I stayed here with a friend in June. There was a special going on where we got the 3rd night for free so we ended up staying in the Franz Josef area for an extra day than we intended to. The receptionist was very helpful and even made a last minute booking for a helicopter/glacier hike the following morning.
Our room was small, but still big enough to fit all our luggage. The bed was rather uncomfortable (and dangerous). "Dangerous, how can a bed be dangerous?" you may ask. There was a metal spring that had ripped through the mattress cover and was exposed, which we learned the hard way after collapsing on bed after a long day of driving and rain. Fortunately, no one was hurt and we were able to minimize the poking by flipping the mattress over. The sheets weren't very clean either. The bathroom was tiny and shared with the whole building, so it wasn't the cleanest. Even with the space heater running all night, it was still pretty cold.
The most comfortable part of the hostel was undoubtedly the dining room/lounge/kitchen area. A wooden stove in the middle of the room helped keep it nice and warm. There were rolling blackouts the first two nights throughout the whole town, but fortunately the hostel was well equipped with flashlights and headlamps. There was free vegetable soup every night for the guests, which, coupled with the blackouts, served as a nice way to meet other travelers. It wasn't a meal, but was very warm and could hold you over until the electricity came back on and you could actually cook dinner. The kitchen is a good size. I never had any trouble finding an open counter or stovetop to use. There are plenty of pots and pans and utensils to go around, as well as other cooking supplies. One night my friend and I even made pizza (there are 2 ovens).
Overall, this isn't a hostel that I would have normally stayed 3 nights in. However, Franz Josef is not something that can be passed over while in NZ and the glacier was more than enough justification for staying here.
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- Also Known As:
- Glow Worm Cottages Hotel Franz Josef