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“An Average Place to Stay in Franz Joseph”

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Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier
Ranked #11 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 December 2013

My wife and I stayed at some pretty fantastic B&B's while in New Zealand. I don't want to say this motel was bad because it wasn't. It was clean and comfortable with a private bathroom which is all you really need. It's also walking distance to the main strip of town. It was just a little smaller than some of the other places we stayed at and lacking a bit of character. Plus for what you get, it was a little expensive. But you could do a lot worse so it's not a bad choice. Maybe take a look around first at some other options before settling here. If you're just here for a night to check out the glacier and the hot pools, then it's a decent place to stay. Nothing extraordinary though.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Scallywag81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 December 2013

I have not stayed at a less welcoming place in all of New Zealand. Having spent a month there, the kiwis are very much warm and friendly, but this is the exception. It was a sad end to a fabulous month long holiday.

Having booked our room through the net, I was not sure if the room would accomodate my family of four (two young kids). And on the first day, upon arrival, we were told it is full and the room which we had reserved had not enough beds to accomodate us, but the staff helpfully tried to put in an extra bed for us.

However, the room was so tight, we had no space to sit and eat, even though there was a kitchenette, there were no tables nor chairs for dining. They did have one for the counter in front of the mirror. And even if the room was meant for three, there would be a lack of space even for two to eat together in the room.

Accidental inconveniences and irritations were many (the pyrex cookware exploded in the microwave oven wasting our dinner, the alarm clock going off under the bed - with no way to switch it off except waking to move the beds - before sunrise, placed there by the staff putting in the extra bed), which I would forgive but, I was really put off by the rude comment from the manager.

He had said he would have turned us away from his establishment because we had booked a room with a maximum occupancy of only three. Well, please extend me a little forgiveness then, its a mistake I made on the net, which can sometimes not be so clear.

He then went ahead to put charges onto our tab for the extra bed and shift blame to my wife for making a mistake with the pyrex cookware. No apologies about us missing our dinner. There were stickers in our room reminding us to switch off lights so as to be eco friendly (saving energy for the motel) but then where are the warnings then on the pyrex cookware? Please do not expect a guest to know everything. My missus cooked with pyrex before without having any incident. But the manager told her she was just "lucky". Or perhaps its motel glassware bought on a budget.

The staff turned surly and cold after the first night, probably from having to clean out the microwave which was all splattered with our dinner.

We then moved to a more spacious family room (not available on the first night), but it was still tight on space compared to others in NZ for the price.

Some strange choices for placing their items in this family room - the rubbish bin is by default in front of the entrance to the two single beds for the kids, half blocking the pathway, and the DVD player is so high up that I have to stretch overhead to place a disc in - very helpful then for parents who just want to let their kids watch a video so they can have some time to prepare dinner. How are kids supposed to reach up there? (see photo)

Room Tip: Get another place.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank robinl987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Unlike all the other Bella Vista motels we had used, this was dead small, expensive for what you get, the TV just had four channels including a movie channel that showed the same movie all day and all night. Cooking facilities were poor, cramped and there was nowhere to sit to eat except by dragging the outside furniture inside. Shame as we were impressed with all the other BV motels.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank steve t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013

Stayed for 2 nights in a Queen bed studio with mountain view. I chose this motel due to the kitchenette and free wifi. The former is cramped and thus difficult to cook in and the latter is significantly limited, which came as a surprise considering the price of the unit. The room, compared to other motels viewed, is really small and although the mountain view is nice, you also get a view of the car park.
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Not bad overall but not the best value compared to other motels in the area.

Room Tip: The mountain view room isn't really worth the extra money paid. It's frequently cloudy and...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Vicscapade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2013

Spotless, very comfortable. Stayed last week. The manager is very nice & helpful. Feels more like you are a guest in a bed and breakfast than a chain hotel. Small tables outside to sit and visit & enjoy the view. Within very easy walking distance to restaurants & grocery store.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank alaskaklondike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2013

Bella Vista motels are a bit like premier Inn in England, basic with no cooking facilities, but very clean and simple. We had a gorgeous view of some mountains with snow on top of them, very nice in the morning and at sun set. I can't remember much of the area, apart from doing the walk to the bottom of the Franz Josef Glacier, which is worth it, but don't expect to see much-it's dirty because it's the bottom, if you want a real feel for the glacier you'd have to do a helicopter tour up the top and hike it (pricey sadlyl) But definately a cheap but nice place to stop over, very friendly reception. Make sure on your way here if your coming from Wanaka, you need a full tank of petrol as there arn't any gas stations on the way till you get to Franz Josef! The kitchen was limited but we managed to make spaghetti and meatballs, small but handy shop is nearby.

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

I cannot rate the Bella Vista highly enough, I was very impressed to receive fresh milk on checking in, a good selection of hot drinks in the room, towels available from reception that we could take to the hot pools and free wifi.

The room which we had got at a very good rate on was very comfortable and warm.

The staff were excellent, particularly as we left something valuable behind in the room which they very kindly sent on to us. I would defintely recommend the Bella Vista to anyone staying in Franz Josef.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Melula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier

Address: 34 Cron Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, 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 Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Franz Josef
#7 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range: £57 - £166 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are just a minute's walk to a variety of flights, glacier hikes, restaurants, the Wildlife Center with its Kiwis and the Glacier Hot Pools. Offering a range of modern studio accommodation including, spa bath, queen and twin studio, mountain view studio and larger one bedroom family accommodation. All accommodation includes in-room phones, free Wi-Fi, hairdryers, complimentary tea, coffee, drinking chocolate & fresh milk, fridge, small microwave, toaster and a hot water kettle. Some rooms have full kitchen facilities. Off-street parking, guest laundry and BBQ area are available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bella Vista Hotel Franz Josef

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