coffee elsewhere !!

The location really is what makes this retreat special with so many great outdoor attractions nearby and staff who can direct you to the best Franz Josef has to offer and help with bookings etc. Honestly we had a great trip but we did not feel Te Waonui is a 5 star retreat that is worth the cost even on their special Wot-If deal. Shop around - its the location that delivers here - there are many options for accommodation in Franz Josef. Highly recommend the hot springs, kayaking at Okarito lagoon to see the herons and the numerous bush walks around the village and up to the glacier. Spectacular environment.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank wk p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2012

Dear WK P

Thank you for your response as it is only through feedback like this that we can continually improve as a Hotel. Disappointing to read that we got the basics wrong but we have learned from these mistakes and I am confident we will never have a similar problem like this in future!

Yours sincerely,

Richard Bungeroth

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Reviewed 11 October 2012

Myself and partner stayed here on their degestation weekend package fro our birthday gift to each other. The hotel was great, new clean, tasteful, but what made out stay so enjoyable was the staff. I have told many of my friends since my stay to book!!!! It is so nice to get great customer service, in fact THE best customer service i have had in New Zealand ! Now that is a big call, as i have lived here for 25 years and do travel a lot around the country staying at various establishments. The food in the restaurant was great 5 stars to the chefs. You will be seeing a few of my friends trickling though our the next while i am sure!!! I really cannot speak highly enough of the overall package given by the team at te waonui. thanks for the great stay, a very memorable weekend of festivities!!

Room Tip: All rooms look out over native bush
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank bobskinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ScenicHotels, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2012

I am delighted that you enjoyed yourselves whilst staying with us - we aim to make our guests feel at home.
I am so pleased you are spreading the "word" we love having you on our sales team! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, it was our pleasure looking after you.
Kindest regards
Kerryann

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Reviewed 19 September 2012

Nestling on the edge of the rainforest and within the trees, Te Waonui is a sympathetically designed wood-faced hotel nevertheless conveniently located for the rest of (admittedly tiny) Franz Joseph.

Rooms are well-designed and comfortable, with good selections of toiletries and mini-bar items. The view is out onto the thick rainforest within the courtyard (the hotel is a square design with forest still in the centre) - you can't see the rooms opposite. There's a spa with hot pools next door if you're into that sort of thing, but it costs extra to use this.

The restaurant food and service were good: we got a deal on the multi-course set menu one night which was excellent and adapted well to our children's gluten and dairy intolerances. Breakfast was buffet style with a wide choice and it was hard not to seriously overeat.

Generally we were pleasantly suprised by the level of service and sophistication of this place: after all FJ is a bit in the middle of nowhere and the previous night near Greymouth had offered nothing but fairly basic B&Bs. FJ itself is charming too and well worth two or three days to explore and enjoy the multitude of outdoor activities available.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank MacDaddyinSing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ScenicHotels, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2012

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and thank you so much for taking the time to let us know. We wish you happy travelling through the rest of New Zealand.
warm regards
Kerryann

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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: £419 - £541 (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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