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“Better than Franz Josef”
Review of The Westhaven

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The Westhaven
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Fox Glacier
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 22, 2011

I was travelling with my wife and her parents and we had no booking. We initially stopped at Franz Josef but it had turned into a horrible place since I last stayed there in the 90's. Crowded, overpriced and commericalised and the continual buzz of helicopters giving it a MASH feel. I suggested we drive on to Fox expecting the same, happily it had stayed the same. We were just before peak season last November 2010 and so finding a room was not a problem. The room we had was roomy and fine, nice large bed, good shower and bath. Parking right outside the door. Not the greatest views but fine for a few nights. The owner also recommended Lake Matheson Cafe for dinner which was brilliant and situated beside a lake and if your lucky with the weather you can look upon the alps and see Mt Cook.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoxWest, Owner at The Westhaven, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2011

Thanks for your review, of course Fox Glacier is nicer that Franz Josef! (well ok I maybe a little bias). If you want great scenery and a less busier place to visit then Fox Glacier is the one. There are some great Restaurants in Fox and all are very close to The Westhaven. Pleased you enjoyed your meal at Matheson Cafe down at Lake Matheson, Chris and his team do a wonderful job. thanks and regards again Kelvin and Shelley.

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283 - 289 of 372 reviews

Reviewed January 20, 2011

My partner and I stayed here for 2 nights between 11th and 13th Jan 2011, to facilitate a heli-hike.

The rooms are spacious, comfortable and have everything that you would expect from a fair priced motel room in NZ. No negatives to report of and I would state, that even at the height of summer, there were many vacancies still around, hence we picked these 2 nights up just be arriving on the spot.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank garryturner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2011

We stayed for two days. Very "used" room, bathtub, etc. People at the counter were nice to us, but apart from that - nothing to add.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Marina_Ivashina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2011

Pleasant place to stay on the way out (heading North) of the Fox Glacier settlement which has a couple of basic bar/restaurants but not a lot else that we could see. The rooms are spacious (2 double beds) with a small kitchenette and large bathroom. Reception staff were very friendly, and you can park directly outside your room. Not the best motel we stayed in but definitely not the worst either.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alan_490416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2011

Stayed recently at this Motel. Walk in off the street no pre booking. Greeted by friendly receptionist (A male who happened to be the owner) Paid a premium "peak season" but did not have a problem with this. Had a superking bed and spa bath unit. Our stay was comfortable and pleasant. Only 40 steps to the bar two doors down the road. So thats a bonus!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kiwifromnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2011

Just back from 2+ weeks traveling through New Zealand with my husband and children, ages 11 and 15. It was very hard to find family accommodations that didn't require us to pay for two rooms. And when we did share one room, it was mighty small. But at the Westhaven, the family room was very spacious with two double beds, a nicely designed kitchenette and bath. Kelvin and his wife were most gracious. When their wireless was down (due to the gale off the Tasman sea) and I couldn't download another book for my son onto his Kindle, Kelvin called down the road to his friend at the Bella Vista to arrange for us to use their wifi. They also loaned us a DVD player to plug into the flat screen TV in our room to watch movies from their office collection. They were kind even the one night after 10 pm when the office was closed and my son really wanted to watch Over the Hedge! They recommended a lovely cafe at Lake Mathison that was top notch. I can't say enough about their personal and gracious service. On top of that, the room was so well stocked down to the cutting board and french press, the cutlery and the stylish glasses. My son loved the modern Pixar-ish table lamps. I loved the clean lines of the roofline and the big garage door size windows in the front of our motel room. Fox Glacier Township felt more classy than Franz Josef, even though we ended up taking the Franz Josef guided glacier hike because the road to Fox was closed due to the torrential rains from the days prior. Great golden labs and a cute 3 year old boy rounded out Kelvin's family at the Westhaven.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank AlisonLarkspur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2010

Great Location and clean room but
Dont expect prompt service, you will be attended to when they can, not a pleasant experience while booking the room. DONT give your credit card number, you may be in for a surprise if they dont check the room before you leave. No wireless connectivity n the room, you have to sit outside to be able to get the internet connectivity. Based on reviews from this site I had asked about it prior to confirming the booking and I was told that they have fixed the problem. Unfortunately for the owners it still does not work and I was told by Marlyana, I hope i got the name right that they have fixed it and anyways it is FREE. While the owners are good, but i THINK running the motel is taking its toll as they have 2 lovely kids and clearly the priority has to be them. We were told that PLEASE no calls after 8 and that if our family or frIends also call from overseas they will not answer the call. A

