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“Chilly and basic”

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Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier
Ranked #11 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Chilly and basic”
Reviewed 27 August 2010

My partner and I arrived in the late afternoon/evening and was welcomed by a young man who seemed new to the job. Nevertheless we were given our key and upon arrival to the clean room we immediately turned the heater on. This stayed on throughout the night which still didn't prevent our noses from being cold in the morning. On the upside, I did manage to get free wifi on my iphone, in my room, which may have been from a nearby hotspot rather than a facility provided by the hotel. Despite our stay being during the midwinter and in the off peak season, it provided simple and adequate accommodation for our pre-planned short stay. I would recommend a friend to stay in this hotel in the summer rather than winter.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Gdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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339 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hudson River Valley, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Like another review or two, also arrived late at night (which we found to be problematic in some places in NZ). Hotel manager was very friendly, and pleasantly negotiable on price.

We had a basic room without kitchenette on the ground floor. It was very clean, bed was extremely comfortable, and room had excellent heating (another thing we found problematic in a couple of places we stayed). Also, the heated towel racks in the bathroom were perfect as we arrived on a very rainy night with wet clothes from hiking. Very quiet room; we slept very well. Also, excellent internet access from the room which the manager was nice enough to throw in for free. Location was fine. (Franz Josef is not too large; anywhere in town location seems about the same.)

Would not hesitate to recommend or to stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ramlion11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundalk, Ireland
Level Contributor
116 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2010

Motels are generally a basic operation. So when I say this was great accommodation, its in terms of motels. We had no reservation and arrived late at night and in the middle of a rain storm. The guy at reception, from Bolton, was a great help. He showed us the various rooms on offer, provided a cable for internet connection and told us of the local amenities - I highly recommend the outdoor spa pools, fantastic on a cold wet winters night. Room is small and compact, but lets put it in perspective, its a motel. Electric blanket, decent shower, tv, internet, tea/coffee facilities, parking...whats not to like?

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Chozz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2010

Surpirsed to see so many good reviews on this hotel - in my view, this place is ok at best.

Other than being at a good location, there's nothing oustanding about the place. Staff of the hotel were friendly enough, but the hotel was old, the room we had was tiny with aged furniture. We booked the hotel because everywhere else was booked out and it had a 4-star self-rating; it definitely wasn't 4 star standard. I wouldn't stay there again if we ever go to Franz Josef again.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank alkanoate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FranzJosef007, Owner at Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier, responded to this review, 14 August 2010
Thanks for visiting Franz Josef Glacier. I hope we put some sunshine on for your January visit. It’s brilliant being so central in the village. The Glacier Hot pools are nearby, a good restaurant is just next door, bush walks just around the corner and the soon to open Glacier Wilderness centre just across the road. My staff and I do work hard to ensure you enjoy your stay with us. We have three different studio types to accommodate different needs and budgets. To secure one of our larger rooms it is recommended to reserve your accommodation prior to arrival. I have recently had several gests pick the age of the motel at about 3 years. A recent update of bedspreads & beds, TV’s and the introduction of the free DVD library has complimented the interior and exterior painting. Our property is annually assessed by Qualmark, New Zealand’s tourism’s official quality agency and we comfortably hold a Self Contained and Serviced 4 star rating.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
123 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2010

We stayed in rooms 114 (Twin Studio, 1QB & 1SB) and 113 (Standard Studio, 1QB). Both rooms were upstairs, but there is no elevator and the stairs/walkway are external without cover. This made it a little bit tricky in the rain and those who are mobility impaired, should request a ground floor room.

We actually upgrade one of our rooms in order to keep them side-by-side. The owner looked at our booking before we checked in and kept the room free for us just in case. It was a wonderful and thoughtful thing for her to do, and completely unexpected.

The beds were OK and the bathroom clean - although it did take a while for the mirror to de-mist.

The kitchenette in the room has a fridge, microwave, kettle and cleaning products. The room is small - not a lot of room to move once a suitcase comes into the mix - but well equiped for the space.

There is no restaurant on-site (although you can order a basic breakfast pack - we cereal etc. from the supermarket) but Alice May's, located next door, has some lovely early bird dinner specials and great food.

The motel also has laundry facilities - with a warning that any shoes/boots put into the dryer will be confiscated (clearly a lot of wet bushwalkers have tried!)

It is definitely a great base to see the Glaciers (both Fox and Franz Josef).

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank InfrequentFlyer22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
US Virgin Islands
Level Contributor
63 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2010

This hotel is one of the best I've been in while in South Island, New Zealand. If you are on a bus tour, the bus drops you off right at the door. But there is plenty of off street parking too. The hotel is about 5 minute walk from all the activities, bars, restaurants in town. The hot pools are about a 2 block walk in the opposite direction. Sharon, the proprietor, was a great help. I had booked a heli-hike for Fox and realized I couldn't get there without a car. Sharon took care of canceling and making the reservations for doing the same thing on Franz Joseph. When I lost the electrical converter for recharging the computer she had one to lend me. There was also internet in the room for just $5NZ. My room was roomy with good heating. And let me tell you getting good heat in New Zealand isn't always a given. Everything in the room was clean and best of all was the view of the mountains from my window. For $12NZ Sharon brings a breakfast tray to your room the day before which was nice and there is plenty of tea, coffee, and hot cocoa to use in the kitchenette. Shower had plenty of hot water and I liked that the bathroom looked sparkling clean with a heated towel rack. They even supplied towels to use at the hot pools. There is also a washer and dryer for use. Good TV and DVD player with movies to borrow at the front desk.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank caribseabreeze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
43 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2010

This was one of the best places that I stayed during my journey across NZ. I stayed in room 18 on the 2nd floor. The kitchenette was efficient and fully stocked with the tools to cook some food and open a bottle of wine. The little heater was efficient and I definitely appreciated the heated towel racks for keeping my towels warm. The guest laundry was pretty affordable at 2 dollars a wash. The location was great. It's a small town so everything is pretty much within walking distance. We were close enough to the town center w/ the grocery and glacier walk center. It was also close enough to the spa for a nice soak after the glacier walk. My room faced the parking lot/street but didn't have problems with street noises at all.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tomochan
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £
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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