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“Book Ahead But Only For One Night”

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Milford Sound Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 12, 2013

I stayed here midweek in a large camper with my young family in autumn. We phoned and booked ahead as we didn't want to be caught short with a baby on board. Not knowing how long it would take to get to Milford Sound and see everything without rushing I stupidly booked for two nights. We got there in plenty of time and managed to do everything there was to do in the area so I tried to change my booking to just one night so we could go back to Te Anau the following day. This resulted in some arguing with the reception staff who wanted to charge me the full price as it was less then 24 hours notice (just!). I thought this was a bit rich as the park was already full and beginning to overflow so it was obvious they would not be loosing any money and I was only staying on a camper van pitch. They finally decided to charge me just 30% of a nights stay but the staff were unable to work this out on their calculator. They could only work out 70% for some reason and after trying to give them a lesson in basic mathematics I gave up and just paid it.

The park itself is amazingly uninspired for such a beautiful area. The camper van area is basically just a gravel car park with everyone squeezed in. No real views or anything. The facilities were pretty good with all the basics you could need plus some great unhealthy breakfasts on offer!

It is well worth staying here for the night and getting up to see the sound early in the morning, it was amazing. But definitely book ahead especially if you want a powered site but one night should do it.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank GnarlyLuke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 16, 2013

Hi, Thank you for your review and your thoughts on how long to allocate to Milford Sound. Of course, everyone's interests differ and we often receive comments that 2 nights is great because it allows you to wind down and relax but also to see all that the Milford Road on the way in has to offer. We do respect your comments regarding our cancellation policy which is very standard in NZ and is there for good reason. Regards, the Lodge Team.

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690 - 696 of 1,035 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2013

We had a wonderful time staying at the lodge. By the time we booked the only type of room left was with 2 bunk beds. We were a couple traveling with our young adult son. We paid the cost of an extra person so had the room to ourselves. The room was tiny but adequate. The shared facilities are great with a large bathroom (showers, hairdryers), kitchen and lounge. We ate several meals at the Blue Duck and were quite pleased. We spent a rainy morning playing games in the lounge. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. Would highly recommend staying here is you don't mind tight quarters.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank LindaB536
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2013

Hi, thanks so much for leaving such a lovely review for others to read about our Lodge. We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us in beautiful Milford Sound and enjoyed some great family time together. Regards, the Lodge Team.

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Reviewed May 19, 2013

We stayed here for two nights in one of the chalets. The chalet itself was spacious, warm and had great views of the mountains and a passing stream. The bathroom had a very good sized bath in it. The TV was usual fare for New Zealand - free to air + 3 Sky channels (BBC World News, National Geographic and Sky Movies). The staff were generally pretty helpful.

Because of the remoteness there is NO phone signal at all. There is a Telecom Payphone out the front of the lodge but no in room phones. You can get access to the lodge wifi for $20 for 100mb which is pretty expensive. Worse still the Wifi signal in the chalet we stayed in was poor to fair and would often drop out and when it did work was very slow.

The lodge does provide board games for just a $20 deposit (first time we had played monopoly in a while) and does have some DVDs for rent to make up for this lack of internet based entertainment.

Food here is pretty limited. They come around and ask if you want breakfast in the morning and in the 'town' is one bar/restaurant. The lodge does have a limited selection of provisions but it is very limited.

All up we enjoyed our stay, but we were also well prepared for the above with many provisions bought in Queenstown before we came to Milford Sound.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank EvilParrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review our Lodge. The remoteness of Milford Sound is certainly what sets our experience apart of the rest, many people relish the thought of no cell phones etc but it does have it's set backs. We receive our internet via satellite and we are prone to signal disruption due to weather etc but we are planning an upgrade to our wi-fi soon to ensure there is nothing we have overlooked in order to supply decent wi-fi. Thanks again, the Lodge Team.

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Reviewed May 19, 2013

When you first approach the chalet you prepare yourself for a slightly above-average cabin on the river’s edge; but inside it has the look and feel of a tasteful European apartment. The real show-stopper is this: the entire front and part of one side of the chalet is floor to ceiling glass, looking out on a rushing river whose backdrop is a steep forested mountain full of rushing waterfalls (I could see more than a dozen waterfalls looking straight on). The glass was so clear, the view so tranquil, it looked like a high def video screen playing the perfect scene. Even on a dim and rainy day it was inspiring.

The beds were small but comfy. The living/dining area was quite large and lovely with flat screen TV (8 channels), plenty of storage area, computer desk, sofa, table and chairs. The spacious bathroom had an elegant soaking tub/shower and plenty of counter & floor space offering luxury items like a towel warmer, heated floors and oodles of high quality towels.

The kitchen area was well-appointed. Microwave, toaster, French press…everything you need to make dinner except an oven or stovetop. But wait! They have a large equipped kitchen for everyone to use at the main lodge only steps away.

Check-in is at 2, check-out is at 10. High season they’re booked up well in advance so if you want this experience go in low season or book (some say) up to a year in advance. Stay more than one night if you have time. A great place to shake off the big city blues.