When we checked in we were put in a room which was already occupied by someone. Then the lights in one room toilet were not working and it was fixed only the next day. Luckily we had 2 rooms and had to do with taking off the bulb from 1 room toilet and put it in the other one as Kelvin was away and Marylana had clearly told us she will not answer calls. Upon checking in, we had requested them to clear the bottles of water which were chargeable from our room which they said they will not. This is more like a homestay rather than a motel but pay the price of a top motel.
On checking out and reaching Singapore I realised that after settling my bill in cash i was charged 40 dollars on my card without my knowledge. When I wrote to them they confirmed they had done so and stated the following reasons
1) 2 BOTTLES of water were missing (my wife confirmed that all 4 bottles for both rooms were left in the room, but since we had already left there is no way we can substantiate)
2) The shower screen or whatever in one toilet was broken, which somehow none of us seem to be aware of, again after checking out, it is simple for them to say that and for us to just listen. My parents lived in that room and they also confirmed that there was nothing that they saw broken. Luckily I informed them of the lightbulb else even that may have been billed to me.
3) The carpets in one room were wet due to the water seeping out from the toilet. Again none of us know but my small kids 5 years and 2 years were the last to bathe and that toilet did not have the bathtub, so how did water leak? Anyways we have not seen any of this.
I would not have written this review, but I found it very unprofessional that i was charged on my card without being informed and for things which I have not seen or am ready to accept liability.
The owners have said that they are looking to sell their motel as it is difficult for them to manage it with the kids. One good thing however, is that you get discounts for the heli ride if you stay at Westhaven, again, it is cheaper if you go direct to the helicopter company and pay saying you are a Westhaven guest as that works out to be 10 dollars cheaper per person rather than booking at Westhaven directly.
So I suggest live here if
1) You dont want to surf the net from your room
2) Dont expect any service and are purely looking at a comfortable room to sleep in but pay top dollars
3) Dont mind being charged on your credit card after checking out and settling all your bills and being informed of it only when you see the card statement.

I have so far never experienced this and I have travelled extensively.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank babla75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoxWest, Owner at The Westhaven, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2010

Obviously as owners of The Westhaven we are disappointed with this review but would like to take the opportunity for travellers to hear the “other side of the story” without getting into a “he did she did” situation.

Prompt service – we believe all of our guests are treated as a priority and any problems with rooms are resolved quickly, however we do have 23 units with up to 60 guests staying which means we are busy. However, we endeavour to respond to any problems quickly (within an hour normally unless outside help is required).

Wireless Internet– wireless Internet is FREE (FREE, FREE, FREE) to our guests. We have enhanced the system again today - 31 December 2010 and have been assured by our local IT fix-it person that the system is all working well and in every room at The Westhaven. From time to time the internet does not work due to things outside our control, such as the major storm that blew out our router earlier this week!!. We are remote and isolated so at times power cuts and internet access is disrupted. On a further note the NZ Government and Telecom New Zealand are rolling out extensive broadband internet network coverage over the next few years, so faster, easier, reliable access will be available including the likes of Fox Glacier.

Calls after 8pm – The Westhaven is a Motel so does not have a 24 hour reception, however we DO take all calls up until 11pm at night. We also live on-site and are contactable 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.

Light bulb replacement – We were not informed when the said light bulb had actually blown but the bulb was replaced almost immediately after the guests informed us that the bulb was not working. In fact 2 lights bulbs were replaced on the first hour they were here and another one the following morning. Three light bulbs blown in less than 12 hours – this is a very rare, unexplained occurrence!

Bottled water – it is not common practice for staff at The Westhaven to remove the mini bar from the rooms, and this was not requested. The ‘missing’ bottled water mentioned actually is for a local community fundraiser and no proceeds are taken by The Westhaven .

Wet carpet – the guests did admit that their children do make a mess with water while bathing and that could explain the wet carpet. We would like to ensure readers that our toilets to NOT leak, and this was never an issue with these guests.

Credit card – each group or individual that checks into The Westhaven is required to fill in a guest registration form (very common practice with most motels and hotels in New Zealand) and sign a disclaimer which states:

“I hereby accept full responsibility for any charges incurred for this room during my stay. I also acknowledge that I am personally liable for payment of any damage to the room or property either malicious or accidental by myself or my guests and that any remaining balances can be charged on my credit card”

Helicopter scenic flights – We are fortunate to have negotiated very good discounted rates with our preferred local helicopter operator and we would like to stress that these are not subsequently discounted by guests going to the helicopter company stating they are Westhaven guests and getting further discount.

Finally we are busy people, we enjoy our family and our business, are heavily involved in our community and to say our service was not prompt nor professional is simply not correct. We do not cut corners or treat any guest differently from one another. Our aim has always been to give people a positive stay, we haven't changed this stance in the five years we have had The Westhaven. Fox Glacier is a wonderful place to visit and stay situated right in the heart of a world heritage national park.

Regards Kelvin and Shelley

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Additional Information about The Westhaven

Address: Statehighway 6, Fox Glacier | Westland, Fox Glacier, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Fox Glacier
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Fox Glacier
Price Range: $122 - $301 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Westhaven 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Westhaven in Fox Glacier is located right in the heart of the Fox Glacier township. We are a modern stylish complex with 23 large studio units. Each room is self contained with private en suite bathroom with bath, shower and toilet. All rooms have a kitchenette which includes a fridge, microwave and kitchen appliances. Our beds are really comfortable, queen, king and super king beds are all available and all rooms have good heating, beds have electric blankets. We offer FREE internet access and have a guest laundry facility. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westhaven Hotel Fox Glacier
Westhaven Fox Glacier
Westhaven Hotel Fox Glacier

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