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“Best hostel from all my travels” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers

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Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers
3.5 of 5 Hostel   |   8-10 Cron Street | Franz Josef, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best hostel from all my travels”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014 via mobile

I originally stayed at Rainforest Retreat and was so disgusted with the conditions of the backpacker facilities that I walked 4 minutes up the road and walked into the first hostel I found on my left which happened to be Chateau Franz - didn't realise how lucky I would be. It was not only 6 dollars cheaper a night but was 100% more amazing. I originally booked 4 nights and ended up staying 2 weeks and didn't want to leave. Let's begin by mentioning all the free stuff that is kindly offered because they understand whats backpackers and travellers need and this makes it the best hostel EVER...free wifi in communal areas (loads of sockets and comfy chairs with views of the mountains if you get the right seat), free breakfast from 7.30 - 9am, free soup each evening (home made every day), free use of hairdryers and straighteners available from reception, hot water bottles to hire and free use of their well kept hot tub! AND each week they have some free event on for guests - whilst I was there I attended two free BBQs with free beer and watched two fire shows where the workers performed complicated fire spinning routines - so much fun! There was also free sushi and beer offered on another evening. On top of this most rooms have a tv and video player and the backpackers block has a giant TV room with sofas and tv for a great comfy night in. The kitchen facilities are extremely clean and large with endless equipment. The rooms are so varied in style all quirky and really cleaned with comfy beds and really well kept and I even had my shower curtain changed daily! I might sound biased as I ended up staying so long but in a town the size of a football pitch they were doing something right because I didn't want to leave! It was largely because the staff were so cool. Chris the manager was so incredibly helpful and friendly and goes out of his way to help anyone just like Ed who isn't happy unless you are happy. The whole team are like a little family and always have a smile on their faces and are ready to help - thanks Chaz and Prim :) Then as if everything already on offer wasn't enough the lovely Ben, who organises all the events and free stuff, also does organised tours and shuttles to local sights! Honestly this is the best hostel in all my 8 months of travelling I have come across. I've even had them book my Queenstown accommodation in advance for me with their sister branch because I had to move on at some point - thanks Chris for organising everything for me!! I will definitely be back and will miss all the awesome people that make Chateau so hard to leave. Thanks for an awesome stay guys!!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris P, Manager at Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers, responded to this review, June 3, 2014
Hi MissBex1986, Thank you taking the time to write such an in depth review of Chateau Franz. Its always a pleasure to read that the staff have made such a good impression. We hope that you enjoy the rest of your time in New Zealand and look forward to hopefully seeing you again next time you pass through Franz Josef.
Thanks, Chris
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208 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Myself and by boyfriend stayed here for 2 nights while were travelling around the South Island. We stayed in a backpacker double room and the facilities were fine.
Having free soup and breakfast was a bonus but what we really loved was our second night. There was a free bbq (with wine!), fire throwing and a trip in the Hummer-sine to the bar across the street. Was probably the most surreal night in NZ but we had a great time!
Would definitely recommend!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris P, Manager at Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers, responded to this review, June 3, 2014
Hi Natashaa16, Thank you for taking the time to review Chateau Franz. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay with us and had the opportunity to enjoy the BBQ and Hummer ride. Enjoy the rest of your travels.
Thanks Chris
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South Island, New Zealand
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014 via mobile

Lots of free facilities so definitely get your money's worth, great people working and staying there so there's a good vibe and Ed was very helpful with all queries. Would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Chris P, Manager at Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers, responded to this review, May 25, 2014
Hi Poreme, Thank you for taking the time to review Chateau Franz. We have been working very hard to make it a destination hostel with all that we have to offer, and its nice here hear that all the staff's efforts are having an effect. We look forward to welcoming you back next time you pass through Franz Josef.
Thanks Chris
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Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2014

We stayed In a cabin for one night, great unit, great price, and Ed was really helpful.
Would definitely stay here again, the free soup was awesome, and they had a good selection of DVDs for rental. Obviously a popular place for backpackers.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris P, Manager at Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers, responded to this review, May 25, 2014
Hi brian19762014, thank you for taking the time to review Chateau Franz, We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay and were able to take advantage of everything we have to offer. We hope that you enjoy the rest of your trip.
Thanks Chris
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Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

Chateau Franz is a great place to stay. Free soup everyday at 6pm, free breakfast every morning, free popcorn whenever you like, free international calls, welcoming staff and a great sense of humour.

