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“Fantastic service and food at Te Waonui”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic service and food at Te Waonui”
Reviewed 1 April 2013

We had a fantastic time at Te Waonui and think the staff some of the best, if not the best for service in all our travels over the years in NZ. From the moment we arrived the service was excellent, friendly and professional. And at all times they welcomed and treated our children as valued guests. Facilities are great, food and dining is excellent and the service throughout was attentive, friendly and always done with a genuine smile and sense of pride.

Room Tip: a must do is to visit the hot pools which adjoin the property.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rob 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 review, 9 April 2013
Dear Rob

Thank you for sharing with others that Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a family friendly Hotel. We appreciate your high rating of our service delivery especially our staff :-)

Thank you once again.

Richard
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657 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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
Woodbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
122 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2013

What an experience, one that I shall never forget, could easlily stay here for a month and still not want to leave.
The smiling Manager met us with hot towels and iced Kiwi fruit dring, bliss! after an enjoyable but challenging drive of about 4 hours. This hotel is at the cutting edge of sustainable,comfortable accomodation. Great care has been taken to preserve the environment around the hotel, and to incorporate the rainforest within the hotel building. Comfort is a top priority,with soft woollen underlays and down and wool duvets., the best night sleep ever.
The 5 course degustation menu in the restauarnt was sumptuous, the dining room canopied by the forest.
The charming staff were outstanding.
To date, this hotel was the best experience of my whole life(and that's a lot of years).

Room Tip: All room are sensational, just stay there.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alison M
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 review, 24 March 2013
Dear Alison

We appreciate your wonderful review of Te Waonui Forest Retreat and thank you for sharing your positive experience with others on Tripadvisor. It's reviews like this that get me out of bed in the morning :-) Thank you once again.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2013

There are not many hotels in New Zealand where you are met as you park your car and have your luggage taken care of, are handed a hot towel and an iced drink as you reach reception, where you are greeted by the hotel manager himself as your bags are taken to your room and where every time you enter the restaurant you are greeted by name. This hotel has a lovely outlook onto pure West Coast native forest from the guest rooms and a glimpse of the Aoraki/Mt Cook massif the other way. We had a lovely 2 night stay and felt very well looked after.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank PaulGTaylor
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 review, 21 March 2013
Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for taking the time to give us your comments and glad to read that our friendly Te Waonui welcome set the tone for a great 2 night stay in Franz Josef Glacier.

We treasure your custom.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide
Level Contributor
88 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2013

The Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a luxury property with stunning rain forest views right on the doorstep, with well appointed and functional rooms. The restaurant degustation menu is not to be missed, with exceptional and attentive service, while the breakfast buffet is also top class.

The friendly staff here deserve a special mention for attentiveness throughout our stay, particularly the Manager and the lovely Concierge Gwen, when we were made to feel extra welcome and nothing was too much trouble.

As and example, upon check-in my wife found she had left her handbag at a coffee shop some 65 kilometres away, and she began to panic. The Manager asked us to describe the shop and the handbag and told us he would take care of it. Just 2 hours later, there was a knock on our door and the handbag was delivered intact.

Now that is real customer service!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank OvationGX2
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 review, 21 March 2013
Dear OvationGX2

Thank you for your candid response and for taking the time to recognise Gwen (Concierge) and Randhir (Manager) at the highest level on Tripadvisor. There are very very few pats on the back in the Guest Service business and it's only through feedback like this that we can continually improve as a Hotel.

Thank you once again

Yours in hospitality

Richard
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2013

we stayed 1 night here and had the bed, dinner and breakfast package. The 5 course degustation dinner was very good as was breakfast. The rooms where nicely appointed and the beds very comfortable, I just feel the room was slightly overpriced as compared to where else we stayed in NZ. In saying that though it was a nice place to stay and if the special is good then go for it.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Narp35
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 review, 21 March 2013
Dear Narp35

Thank you for your response and glad that you enjoyed your overall stay with us at Te Waonui Forst Retreat. Disappointed to read that you left feeling that your entire experience was a little overpriced as we pride ourselves in delivering a 5 star value for money experience.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2013

Oh, this is a lovely hotel. Very comfortable rooms with airconditioning and balcony. Very nice bathroom with a heated floor - loved that even though it was summer! The hotel is arranged in a quadrangle round a piece of rainforest. You look out onto the rainforest which is both interesting and gives you privacy. Franz Josef is small and everything is within walking distance.

The service is superb. We were met on arrival by the manager and offered towels and a kiwi fruit drink. In our room were complimentary wine and nibbles. And in late afternoon a trolley came round with a selection of complimentary cheese and wine. But in addition to this all the staff we met were very helpful and very pleasant.

One thing I must mention which I think underlines the general attitude. On our second night we used the a la carte menu having had the degustation menu the night before. There was a very large party dining. A little while after finishing our starter we were brought a complimentary sorbet since there was going to be a slight delay for our main course due to the chef coping with the large party. In fact the delay was not very long at all but how often do restaurants fail to explain, let alone offer something in compensation, when there is a longer than usual delay? So full marks to the Te Waonui for the way they dealt with this.

The food was excellent too - the white bean veloute with crab was particularly good. Breakfast was also good.

We booked the hot pools through the hotel (you get a small discount) and since it is next door you can walk there in the hotel robes and with the hotel towels if you like. (Towels not necessary if you book a private pool.)

It's not the cheapest hotel around but it is definitely value for money. You won't be disappointed if you stay there - and you will enjoy being pampered!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rowan60
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 review, 21 March 2013
Dear Rowan

Thank you for your feedback and I am especially proud to read of the initiative shown by my restaurant team for not letting anything slip through the cracks despite what sounded like a busy time in our Canopy Restaurant :-) Thank you once again for rating our service delivery so highly on Tripadvisor.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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Arvada, Colorado
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2013

Upon arrival--We were met by the Hotel mgr. (Richard Bungeroth)with Hot towels and delicious Kiwi juice - (oh so refreshing) . After 5 hours in the car ...this was a wonderful surprise! I will never forget this. The forest retreat is truly one of the best places we stayed on our 2 week drive. A beautiful retreat set up against the rainforest. From our patio we could touch the vegetation. it seemed so private...just a slice of heaven. We went to hot pools and the retreat had robes/slippers for us to wear as we walked a very short distance. bicycles were available to explore the area. I loved this place and wish We could have spent more time. The staff was fabulous as was dinner and breakfast. Worth the extra $'s

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gypsy-by-trade
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 review, 17 March 2013
Dear Trisha

Great to meet you at Te Waonui and thank you for your formal review on Tripadvisor! Coming from Colarado I understand that you have some beautiful countryside and equally magnificent Hotels ... Thank you once again for your high rating of Te Waonui Forest Retreat.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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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 Romantic Hotel in Franz Josef
#1 Family 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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