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“Best hotel experience in NZ”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Best hotel experience in NZ”
Reviewed January 3, 2012

Although this hotel is quite expensive, it is no more so than an ordinary hotel in Europe, and the service and experience is FAR better. The hotel itself is really enchanting, our balcony looked out onto beautiful tropical looking greenery.
The check-in was personal and thorough, we were treated to canapes and champagne upon arrival. The hotpools is just at the back of the hotel, making it easy to relax and unwind after a big day hiking.
One day we decided not to have the room serviced and were surprised to find a basket of goodies and towels to replenish the bathroom with.

I would also recommend the hotel restaurant, they do an excellent degustation dinner. We had breakfast included in our stay and the food was delicious and of a very high standard. There was a wide variety of hot breakfast options as well as continental buffet, you can even order off a menu and get a personalised omelette or salmon bagel.

The only downside was the night turndown, the staff member didn't knock and walked straight into the room, which is a bit of an intrusion to privacy.

Highly recommend this hotel to anyone wishing to go to Franz Josef. Worth the little extra $$.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cc_traveller_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, January 4, 2012
Dear cc_traveller_2012

Thank you for the superb feedback on your stay with us.

As a result of the turndown incident we immediately amended the procedure by adjusting the timing of the service to prevent the possibility of any intrusions on privacy.

We hope you will visit us again when next you are on the South Island !

Best Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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663 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2012

Outstanding location in a building that blends happily into the rainforest that surrounds it, with rooms connected to the reception and restaurant area by a covered aerial walkway so that you can admire the forest in which you are embedded. The rooms are large and well equipped, and the sound of birdsong from the forest is enchanting. I was served an excellent dinner where great care was taken to prepare and present the dishes in an attractive and appetising manner. At breakfast, one of the hotel management staff came to my table to ask how I was enjoying my stay. This is a unique hotel that I certainly plan to stay in once again when I return to New Zealand later this year.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sanuk6991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, January 4, 2012
Dear sanuk6991

Thank you for your fantastic review !

Each member of our kitchen brigade takes great pride in every plate of food served and they will definitely appreciate your recognition of their efforts.

We look forward to welcoming back later this year.

Kind Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
210 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Te Waonui is a hotel built and run with green credentials in a wonderful location. The rooms are generous and of very high standard, with the whole buiding set hard against the rainforest. The staff are very pleasant and much better trained than in most of the hotels we stayed in. The dinner on the first night was excellent, the meal the second evening not quite as good. As was usually the case in NZ the cooked breakfast was far from hot, although the choice of fruit etc was excellent.

Overall, however, we had a very enjoyable stay - enhanced by seeing juvenile kiwis that were about to be released into the wild - not your everyday hotel experience!

The hotel is an upmarket option if you wish to visit the Franz Josef Glacier (highly recommended) or do any of the walks in the area. We would be very happy to stay there again if we ever get the opportunity.

Room Tip: All rooms face the rainforest due to the way the hotel is laid out.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barbara41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, January 4, 2012
Dear Barbara41

We appreciate your time taken in writing this review.

During your stay the hot line on our breakfast buffet gave us significant headaches but the problem was resolved and since then the hot items have been maintained at the optimum temperatures.

I am also happy to report, the Kiwis that came to see you at the hotel were successfully released and are all doing well in their new home out in the Okarito forest.

Should the opportunity ever present itself we would love to see you back again.

Kind Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviewed December 18, 2011

This is a truly magnificient property which is located walking distance to the Franz Josef Glacier. The hotel is set in beautiful rainforest location, the staff a truly amazing and ever so helpful and then the bed and the rooms and just stunning. If that isn't enough, the food in their restaurant is 5++ service, food, and appearance truly wonderful.

I cannot wait to go back and to all the Management and staff thank you for making my stay at Te Waonui truly wonderful. Till I come back... J. Metzner

Room Tip: All rooms are good as they all face the Rainforest.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jackie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed December 17, 2011

When our touring group arrived at this hotel we were offered a welcome drink, and the staff couldn't do enough for us. I had a large room and a large bed, which was complete with Possum Pillows! (there were also plenty of other pillows on the bed too). The glass doors opened out directly onto the rainforest. I had a top quality dinner, which was beautifully presented. One night in this hotel wasn't enough!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, January 4, 2012
Dear Karen R

Thank you for your great feedback, if one night wasn't enough... We are still here if you would like to visit again !

Best Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich
Level Contributor
73 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2011

Very welcoming reception and great room. Dinner top quality, although I am not sure some of the combinations worked. Wine excellent and good value. Staff charming.
Breakfast was not as good with some basics missing (the large coach group staying there may have got there first). Internet so expensive I did not use it.
Overall pleasant but not good value. I would try somewhere else next time.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tyma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, December 13, 2011
Dear Tyma

We appreciate your comments as it’s the best way to learn how to correct our weaknesses and continue to strive for perfection.

My apologies for your experience at breakfast, while we do serve a breakfast buffet it is mainly aimed at our groups due to the logistics of their departure times. Our individual guests are quite welcome to partake of the buffet if they so desire but we also run, as a standard, a concurrent A la Carte menu designed specifically to take care of their needs independently of that of the group.

Our internet service was recently restructured and as a result we are able to offer a much more competitive rate for 24hour uncapped access.

We do hope that when in Franz Josef again you’ll elect to stay with us.

Kind Regards



Karl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2011

This is a wonderful property in the Franz Josef area. The meals are five star as is the service.
The rooms are modern, and the views are superb if the weather is cooperative. If you want to feel pampered in the middle of the beautiful new Zealand rain forest come here.

Room Tip: Every room is good....
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sam49Wisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TW_GM, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, December 13, 2011
Dear sam49Wisconsin

Thank you for the wonderful comments !

We hope you’ll come back and visit us again.

Best Regards



Karl
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Property: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Address: 3 Wallace Street, 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:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Franz Josef
#1 Romantic Hotel in Franz Josef
#2 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Te Waonui Forest Retreat 5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury hotels in New Zealand don't get any better than this! Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star Qualmark rated retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury. Te Waonui Forest Retreat promises all its guests a truly unique and memorable experience. At one with nature, the five-star Qualmark rated Te Waonui Forest Retreat is the ultimate coming together of luxury escape and environmental awareness. Great care has been taken to ensure this exceptional forest retreat steps lightly upon the earth, from the organic cotton bedspreads to its recycled local building materials. Discerning travellers will appreciate the hotel’s attention to detail, which starts with attentive personal service upon arrival, and continues throughout all the hotel facilities and every aspect of your stay. As our guest you will enjoy exceptional quality and service, including: Luxuriously appointed guest rooms, generously proportioned and featuring the highest standard of room amenities, such as your personal pillow menu, natural wool mattress underlay, and high speed Internet access. Dining among the tres in ‘The Canopy’ restaurant, and savouring quality local cuisine, including an indulgent five-course degustation dinner. Innovative, environmentally sustainable architecture and building materials that create a healthy, warm and quiet haven for you to enjoy. Easy access to many excellent local attractions, including the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Te Waonui Forest Retreat Hotel Franz Josef

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