There's nothing really wrong with the hotel - new, contemporary style, good rooms and interesting aspect onto the rainforest, quality food and willing staff in the dining room.
Now comes the but .... it just lacks everthing that makes you feel that you've really enjoyed the experience. The reception staff were very take it or leave it, the communal areas were deserted and lacking any atmosphere, the dining room rather stilted in style - so busy being a gourmet experience they lost all the NZ charm and fun we had found in every other hotel.
The real issue that made me rather turn against it was the lack of the idea of real service or flexibility - it was all to a formula. We travelling with two teenaged boys - some recognition that even at a gourmet restaurant it would be an idea to have a couple of simple dishes - not talking here about pub/child fare but something simple well done.
The real gripe however was that because we had really bad weather and it was set in for days - and I mean you couldn't walk outside without getting drenched/visibility a couple of metres - so no flights/no walk to the glacier/no hot pools - we decided to move on rather than stay for a second night. We had prepaid for everything for a family of four and although I didn't expect a refund on rooms that they couldn't sell at short notice - I thought that they could give some recognition that we wouldn't eat dinner that night x4 given the price levels.
Of course they didn't have to but some gesture would have been nice and it kind of epitomised the whole attitude of no looking at you as an individual guest but rather just another punter.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, Cancelon, Priceline, Agoda, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Te Waonui Forest Retreat reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Te Waonui Forest Retreat Hotel Franz Josef