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“Nice and homely” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ribbonwood Retreat

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Ribbonwood Retreat
Ranked #1 of 6 Franz Josef B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nice and homely”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

As soon as we arrived, Jo welcomed us with some date and walnut loaf and this typified the welcoming and homely style in which this B&B is run.

The B&B is only 5 minutes drive from the town centre and offers accommodation away from the more touristy areas. We stayed in the standalone cottage which is also more private.

Jo is very friendly and easy to talk to. He is quick to offer advice about where to eat, what to do and a story or two. He clearly know a lot about the natural environment of NZ.

Ribbonwood was a good base from which we could do a glacier walk on Franz Josef.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Eric T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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252 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    225
    19
    6
    2
    0
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62
164
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
78 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

We were here for two nights on the second floor of the house where we had a spacious suite with a balcony overlooking the beautiful scenery. The suite is big enough to sleep a family of 3 or 4 and has a comfortable family feel. This place is indeed a retreat (one would also think New Zealand the whole country is a retreat!) plus 5 star service. Joe and Julie gave us all the recommendations we needed, where to eat, what to do and when, and booked all our excursions. New Zealanders are well known for their friendliness and hospitality and Joe and Julie were the best example! If we come back to Franz Joseph again, I would not hesitate to come back to stay here!

Room Tip: The cottage which is separate from the main house obviously has more privacy. But our upstairs suit...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AmrushaGaruda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

Ribbonwood Retreat was by far the best stay of our entire vacation. We stayed in one hotel, two B&Bs, and one apartment. Not only was it the nicest of all places we stayed in, but the hospitality simply could not be beat. We had driven from Kaikoura and arrived a bit tired. We pulled in the drive, and a handwritten note on a chalkboard welcomed us to drive around to the back. We did, and we met Joe, the owner.

We had booked a room in the house, but as a family was there also, Joe put us in the private cottage so that we'd have more quiet. How lovely! He showed us around the cottage - and it's stunning. From the wood to the floors and the decor, it really is comfortable and beautiful. They use rainwater, which is fascinating, and impressive. There is a heater/aircon to regulate the room tempurature, but we just kept the curtains open to soak up the evening sun. Also - an extra heater in the bathroom, and amazing water pressure in the shower! The bed was the most comfortable I've slept on in a year - and I have a terrible back and neck and am always nervous what I'm going to get on holiday with regard to the bed. This one was perfect. Just firm enough to be supportive, just a touch of softness for comfort.

Joe gave us dinner recommendations in town (go for the new Asian Fusion place!). We read in the binder of information in the room that Julie and Joe think the porch on the cottage is a great place to have a glass of wine and watch the sunset, so that's what we did after dinner. I left the curtains open so that I woke up to the sound of birds singing and the sunshine pouring in the next morning. There was even a walnut cake in our room to snack on. And, while I expect that most places give you a hairdryer, I NEVER expect there to be a flat iron in the room! How thoughtful!

Breakfast was so lovely. Tea, coffee, eggs cooked just the way we like, bacon, fruit, toast, and roasted tomatoes. We ate with the family that was staying in the house and had a really enjoyable morning. In fact, none of us wanted to leave and start our respective drives for the day!

My husband and I have long daydreamed about opening our own B&B, and this place inspired us to investigate how we could actually do it.

All in all, a REALLY good value. I would highly recommend Ribbonwood Retreat to anyone staying in the Franz Joseph area, or even as a destination on the South Island! My husband and I have already said that when we come back to NZ, we are definitely returning to Ribbonwood Retreat. Thanks for a really lovely stay.

Room Tip: Definitely book the cottage. Worth it!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 852Jennyfromtheblock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

We stayed in the cute and comfortable cottage which has beautiful views of the surrounding area from all its windows. Our host John greeted us with delicious walnut bread and biscotti and gave us recommendations about where to eat for dinner. Breakfast was great with homemade bread and stewed rhubarb from the garden and pleasant conversation with our host. When we left heading south, John gave us a printout of all the places to see and things to do between Franz Josef and Queenstown which we found very helpful.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jfvigil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2013

Recently friends from New York and Houston shared the beautiful Ribbonwood Retreat. What a delightful property! It is nearly worth the trip to New Zealand just to stay here. (and it is always worth a trip to New Zealand) This was my third trip to the south island and this was the nicest place we ever stayed in on any of the trips!

Room Tip: I saw all the rooms and they are ALL great!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dennisrkilpatrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Banchory, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

We really appreciated this welcoming home to stay in. Jo and Julie were fantastic hosts, with friendly chat on all manner of topics, from all the best places to walk to suit our itinerary, to wildlife and challenges in the area. The room upstairs was great, and very comfortable. Excellent breakfasts, especially the fruit pancakes! Interesting to visit Franz Josef, but we would recommend staying at Ribbonwood. Easy to get to as it is just off the main road, but it is still very peaceful.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Fiona G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2013

We stayed in the immaculate self contained cottage for 3 nights, which we really enjoyed. It is very peaceful and opens on to a private deck. We had visited the area before but our friendly hosts helpfully suggested new places to visit in addition to the glaciers

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ExeterBunny
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 6 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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