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“A bad experience!”

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Glenfern Villas Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A bad experience!”
Reviewed 17 October 2013

We were booked to stay 1 night on 21 September and were driving up from Queenstown en route to Greymouth and the Transalpine train. On arrival in Queenstown a few days before our scheduled stay we were informed that the road to Fox Glacier was closed (and had been closed for some days) at the Haast Pass due to an avalanche in which 2 people were killed. On the morning of the 21st our hotel in Queenstown checked the status of the road for us and we were informed that it was still closed.

I rang Glen Fern villas to tell them that we could not get there because of the road closure and was greeted by a rude and argumentative response where the man who answered the phone said the road was open and that we must try to drive through and that he would not accept a cancellation of the booking in the circumstances. Later that day I checked with a tourist information office and was informed that the road was still closed.

To date no refund or offer of compensation has been offered by Glen Fern villas or the agency ANZCRO who made the booking in Australia.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Franzvillas, Owner at Glenfern Villas Franz Josef, responded to this review, 22 October 2013
Hi Julie

As you booked through a travel agent rather than directly with us, any payment dispute should be handled through your travel agent.

In regards to the road openings, the New Zealand Transport Agency has been doing an excellent job in managing the slip the occurred and was opening the road safely for periods during most days while the slip settled down. We can only report to you the road status at the time of you call. The road has also been closing during the evenings while NZTA carry out remedial activity.

Cancellations policies are never popular. We have made ours as soft as possible i.e. cancellations within 48 hours of check-in time only incur a maximum of 1 nights charge. When we accept a booking, we have to hold that villa for the guest and cannot make it available to any other party. We also recommend to our guests that they take out travel insurance to ensure they have coverage in the unlikely event of their travel being disrupted in any way.

We hope you enjoyed your holiday in New Zealand and do hope you have a chance to visit Glacier Country some time in the future.

Craig Rankin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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514 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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English first
Abingdon, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013

We stayed two nights at Glenfern Villas as part of our honeymoon and had a wonderful stay. We were checked in by the friendly Cesar, who was very welcoming and helpful - a font of information and useful advice! Our 1 bedroom villa was right next to reception, which was really handy for quick queries, popping over to check the out the DVD library and utilising the laundry room. The villa itself was spacious, clean, comfortable and well kitted out, although we did have some trouble getting to grips with the key and how the lock worked. Being in the middle of the complex, we didn't have much of a view, but this didn't really matter as it was largely overcast with low cloud for the duration of our stay. We popped over to feed the goats and chickens (you can get bags of feed from reception), who were very receptive - the alpacas not so much, but we think they were wary of the cat skulking in the next field!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheOriginalLiverbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

We arrived at Franz Josef in the pouring rain. The manager was very helpful and kind and gave us accomodation for the two children for free, as I had originally only booked for two adults by mistake! He was so accomodating and welcoming, it was wonderful to have such great service. We were given the cottage facing the mountains and when the sun came out briefly the scenary was stunning. The mountains in NZ are amazing, particularly with the background of the fleeting blue sky and the snow capped mountains. The cottage itself is comfortable, clean and very functional. The children loved the upstairs loft room and the high ceilings gave the apartment/cottage a lovely perspective. Gardens were well maintained and the boys loved the trampoline at the back - a good way to expend their energy after the five hour road trip from Queenstown. Be warned though :) Franz Josef receives buckets of rain and is one of the wettest regions in NZ.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Myrna V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2013

We spent three nights in a lovely one bedroom villa. The manager (forgotten his name but he was from Argentina) was so friendly and obliging. If it weren't for him we would not have known about road closures on the way to wanaka. The accomodation was convenient, clean and comfy! Would recommend:)

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MelbKennedy2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2013

S.H 6 was blocked in Hasst for nearly 2 weeks so we couldn't find our way from Wanaka to Franz Josef. We tried to cancel our bookings with Glenfern and the owner just said to us that we should fly from Wanaka to his place otherwise there will be no refund if we can't arrive on time. This is an absolutely ridiculous recommendation as who is going to pay the air fares of 12 people and how to fly our minibus to there? Finally the owner insisted he wanted to charge us full price of over NZD1,000, he smiling and said "your insurance will cover it". This greedy owner want to blame all the inconvenience caused by the mother natural to visitors ( 2 visitors are missing from this Hasst landslide ), all he cares is money, money and money. There is no positive suggestion and dead-end communication ( just charge from your credit card, easy earning! ), definitely not a honest kiwi style ( well, by phone the owner sounds not like a kiwi anyway ) and shame there is such a disgusting business existing in this country.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anthonyko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Franzvillas, Manager at Glenfern Villas Franz Josef, responded to this review, 25 September 2013
We are disappointed that you are not happy with the process that we follow on the unlikely event of a road closure. This is a follows:

