... admittedly mainly because it cost as much as it did.
It's a very very nice hotel otherwise; large spacious rooms with full amenities built into lush quiet grounds. The surrounding rain-forest makes for a very nice setting and I'd guess that Te Waonui recognized this nestling their resort as seamlessly as possible into the grounds and letting the surrounds show itself off.
Meals did came included in our rate. Dinner was good; enjoyed those Merino lamb chops tho' not sure about the cider sherbet. If anything to gripe at was that the whole meal was a touch drawn out even if being a 4-5 course affair. Breakfast is as you expect from a top hotel's full buffet spread.
The hotel will tell you about their spa (as they should), and the heated pools just behind adjacent to the hotel that's a nice treat after tramping around the area and up to the glacier. We thought that was a great idea too however I would've thought that that price of entry to the pools be included in the hotel rate, it wasn't, so a somewhat downer surprise.
Service was excellent all round - from the front desk to the restaurant staff. Richard the GM was on hand to greet and introduce his hotel which was very welcoming. I guess tripadvisor activism does work - had seen previous criticisms that wifi had to be paid for if more than the first couple of complimentary hours meant that Richard also did point out that they're possibly reviewing this and wouldn't charge us if we exceeded.
So all very nice, top service that's a credit to the staff. Modern, spacious, fully equipped but at a premium rate even for a 5-star place.
- 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