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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fox Alpine Retreat

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Fox Alpine Retreat
3.0 of 5 Ranch   |   Cook Flat Road, Fox Glacier, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7951, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

Great place, great staff and great location for our one night stay during a visit to Fox. Self contained accommodation and they even left free plunger coffee, fresh orange juice and breakfast supplies. Make sure you get time to visit Lake Matheson. Thank you

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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15 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

We (a couple of friends and I) stayed in May 2012. We got to know the place by getting a deal (I think it was either GrabOne or Groupon NZ). We visited Fox Glacier after a whirlwind of check-in-check-out days in various backpacker hostels around South Island. We were very pleasantly surprised to find this chalet style accommodation. Finally some place to literally put our feet up! It had a kitchen (fully equipped!), dining table, TV and sofa (that can be pulled out to be a bed). The chalet overall was clean and spotless, and the rooms as well. We came in quite late in the night as we were driving from Wanaka and Haast. We had some difficulties at first to locate the place, but friend's keen eyes saved the day and we proceeded to meet Aaron (awesome guy!) the manager and checked in.

We had some boo-boo when we flooded the bathroom and subsequently the living room because the shower drain just would not drain. Called Aaron up and he proceeded to bring some towels to clean up, and he managed to fix the shower. Awesome guy, as I said.

Since I sprained my ankle during a walk at Haast Pass, I decided not to join the Fox Glacier guided walk on our 3rd day (the day we were supposed to check out). The walk was to take until about noon, but Aaron assured us that it's ok to check out a little bit later than 10 (the supposed check-out time), and so I proceeded to just stay in and relax while waiting for my friends to come back from the walk.

Overall, we had a great time. Would recommend this place to anyone who's visiting Fox Glacier!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queenstown, New Zealand
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

The accommodation was fairly new but it was hard to find at night because there was no big signage. The reception was a bit hard to find because you had to drive inside around until you found reception which looked like any other chalet in the compound. The facilities were superb and in good condition. We were provided a basic continental breakfast in the refrigerator. The staff was nowhere to be found but left a note for us to just come in. It was all self service but at least there was a TV and a DVD player with internet. As long as you don't mind do it yourself service this place is good for 4 people. It is not worth it if for only two because of the price of $460. You can get a full service hotel for 2 rooms somewhere else at the same price with a proper continental breakfast. We would only get this place if it were on special next time.

Room Tip: Get rooms away from the main road to get more privacy but get chalet one to get the bet view at the...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

We stayed at Jag Escapes this long weekend and found this place to be very comfortable. Jo, the manager, was very informative and had excellent hospitality. We found the location to be clean, spacious and suitable for a group visit. A little hard to find, so signage would be recommended.

The TVs and facilities were fairly basic and continental breakfast was only serviced once out of the three nights stay. Some of the lights and kitchen utensils were not functional on arrival but the manager was prompt to provide fixes the next day. However, the breakfasts were not replenished and linen suppliers were not serviced after the first day.

While there was no specific views at the location, it was within a 3 min drive to very picturesque views and Lake Matheson, and to town centre. Overall, it's a quiet spot to unwind and pleasant for a road trip.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012

We stayed in JAG escape recently and found the place to be clean, new and modern. Good accommodation for families as stated by previous reviewers.

However, the place was poorly sign posted and had no lighting to indicate where it was. Spooky and dark in the night. The supplies in the accommodation were not sufficient for the number of guests booked. There was one set of soap, shampoo and conditioner for our entire stay. Rooms were not done and supplies were not replenished on the second day. On checking with the owner/manager, they provided a lame excuse that they do not hold spare keys and therefore could not access the rooms in our absence. Some supplies like coffee and couple of towels and a toilet paper were replenished later after asking. It was too late in the night to ask for the rooms to be serviced and we were about to check out the next day anyway. The view from one of our bedroom windows was not pleasing - local cemetery!

We booked the accommodation via Wotif, which mentioned about a free continental breakfast, but never mentioned for how many people. The standard room rate was for 4 people in the family unit and one would expect breakfast at least for 4 people. However, we were shocked to see a tray containing 6 slices of bread cling wrapped, a couple of packaged fruits and 4 single serve cereal packs. The manager said that the breakfast was only for 2 people. It seemed that they were trying to cut costs wherever possible, which we were not impressed about.

