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“Best place to stay in Franz Joseph!”
Review of Ribbonwood Retreat

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Ribbonwood Retreat
Ranked #1 of 5 Franz Josef B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Mill Valley, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Best place to stay in Franz Joseph!”
Reviewed 2 May 2013

We were very lucky to be able to spend three nights with Julie and Jo; two nights in the cottage and one in their pretty home. The location and mountain views were outstanding, the gardens so pretty, and the breakfasts (fruit crepes) delicious. The cottage was self-contained and on a night we were going to the Kiwi Safari, Julie made us a yummy pizza and salad saving our night for the trip. She is a swimmer like us so gave us the perfect place to swim as well. Didn't matter what we needed both Jo and Julie were there to help us out. Felt like we were really visiting friends. Ribbonwood is an easy drive to Franz Joseph Glacier and activities there; also not that far to Fox Glacier either. Julie helped us with reservations to the amazing Okarito Kiwi Safari with Ian, the Franz-Joseph Helicopter Hike, and delicious dinners at the Blue Ice Cafe. Loved learning about the ecological challenges in New Zealand due to pests like stoats, feral cats, and of course those pesky possums! Great fun all around. We were sad to leave these sweet people.

Room Tip: We loved the privacy of the cabin/cottage and views of the mountains
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MichelleG149
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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258 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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  • German first
  • Any
English first
West Wittering, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 22 April 2013

With Julie away teaching, Jo looked after us exceptionally well and cooked a delicious breakfast. His local knowledge and expertise on trees, ecology etc was very informative, and we began to understand why possums are such a problem. The cabin in the garden was very comfortable, with views out across the gardens and up to the mountains. Plenty of country sounds coming from the neighbouring fields. We went up in the light aircraft - firstly out to the Tasman sea and then over the Franz Josef glacier. Amazing views and not at all scary. We were so lucky with the weather and it makes such a difference.

Room Tip: The garden cabin was wonderfully quiet - just 1 minute to the main house for breakfast.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tricia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ampthill
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

Stayed for 2 nights. Great place. Stayed in the cottage. Great facilities not spoilt by the heavy rain. Being a geographer I was excited to learn that we had about 6 ins of rain in just over 24 hrs. However that didn't stop us. Both glaciers- Franz Joseph and Fox were walked to although the plan of going on a helicopter ride didn't happen. Rained off but maybe next time. Our hosts were friendly, informative and very knowledgeable. Perfect. A great spot in a great little town.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank philBeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2013

We really kicked a huge goal when we, and friends from Auckland decided to stay for two nights at Ribbonwood Retreat in early March 2013. Our hosts, Jo and Julie, were attentive to our every need with Jo providing interesting insights into the local kiwi ecology and the Franz Josef area generally. The accommodation is excellent as was breakfast on both mornings we were there.
In such a short while, we felt that we had known J & J for quite some time as we shared our experiences - they are a perfect couple to run such a marvellous B & B.

Room Tip: We stayed in the main house where there are two guest suites. Downstairs is very private with own fa...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2013

We stopped here on our way up the west coast and had a great stay. Julie was away but Jo looked after us extremely well. We had very comfortable beds and a delicious cooked breakfast in the morning before our Heli flight. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2013

Don't miss this gem of a place! We stayed in the cottage and enjoyed every minute. No detail was overlooked, from the slippers to the comfy bedding to the gorgeous view to the amazing breakfast! Jo made the best fresh fruit crepes we've ever had. We greatly appreciated the free wifi, a first for us after 3 weeks in New Zealand. The location is convenient to everything but away from the noise & crowds of town. If you want cozy, comfy, and luxury...you will find it at Ribbonwood. A hidden gem, don't miss it!!!

Room Tip: Stay in the cottage
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MaryAnn Frandse... F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2013

We stayed 2 nights in Feb & were very happy with our stay; Julie & Jo are lovely hosts, very kind, thoughtful, & knowledgeable. We were greeted with tea & walnut bread made by Jo & next night had some walnut bread made by Julie which was equally delicious. They pride themselves on home grown & homemade food & one night we wanted to laze on the deck so we were waited on royally with wine & homemade nibbles followed by homemade pizza & salad, simple but delicious.and to follow watched a dvd before sleeping soundly in the very good bed.
The breakfast was all we expected: homemade fruit salad, muesli with ginger (yumyum) homemade bread & jams,excellent coffee & juice, & eggs etc. if desired.
Jo very kindly lent us his old pc to use & also gave us some beers from his personal stock. He directed us up the road to a nearby lake where we we could swim - perfect had it to ourselves & not too many pebbles to make going in hazardous.
A really pleasant stay with kind, warm hosts.

Room Tip: If you want privacy stay in the cottage, lots of space, a sun deck to sip on a glass of wine, &...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank 1949emma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ribbonwood Retreat

Property: Ribbonwood Retreat
Address: 26 Greens Road, 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 Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Ribbonwood Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Ribbonwood B & B - a haven for nature lovers. Sleep deeply, breathing fresh clean air! Hosts Jonathan, a wildlife ranger and Julie, international school teacher are experts on history and ecology of the glacier region. We are passionate hikers and bird watchers who can show you the best places to visit. ... more   less 
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