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“pleasant enough hotel but very disappointed with what we got for the priced. Save your money for some trips”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 27, 2012

let me say first the hotel is a very pleasant place to stay, it's what they're charging for what you get that I have the problem with.

plus side
can't praise the staff enough-definitely 5 star very personal service and attention here
fantastic beds and bedding, soooooo comfortable. Where can I buy one?!
some thoughtful touches-a welcome drink in reception and complimentary mini bottle of fizz chilling in the room and a plate of fresh fruit and cookies
great location in the middle of the rainforest but still walking distance to town and the hot springs

minus side
you get so little for what you could expect from comparable hotels for the money-for instance no ipod dock or bath ( maybe it's an eco thing but where's the hot tub? and the spa? and the outside space to lie out and read a book or sunbathe in that lovely rainforest?)
rooms average, nothing special and a small, if private, balcony
charging internet on top of a list price of $600-they must be joking!!!Forget the fizz on arrival and give me internet instead.
breakfast service was a bit hit and miss-orders mixed up or didn't arrive, lukewarm tea. There are absolutely stunning views over the mountains from the dining room but they are hidden by blinds (?!)

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jumbobelle
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 reviewResponded February 20, 2012

Dear jumbobelle

We appreciate all the feedback on your stay, thank you for the positives as well as pointing out where we are falling short.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that each of our rooms is equipped with an ipod-dock and only the double queen rooms do not offer bathtubs. Rooms are allocated based on how the reservation is made however we would have been most happy to provide you with a King room and bathtub had we known your preference.

We do not offer a spa on site however the Glacier hotpools with full spa services are located right next to our property.

Our guests now receive a 60 minute/1000MB FREE internet connection per room per day.

From Karamea to Haast Te Waonui Forest Retreat remains the first and only premium hotel with a 5* Qualmark rating. Our service levels and inclusions are reflected in the rate we charge.

We hope that you will elect to stay with us for the extra comfort and personalised service if in the area again.

Kind Regards



Karl

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575 - 581 of 682 reviews

Reviewed January 20, 2012

2011 saw my dream of a tour of New Zealand come to reality. I toured both Islands, North with family and South with APT on a luxury 10-day coach tour. Most hotels were really good, apart from one, which I will review separately. The Te Waonui Forest Retreat however was quite incredible in every way: ambiance, staff, service, food, comfort and oh the bed! It was the most comfortable experience ever - I never wanted to get up again! They had special mattress toppers of merino wool and goose down ( £500 to buy and import) and I've tried to find one here ever since, but couldn't! It was my base for a helicopter trip the next morning to the top of the Fox Glacier - another unforgettable lifetime experience, especially landing on the glacier and walking on it. The 40 minute flight took me over Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier also. It was totally breathtaking and indescribably beautiful. Later we went on to ride on a jet boat down the Haas River - and this was just one day of my holiday! If you've not been to New Zealand do it! And if you get near enough, do try the Te Waonui Forest Retreat.

Room Tip: I believe all the rooms are good. They have a balcony overlooking the Rain Forest. Worth checking...
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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Thank barbrajay
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 reviewResponded February 20, 2012

Dear barbrajay

We were honoured to be part of your dream tour of New Zealand, thank you for your kind comments.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a Qualmark rated 5* hotel and not as expensive as you may think given all our rate inclusions.

Please look us up if you are ever in New Zealand again.

Warm Regards



Karl

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Reviewed January 18, 2012

We were on a three week tour around New Zealand and were lucky to stay one night (unfortunately not more) at Te Waonui Forest Retreat in Franz Josef, Westland NZ. A warm welcome by the very friendly and highly professional staff, a luxury room with a great view on the rain forest and last but not least an outstanding 5-course-menu in the excellent restaurant "The Canopy" made our stay a memorable event. We will be back on our next trip to New Zealand. Keep on your way folks at Te Waonui, you are our no 1, thanks a lot!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ZPS
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 reviewResponded February 20, 2012

Dear ZPS

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, it's always fantastic to be someone’s nr1 !

We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Te Waonui.

Kind Regards



Karl

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Reviewed January 8, 2012

Met on arrival with hot towel and iced tea, after a long day's drive: staff could not do enough to look after us. The premises are well located and next to the Hot Bath Spa.

Overall, this was a wonderful experience and a revival after a long journey. Our two day stay was not long enough.

The premises are located in tropic like gardens, which our room, a deluxe one with balcony, overlooked. The bed was amazingly comfortable, with a quilt topper, making it very relaxing.

Dinner was included in our package, which was a five course degustation. However, you need to take time for it: our dinner took two hours. There were some very interesting dishes.

Wifi was an extra, and not very fast in the bedroom. There was a $20 per day family package, which meant I could connect various computers and smartphones.

There was a complementary laundry, for those who need it.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AlbertSolihull
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 reviewResponded February 20, 2012

Dear AlbertSolihull

We appreciate your kind comments and look forward to seeing you back with us again !

Kind Regards



Karl

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Reviewed January 8, 2012

We were welcomed at check in with a moist flanel and glass of iced tea which was a nice way of getting the check in formalites attended to and a welcome refreshment to the end of a long day. Nothing appeared to be too much trouble and the service was very good. Our cases were taken and were in our room when we got there.

We were shown to our room and all the various features explained, such as the air conditioning and the heated bathroom floor. The rooms were very well appointed, very comfortable and clean.

The evening meal which was included was a five course degustation. The menu was fine, except we had to ask to see the vegitarian menu. In these days the vegitarian options should be included on the main menu. I would have skipped a course but there was an item of appeal on the vegitarian menu. All in all the service was very good and the food was excellent.

Having had superb evening meal, breakfast was a bit of a let down. Having stayed in an airport hotel the night before that could provide a tea pot with fresh leaf tea at breakfast, we were expecting something of the same quality from this establishment. Being poured tea from a flask that looked like dishwater was not what we wanted or indeed having asked for a tea pot just gettinga pot with hot water to put our own tea bags in from a tray on the table. The hot food was fine, although some back/middle back bacon would have been better than streaky only. Some other parts were a bit limited.

Check out was efficent and friendly, we were offered assistance with our bags but we declined, however as we made our way to the car a groundsman through down his brush and insisted he take our bags to the car, putting them into the car and shaking our hands and bidding us a good journey.

We would definately return to this hotel for the superb service and comfort, but would ask that they look at the breakfast, more so the tea than the offerings.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Southdown_Man
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 reviewResponded February 20, 2012

Dear Southdown_Man

Thank you for the comments on your stay. We look forward to welcoming you back to Te Waonui and to present to you, our expanded breakfast selection and tea service.

Kind Regards



Karl

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Reviewed January 5, 2012

After researching 5 star accomadation we chose to stay at the resort. Although the service was very friendly, the cleanliness of the floors in the dining room and our room was not up to scratch. The meals in the dining room were a little complicated, but the wine list was very comprehensiv

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank RHONDA48
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 reviewResponded February 20, 2012

Dear RHONDA48

We appreciate your feedback, the floors were all double-checked and received a thorough deep cleaning where required. The ongoing cleaning cycle was also reviewed and adjusted for much higher occupancies.

Our chef takes pride in pushing the envelope where the menu is concerned and although the result can at times be complicated we hope the dishes tantalise and delight both the eyes and taste buds.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future !

Kind Regards



Karl

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Address: 3 Wallace Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, New Zealand
Phone Number:
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: $553 - $715 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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