- Check if our affected guests have travel insurance for their disrupted travel.
- Explore alternative travel options in order to see if it is still possible to enjoy this fantastic part of New Zealand.
- Ensure that the road will not be open closer to the time of the expected travel.
- Get confirmation in writing from the guest cannot honour the booking to road closure and no insurance.
- Work through refund options with our guests.

At no time were you dealing with the owners directly however we stand by our staff and their proven excellence in the customer service they provide.

The above process was followed however as all of the above was not established, a charge was made.

We will contact you directly to discuss your concerns and a refund if appropriate. This is not an appropriate forum to discuss your agreed group booking conditions.

We hope your party enjoys the rest of your stay in our wonderful country.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
652 reviews
106 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 863 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2013 via mobile

Myself and a friend stayed a one-bedroomed villa (No.7) for two nights.

Pros:
-Great setting with rainforest vegetation and surrounding mountains.
-Parking space for one vehicle.
-The villa contained an open-plan lounge/dining/kitchenette area, en suite bathroom with shower and bedroom (twin-beds).
-Lounge contained Panasonic heater with remote control, 2x 2-seater sofas, low table, Sony widescreen TV with DVD player.
-Dining area contained a table & 4 chairs and a suitcase stand.
-Kitchenette area contained a sink, microwave, fridge/freezer, cooker, kettle with tea/coffee making facilities, utensils.
-En suite bathroom contained sink, toilet, walk-in shower, hair dryer, lotions
-Bedroom contains twin beds, suitcase stand, small cupboard containing iron/ironing board.
-Outdoor decking with two chairs & table
-Free WiFi - see Reception for username/password. Signal strength strong enough for a Skype voice call.
-DVDs (free to borrow) and book swap in Reception.
-Snacks and breakfast (all chargeable) available from Reception.

Cons:
-Arrived before 8pm to be told by the Receptionist (Erica) that her office was about to close. We'd arrived in Franz Josef in the dark after a long and tiring 7 hour drive from Queenstown, so we didn't really want to be harangued for arriving near closing time.
-Bedroom too small in proportion to the rest of the villa.
-Heater (Panasonic) too small to properly heat the open-plan lounge/dining/kitchenette area.
-The electric blankets were essential in the bedroom, due to the overnight cold.
-Noise from passing traffic at night and constant flow of traffic during the daytime.
-Checkout time 10am. We received a phone call at 10:15am from Reception woman we'd met on arrival, asking us to vacate the room as they needed to clean for the next guests in the evening. Clearly there is no leeway on the checkout time, which we'd not experienced previously in NZ.

Notes:
-It's a 5 minute drive, via a single-track bridge, to Franz Josef township. I wouldn't recommend walking as there's no footpath or street-lighting until you reach the township.
-It's a 10 minute drive from Franz Josef to the Franz Josef Glacier car park.
-It's a 45 minute (23km) drive from Franz Josef to the Fox Glacier car park.
-If you walk to a glacier take a breathable rain jacket, quick drying trousers, hat & gloves, socks & sturdy boots, food & drink, sunglasses, sunscreen. Follow the way markers and stay behind the barriers.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jonotennis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
87 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2013 via mobile

Had a 1 night stay and was very pleased with the standard of this accommodation. Staff were friendly and informative, apartment was spacious and comfortable. It was a perfect spot for us to stop to be able to head off and see the frank Josef glacier, spend the night and head off the next morning. It's right on the freeway so you could hear the cars in the lounge up I didn't notice it when I was trying to sleep. It was very good for the price we paid.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Jadebianca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Glenfern Villas Franz Josef

Property: Glenfern Villas Franz Josef
Address: State Highway 6, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7952, 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Glenfern Villas Franz Josef 4.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Glenfern Villas Franz Josef Hotel Franz Josef
Glenfern Hotel Franz Josef
Glenfern Franz Josef

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