After the long drive from Punakaiki to Franz Josef, I wanted a place to put up my feet, have a cup of coffee, and rest a bit before exploring this glacier village. Little did I know that I was in for a surprise. For its steep price, I expected the Westwood Lodge where I booked a room to be not only comfortable but luxurious. What I got instead was an expensive and disappointing motel with a sorely inflexible service.
I arrived at Westwood Lodge around 1pm but was told curtly by one of the staff that check-in time is 2 pm. I was told to drive around for an hour and come back. Ok, I drove again, tired as I already am. I went back at 1:54 but Kaz, the manager/owner, was still reluctant to check me in because it’s not yet 2 pm. Wow, I didn’t know this Lodge is a stickler for time precision.
Like her staff member, Kaz was also rude and unwelcoming. Without first checking on my room reservation, she quickly said that “we need to talk since there are 3 or 4 of you”. Even before I could open my mouth and explain why I only booked one room for me, my wife and my young son, she repeatedly maintained that “you have to have two rooms since there are 3 or 4 of you” (my wife and my son did not get out of the car yet). I think she already judged the number of people in the car from a few feet away. So, she forced me to book another suite for my son, because according to her, the suites are “absolutely for two people only.”
In the past, and staying in five-star hotels, I have sorted this out by requesting the staff to bring in a foldable single bed, especially if the room is spacious, and paying extra for it. In Westwood Lodge, the room is pretty spacious. In my many years of travel, this is the first time that I have been met with stiff and bristly resistance to my family’s needs. For my young son to come along on this trip, I had to pay for an extra suite and breakfast for four people (the other suite accommodate 2 persons as well). Westwood Lodge, though roomy, is certainly not a good lodging for a family stay, unless you don’t mind wasting money on extra rooms.
The only good thing about Westwood Lodge is the great view. But then again this is New Zealand and most hotels, motels or lodges tend to have good views. I have travelled from the north to the south island in beautiful New Zealand and I can tell you that Westwood Lodge is my least favourite lodging. I will not recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Westwood Lodge offer stylish cotemporary accommodation set in a delightful landscaped native garden with Alpine & Glacier views. All rooms are superbly comfortable, choose between the Main House Suites with a luxurious French tub or a Coach House suite with fantastic alpine views. All suites have underfloor heated spacious ensuites with dual handbasins & large open titled showers. For total comfort all include complimentary toiletries, robes & hairdryers. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Odigeo and Agoda so you can book your Westwood Lodge- A Select Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.