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“Warm welcome” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ribbonwood Retreat

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Ribbonwood Retreat
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26 Greens Road, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 7 Franz Josef B&B and Inns
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Warm welcome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

From the moment we stood at the front door to the moment we left Julie & Jo couldn't have been nicer. Lovely personal welcome written on a little blackboard at the front door. Beautiful home made baking, spotless and homely accommodation and very helpful with booking tours and suggesting a free ride in a stretch hummer courtesy of Blue Ice restaurant.....what could be more perfect than that?!

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
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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151 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    132
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36
97
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2
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

Our family of 5 arrived In Franz Josef in wild and deteriorating weather, but we were greeted by Jo and Julie with a wonderful warm welcome. We had the run of the upstairs of the main house and there was plenty of room for us to spread out. The house is spotless. The breakfasts were sensational. From the freshly baked bread, to the homemade jams, yoghurt and crepes. Our hosts took great care to ask about food preferences and were very accommodating about our son's nut allergy. The weather forced the cancellation of our glacier hike, but Julie came up with loads of other suggestions. We came home drenched from walking in the rain and our hosts dried our clothes and shoes in front of the fire. Perhaps the highlight for the kids was a stretch hummer limo, arranged by Julie, to take us to dinner in town. Ribbonwood is about 5km out of the township of Franz Josef, however this wasn't an issue because we had a car. The location is so peaceful and the view so stunning - it was also nice being away from the bustle of the township. I'd highly recommend Ribbonwood - and we will def go back - we've got to get up that glacier!

Room Tip: The top floor of the main house is excellent for a family.
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

This B&B is by far the best my husband and I have stayed in, and we've stayed in B&Bs all over the U.S., as well as Europe. It is so clean you could eat off the floor; neat, and has beautiful rooms with a view of the mountains. Our hosts Jon & Vickie were very friendly, helpful, and extremely nice. We highly recommend it for travelers, because it feels like home away from home.
Melinda

  • Stayed December 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

From the moment we arrived and saw a sign to welcome us and smelled the bread baking we felt at home. Julie and Jo are such lovely, kind people, were lovely to chat to and nothing was too much bother.
The food was delicious and the house is spotless. It was a treat to stay somewhere so clean.
I would highly recommend staying here to anyone in wanting to stay round there. Wonderful!
Thank you so much, Julie and Jo.
Helena Mackevych.

  • Stayed January 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

My family of five stayed at Ribbonwood Retreat for two nights in December. Jo was waiting for us when our car drove in and made us feel comfortable from the moment we stepped into his home. We were given the suite above the main house comprising two rooms. Although there was only one bathroom, we managed it well. Jo had stocked up his bathroom with lovely local bath essentials. Breakfast was cooked by Jo and I loved his homemade muesli with the dried ginger! Jo was very helpful and had booked for us prior to our arrival a heli ride to the Glaciers. Ribbonwood Retreat is a nice place to stay in Franz Josef away from the main city centre. It's a lovely and quaint B & B you can't go wrong with.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

Ribbonwood Retreat is about 5 minutes’ drive from Franz Josef village. Since we drove, it wasn't an issue for us. In fact, we were glad to stay in a quiet place away from the village. The retreat is also away from the main road. When we arrived, Jonathan opened the house door just as we were pulling into the car porch, welcoming and directing us to park. The car porch is just next to the main house door which made loading and unloading of luggage easy.

My family and I stayed two nights at Ribbonwood Retreat. There were five of us, including two teenage children. We stayed at Waiho Suite, which is located upstairs of the main house. The accommodation is very cosy and clean. There are windows and balcony on 3 sides of the main suite permitting sight of beautiful scenery.

Jo was a fantastic host. He quickly settled us down and oriented us to the dining places in village. Menus from the village restaurants were available in the room. Placing the menus in the room was very thoughtful as it allowed us to review them before deciding which restaurant to go.

The next morning, Jo prepared a healthy breakfast for us. Jo was chatty and friendly, putting us at ease as we enjoyed the breakfast and chatted with him. He shared his experience as a former forest ranger, how he first arrived at Franz Josef after graduation, and how he met Julie. Jo was also happy to share when we asked him questions about living in the West Coast. We almost felt like we were staying with a friend or family! Jo was also very helpful in suggesting places for our family to visit. He even called the Wildlife Centre to help us check whether any Kiwi egg was hatching that morning. DVDs were made available although we didn’t watch them as we had plenty to do in our two days stay in Franz Josef.

Thanks Jo, for making our stay in Franz Josef such a memorable and warm one. We will not hesitate to stay at Ribbonwood Retreat if we visit Franz Josef again.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

My husband and I spent two nights at Ribbonwood Retreat. Joe and Julie built this house and it is obviously first and foremost a family home. The furnishings are sparse but quite comfortable. The wood burning fire made the living room, which we had total access to at all times, very warm and toasty. Joe was alone until Christmas as Julie was teaching in Christchurch. Yes, he did ask us the not wear our shoes in the house, but, unlike other commentators, we did not feel that this was an imposition. We stayed in the lower level bedroom with a hall bath. The whole area was separated from the rest of the house so we had plenty of privacy any time we needed. Joe had all varieties of cereals and fruits for us and also made eggs for my husband. We spent a lovely time with him chatting and learning about Franz Josef. If we ever get back to Franz Josef, we would stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ribbonwood Retreat

Address: 26 Greens Road, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, 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 Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
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 

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