Whilst we were there, guests were challenged to walk their slack-line (essentially a tight-rope, strung up between two pillars), if anyone successfully walked the length of it, they were awarded a free night's stay. We were also invited to take a ride in their 'hummer-sine', for a free bar crawl and free drinks in the vehicle. Absolutely bonkers and very fun indeed.

Our room was clean and warm, the facilities are excellent and the overall atmosphere was very welcoming.

It's a very good set up, in that there are numerous areas for the various styles of accommodation, be they motel rooms, dorms, private lodges or family cabins, but the whole site is centred around the communal areas.

One of my favourite hostels in New Zealand. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: If you want a double room, go for the ski lodge, it's cheaper and you get more privacy :)
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris P, Manager at Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers, responded to this review, May 20, 2014
Hi TomFT, thank you for taking the time for review Chateau Franz, i'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, and were able to enjoy all that we had to offer. We hope to see you again and you never know you might win a free nights stay next time you stay with us if you are able to walk the slack line.

Thanks, Chris
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Bandungan, Indonesia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

There are number of things that I didn't like the place, and few that I have liked actually;

Cons
- There is not much of any atmosphere ( most people just crash for a night in order to see glaciers
- Indifferent staff in the reception - we arrive just 4 min late for breakfast and although the food was still displayed we were told with the smile on his face - sorry you re late. Luckily other guys ( French) that worked as intern agreed to give us cornflakes and milk
- Hostel and motel is not well cleaned in general but the kitchen was the dirties I have ever seen in any hostel in the world!
It is not just the hostel staff fault, but the young and drunk crowd, which stayed there. They simply left their dirty dishes at the table or in the sink or dirty socks/ pans all around the dorm
- Security issue: no locker or any shelf for luggage in the dorm ( anybody can enter the room at any time, as doors are not locked neither)

Pros
- simple breakfast included ( be on time!)
- jacuzzi ( if you don't mind dirty water)
- central location ( like everything else in Franz Joseph)

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Chris P, Manager at Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers, responded to this review, May 24, 2014
Hi cezaryfree, thank you for taking the time to review Chateau Franz. I am upset to hear that your stay was not to the level that you expect and we usually deliver. On a daily bases we have 5 memebrs of staff cleaning the hostel and it is usaully done to a high standard and recently we have stepped up the cleaning of both of our kitchens so they are both being being cleaned by memebrs of staff 4 time a day. Sicne introducing this the kitchens have been kept in a good clean condition all day long. Also we are currently in the process of installing locked luggage storage.

As regards to breakfast. we do end it as advertised at 9am prompt. The reason for this is we have to get the kitchen and local areas cleaned and ready for use again before we close the main kitchen for cleaning and so that after breakfast guests have enough time to get their belongings together before check out. As most hostels don't offer breakfast at all we feel that giving guests 1 1/2 hours for breakfast is ample.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your travel.

Chris
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

Definitely recommend staying here. Our room was nice & clean with a good heater. They provide some free things you don't get in many other places: wifi, breakfast, international calls. The kitchen is a bit small and the showers could be better but it wasn't bad. They also put on events most evenings & the staff are great.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris P, Manager at Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers, responded to this review, May 20, 2014
Hi katie-a-r-7, thank you for taking the time to review Chateau Franz, I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and weere able experiance some of the events that we hold. we hope that you enjoy the rest of your time ont he south island.

Thanks, Chris
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers

Address: 8-10 Cron Street | Franz Josef, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand
Location: 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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers 3.5*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ed welcomes you to Chateau Franz...Come and relax at Chateau Franz Motel & Backpackers after your fun filled day on the Glacier. Centrally located, we are only a few minutes walk to all Franz Josef has to offer. We offer a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets. A free spa pool, free homemade soup every evening, free breakfast, free movies, popcorn and friendly informative staff in a great atmosphere! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chateau Franz, Motel And Backpackers
Chateau Franz, Motel & Backpackers Hotel South Island

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