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“More like an unwelcoming home-stay than a lodge/backpackers.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ivory Tower Lodge

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Ivory Tower Lodge
PO Box 30, Fox Glacier, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Khao Lak, Thailand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“More like an unwelcoming home-stay than a lodge/backpackers.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

On arrival at 3 pm there was a person in a sleeping back on the sofa and there didn't appear to be any of the 2 live in staff to do a brief or show around and there was no information booklet (the lodge reception gave a brief before we drove the few kilometres to the cottage, not covering everything). Later we discovered this was one of the staff and that evening both of the staff were in sleeping bags on the 2 available sofas watching TV. The main fridge in the kitchen area is for staff only while the potential 9 guests use the fridge around the corner indicated to us who is the priority in the cottage. The two double rooms have a shared bathroom which has a view of the mountains as does the on-suite room. The staff have a room upstairs but as they work short hours appeared to dominate the communal area by the kitchen making it unwelcoming to paying guests. During our stay we noticed that one couple did not even use the communal area, we could assume they did not feel welcome like we did.

There is no Wi-Fi or internet at the cottage and when we asked if we could use the laundry facilities we were told it was private. We had to drive back to the lodge in town to use the WiFi and the laundry facilities.

The lodge offers IAC web facilities and as we had a pin card we asked reception to top up our card with cash. She made up some nonsense about not liking IAC and not wanting them anymore and not having the functionality to top up pin cards. When we went to access the IAC website we discovered that the lodge was shown as having this functionality so was not impressed to have to incur credit card fees to use the service.

Both dishwashers did not work and the top cooker door was held in by a pin board pin. So the kitchen needed a bit of work but is otherwise functional.

If the staff didn't treat this so much as their home with the inconvenience of guests it would be a nice place to stay. The current staff are travellers and have obviously not worked in the service industry before. The owners should really make a lounge area for the staff elsewhere or they need to be briefed in effect like chalet hosts as they represent the owners and impact on paying guests stay.

Room Tip: Check that the current have moved on or the owners have briefed them on customer service or politene...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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45 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2011

This hostel is perfectly located for those wishing to do the Fox Glacier trek, just a short walk to the Fox guides centre.
The hostel was clean, cheap and more than met our needs. Staff were very helpful...they posted on a jacket I left behind with no fuss.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2011

This is the only hostel that I could find in Fox Glacier. Ichose to stay at Fox for convenience sake as my activities are mostly based around Fox. The hostel was just ok, nothing much that is worth mentioning to me. The parking is very limited so you have to park at the street. Location wise is good. What I don't like is that they do not have keys to the dorms. Just not used to it. My dorm is downstairs and has a balcony door which also does not have any lock on it. My bed is just next to the balcony door. Anyone from the street can just walk into the room from the balcony door. Although crime is very low in NZ, I just don't feel comfortable with such practice. If it is just for an overnight stay, it is ok but for longer days I think Franz Josef has more choices of hostels.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2011

This was the only backpacker i could find in Fox Glacier. Maybe more have opened recently but at that time, this was the only one open. Quite a nice place with a well stocked library and a big kitchen where you can cook your stuff. I spent the night reading and that was the highlight of my trip. Would recommend this place to backpackers. You will surely not be disappointed

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2011

The Ivory Towers Lodge has a fair location in Fox Glacier Village - then again, the village is so small that you could walk from end to end in about 10 minutes. The rooms at the main lodge were standard - clean, basic, well-kept for a quick overnight stay. The common kitchen was well equipped. Note however if you are driving, parking at the lodge itself is fairly limited, and you might need to park on street.
However, do yourself a service by booking their cottage rooms! Those are located some distance out of the village, so a car or a bike would be essential. However, the rooms are absolutely stunning - the cottage ensuite indeed has a fabulous view of Fox Glacier and it could easily fit 4 adults. Had we known, we would not have bothered with booking a room for myself and my wife at the main lodge itself. My mother-in-law ended up with the Fairy Room and it was so beautfilly decorated. A picture is worth a thousand words, so see the pictures and you know what I mean. The whole experience at the cottage felt very much like a bed & breakfast (ok, without the breakfast...) rather than a backpackers lodge. Note that the rooms are only available in summer though.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ivory Tower Lodge

Address: PO Box 30, Fox Glacier, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Fox Glacier
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Fox Glacier
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
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