We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Show Prices
Like saving money? We search up to 200 sites for the lowest prices
Nearby Hotels
View Hotel
Very Good 4/5
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Rainforest Retreat(Franz Josef)
View Hotel
Very Good 4/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Restaurant
View Hotel
Very Good 4/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
Very Good 4/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
58 On Cron Motel(Franz Josef)
View Hotel
Great 4.5/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
The Terrace Motel(Franz Josef)
View Hotel
Great 4.5/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
10 Cottages(Franz Josef)
View Hotel
Great 4.5/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
Great 4.5/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
Very Good 4/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Glacier View Motel(Franz Josef)
View Hotel
Very Good 4/5
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Reviews (763)
Filter reviews
763 results
Traveler rating
523
159
64
13
4
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
523
159
64
13
4
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsdegustation dinnerkiwi juicehot towelscourse mealthe general managerrefreshing drinknew zealandtraditional maorion arrivalstar serviceunderfloor heatingtour groupsmall balconytwo nightsnative bushbathroom floorfranz joseph
FilterAll languages
Updating list...
538 - 543 of 763 reviews
Reviewed February 25, 2014

Owned and managed by the Scenic group hotels, see my comment about their Blenheim hotel.
Great location, architecture and decor.
Excellent service, even better than excellent.
Good food, service a bit more difficult because place packed. Same at breakfast

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Karel V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded March 2, 2014

Dear Karel

Thank you for taking the time to give us such a high rating on our quality and service delivery at Te Waonui Forest Retreat. Thanks as well for making the trip from Christchurch to vist us in Franz Josef Glacier.

Yours sincerely

Richard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2014

Ok, so I'm kidding about T-Rex, but the forrest around here is seriously pre-historic. I kept expecting some sort of screechy dino to come pouncing at a moment's notice. As for the hotel... beds are great. A bit on the soft side, but very comfortable overall. The bathrooms and rooms are a nice size. We had a view of the forrest in the back and it felt very private due to privacy partitions on all the room window areas. Sleep was blissfully quiet in spite of us being by a main doorway. The check in/check out staff were just awesome. Totally took care of us quickly and with excellent attention to the little niceties of hospitality like offering a fruit drink as we walked in the door.

The food is... good. Not great, but good. The dinner service takes a very long time, so be prepared to settle in for at LEAST a 2 hour meal. After a long day of driving, I was antsy by the second course and started prowling around the restaurant. Not my normal behavior, but I needed that 5 course meal to speed up a bit. The next night, we ordered ala cart -- so know that that is an option if you want simple and fast. Also... huge portion sizes. I was fine with my single entree the next night. Breakfast is buffet style -- good food and about what you'd expect for a nice buffet.

We had a bit of a medical scare at 2am on the 1st night. The night staff didn't quite know what to do but after a bit of explaining and talking to a pretty young (and maybe scared) staff member, he called the town's clinic nurse into the room. Not that this would happen to everyone, but if you have medical issues, you may want to get the clinic/medic's info when you check in, so you can save yourself about 30 minutes of quiet panic.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank absolutelylawless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded March 2, 2014

Dear Absolutelylawless

Your reference to T-Rex and classic photo, now mounted on our staff canteen wall, of Melvin our Maori Warrior brought a welcome smile to my face during what has been a really busy month for us at Te Waonui Forest Retreat :-) Sorry about your medical scare and the delay on your dinner and thank you for affording us the opportunity to assist and ultimately resolve.

Yours sincerely

Richard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

This is a perfectly nice hotel, but I definitely wouldn't say it's worth the $700+ per night price tag!

We booked in to this hotel to spoil ourselves on our second night in Franz Josef. While the reception staff were friendly and check in was very smooth, there was nothing special about this hotel or it's facilities. There wasn't even a mini bar in the hotel room and other than the spa and restaurant there are no other facilities.

Our rate included the five course meal and breakfast but again this didn't live up to the hype. At dinner we waited for over 40 minutes to be served our first drink and then there was a mix up with our second drink. The food was pretty underwhelming, for example my fiancé's duck prosciutto consisted of 4 tiny pieces of duck over a bed of shredded lettuce, hardly what I'd call 5 star. Our breakfast experience was not any better. We had to wait more than 10 minutes to be seated and the toast that we ordered when we sat down never materialised until we were just about to leave. The coffee pot was empty and wasn't refilled while we were there as were a number of the food dishes. The croissants were very good, but the rest of the breakfast buffet was just average.

I wouldn't have felt cheated had we paid around $200 for this room, but when you pay over $700 your expectations are obviously much higher. Even if I factor in the dinner and breakfast I still feel as if this hotel doesn't offer great value and I'm still wondering what exactly you are paying for with this hotel.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Krustmaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Dear Guest

It is clear that we slipped up on the basics, so my sincerest apologies and as much as I am embarrassed to admit it, I do not blame you for feeling disappointed with your time at Te Waonui Forest Retreat. You will see from our Tripadvisor feedback that this is by no means our standard ... I just wish I could have personally done more to ensure you left us with a better taste in your mouth.

Yours sincerely

Richard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2014

We were very pleased with the service we received from Mathilda at the front desk. When we checked in, she asked if we had any activities planned while we were there. We told her we were doing the heli hike the next morning and she suggested we check on doing it yet that afternoon as it was such a beautiful day. She made all the arrangements for us and we hustled out to do it. We were so glad she did that as the next day was too foggy and we would have missed out on the activity.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Dear Jill

Mathilda did well to use her initiative and assist you with your helicopter flight, so thank you for this valued feedback! Thank you as well for being so flexible and entrusting us to look at re-scheduling this activity.

Yours sincerely

Richard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

The website and the plaudits on tripadvisor meant we arrived with high expectations but unfortunately a number of minor things meant that this was the poorest of the Lodges we stayed during our 3 weeks in New Zealand.
Plus points:
Location
Comfy beds
Welcome by Mel and the porter
English waitress (Madeleine)
Complimentary wifi that works.

Food was ok but not as good as in other lodges. Limited choice if on half board as the menu does not change. However our waitress suggested we look at the vegetarian and a la carte options too. The vegetarian menu proved to be the best option.

Minus points.
Our ground floor room was very noisy. People were constantly passing our door, wheeling bags on their way from the car park. This design feature made the lodge seem more like a motel than a retreat.
The door / windows need insect screens so that the rooms can be ventilated naturally rather than relying on air-con. As soon as we opened the door we were bombarded by insects - not surprising given we were in the forest.
Bathroom fan was exceptionally noisy.
Dinner bookings. Having read another review we phoned ahead to book a time for dinner and had our preferred time confirmed. On arrival we were told this time was not possible - when we complained, a table was suddenly cancelled so we could get the time we had requested. The restaurant was not particularly busy anyway. Moral of the story... If you are on half board don't expect to be able to get a table at a "popular" time without booking in advance.

On balance Te Waonui is an average 4 star hotel but we experienced much better elsewhere in New Zealand.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Lucyleopard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2014

Dear Lucy

I really like your idea of magnetic fly screens for our windows at Te Waonui and thank you for your constructive feedback.Thank you as well for personally mentioning the various team members that assisted during you time with us as I know this means alot to them. Apologies for not doing more to ensure your stay was an excellent one!

Yours sincerely

Richard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews