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“Lovely leafy campervan sites”
Review of Rainforest Retreat

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Rainforest Retreat
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Lovely leafy campervan sites”
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We had a camper and loved the privacy the leafy bays provided us. The monsoon bar had great food and we loved being within walking distance of the hot pools. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but you should be aware that contiki buses are regular visitors which can make the bar quite rowdy. We didn't have any noise complaints however. Would deifnitely reccomend!

Room Tip: Some of the camper sites weren't as shielded as others. Try and get one with foliage on three si...
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Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Dwilson88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (265)
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English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 February 2014

For my holiday in N.Z. I booked nine rooms via the web, and my one night stay at the Rainforest Retreat was by far and away the worst. My problems started soon after I checked in, my room was on the other side of a block of rooms that face Reception. While I was collecting my key, a coach had parked end of the block almost stopping me from getting to my room, there was just enough space for my car to squeeze by. After staying in my room half an hour or so, I decided drive into Franz Josef to have a meal, only to discover that the coach was still parked. As I maneuvered, once again, around the back of the coach, I was shocked to find another coach had parked and totally block my way. I received a poor response from Reception, I was told that coaches were allowed to park just to unload, and got no answer to my question” how long does that take, as one coach had already been parked for more than half an hour. Although the coach drivers knew I was waiting, they couldn’t have cared less, it was another three quarters of an hour or so, before they decided to move.
Not a good start, but it gets worst. The passengers of the coaches were all young people and it seems to me that they all headed straight for the bar. At 1.30am I was woken by the noise coming from the bar area, loud music etc. etc. which was more than excessive. At 2.00am I discover that there is no sound proofing between my room and the one above. When the occupants returned from bar and I could hear everything they said and did.
Now for the Superior Ensuite Queen room. As I entered the room carrying a jacket I quickly discovered there is nowhere to hang a jacket or anything else for that matter. This Superior room was the smallest room I use in N.Z. and in my view was too small two people. It was just big enough for a double bed and at the end of the bed was a small gap then one collapsible luggage rack and a sort of breakfast bar, under which was a fridge and the only seat in the room, a bar stool.
The ensuite is long and narrow, at one end is the shower cubicle and at the other is the toilet. In the middle is the smallest wash hand basin I have ever seen. There is just one glass shelve and that is over the toilet and had spare toilets rolls and shampoos etc. on it. So even simple things like teeth cleaning were difficult as there was nowhere to put toothpaste, let alone the contents of a wash bag.
There are tea & coffee facilities, but the kettle can only be filled by using a coffee mug. Available among the teas and coffees is coffee for a plunger, but there is no plunger in the room. I could go on.
The only good thing I can say about The Rainforest Retreat is the location, surrounded by and built into the rainforest.
If you do decide to book a room avoid a Superior Ensuite Queen Room because it is not.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank R H J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Mr Jones
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for offering your feedback. I am sorry that you weren't 100% satisfied with your stay. We appreciate all feedback and will use your points to keep improving for our future guests.
Kind Regards
Oscar
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Level Contributor
97 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2014

Our room, #22, was away from most of the hotel rooms and was something of a suite with a bump-out window that we could view the rainforest from. Also several balconies and nooks to sit in and experience the rainforest that was just a few feet away from our room. We really were almost inside the bush! We loved this separation from the rest and being part of the bush. Nice clean room, fridge and little kitchen with coffee and tea makings. It rained deluges in the 2 days we had here, but we were totally warm and dry here. We didn't love the bar/restaurant, but there were several great ones in walking distance in the rest of Franz Joseph. All in all, for the cost of the room. it was more than adequate and had the charm of the rainforest. Staff seemed perfectly nice but we didn't use them for much.

Room Tip: We heard some rooms are loud. Ask about locations and proximity to bush.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MALEGARDNER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Malegardner
Many thanks for such a great review. I am really pleased you enjoyed your tree lodge room so much. I hope you can make it back to us again one day.
Happy travels
Oscar
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We had a very nice stay at this hotel and the staff Mel and Jon was so nice. They reserved a double room at a lodge for us in Queenstown, as it was difficult to find a room by ourselves, so they used all their connections.

Room Tip: It is a busy town due to the nature, therefore make a reservation here, it is cheap compared to the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 266Nielsine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Hi Neilsen
Thank you for your great review. I will be sure to pass on your praise to Mel & Jon, i know they will appreciate it.
Cheers
Oscar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

We travelled around NZ for a number of weeks. this was the most over-rated motor-home site in otherwise wonderful set of experiences. We were there for two nights. One has a sense that the owners want to maximize profit by emphasizing the wonderful rain forest location. The primary problems are two: the motor-home sites are terribly cramped. That is number one. And then, number two: no attention to the details that matter for motor-home travelers. examples? two motor-homes barely fit in the two-motor home sites. so the visitors negotiate the spaces; in some sites each has a table with two chairs, in others not; There are no screens in the so-called temporary shower (so bugs share the shower); They clean the place randomly - so sometimes toilet filthy sometimes clean; the sinks in temporary showers are squeezed one by the other so no sense of privacy when using them. Women's shower do not have screen so water splashes on floor where you eventually dry off. I could go on and on.

In short - mediocre place that is location location location. Recommend seeking a place that is more user-friendly.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dan112014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Dan
Thank you for your feedback and for choosing to stay at the Rainforest Retreat Holiday Park.
I wish you had mentioned to our staff that you felt the site we allocated to you was tight as we would have more than happily moved you to a site more appropriate.
We clean our facilities regularly, unsure as to why you feel that is random?
All of our showers have either shower doors or curtains in a private lockable cubicle but the sinks are side by side.
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 25 February 2014 via mobile

This is a great place to stay. Surrounded by ancient native rain forest.
Staff are fun and extremely helpful.
The accommodation was great with rely comfortable beds.
The restaurant and bar were both very good and the food was tasty, plentiful and well served.
Highly recommended
Gaynor

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Happyfranz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Hi Gaynor
Thank you for staying with us and your fabulous review. I hope you can stay again soon.
Cheers
Oscar
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County Durahm
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

We arrived at Rainforest retreat for two night stay and now I wish we had stayed longer! Our tree lodge was at first glance a little shack but how wrong we were! Once we opened the sliding louvre door and opened our lodge we were very happy to be in a spacious and extremely well appointed room. The bed was huge and very comfortable and the bathroom was exceptionally clean and spacious with a lovely selection of proper sized complimentary soaps, shower gels and shampoos. We had our own private deck and sitting out to eat supper with a glass of wine listening to the birdsong was very romantic! The staff were very helpful and on hand to answer any questions and queries. On our second night we had dinner in Monsoon which is located onsite. The food was as excellent as it was inexpensive and the staff were so pleasant and friendly,
This resort caters extremely well for couples, families, campers, backpackers and the young and old! and we would highly recommend a stay here. Even the mosquitos were friendly and didn't bite us during our stay!

Room Tip: Tree lodges are very well appointed and spacious
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AS42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear AS42
Thank you so much for the great review. I agree the Tree Lodges are great rooms. I am so pleased you loved your room and our restaurant so much and hope you can make it back to us one day.
I hope the rest of your NZ journey was as equally enjoyable.
Oscar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rainforest Retreat

Property: 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:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Franz Josef
#5 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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