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“Great hosts providing a home away from home”
Review of Birchwood Cottages

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Birchwood Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
126 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Great hosts providing a home away from home”
Reviewed October 20, 2011

Leonie welcomed us and let us know of all the things Te Anau had to offer.

We had a one bedroom apartment and it was equipped with all you would expect for a home away from home. A full kitchen, adequate bathroom and warm bedroom.

We had already booked with another tour operator to visit Milford Sound before reading that Ray did his own tours from here and that they were great. Ray talked us through his tour and offered to organise us to take his tour instead of going in a large group which we took up. This was a great decision as the tour group was small and we stopped at a lot of places we would have missed if we went with the
Larger group. Unfortunately it was raining and overcast but Ray made our tour enjoyable and worthwhile.

It was so nice to have a long tour seeing as much as we could and come back to a warm cozy cottage to watch Australia in the Rugby World Cup bronze final :)

Ps-birchwood cottages had the most Sky channels in any other place we stayed at during our two weeks in New Zealand.

Wifi access was easy and fast.

Many thanks to Leonie and Ray for a great last two days of our trip.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mealzybug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 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 (16)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2011

Ray and Leonie were great hosts. The cottage was well equipped with everything that we needed and was a great place to relax in the evening after a long day trip to Milford Sound. I highly recommend taking up Ray's offer for a guided tour to Milford as the road is long and treacherous. Even though its only about 120km away, it can take hours to get there which can be tiring and there is no stops for fuel. Ray's knowledge of the area is so detailed and insightful, he loves what he does and enjoy's sharing it with his guests. I would highly recommend the one bedroom cabins, they're modern and cosy.

Room Tip: The dog's name is Tess.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sven B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2011

My partner and I stayed here recently for 2 nights. We got the one bedroom cottage.

The cottage was fantastic! It was clean, warm and was really well stocked! The owners Leonie and Ray were very welcoming and gave us some great information about Te Anau and then about the next places we would travel to.

We took a day trip to Milford Sound with their tour company and had Ray as our guide. He was very knowledgable and made the day a lot of fun. Plenty of stops along the way ensured we weren't bored at all.

I highly recommend these cottages.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank happy_traveller4589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

The cottages were absolutely gorgeous, impeccably clean, immaculately furbished, everything worked. Ray and Leonie are superb hosts who did everything they could to make our 2 night stay comfortable and enjoyable - even lighting the fire for us so when we arrived it was warm and cosy. These cottages are circa 1960, but every part has been renovated or repainted and refitted. The kitchen was better equipped than some holiday homes I've stayed in. You could easily live here, not just stay for a short while. The cottages are a 1 minute drive from the centre of town toward Milford Sound, but the price reflects the decision not to stay right in town. Having said that, the town is so tiny that you are only just around the corner from everything anyway. Supermarket within easy reach. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Sound, and enjoyed everything about our stay at Birchwood. Thank you Ray and Leonie, we wish you all the best.

Room Tip: We stayed in a cabin for a family of four. There was everything you need, including washing powder...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Girlfriday67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galway, Ireland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2011

We arrived vary late to Te Anau as we had originally expected to be heading to Queenstown. We wanted to get accommodation for two nights and take a trip to Milford Sound. We chanced upon Birchwood and Ray was able to offer us a 3 bedroomed cottage on the site and a trip to the Sound all at a very good price. The facilities were a bit dated but clean and well equipped. All the provisions for breakfast each morning were delivered to us and we were able to catch up on laundry with the utility area in the cottage coming in handy. The trip to Milford was guided by Dave and his local knowledge made the trip with numerous interesting stops very memorable. Birchwood packages what it has offer very well and in a location like Te Anau it's great to have space to get organised with wet gear, etc.

Room Tip: Some cottages are more modern than others.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Lackavra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
51 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2011

I really wanted to be able to write a good review of this place, as the owners were very nice and amenable. But unfortunately the accommodation we were given felt well short of what we had been led to expect. We booked the 3 bed cottage as we were travelling with our 3 year old daughter, and this was off site (across the street) and therefore we were not able to use the advertised free internet (we were told we could sit on the terrace of the main building and use the internet there, but the weather wasn't great while we stayed which made this impossible) There was also no phone in the house so we could not make use of the free local calls rule or even call the main house, which would have been helpful as mobile signal wasn't great. The cottage itself was very old fashioned and a bit depressing. Plus it felt a bit damp and cold and unloved. To be fair the kitchen was well stocked with utensils etc. Security in the house was almost none existent and we did feel a bit nervous going out for the day and leaving all our belongings (including a lap top) behind.
On a positive note, there was a good selection of childrens play equipment in the garden of the main house which we were free to use, and which we managed to quickly on the day we departed when the rain had stopped.
The trip to Milford Sound was incredible and can be highly recommended. Unfortunately I can't recommend the 3 bed cottage at this place and if I came back to Te Anua would opt to stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Noo36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birchTeAnau, Owner at Birchwood Cottages, responded to this review, August 17, 2011
The 3 bedroom place that the guest stayed is fairly advertised that internet and free phone is available at the main office. These guests were well aware of this. We are intending to have a phone in this cottage soon. Guests are always invited to use the main office for the free internet service which is always warm and inviting.
The cottage has had a recent renovation with new carpet, wallpaper, paint and modernised kitchen which most guests really enjoy. The garden would be the only “unloved” part of this accommodation. Whilst we keep the lawns trim and tidy the garden there is quite minimal. Four heaters keep adequate heating throughout this cottage. We also have the heaters on prior to the guest’s arrival.
Security is excellent with keys given to guests for both the front and rear doors. We have never had a problem with security! It is a pity that these people did not tell us that they felt not secure and we would have offered to put any valuables in our office safe. Unfortunately travellers cannot have the luxury of new places where ever they go, and the separate web page accurately describes our 40 year old warm cosy 3 bedroom cottage. We invite readers of our “tripadviser” to explore the 95% excellent reviews before they take this one too seriously. Holidays are never the same during inclement weather. We thank these guests for making a valid point about the lack of a telephone and can assure future travellers that this is to be rectified.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2011

We stayed three nights in their "Rana" cottage while touring the area (particularly Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound). We're glad we did. The cottage was more modern than we had expected -- had lots of space and amenities for just the two of us, very comfortable bed, nice livingroom with wood-burning stove for the evening, big kitchen with all the tools. Just one bath though, so we guess that for its full capacity of 6 people it might get crowded. Great location just next to center of Te Anau. Ray and Leonie were friendly helpful hosts.
We also took Ray's offer to take us on a day trip to Milford Sound, which we went on with two other couples in a small but very comfortable bus up to the Sound. The boat was run by Mitre Peak Tours which we recommend -- smaller, more personalized than the "big" outfits that also run tours at Milford, and bit less costly as well. The Sound is spectacular in either rain or sunshine, in different ways. On the bus trip, Ray talked a bit too much, but then we think all tour guides do [i.e. let the scenery speak for itself], so that's partly just us. It wasn't a serious issue.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RVW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Birchwood Cottages

Property: Birchwood Cottages
Address: 208 Milford Road, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park 9600, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Fiordland National Park > Te Anau
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Te Anau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Birchwood Cottages 4.5*
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Birchwood Cottages Hotel Te Anau
Birchwood Cottages Te Anau, Fiordland National Park

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