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“good clean well located accommodation”
Review of The Terrace Motel

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The Terrace Motel
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Franz Joseph is a relatively expensive place to stay but a must on the itinerary .Deals can be had for booking three nights or more We found The Terrace to be good value , clean accommodation in the centre of the town . The host was very helpful and informative .

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jen m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 March 2014

We didn't have much notice for the one night we needed at Franz Josef and needing two rooms left us little choice. This is the basic motel of old. Fits the purpose for a place to stop and a bed to sleep in, but nothing to write about except the view of the glacier from the car park and the very friendly and welcoming hosts, which I guess goes a long way. There isn't much they can do about the tiny bedrooms and living area and the verandah roof that blocks the sun and the view and the parking that we couldn't fit into! But they told us about the glowworms at the end of the road and gave us advice about other attractions - that made it all a lot better. It was expensive for what it was.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank FamilyOE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014

We recently enjoyed our first, wonderful 14 day holiday in the South Island of New Zealand. We stayed in 8 different hotels while visiting many towns. While Terrace Motel was not the nicest place we stayed in, it was by far the most expensive. The room at Terrace was spacious and clean, but modest. Its higher price tag was certainly not warranted by the limited amenities. Parking is awkward and there is no scenic view whatsoever.

Franz Josef is a small, charming town with many accommodations within easy walking distance of each other. I believe that Terrace benefits from being one of the first places you see when you drive in from the Fox Glacier area. My advice is to check out other places nearby. Walking two minutes from Terrace, we found a similar room at another motel for $40 less per night that had better parking too.

It is also worth noting that Terrace was the only accommodation we found in NZ that charges your entire stay upfront when you book your reservation, as opposed to others that charge upon arrival. Also, Terrace has an unusual policy of imposing a $ penalty if you amend or cancel your reservation AT ANY TIME. (At other places, you only incur a charge if you cancel within 48 hours or don't show, which is reasonable). While we never changed any of our reservations during our trip, I think that TA readers might appreciate being aware of this questionable policy.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank urser5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom S, Owner at The Terrace Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

I am sorry to hear that you had some disappoint with your stay although I am pleased to hear you found the rooms spacious and clean and you had a good holiday in the South Island.

With regard to parking, many of our rooms have covered parking, which is handy in a rainforest. In my experience we have plenty of onsite parking with more parking spaces than rooms, although if one guest parks in a strange place I understand it can create difficulties for others, had you mentioned this to me at the time I would have been happy to help with the parking situation. While all rooms have parking by the room door most rooms have front and back doors and there is further parking that can be accessed from the room back doors – via a private driveway.

Regarding the view, some rooms have better views than others (one has the best view of any motel room I have been in, in Franz Josef while another – a large 2 bedroom apartment - has no real view and others, including a 2 bedroom apartment, have differing views). We have tried to be clear in our room description when advertising views or not but I will review these descriptions.

With regard to the price, the accommodation business in Franz Josef is very competitive and for the rooms and facilities we offer I do not believe we are over priced but I encourage anyone to look around and compare what we offer, the room size, facilities and location with the price of other motels before booking. Unfortunately it does not surprise me that Glacier region was the most expensive location you visited on a summer holiday. The summer season is peak season in the region and so destinations like Queenstown and Wanaka that are a lot more expensive in the Winter ski season will be cheaper than the Glacier region in the summer. Added to this most of our services and supplies need to be transported at least 2 hours from Greymouth (the only laundry supplier that delivers in this region brings the items 5 hours from Christchurch), which means the cost of operating and offering accommodation in an isolated location are a lot higher than more populated areas.
If you asked another motel about a future stay out of the peak season and you were not making a firm booking but just a general enquiry. It does not surprise me that they would show you one of their best rooms and offer you a discounted price that may or may not be available when you call back.


There are several ways to pay for your booking and you are correct one of those ways is payment in advance and we find many guests prefer this option. The current provider of our website only offers advanced payment as that is what their software is set up to do (and this software is used by many motels in NZ). Direct bookings with us are the cheapest way to book and if you book via email or the phone we do not take any payment in advance (the website does take advance payment). Alternatively some online booking sites do and some don’t take advance payment – although this is as slightly more expensive way to book as we need to pay them commission.

The terms at the bottom of the standard booking form had never been changed from those loaded by the online booking company and I only noticed that they mentioned a $25 cancellation fee a month or so ago (I understand this was put in to cover credit card commission costs). We have not charged this fee to anyone who has given 48 hours notice of cancelation in the entire time I have owned The Terrace. Today I have had the booking terms amended to reflect this and the $25 charge has been removed from the wording.

