Having stayed at various quirky places in Franz Josef over the years, we were looking forward to trying something a little more luxurious with this eco-friendly bed and breakfast. The price tag certainly fit with what we had happily paid in other parts of the south island for truly top-notch accommodation, service, and breakfast. Sadly, we were left deeply uninspired by our visit to Ribbonwood. The setting is tremendous - lush, wild west glacier country, and a pretty house surrounded by ample native bush, birds, and gardens. If only the interior were as remarkable as the environs - instead, it felt dated and sterile (and cleaner than any hospital). Jo was certainly an eager host, but our impression was more of staying at a scout camp than a warm and welcoming family home. Julie's breakfast crepes with homemade fruit compote were delicious, but as other guests have mentioned, one should not expect the lavish layout of breakfast options that will greet you at other similarly priced places in the south island.
While appreciating that the West Coast has fewer accommodation options and a more limited tourist season than other NZ destinations, it was a steep price to pay for a mediocre stay.
Bottom line- if it cost half the price to stay here, we would heartily recommend it. However, bang for buck, we would recommend staying in one of the quirkier, cheaper options in Franz Josef - this isn't the part of NZ to head to for a luxury break, so might as well keep it cheap and cheerful!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Ribbonwood B & B - a haven for nature lovers. Sleep deeply, breathing fresh clean air! Hosts Jonathan, a wildlife ranger and Julie, international school teacher are experts on history and ecology of the glacier region. We are passionate hikers and bird watchers who can show you the best places to visit. ... more less