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“Great place, friendly staff, nice cabins”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Rainforest Retreat

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Rainforest Retreat
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great place, friendly staff, nice cabins”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed for four nights here while visiting beautiful Franz Josef. The staff were very helpful and friendly. Prices were reasonable for bag packers and the cabins were nice and roomy. Kitchens were cleaned every morning and they have a cosy TV lounge to relax and chill. Plus they've got a free sauna/hot pool for cold travellers to escape the winter chills!

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Alvin L
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, 27 August 2014
Hi Alvin
Thank you for the great review. I am so pleased you enjoyed your 4 nights with us and hope you get the opportunity to make it back to us soon.
Happy Travels
Oscar Morgan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,327 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (264)
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English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

Unfortunately the other negative reviews left here regarding the bad service are accurate. I agree that on first impressions, the owner was extremely welcoming and friendly. I did have a problem with the heating as well but found the receptionist lady very helpful. She sorted the problem immediately with a replacement heater.

The major problems with service, I found, were with the bar staff. On my first's nights stay they were extremely drunk but very friendly and even gave me cheap drinks outside of happy hour and free shots! The next night, the Canadian bar man specifically was the complete opposite, rude, obnoxious and offensive to the whole group, not just myself. What surprised me the most was that the owner, who was previously so helpful and friendly sat at the bar while this was all happening and said or did absolutely nothing! At that point he had a prime opportunity to take his employee to one side and speak to him regarding his inappropriate behaviour, but he chose to simply ignore it.

I can see from Oscar's response to previous reviews, he since then, has also chosen to dismiss the situation and has refused to take responsibility for his own and his staff's behaviour. As well as that he's added further insults to his paying guests. Absolutely unacceptable and outrageous behaviour. I am personally disgusted as I'm sure many others are. Oscar and certain members of his team clearly has a very warped view of what of good customer service should look like.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jpgwood87
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, 12 July 2014
Dear jpgwood87
I have just read your review and I find it extremely upsetting. I am sincerely sorry that you feel this way towards me and my staff. I can assure you I would never dismiss any comment that suggest we don't offer anything but great customer service. I know and feel I demonstrate the importance of offering great service, as you witnessed when you arrived. I am shocked that you feel I failed after this. I can assure you I did not witnessed any act of offensive behaviour from the bar staff. If I had I can assure you it would have been dealt with. I do believe that our canadian bar man in his last shifts has upset some of our guests, and for this I am extremely sorry. His last shift was friday 27th June. when did you stay? Up until this time he had received much positive feedback as do all of our staff.

It is sometimes hard for guests reading reviews and my replies to know what further actions have been taken. It is also very hard to respond when i'm only given a few snippets of information. I would like to invite you to get in touch with me personally as I want to understand more about your stay.

Yours is the 3rd such review I believe all stemming from the same event, thankfully in amongst 100's that praise our customer service. I did get in touch with the 1st negative reviewer as I wanted to talk to him, to apologize in person and to find out the circumstances around his complaint. Unfortunately they chose not to get back to me. I know that the second reviewer is travelling with them and I am happy to talk to anyone else within their group who isn't happy.

If you or anyone else would like to discuss this further please e-mail me: oscar@rainforestretreat.co.nz

Kind Regards

Oscar Morgan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

I spent 1 night and got an upgrade to one of the cabins at the back of the retreat, very nice room with coffee making facilities, mini fridge and King size bed!!!. The receptionist was always very friendly and willing to help.
I had dinner at the restaurant that night, food was very nice and pleasant and great service, I will recommend this Retreat.

Room Tip: Go for the cabins at the back in the middle of the forest!!!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank martinayel1970
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, 8 July 2014
Hi Martin
Thank you for choosing to stay at the Rainforest Retreat and for such a fantastic review. I am so pleased you enjoyed your Gecko cottage and your dinner in our monsoon restaurant. I will pass your praise on to our staff who I know will be delighted. I hope you can make it back to use again soon.
Regards
Oscar Morgan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