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Reviewed 20 March 2014 via mobile

I planned to stay in one of the 10 cottages, but was offered an upgrade on arrival to the Motel. The Motel rooms are huge and Logan, our host, advised us that for 2 nights the big room wd be better. It is. The Motel is clean and quiet, and has a hot plate for cooking, microwave, fridge, tea and coffee-making. New Zealand accommodation is excellent we have found. Logan is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. He booked me on a helicopter flight. Do the biggest and best one you can afford! It is spectacular. The Terrace provides Free Wifi, which really does work. We have had "free wifi" elsewhere which is free for no reception. Go to Franz Josef and go to the Terrace Motel.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Poodlejosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom S, Manager at The Terrace Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Thank you for your nice comments. I hope you and your friend had a great holiday and you come back to Franz Josef again one day.

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Reviewed 17 March 2014

Room clean and bed comfortable but no microwave and only kettle for coffee, tea etc. Bathroom and shower good. Free wifi with only 200mb of internet. Intermittent signal only good first thing in the morning suggesting perhaps over usage slowing down the system.
Ok for one night.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank CriticP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom S, Manager at The Terrace Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

I am glad you found the room clean and the bed comfortable.

Please note our WIFI provider provides the 200 mb tokens to us in that size and we are always happy to give out more tokens should you need more (I will see if I can get bigger tokens). I am sorry you found the system slow. We have recently upgraded our wifi connection and I am told by the installer we are in the top 3 for speed in Franz Josef (which is an isolated location so does not have as quick connections as many cities).

The vast majority of our rooms have microwaves and hot plates / pots and pans for cooking and are only slightly more expensive than the room you booked - which is the cheapest room type we have. I hope you choose to stay with us again and next time please ask for a room with a microwave and hot plates if you would like a microwave and we will be happy to book you one of our larger rooms which have cooking facilities.

For the best room rates please book direct on our website.

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Reviewed 15 March 2014

By most accounts I would consider this property average but based upon the other options available in Franz Josef, I am rating the property as very good. The staff was pleasant, rooms comfortable, parking convenient and their proximity to town was good yet quiet since they were off the main road through town.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank 100nations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

The very friendly welcome set the tone for our two-day stay here, and the advice on what to do and where to eat was spot on for our tastes. The room was very cosy and comfy, though with hindsight we would have opted for a larger room with a full kitchen. Didn't alter our enjoyment of the motel one bit. The request for extra pillows (for medical reasons) was met instantly, and the towels and linens were very good quality, which is important to us. The room had a proper desk for writing, which I liked - and they supply a plunger pot and real coffee in the "goodies kit". About as close to the centre of FJ as you can get, and the side street is a dead-end and very quiet. They'd also done an advanced booking on the HeliHike for us, and their advice to take the earliest trip of the day proved clever - we got away and had a great trip whilst many later flights were cancelled when the weather closed in. Can't beat local knowledge - and Tom also recommended a great place for brekkie on our trip north ( Clock Tower Café at Hokitika). He was SO right that we couldn't get to eat there - it was packed solid with a long queue to get a table, and we didn't have the time to wait. Thanks anyway - and many thanks for a lovely stay. Obviously we'll choose to stay again on our next trip!

Room Tip: If you arrive with no booking, ask to see the variety of rooms available
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank THBNE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom S, Manager at The Terrace Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

Thank you for your nice comments. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday in NZ.

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Additional Information about The Terrace Motel

Address: 15 Cowan Street, Box 44, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Price Range: £70 - £190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Terrace Motel 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Terrace is the closest Motel to the centre of Franz Josef Village, yet on a quiet side street. The 4 star Terrace Motel offers views of snow capped mountains and the Croz Glacier from its grounds. Unlimited Free Wi-Fi and free on-site parking are included. The Terrace offer Hotel style rooms along with rooms with cooking facilities, next to reception is a quiet restaurant operated by two of Franz Josef most experienced restauranteurs. The Terrace is the closest Motel to Franz Josef's free Glow Worm Caves and Franz Josef Kiwi Bird Centre where guests can experience New Zealand's national bird up close. The Terrace offers spacious ground floor accommodation with electric blankets and electric heating, flat-screen Televisions, tea/coffee making facilities and all en suite bathrooms, some feature a Spa Bath. Guests have a choice of studio's or spacious 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. Most rooms features stove tops and microwaves along with a dining area (please note Hotel style rooms offer tea / coffee and breakfast making facilities only). All rooms are serviced daily. Guests have access to shared laundry and barbecue facilities with outside tables and chairs. The tour desk can organise a range of activities including discounted helicopter flights, hikes, kayaking, horse treks and glacier walks. ... more   less 
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