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“Great stay in Franz Joseph.”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Level Contributor
46 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Great stay in Franz Joseph.”
Reviewed 10 July 2013

We spend 3 nights at the Te Waonui Forest Retreat and loved it!

The hotel is very modern and blends perfectly into the environment. Rooms are quiet, very modern and bathrooms very clean. Our room (I think all rooms) have a beautiful view into the forest setting. The complimentary sparkling wine and canapés were a nice touch.

Staff are friendly and eager to fulfil any request. Free onsite parking is a plus and within easy driving distance to the glaciers.

Breakfast was average and dinner nothing special but it was nice to have a degustation dinner in such a remote place on my birthday.

This is by far the most upmarket accommodation in the area and would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank dazman69
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, 7 September 2013
Dear Dazman69

Thank you for taking the time to give us your valued feedback. It is only through feedback like this that we can continually improve as a Hotel.

Yours in hospitality

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Auckland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2013

This is the perfect place to get away from it all and immerse yourself in the relaxing and beautiful environment of the west coast. On arrival we were meet by the outstanding manager of the hotel and taken to our beautiful room which backed onto the lush forrest. THE BEDS ARE EXTRAORDINARY COMFY, you literally sink into them. We booked the eve off arrival and every staff we encounted was extremely helpful and an absolute pleasure to deal with. I have never had such good service in a hotel before. Slightly disappointed in the spa, it's in one of the hotel rooms, not a stand alone service. Definitely get out on the bikes, perfect way to explore the area.The 5 course degustation dinner which is included with your room is incredible.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank AnnabelleR0se
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, 16 May 2013
Dear Annabelle

Congratulations, it appears that you have posted the final Tripdvisor response for our 2012/13 season at Te Waonui Forest Retreat and what a great season it has been in the beautiful Franz Josef Glacier! Thank you for your valued feedback and we look forward to picking up from where we left on 1 September 2013!

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly when next you visit us from Auckland.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
67 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2013

This would have to be the best service I have experienced in any hotel in the world. Friendly and efficient without being in your face. The food in the restaurant was also top class. We only had to ask for a small dietary requirement to have that rapidly accommodated. The rooms are comfortable with the view into the rainforest relaxing. A short walk to the hot pools puts this hotel in an ideal location.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wayne T
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, 30 April 2013
Dear Wayne

Wonderful to see how many of our valued Chch guests are making the trip to Franz Josef Glacier, and especially pleasing to read how many are enjoying their time with us at Te Waonui Forest Retreat! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with others on Tripadvisor.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
255 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 321 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2013

Recently spent two nights at Te Waonui. This is an exceptionally well run property. It is not chinzy, plush, luxe but more subtle and tasteful, even minimalist with natural materials. We were met on arrival and our luggage whisked to our room and are car valet parked in minutes.

The hotel was not busy, less than a quarter full which made it wonderfully quiet and relaxing. We enjoyed our complimentary chilled sparkling wine and canapes on our balcony in complete peace and privacy. We did think that when the hotel would be full this might not be the case as many balconies over look each other and you can clearly see into other bedrooms.

We had the 5 course degustation dinner on the evening of our arrival. Service was exceptional and the meal was very good. Some reviews have discussed portion sizes being mean and while the courses preceeding the main dishes were 'nouveau cusine' style, once we'd finished the meal we were pleasantly full ! There were only three other tables occupied for dinner that evening (Saturday night), so the dining room was very quiet. The staff told us that the hotel was preparing to close for the season.

The rest of our stay was excellent. Although we knew it was coming, it was still lovely to receive a complimentary bottle of wine (from a good estate too) and cheese, olives, crackers and sundried tomatoes to have in our room in the early evening. The weather was glorious during our stay, so we made good use of our sunny balcony for our cheese and wine.

The room was very comfortable, well equipped and thought out, as was the bathroom, with a heated floor and pleasant toiletries. House keeping was spot on too although the room was not made up until past three in the afternoon. All the staff we came across were friendly and genuinely committed to making our stay enjoyable. Breakfast was very good too with a buffet complimenting an a la carte menu (pancakes with grilled bananas and maple syrup were delicious!).

When we left, we were given water and sweets for our next leg of our journey. Franz Josef is not much more than one road with some noisey bars and cheap souvenir shops, so having a comfortable secluded base to retire to is a bonus, even if this is an expensive property to stay in. We did a scenic flight and a helicopter landing on a snow field during our stay which was very exciting.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Whinbrook
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, 28 April 2013
Dear Whinbrook

Besides your wonderful 5-star rating, the fact that you have reviewed over 160 other properties on Tripadvisor makes this feel more like a 10-star one!

Thank you once again.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2013

When we arrived we were greeted by manager of hotel in car park and led inside to a warm welcome of hot towels and chilled kiwifruit juice. The staff could not of been more friendly and helpful. It is definitely worth the money .. you get value and that we bit of extra pampering.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Barbara H
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, 28 April 2013
Dear Barbara

Thank you for putting pen to paper and for sharing your experience at Te Waonui Forest Retreat with others. Pleasing to read that you had the opportunity to enjoy yourself with us and 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
Christchurch, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2013

We have just returned home from a short holiday at Te Waonui Forest Retreat and the very first thing we did was to check our diaries for an available date to return!!! The hotel is magnificent and the staff well trained, attentive and genuinely helpful.They all actually appear to be passionate about their jobs. The eco-desihn is breathtaking and the beds the most comfortable I've slept on. (I spend half my life in hotels!!) The location is exquisite and the view from our room did not disappoint - the birdsong was an added luxury. The complimentry mountain bikes were a joy, although I took a little convincing. For a zen.like retreat this rates as my new number one.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Be R
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, 28 April 2013
Dear Be R

Thank you for your cheery response. Really pleased that you could make the trip from Chch to come and enjoy Franz Josef Glacier. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if I can ever assist with anything in future.

Yours sincerely

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
293 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2013

Staff were exceptionally friendly, the rooms were superb. Internet was annoying but we got it sorted in the end. This was my birthday celebration and they gave me my wine for free when they realised. Would definitely recommend this place for the setting alone - but not 5 star - a definite excellent 4 star.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank leonemoff
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, 28 April 2013
Dear Leonemoff

Thank you for spending your birthday with us at Te Waonuui Forest Retreat. We appreciate your feedback and recommendation.

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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