Tips:
Show up with a full tank of gas. There are no gas stations at Milford Sound or Milford Lodge.

Last real grocery/convenience store/liquor store opportunities are in Te Anau so stock up there. Milford Sound and Milford have very limited grocery/dining options.

Chalet comes with some free wifi, more available for a reasonable fee.

Enjoy!

Room Tip: Plan to take the time to relax and simply enjoy the view
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AngieB253
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

HI, this title made me smile, it's so true and what a great description. Perhaps you had the room set up as a twin, these are 2 single beds. As a double room, it is a super king so plenty big enough. Thanks so much for such a thorough review, I'm sure people considering booking will find it very helpful. Regards, the Lodge Team.

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Reviewed May 18, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 1 night in February as a treat while we were visiting Milford Sound. We payed to stay in a riverside chalet and naively assumed that they would have the service to match, how wrong we were. We arrived about and hour early and asked if we could check in early only to be informed that our room wouldn't be ready until check in time at 2 and there was no way to change this. We were happy to wait on the agreement that the receptionist would come and tell us when it was ready. After an 1hr 15mins we had to go back to reception ourselves only to find out that our room had been ready 20 mins earlier!!!
We let this go and went to unload our car and change ready for our kayaking trip that we had booked as a package with the lodge. We went to the pick up area at the allotted time and waited for half an hour with no luck. On checking with reception we discovered that the time we had been given by the receptionist at check in and on our booking was incorrect by nearly an hour and we had to wait again for our guide to arrive.
We were really disappointed by the service we received and felt that although they charge a premium for their chalets they just can't support this with quality of customer service. To top all of this they tried to charge us twice for our stay and we received no apology from them for this. All in all we were left feeling that we'd rather have spent another night in Te Anau.
My advice, if you want nice accommodation avoid this place like the plague.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jessh1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

Hi, thank you for letting us know you experienced less than satisfactory service, we need to hear about it in order to improve it. Incorrect or inconsistent information isn't acceptable at all so please accept our apologies. We hope you did however enjoy the chalet itself and we hope to host you again soon. Regards, the Lodge Team.

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Reviewed May 16, 2013

I stayed for one night in the hostel in early May. My visit did not start super well, as the shuttle was 30 minutes late picking me up, but this was made up for at the end of my trip, when the shuttle driver offered me a lift back to my pick up point outside of shuttle hours.
Check in was fine and I was happy with my dorm. The room was clean and warm. There was only one other person in the room, and it was reasonably quiet. There was a nice lounge and a busy, but fairly clean kitchen. The laundry worked well. In the morning, I was able to store my luggage and have a walk about. Whilst there is not tons to do in the area, I enjoyed picking my way along the riverside and looking at some of the smaller boats and lobster pots. I also watched planes and helicopters taking off, before spending some time relaxing in the local cafe.
Be aware that it is a bit of a walk to the port area, where buses mostly pick up and drop off, particularly if you have luggage. Make sure you are aware of shuttle times, as these are fairly limited. I am not sure if this is always the case, or due to it being the slower season now. The advantage of being a little further out, is that you can feel more part of nature. Particularly at night, with the starry skies above you.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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Thank NorthWestLondoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

Hi, thank you for reviewing our Lodge and an overnight experience in Milford Sound. Our apologies for the late shuttle, this was highlighted to us recently and we have since met with our team to remind them to be consistent and timely. Glad you enjoyed your stay and our stars. Regards, the Lodge Team.

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Reviewed May 16, 2013

We stayed in a camper here one night and thought it was great. Really large bathrooms and they made a killer soup:).
There's only 2 places to stay on Milford and only one if you have a camper so I found it a little amusing when they asked how we heard about the place. Internet. Is via satellite so very slow but we didn't come on holiday to spend time on the computer so it didn't bother me. Well worth the trip.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Mike A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MilfordLodgeManager, General Manager at Milford Sound Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

Hi, thank you for your positive review. Our team is pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and our soup! We will let the chef know. Regards, the Lodge Team.

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Additional Information about Milford Sound Lodge

Address: State Highway 94, Milford Sound 9640, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Milford Sound
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Milford Sound
Price Range: $12 - $174 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is simply not possible to fully experience Milford Sound in a day trip... Stay in Milford to enjoy its pure beauty after the day tripping crowds leave and before they arrive. Just 5 minutes drive from Milford Sound cruise boats, Milford Sound Lodge is ideally located. With picture perfect views of the Cleddau River and surrounding mountains, activity bookings on site, and a cafe and a shop, you won’t find a better base for your time in Fiordland. Choose accommodation that suits your needs – from award winning Premium Chalets to cosy Backpacking Rooms and Rainforest Campervan Sites – and let our friendly staff help you make the most of your time in this World Heritage site.There is so much to do: boat cruises, kayaking, walking and sightseeing, or relaxing and soaking in the beauty of your surroundings. You won’t regret treating yourself to an overnight stay in Milford Sound. Pre booking is essential Nov - April and year round for our Chalets. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Milford Sound Hotel Milford Sound

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