Few things to note about Fox town: The Fox town itself is a very small town, so don't expect more than a couple of places to eat and a handful to stay. You may need to book early to get family units especially at peak seasons, as there are not many. There is only one supermarket, which closes at 7pm. Expect prices to be much higher than the supermarket chains. Franz Joseph could have been a better alternative, as it is a relatively bigger town with much more to see and do. There are even Hot pools in Franz to unwind and relax after a long day at glaciers. However, the Franz glacier tours are about twice as expensive as the ones in Fox. The supermarket in Franz is larger and stocks more supplies than the one in Fox. Overall, we found Franz to be a more lively town than Fox.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

We stayed at this venue the week before Christmas in 2011 after searching Tripadvisor for modern, clean accommodation on the Franz Josef Glacier. We have stayed at Fox previously in Te Weheka hotel.
Jag is simple and modern. The concept is pre-fab cabins set on a drive off the "main" road. I use "main" in inverted commas as it is a very quiet main road. The cabins have a deck out front with cafe table and chairs which is very pleasant (no view). The staff seemed like a young family and they were always available and friendly.
I think having a car for the journey would make your stay here more comfortable.
Inside the furnishings are simple and modern. I think it is still fairly new and everything was in very good condition.
There were 2 bedrooms which faced the "quiet" back road looking out to farmland and we were serenaded by cows (no smells).
The kitchen is modern and functional. This is a self-cater venue so pick up your groceries in town at the 4 Square which is only 5 minutes by car away.
The bathroom is a decent size with shower - no bath.
Linen and towels were excellent quality items and the toiletries were NZ local products.
There is Wi-fi but we had to walk towards the little admin hut to link up and then walk back to the cabin. Only one device would work on it a t a time. This was a little inconvenient as were travelling with only an ipad and wireless devices. I don't know if there is ethernet capability there.
The name is a misnomer as its not what you would normally have in mind for a "retreat" ie facilities but for what it is ie proivding comfortable, spotlessly clean and modern basic accommodation at a reasonable tarriff it is absolutely fine. Families will find it very comfortable.
Word of advice, close the doors which are unscreened in the late afternoon - mosquitos come up at that time. The bedrooms have screening so can be left open during the night. Screened doors would make the experience in Summer a little more pleasant.
We enjoyed a Heli hike through Franz Josef Glacier Guides. I booked for the 1st day of our 3 night stay which was a good move as the heli trip was postponed through the first day due to cloud. We were able to shift our Quad Bikes Franz Josef to the day of the postponed heli hike. Both were booked on-line from home and the Quad bikes people were very happy to shift our booking as there was space.
My family enjoyed the Quads. Being 4 adults we hired 4 singles. Being a 50 something woman I found it a little challenging however the other 3 adults found it no problem. The terrain we covered just can't be beat! Tall Savannah grasslands, river, river bed, rainforest - this was amazing. Be prepared to get dusty and dirty! My son had his GoPro camera and got some amazing footage.
The Heli hike was a real highlight. We had a stunningly beautiful sunny day up top - just magnificent.
For both activities you only need to drive into town. Park your car on the street or the small carpark opposite the 4 Square and the helicoptors take off from behind the shops and the ATVs are just a short walk away.
I can't remember the names of the restaurants we ate at but they were along the main street - reasonable cafe style fare. We had a coffee and a game of snooker at one of them.
Franz Josef is an easy drive from Queenstown about 4 hours drive. Some lovely waterfalls to see along the way. http://www.planmyplay.co.nz tells you where they are along the Haast Pass.
We also drove to Lake Matheson - would give this one a miss.
Stop at this magnificent pebble beach with driftwood on the way - magnificent but I can't remember the name! is north of Haast as you drive towards Queenstown.
All in all a very pleasant and hightly recommended stay.

Room Tip: Ask for one that backs onto the back road. More pleasant view from the bedrooms and pne further up t...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

Best thing I can say about the "retreat" is that the buildings were new and clean. They are more demountables than cottages though and the managers seemed new to the business of hospitality, although they were friendly. The view from the deck is of some felled trees and the neighbours' backyard rather than the mountains and glaciers. Shame as you needed a view to look at because the TV did not work. Supplies in the kitchen were lacking (no coffee).

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fox Alpine Retreat

Address: Cook Flat Road, Fox Glacier, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7951, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Fox Glacier
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Fox Glacier
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Fox Alpine Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We've created our second escape at the Fox Glacier, situated in Glacier Country, on the West Coast of the South Island, 21kms south of Franz Josef. The Fox Alpine Retreat is the total escape, purpose built apartments that put you in charge of your stay. Brand new spacious 2 bedroom Colonial cottages with stunning views of Mount Cook and Fox Glacier, 500 metres from the Village centre. Sleeps up to 6, full kitchen with gas cooking, full dining, beautiful tiled bathrooms, verandas and decks, car parking, beautifully appointed and family friendly. So come and escape with us! ... more   less 
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