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“Top accommodation”
Review of Ribbonwood Retreat

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Ribbonwood Retreat
Ranked #1 of 5 Franz Josef B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 March 2014

We spent several nights here in the house (ground floor rooms). Excellent facilities.....great location....top hosts. We felt completely comfortable amd had our own space when we needed it. Breafasts were really good (have the pancakes).

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank rgreen77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 March 2014

We stayed two nights on the top floor (two room plus a bath). We loved the rooms; we loved the breakfast; we loved the location; and we loved the hosts. Jo and Julie went out of their way to entertain us, give us tour advice, and accommodate our breakfast needs. The entire place was especially clean and well kept.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Silver996c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

We stayed four nights at Ribbonwood retreat on a recent 5 week tour of New Zealand. The cottage is beautifully furnished and we loved the views from the decking. Breakfasts were excellent and set us up well for a day's walking. It was good to meet and chat with other guests over the breakfast table. Julie and Jo were the perfect hosts making us feel really welcome and providing insights into the local area so that we could make the most of our stay.We look forward to visiting Ribbonwood again when we are next in NZ.

Room Tip: The cottage is superb
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

We stayed two nights at Ribbonwood Retreat on a recent three-week trip around New Zealand. As other reviewers have indicated, Julie and Jo are gracious hosts, who offer you a drink and snacks on arrival, and are always ready to make a dinner reservation or weigh in on local attractions. The house itself is just off the main road a few miles out of town. There are two rooms in the house - one on the main floor and a larger family room upstairs, along with a cabin for rent. When all the rooms are rented, Julie and Jo sleep in a small cabin in the backyard. The house has cork floors and a "no shoes" policy. The owners provide slippers, but it's a bit of a pain slipping your shoes on and off.
The room we stayed in on the main floor was on the small side with almost no attention to decor. It was comfortable enough, but not the type of room one wants to linger in. There is a nice view of the glacier. The tiled bathroom, which was huge and lovely, is down the hall. However, this wing of the house can be closed off by shutting a door to the main area, so it does feel private. If there are guests staying above you, though, you can't help but hear them.
We booked our stay here on the basis of glowing reviews on Trip Advisor. It was by far the most expensive of the ten or so hotels and b and bs we stayed in on the trip and not really one of the nicer ones. I understand that Franz Josef is a major tourist area and perhaps all the accommodations reflect that but Ribbonwood Retreat seemed way overpriced to us.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank dmp1013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jonathan C, Owner at Ribbonwood Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Thank you for your review as we always welcome feedback from our guests. We would like to respond to your comments.
Our shoes off policy is clearly stated in all our communications and on our home page on the website. Franz Josef is a wild environment with unpaved trails and beaches. We don’t want grit and dirt tracked into the house. This is the culture of many homes in NZ.
Due to our isolation, Franz Josef is one of the most remote areas in the country. Consequently it is more expensive to operate a business here. We travel 4 hours return journey to our nearest supermarket, hardware store and pharmacy. Our fresh supplies are delivered by courier or truck. Our breakfasts of fresh fruits, bacon, free range eggs, garden vegetables and home made jams are included in the tariff. Drinks, home made goodies and any food extras we provide free of charge to make guests stay more enjoyable.
We advertise the downstairs Baumann Glacier Room as a smaller bedroom in the accommodation page on our website and on our reservations system. Guests have full use of the central guest lounge and garden area. The large bathroom with a bath and a separate toilet are a few steps across the private hall. There are views from all windows of mountains and gardens.
The décor includes artwork of our area by NZ artists, a feature wall with a hand embroidered hanging, batik cushions and throws. They are a reflection of our personality. Guests have often remarked how they have enjoyed our personal touches.
We recently stayed in a room in Queenstown for the same price as you paid for your room at $240. There was no breakfast, no personal service and little in the way of views. We offer the best price for a bed and breakfast stay in Franz Josef.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 night stay in the cottage. It is beautifully furnished and equipped and offers lovely views in a peaceful setting. Our hosts Julie and Jo were very friendly, helpful and informative about the local area. The breakfasts were yummy too.
It would be difficult to find 2 better hosts.
We are very glad that we chose to stay in Franz Josef rather than Fox Glacier. The helicopter trip was something we shall always remember.
We could not recommend Ribbonwood Retreat highly enough.
Thank you Julie and Jo.
Carole and David Harrison.
January 2014

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Marshy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

My son and I stayed with Julie and Joe on the night of 25 January en route from Christchurch to Queenstown. I wish we had been able to stay longer as it was a real treat staying at this retreat. We felt more like visitors to a family home than paying guests. I really liked the shared table and the drinks on arrival. The décor was sublime and really personal. The view of the glacier from my room was magnificent. We were recommended The Blue Ice for dinner and Joe and Julie offered us transport - which we declined. The Ribbonwood is a few kilometres from town. While I did not have the signature breakfast, mine was really lovely with plenty of hot coffee and great recommendations for the journey ahead. A cosy intimate lodging well worth a visit.

Room Tip: View of the glacier is nice
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank joeleen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

My wife and I stayed at Ribbonwood on our honeymoon. Jonathan was a great host, and had a ton of great recommendations about how to see the glacier, and hikes in the area. We would have never known about the hikes without him, and it was one of the highlights of our trip. Breakfast was amazing as well.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Justin N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £133 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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