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“A great place to stay in a place where it rains a lot”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A great place to stay in a place where it rains a lot”
Reviewed 29 February 2012

We thought our stay at the forest retreat was excellent. The room was a good size and the beds extremely comfortable. Unfortunately it rained the entire time we were in Franz Josef so it was nice to know that the retreat was welcoming and a place you felt more than comfortable to be in. The 5 course degustation meal we thought was excellent. Some of the best food we have eaten since being in New Zealand. We particularly enjoy well presented food, something that we feel makes a holiday. Thank you chef for this. We enjoyed being able to walk to the hot pools in our robes, a treat after a grueling glacier hike. We also found the staff especially charming and helpful. My only criticism is perhaps the lighting in the room was a little dim and I found it quite hard to read with the lighting as it is but this was a minor complaint.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Liz E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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663 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
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Lancashire
Level Contributor
78 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

This hotel is OK until you think what it could have been. A fairly new property, the Forest Retreat nestles into a rain forest with, potentially, great views of the nearby mountain peaks. Unfortunately it has been built so that the bedrooms and most of the public rooms are dark and gloomy with not much of a view of anything.
We used this hotel as a stopover on a long west coast drive which exposed the other problem with this hotel - the restaurant. Not feeling like searching for a restaurant we had dinner in the hotel and were presented with a "5 course taster menu" with no alternative. The chef is clearly on an ego trip and designed elaborate nouvelle cuisine dishes totally inappropriate to the setting or, I suspect, to the taste of most of the clientele.
Saving graces: 1. It's a 5 minute stroll to pleasant hot tub facilities; 2. A very quiet location affords a good night's sleep.

One more thing - I really worry when hotels actively seek Trip Advisor recommendations (which this one does at check out) and use T A for marketing.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rover10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Morwell, Australia
Level Contributor
434 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

This resort room was fantastic
The service was fantastic.
The evening meal was fantatic.
The breakfast was fantastic.

As you can guess I was impressed with the entrie resort and the services it provided.

Everthing from the room turndown to the supervision of the meal service by the maitre d' and the wine waiter to help make selections.

The evening meal was perfect and served at a good pace. The breakfast wa also excellent.

The resort is so confident with there service and it's standards they encorage the use of tripadvisor.

Room Tip: No such thing as a bad room as all have the same view into the forest courtyard
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Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Colint50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

We had a wonderful experience here. The restaurant and bar staff incudes a group from Argentina that provide outstanding service. And after a delicious dinner (the best on our NZ trip), you can retire to the very comfortable bar area and have Franco serve up a nightcap and some great conversation.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FAW473
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NewYork
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2012

The view outside the room is rainforest. And open your door in the morning and see the glacier. Quite a gorgeous contrast. Accomodations are GREAT. Clean, plush, modern. The staff is exceptional and the food is great too. It is a ten! Stay for more than one night if for no other reason (and there are reasons) then the room

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank smallbirdNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Property: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Address: 3 Wallace 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:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Franz Josef
#1 Family Hotel in Franz Josef
#2 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price range (per night): $618 - $856
Hotel Class:5 star — Te Waonui Forest Retreat 5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury hotels in New Zealand don't get any better than this! Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star Qualmark rated retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury. Te Waonui Forest Retreat promises all its guests a truly unique and memorable experience. At one with nature, the five-star Qualmark rated Te Waonui Forest Retreat is the ultimate coming together of luxury escape and environmental awareness. Great care has been taken to ensure this exceptional forest retreat steps lightly upon the earth, from the organic cotton bedspreads to its recycled local building materials. Discerning travellers will appreciate the hotel’s attention to detail, which starts with attentive personal service upon arrival, and continues throughout all the hotel facilities and every aspect of your stay. As our guest you will enjoy exceptional quality and service, including: Luxuriously appointed guest rooms, generously proportioned and featuring the highest standard of room amenities, such as your personal pillow menu, natural wool mattress underlay, and high speed Internet access. Dining among the tres in ‘The Canopy’ restaurant, and savouring quality local cuisine, including an indulgent five-course degustation dinner. Innovative, environmentally sustainable architecture and building materials that create a healthy, warm and quiet haven for you to enjoy. Easy access to many excellent local attractions, including the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Te Waonui Forest Retreat Hotel Franz Josef

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