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“Nice chalets, friendly owners” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Franz Alpine Retreat

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Franz Alpine Retreat
4.0 of 5 Condominium   |   2 Donovan Drive | State Highway 6, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Nice chalets, friendly owners”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2011

Franz Alpine Retreat offers 2-bedroom chalets a little outside of the center of Franz Josef. There is really no need to be in the city center in Franz Josef as it is only a short drive of a few minutes to get to all outdoor activities center and restaurants.

It is new and very comfortable, probably one of the best accommodations in FJ and still unknown of lots of people.

The owners are very friendly and almost always around to help or make sure everything is alright for guests, giving the little “village” (8 or 10 chalets) a good feeling. Laundry facilities were very appreciated as we were on a 3-week trip in NZ. They even offered us a rack to hang our clothes, all very nice.

Great place to stay.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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183 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2011

My Fiance and I have been traveling around New Zealand for a little over a week. We stumbled across this listing and found the cottages to be a great value with a wonderful staff. The cottages are located a couple of miles outside the main city so it's about a 7 minute drive to get to all the main restaurants and recreation areas (perfect if you have a car). My Fiance fell off a horse in Queenstown and Claire helped us get her into see the doctor at the local clinic. We couldn't be happier with the decision to stay here. Beautiful, well appointed, contemporary furnishings. We will be the Franz Alpine Resort!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2010

We were 3 adults and one toddler and stayed here for a long weekend and were very comfortable. The self-contained units are very clean and furnished to a very high and classy standard with a big kitchen with plenty of cupboard space, microwave, kettle, large fridge-freezer, oven and decent sink. This was important to us since we were self-catering. There was a large dining table with plenty of chairs. The living area had a large flat screen with sky channels and you could borrow dvds from the reception to play on the dvd player. There are two bedrooms with very comfortable beds. The place had big windows with lovely green views and was light and airy and warm.
The owner/receptionist was extremely thoughtful and concerned with our well-being and when I realised I couldn't climb the three steps upto the unit easily because of my disability, she moved us the next day to an access unit which had a sloped entrance and a wonderful spacious walk-in shower with seat. She couldn;'t do enough for us, even providing toys for our daughter.
We stayed in a lot of places during our time in New Zealand and usually you get some milk for you tea/coffee when you first arrive - this can range from a couple of tiny individual samples even if there are 4 people to a small carton/bottle of milk. At the Franz Alpine Retreat we received a carton of full fat and a carton of skimmed milk plus fresh biscuits and proper coffee every morning. Also we were given plenty of fresh toiletries and tons of towels every day without asking. These things are small and don't cost much but make the stay so much more pleasurable. I became quite an expert at reading the hotel information booklet in the room at all the places we stayed and at the Franz Alpine Retreat the way it was written was courteous and welcoming with good useful information and even offering foot-spas after a hike if you request from the reception. We have been in other places in the same price range where the whole booklet was 'don't do this...don't do that' i.e. very patronising and almost like 'you're here because we wnat the income but don't you dare do anything to cause us any inconvenience whatsoever'.

All-in-all a very pleasant stay especially since we were cooped up there because the weather was bad. This new accomodation definately deserves a five-star rating from us.

A very few minor down sides - the internet was fine in the unit we had near the reception, but the access unit which was further from the reception had problems and it was only because of my hi-tech husband that we got connected. The retreat is a few minutes drive to the 'town' (only one street) so you need a car but it is unlikely you'll be in the area without a car anyway because the place is so remote and the glacier is the sole attraction. The owner/recptionist isn't always available; when we left, she wasn't around and after waiting for about half an hour and coming back an hour later too, we left without checking out properly but just leaving our keys (she had our credit card info).

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Franz Alpine Retreat

Address: 2 Donovan Drive | State Highway 6, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Franz Alpine Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Franz Alpine Retreat gives you the perfect retreat in the most beautiful location this country has to offer. Whether you are travelling alone, as a group or a family, it has personalised facilities that fully immerse you in the surrounding environment.Franz Alpine Retreat has been purpose built with facilities that allow you to feel at home, relax, do your own thing and ultimately enjoy the breathtaking environment around you. Our chalets can sleep up to 6. Chalets are equipped with full gas cooking, kitchen - dining room, electric blankets, SKY + Freeview, Wireless Internet, Phone & insect screens. Other facilities within the complex DVD library, BBQ, full laundry facilities, continental breakfast.A perfect place to stay - your home away from home! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Franz Alpine Retreat Hotel Franz Josef

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