Great staff, great food, great room! The staff were very helpful with lots of last minute changes and when I got there they upgraded us for free as I had stayed there a few times before. The pizza was fantastic and we had an amazing time. Would recommend to anyone!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 811one_love
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, 8 July 2014
Hi OneLove
Thank you for the great review. We do pride ourselves on offering great service and again I will pass your praise on to our staff. I agree with you also about the tasty pizza, I too love them which really isn't helping the waistline!
I hope you had a great trip home
Kind Regards
Oscar Morgan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

At first rainforest retreat seems like a very pleasant and welcoming place to stay, with nice looking chalets, a pub/restaurant on site and a hot tub.. All these things are brilliant, but it comes at quite a price. Terrible service from most staff, with arrogant and sarcastic remarks being their first language. On immediate arrival what appeared to be the owner seemed like a lovely man, with nothing but a helping hand. That is until you need help.. When going to reception to ask for an extra heater as the room was quite large and freezing, the female was more than happy to help.. The manager however with a disgusted look on his face said that we should be patient and allow the one small fan heater the size of a loaf of bread to heat the entire room. Luckily the woman gave us one anyway! Being shouted at for asking how much a glass of wine was, and ridiculed for not knowing the house specials (how dare I) meant that the large group of us cut our night short. Over hearing the bald bearded bar tender calling one of the customers a stupid bit@h was one of the more pleasant comments from my two night stay.. I would never return to this place which is a massive shame as the facilities aren't too bad. We may be backpackers, but we are the ones who fill the beds and pay our way just like everyone else! Unbelievably disappointed!

Room Tip: Don't bother!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hlou30
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, 8 July 2014
Hi Hlou30
Thank-you for taking the time to review your recent stay at the Rainforest Backpackers. I am aware you were here with the same group and room as Mark J who's review below i have already replied to. As i've said before I am naturally shocked to read your comments, my team and I are very customer serviced focused and aim to exceed customer expectations, I hope the warm welcome I gave you reflected this.
I sincerely apologize if my look offended you whilst our receptionist was fetching you another heater. I have spoken to james our bar manager who I am convinced would never insult a guest. As we already know some of your group had turned on the staff and I can only assume that you may well have overheard a private conversation and for this i am sorry. I have welcomed 10'000's of guest each year and unfortunately found your group to be one of the rudest and difficult I can remember. All of our staff aim to offer fantastic customer service but when we are being treated disrespectfully it is sometimes very hard to keep that smile up. I am sorry we didn't meet your expectations and I hope the rest of your trip was a little more enjoyable.
Kind Regards
Oscar Morgan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
queenstown
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

This was a unique place to stay. It offers everything from low budget campervan sites and motel rooms to modern houses. We chose the tree lodge which was upstairs so it looked out into the midst of the surrounding trees, each unit is private because everything is set amongst the trees. We stayed in winter when there were plenty of special deals so cost was very reasonable. It was clean, warm and comfortable and just loved our little bush walk to our unit, especially at night with the lights in the bush. The staff were all very nice and we were thrilled we were able to take our little dog. It is conveniently located within a couple of minutes walk to shops restaurants and cafes, the hot pools over the road and kiwi centre nearby. It also provides a restaurant and bar which we appreciated and I think sauna and spa which we did not use. I can see it would be very popular in summer, we appreciated the peace and tranquility during the coldest month of the year.

Room Tip: Our tree lodge was in the thick of the bush away from the driveway and motels and camping areas whic...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank clare w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RainforestFranzJosef, Front Office Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Hi Claire
Many thanks for your lovely review. It was nice to meet you and your little dog. I'm glad you all had a great time in our tree lodge and I hope we will see you back here again before too long.
I hope you had a good trip home to queenstown.
Regards
Becky Percy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

Me and a friend stayed here while on the Kiwi Experience. It had great facilities ie. kitchen, bar, restaurant, hot tub. But was pretty expensive for travellers. They were strict on having your own alcohol on the premisses, which meant we had to drink at the bar which was expensive being a traveller. We were only here for a night but I think if we weren't doing the kiwi experience then we wouldn't have stayed here. Also dorm rooms were average, probably not worth what you pay.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Geepea95
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, 8 July 2014
Dear Geepea
Thank you for staying with us at the Rainforest Backpacker, I am pleased you found it a very nice place to stay. I feel $28 for a dorm bed with the superior bedding and facilities we have to offer represents good value. I hope the rest of your kiwi trip was a great time.
Cheers
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
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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