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“Lovely place, staff with attitude”
Review of Fiordland Lodge

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Fiordland Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“Lovely place, staff with attitude”
Reviewed February 4, 2007

Splendid views of Lake Te Anau and Fiordland, but very remote, which makes it difficult to use anything but the in-house restaurant.

Strangely for such a highly regarded lodge with a long waiting list, we did not enjoy our stay because of the staff. Don’t know if there had been a row, but there was an atmosphere you cut with a knife, total silence and not a smile between them. The seats in the lounge were arranged back to back as if to prevent conversations breaking out, you could hear a pin drop. We couldn’t understand why they needed to have a log fire in mid summer, but laughed to ourselves that it was probably to thaw out the frosty atmosphere.

Consequently we didn’t enjoy our evening meal in the restaurant, everyone was whispering and there was certainly no laughter, except us of course, laughing at the staff taking themselves so seriously. It is apparent that significant profit comes from the wine list which, whilst superb, is on the expensive side. I decided I wouldn’t be able to consume a full bottle of wine, so plumped to buy it by the glass @ NZ$17 instead of NZ$140 for a bottle which retails at NZ$28 in the local shops; that was mistake number one, all I got was a third of a small glass, so thinking it was a taster asked for the rest, that was mistake number two, from then on service deteriorated and they couldn’t get us out quickly enough.

Notwithstanding the atmosphere the place was fantastic. It’s as if the Architect got the scale wrong on the drawings, everything about the place is scaled up and huge, the joinery appears to be made from solid logs.

The rooms are large, there is no air conditioning, but free standing fans are supplied and the ground floor doors open onto a lawn. The en suite shower room was very nice.

In conclusion; a fantastic location, fantastic building, fantastic views, but spoilt on this occasion by complacent sulking staff. Maybe the staff incident was a one-off, let’s hope so, in which case I would highly recommend Fiordland Lodge, but the place is expensive by NZ standards and as a result of my personal experience I’m going to suggest you save yourself some money and go somewhere that appreciates their customers.

  • Liked — Beautiful location, fantastic lodge building
  • Disliked — The staff
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Trevor E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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303 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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English first
California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2007

We were on our honeymoon (in late Nov) traveling throughout both islands and this was one of our 2 favorite lodges that we stayed at. We ended up staying in a two room suite with high ceilings and a balcony off the living room (that also had a fireplace). The bed was very comfortable and although it was chilly out with much rain, we didn't have any trouble with warmth (and I'm always cold). The balcony over looked beautiful Te Anau Lake. Really everything was perfect and there were too many good things to list them all.

The lodge is beautifully set up with the common living area split amoung two levels. The bottom floor with a GIANT fireplace, the most comfortable lounge chairs and couches and the tall, tall windows with the incredible view of the lake and mountains behind the lake. After our long drive to get to Te Anau, sitting in a lounge chair with a glass of wine taking in the view hit the spot! The upstairs loft-like room (overlooking the downstairs and still having the nice view of the lake) had a nice library and more seating. As I'm typing this, I realize that one might think that there are many rooms, but there are not. There is just a lot of space to spread out and relax. The breakfast/dinner area is right off the downstairs room and also has that same perfect view of the lake. Having dinner with the sun setting behind the mountains was a dream.

We found the staff very nice and accomodating. We had asked about hikes in the area and they spent 15 minutes or more discussing the many options with us (we had questions regarding good bad weather options etc...). The lodge is convienently located just off the hwy outside of the town (don't worry no noise to speak of!) and was an easy few minutes drive into town. Great place to base yourself to explore the Fiorland Park.

  • Liked — The lodge
  • Disliked — Price
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Scoobytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2006

We stayed at the Fiordland Lodge as part of our 3-week honeymoon in the South Island. We stayed in about 10 different lodges/hotels on our trip and this was one of the very best.

We loved the building and its interior and the attention to luxury in the bedroom and bathroom. Breakfast and evening meal was included in our rate and we were impressed with the quality and range offered. We had a great stay with the staff and owners (and labrador!) making us feel very special on our honeymoon.

  • Liked — Loved the architecture
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Tips/Secrets — The breakfast and dinner option rate is very good value
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank UkMember-Edinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
130 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2006

Others on TripAdvisor have written about the beautiful architecture and location of Fiordland Lodge, so I won't repeat that. One reviewer called it "cold", but he meant it with reference to the interior temperature at the time of his stay. (While we were there in January, it actually was very hot, and they would only turn on the a/c in the dining room.) But to us the place was "cold" anyway in the sense that most of the guests drawn there (and who can afford to stay there) were aloof and self-important. Our verdict: great building (albeit given to uncomfortable temperature swings inside), great view, high prices, cold and unwelcoming atmosphere.

Stayed January 2006
Helpful?
5 Thank Wyomite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
61 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2005

Outstanding architecture and design of rooms and lobby with wooden beams, central fireplace and lots of windows. Excellent view of the lake and the Mountains. Basically there was not eating in the hotel a part from the fireplace in the lobby and a small water heater they brought to our room after we complained of the cold. Corridors were cold like cellars and even the dining room was cold. The front doors of the hotel are made of wood and the was a big gap between the two so cold air could come in very easily.
I could not understand how this hotel has an air conditioning system but not a centralized heating system. Considering the prices they are charging for a room, I cannot accept such a deficiency.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ermejo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2005

Fiordland Lodge is a terrific place to stay while enjoying the spectacular scenery of the Sounds and surrounding parks. Everyting was first rate -- the lodge itself, the food and the staff. They went out of their way to be helpful and responsive. After a great day of touring or just sitting back with a good book, you can enjoy the surroundings with an espresso or a drink. The wine tastings were a wonderful way to learn a bit more about some of New Zealand's great wines and enjoy the company of other guests. Dinners and breakfasts were excellent.

We'd definitely go back and have enthusiastically recommended Fiordland Lodge to friends who are planning trips to the South Island.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maxwell327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2005

We are just back from a 10 day trip on the South Island. The first two nights were spent at the Fiordland Lodge, a perfect start to a wonderful trip. The Lodge has 10 rooms and two cabins. The facilities are first rate: light, spacious, well appointed rooms and baths, all with stunning views. The Lodge is in its second year, is architecturally striking with huge glass windows and Douglas Fir columns and beams.

Nightly they have a wine tasting in the huge lounge that is complimentary. The owner and staff made this a delightful event both evenings and it allowed the guests to get to know one another.

Dinner is available and is excellent as is the wine selection.

Finally, as for location, the lodge is 2 hours from Queenstown, 2 hours from Milford Sound, and 1/2 hour from Doubtful Sound--in our opinion, an excellent jumping off point.

The staff was tremendous. We had been counseled to not make reservations for tours at either of the Sounds until we arrived to allow for checking up on the weather, etc. The staff was quick to help make reservations for us upon our arrival. The staff was knowledgeable, professional, and fun.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank spiburns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fiordland Lodge

Property: Fiordland Lodge
Address: 472 Te Anau Milford Highway, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park 9679, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Fiordland National Park > Te Anau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Te Anau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fiordland Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fiordland Hotel Te Anau
Fiordland Lodge Te Anau, Fiordland National Park

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