West coast is a very beautiful area but petrol stations can be more than 100km away one from each other, there is not mobile phone coverage and road has many one lane bridges, some of them weak. So and if weather is not good, your accuracy in predicting when you'll arrive will be poor and if you are not right and you make reservation in this motel you can have a bad experience. There is no room for flexibility nor kindness.
I'll tell you our experience:
17th April we went from Queenstown to this motel and we had made reservation for an helycopter trip on 18th morning, 380km.
There was an strong wind and after a loong drive, when we were just 40km away from Franz Joseph we were stopped since one bridge was moving like a piece of paper.
We could not phone and we were a kind of short of petrol but the road would be closed all night.
It was 6pm.There was not electricity in the area and we had no food. We had to go back and finally 50km way back we found a motel with very nice people that allowed us to stay.
We phoned the Aspen Court Motel at 7pm. They thanked us for phoning but they said they would charge us. When I asked for empathy and some reduction in the charge, they told me that if they would be able to sell the room, they would not charge me, And when I said it would not be easy, they replied that it could be still easily possible since road was closed and they were the only motel with electricity.
He also said he was not able to cancel the helycopter but the wind could stop. We agreed to talk the following morning at 7am.
Morning 18th it was still windy but not so much. There was no phone line and we could not know whether the road was open or not.
Nevertheless, we left, committed to our word. At the bridge, we were told that the "bridge had been damaged, we could pass just one by one car" and they did not know whether it would still be open in 2-3 hours...We still passed. We arrived at Fox glacier at a petrol station but we could just pay by cash since there was not line and no credit cards were accepted...
Finally, we arrived at the Aspen Court. They told me the hely trip was not possible due to the wind. When I asked whether they had been able to sell the room they told me yes, so I asked"Wow thanks! So, there will not be no charge?" and they confirmed "No! You finally showed up!"
Then we left because we were afraid that the bridge may be closed again and we had reservation in Queenstown that evening.
2 days and 2 nights after that, I receive an email saying that they are charging us 254$ since we did not stay. Nothing else about that they had sold the room...
When confused, I asked what about all the conversation, they said that they did not sell it and that they were upset "since they thought that we were staying for the following night and instead we drove off"...
i was shocked... we were not able to stay longer, we needed to go back, we had another reservation...I do not understand...but after all, they charge the whole room, 254$...
Well, I paid with visa credit card and my friends are telling me to refuse to pay...but I cannot behave that way in spite of feeling abused and frustrated...but at least I'll be happy to give you my piece of advice:
West Coast is very nice area but if going north, FILL YOUR PETROL TANK at HAAST, get some FOOD and CASH just in case and BOOK BETTER YOUR STAY IN OTHER MOTEL with people more empathetic, that do not change their word. It should be easy since our experience with other 5 hotels in NZ this week has been fantastic!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- New contemporary motel complex situated within the centre of Franz Josef Village. Affordable spacious, warm and modern accommodation in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Qualmark rated four star plus ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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