Te Waonui is a reasonably new hotel located amongst the bush approx 5 mins walk from the town centre. They call themselves a "resort", however I would suggest that they need to travel a bit to fully understand the meaning of the word. It is not a resort, but a hotel.
The hotel is tastefully decorated with modern fittings and provides an upmarket experience. We found the checkin staff very unhelpful and the reason is simple, most staff are backpackers from overseas on a holiday, therefore they don't have any real interest in providing good customer service. and their local knowledge is poor. Hotel management appear to pander to the many coach tours that stay at the hotel, so if you are an individual guest you may feel excluded as we did. Coach tours guests were given priority even though they paid approx half the rate that we did.
The biggest negative of the hotel is managements policy of providing an all inclusive rate which includes Dinner, Bed and Breakfast. You cannot opt out, the same rate prevails whether you eat the meals or not. This is unfortunate as you are denied the opportunity of experiencing some of the other excellent eating options in town. It would not be so bad if the eating options at the hotel were excellent, however we found that they were not. The evening meal had a very limited menu selection with serving sizes being quite small. The food quality was excellent however. Breakfast, well forget it. After our first night we had breakfast in town and found many excellent options. The hotel buffet was geared up for the coach tours and the selection was limited. On the one morning that there was no coach tour in, breakfast was extremely poor both in food selection, presentation and quality. We walked out and went into town for an excellent breakfast.
This hotel was one of the few that charged for internet service. Throughout NZ we found the internet to be excellent and mostly free. I know that the hotel will come back and say that they provide a free WIFI servcie for 1 hr in the lobby, but in this day and age that's simply poor customer service. A free service in the room should be provided, in this case its not so be careful as its expensive like everything else in the hotel.
We have rated sleep quality as poor as all rooms are connected by wooden walkways. On every night of our stay we were woken up early in the morning by departing coach tour guests wheeling their bags on the walkways. Wooden board are very noisy due to the gaps in the boards. You hear it every time a bag hits a board.
For the top price charged everything should be perfect, its not, so we recommend stay elsewhere.
- 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 Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, Cancelon, Cheap Tickets, 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