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“Fantastic!”
Review of Rainforest Retreat

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Rainforest Retreat
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 December 2013 via mobile

We stayed on a powered site for three nights at the beginning of November and then came back here a month later to stay another three nights. We have travelled around the whole of the outside of Australia and all of NZ and this is one of my favourite campsites. How it doesn't have 5 stars is beyond me. It costs $39 which is average for NZ. The facilities are very clean and there are plenty of them. They are in the process of building new ones, which will be fabulous when they're open. The kitchen is well equipped and clean. It's conveniently located for the town and just across the road are thermal spa baths which are well worth a visit. Also if you get the chance go and visit the Te Koha Gallery in town, beautiful unique jewellery but watch your credit card doesn't melt like ours nearly did! The site spaces are spacious and I would recommend asking if you can choose your own and head for number 24 if you like privacy and peace and quiet! This is one of the best campsites in NZ! A real treat to stay here.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Jay1902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 December 2013

To start with a high point, the reception staff were lovely.
The location was beautiful.
From here its all downhill.
The buffet breakfast at $23 per person was crap to say the least. The limited choices of slop included cardboard cereal, plastic bacon, woody toasty and spongy pancakes. Yum yum.
Next was the shower.... Disastrous. The recess was flooded within five minutes, there was nowhere dry to put my clean clothes and the water temperature constantly fluctuated.
The cherry on top of this fine mess was that the private spa was broken. Perhaps it did us a favour... It could have saved us from developing a terrible disease, I'm sure.

All in all, we paid more to park our campervan here per night than any other place we've stayed at and we certainly had hoped for much more.

Incidentally, my partner and I expressed our appreciation upon departure by helping ourselves to a free breakfast and as much peppermint tea as we could grab from the open display of tea bags at the restaurant. Cheers guys ;)

  • Stayed: December 2013
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1  Thank thomasandrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2013

Dear Thomas and Rose
It is our aim to ensure that all of our guests enjoy our beautiful rainforest site, on this occasion it appears we failed.
I am sorry that you didn't enjoy your stay with us. I am sorry that the $39 you paid to stay here was more than anywhere else you paid and that meant you thought you were going to get so much more than what you had hoped for. I am sorry that the breakfast that you stole wasn't up to your expectations. I am sorry that our home made pancakes and new zealand bacon didn't match what you are used to. I am sorry that the toast was woody? I'm sorry you thought we have a $23 buffet breakfast because we don't. I am sorry that the private spa wasn't working, and am sorry you missed out on catching a terrible disease?. You could have used our complimentary 20 person hot tub, sorry you couldn't find this. (Its next to reception). I am sorry that if there was an issue with a shower draining that you didn't think it wise to bring it to anyone's attention. I'm sorry you failed to notice the numerous hooks you could hang your clothes on to keep them dry. (did your mum not teach you to hang your clothes up?)
I am glad you found our staff lovely, i'll be sure to pass your praise on to them. I know it will make their day.
I hope you enjoyed the peppermint tea bags that you filled your pockets with and that you managed to find your way home ok.
Good luck for the future.
Cheers, Oscar

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2013

We stayed here in the campground the evening before our glacier tour. Our site was set among tree ferns. Nice park-like grounds with a beautiful view, & facilities were very nice & clean. Staff were very accommodating to our needs.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank April G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

rainforest ideal to visit both glaciers and the site was a standard we had experienced during our stay in nz,we have one bone to pick its a pity not all sites have free wifi, one suggestion give a $15 dollar credit so we could have sent e-mails not spend on other types of services

Room Tip: used a campervan
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ted t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

I stayed there for two nights with our backpacker bus. Our driver rates it as his favourite place along the route.
- First, there was only one electrical outlet in our 5-bed dorm, a necessity for backpackers.
- Second, there is a fluffy cat living in the tv-room/kitchen and a dog that walks around the kitchen a lot. For anyone with fur allergies like myself this is a big problem. The cat leaves hairs everywhere.
- Third, it's very unhygienic to have pets/livestock in a kitchen. The cat loves sitting on the kitchen tables. The carpets in our rooms were also rather dusty.
- Fourth, after we informed the staff about the cat and my allergies, they kept the cat in the reception for a few hours before it was back. I could not use the tv-room and they did not think it was reasonable to move me to a room with TV. It was raining during our whole stay so we were very bored.
- Fifth, the showers only have one temperature. It was too hot for some guests.
- Sixth, the pizza buffet "all you can eat, we stop serving when you stop eating" for 17,50$ was not all we could eat. They stopped serving at a certain point, and were told that they wouldn't make any more pizzas. None of the people on my table were full.
- Seventh, kitchen was poorly equipped with few frying pans, blunt knives and poor cleanliness.

On the upside, they have a spa pool, the exterior is nice, especially the bar.

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
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Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Stayed 2 nights here as a friend in our party of 4 was going to skydive. We booked the treehouse unit and it was huge! It was situated by itself not too far from the reception and was surrounded by greenery all around. There were 3 bedrooms, 2 with 2 single beds each and 1 with a king bed. 1 shower room and another bathroom with the toilet and bathtub. That was very convenient as it helped speed up shower time for everyone.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank Kento1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

We stayed in the campground with a 6-berth campervan (2 adults, 3 children). They have a perfect location, close to Franz Josef village, but not too close, the campground is in the rainforest and very idyllic. But the rates are expensive, especially when you're travelling with kids. The sites look reasonable at first until you realise it's two sites... unbelievably small. Internet access is not included although it may seem so in advertisement. You can use equipment i.e. WIFI but have to pay 5 dollars for 24 hour access.
When asking some assistance at reception they made me feel unwelcome and as if I was a pain in the ... The receptionist was almost rude and absolutely not helpful.
Playground was not suitable for young children. Facilities (kitchen, BBQ area) are nice. Toilets and showers were messy, new ablution block was under construction.
I would not stay again if given the choice.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank WimTalma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rainforest Retreat

Address: 46 Cron Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7886, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range: £22 - £245 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rainforest Retreat 4.5*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Deep In the heart of West Coast Glacier country, Rainforest Retreat is a rare find, with a range of accommodation set amongst lush native bush in Franz Josef township. Enjoy privacy and sanctuary in secluded cottages and tree huts, relax in the spas and sauna, dine out and have fun at the bar/restaurant, or just relish the bush setting and cook up barbecues with new friends. From luxury tree huts to backpackers rooms, Rainforest Retreat has accommodation to suit every style of traveller; from couples to family groups to young individuals on a budget. Rainforest Retreat provides excellent value and a special atmosphere; with a focus on superb service, cleanliness and a range of great facilities to satisfy all of our guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rainforest Retreat Hotel Franz Josef

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