Ribbonwood Retreat is about 5 minutes’ drive from Franz Josef village. Since we drove, it wasn't an issue for us. In fact, we were glad to stay in a quiet place away from the village. The retreat is also away from the main road. When we arrived, Jonathan opened the house door just as we were pulling into the car porch, welcoming and directing us to park. The car porch is just next to the main house door which made loading and unloading of luggage easy.
My family and I stayed two nights at Ribbonwood Retreat. There were five of us, including two teenage children. We stayed at Waiho Suite, which is located upstairs of the main house. The accommodation is very cosy and clean. There are windows and balcony on 3 sides of the main suite permitting sight of beautiful scenery.
Jo was a fantastic host. He quickly settled us down and oriented us to the dining places in village. Menus from the village restaurants were available in the room. Placing the menus in the room was very thoughtful as it allowed us to review them before deciding which restaurant to go.
The next morning, Jo prepared a healthy breakfast for us. Jo was chatty and friendly, putting us at ease as we enjoyed the breakfast and chatted with him. He shared his experience as a former forest ranger, how he first arrived at Franz Josef after graduation, and how he met Julie. Jo was also happy to share when we asked him questions about living in the West Coast. We almost felt like we were staying with a friend or family! Jo was also very helpful in suggesting places for our family to visit. He even called the Wildlife Centre to help us check whether any Kiwi egg was hatching that morning. DVDs were made available although we didn’t watch them as we had plenty to do in our two days stay in Franz Josef.
Thanks Jo, for making our stay in Franz Josef such a memorable and warm one. We will not hesitate to stay at Ribbonwood Retreat if we visit Franz Josef again.
- 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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