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“Wonderful Food, Average Nights Sleep”
Review of Rainforest Retreat

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Rainforest Retreat
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 6, 2012

Backpackers Love this place, and if you want to rub elbows with them, and get your laundry done, this is the place, staff seemed to all be that age as well. We enjoyed the private Hot tub after a cold day exploriing in the rain, but we arrived very early and I suspect that if we hadn't we wouldn't have been able to reserve it. Food at the restaraunt was really good, well cooked and served with a smile. Our room was TINY! Comfortable enough, though the bathroom sink was about the size of a dinner plate.. worked out Ok, but not really convenient. Our biggest complaint was that the cleaning staff, though they could see us working through the glass door, still knocked twice before our departure to see when we would be checking out! An hour before checkout at 9:00 and again at 9:45...REALLY made me angry. It's supposed to be MY room til checkout! I would not return for that reason alonel.

Room Tip: Get as far away from the Pub as you can, the kids party til very late!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Momospond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 2, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Rainforest Retreat. We stayed in a gorgeous lodge room, set in amongst the rainforest. The room was a very good size, with a kitchen and a lovely balcony area, which was perfect when it wasn't raining. The food at the restaurant on site was delicious and the staff, both at the retreat and the restaurant, could not have been any friendlier or helpful. There was a laundry on site, which was also very useful. The town centre was an easy walking distance away and there are a few excellent restaurants to be found here as well. We would highly recommend a stay at the retreat, but in the more expensive tree top lodges if you want some peace and quiet.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Roxy10Sunbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2012

I absolutely loved the Rainforest Retreat. We were greeted by the owner/manager (I am not sure who he was) what a guy. He entertained the entire group with his little speel about the hostel. He told us about the bar and showed us girls could have wine and then gave a glass of wine out, then that guys could have beer and gave a beer out. He then made the guy promptly down the beer much to the enjoyment of the group of Kiwi Experience passengers I was travelling with.

Anyway the accommodation was great, we were put in a four bed dorm with out own bathroom and shower, the door had no latch so be vary of any pranksters in your group. Our little dorm also had a fridge which was promptly packed with beer. We were sure if we were allowed to drink there or not but when we did no one said anything. The kitchen was large but did lack on the equipment side. If only they had 5 or 6 large pots for cooking. We always cooked in a group and that night cooked for 10, we were scrambling around the place trying to find pots. It was cool other than that, although come to think there was a persistant electronic beeping from something which did drive us up the walls.

Now for the bar, they had an amazing bar, like nothing I have seen before. We all arrived and on the second night had our big night but I visited the bar on the first and found the outside area amazing. It was almost tropical. There was a large fire and heat lamps all over the place meaning you couldn't even feel the cold. The bar had pool tables, comfortable sofas and clean bathrooms. I would and probably should of stayed there longer but due to traveling in a group was moved on after two days. I would say that couple in our group (honeymooners) also had great accommodation as they had their own little lodge but it didn't have washroom facilities meaning they had to use the communal.

Room Tip: Four beds are they best I think, especially the ones down next to the kitchen
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Adam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2012

I was looking forward to staying at the Rainforest Retreat holiday park when we were on the road in New Zealand. Reviews seemed favorable and I love rainforest. In the end the experience was very poor and didn't live up to my expectations whatsoever.

The holiday park is quite simply too cramped. The proprietors have crammed too many vehicle spaces into what otherwise might have been a good location. The kitchen was far far too small for the amount of people on-site, and while I understand that they're not always full, at peak times when they are, this place is not at all pleasant or relaxing. All in all I was happy to leave after just one rather penned in night.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Simon J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2012

This location was the only mistake our travel company made. The retreat obviously serves a lot of people well, as the coach loads of backpackers turning up regularly shows, but it certainly didn't meet up with our expectations.
We were allocated a room which was only just larger than the bed in it so there was nowhere else to sit other than the bed.The en suite was minimal, with a sink which has no room to put toothbrushes or shaving equipment.
We were surrounded by backpackers opposite and above us so the noise was excessive and when a glass was thrown from upstairs and just missed our hire car parked below I knew it was going to be a long 2 nights.The coaches start leaving at 7am in the morning so the dragging of suitcases from above and adjacent accommodation starts very early. It sounds from other reviewers that the Tree houses might be a better option, but our accommodation was nowhere near the standard of all the other rooms we had on South Island. This was not suitable for 2 mature people, but may be ideal for youngsters backpacking.

Room Tip: It seems that a Tree house would be a better option for families or mature people.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank wagmanWorcestershire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2012

The tree house is an isolated unit but close to the city center. It is spacious and comfortable.
We have a wonderful night there, though it was rainy then. The price is a bit higher than other units. However, if your group has six persons, this is just what you need.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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Thank cghwing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

We stayed in a Superior ensuite queen the room was very small only just fitting everything in. The shower had a metal base with a plastic shower screen the door to the ensuite was not on it tracks the sink was so small when you turned on the tap the water went everywhere was not big enough to put the kettle under so had to use a mug to fill it.
The room faced the afternoon sun and got very hot and stuffy with no aircon or fan we had to leave the door open but did not have a fly screen. The walls and ceiling are very thin and you can hear everything including those walking upstairs.
The breakfast was good and the burgers were massive we had the garlic bread beforehand and couldn't eat it all.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank YolandaS31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rainforest Retreat

Address: 46 Cron Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7886, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range: $53 - $453 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rainforest Retreat 4.5*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Deep In the heart of West Coast Glacier country, Rainforest Retreat is a rare find, with a range of accommodation set amongst lush native bush in Franz Josef township. Enjoy privacy and sanctuary in secluded cottages and tree huts, relax in the spas and sauna, dine out and have fun at the bar/restaurant, or just relish the bush setting and cook up barbecues with new friends. From luxury tree huts to backpackers rooms, Rainforest Retreat has accommodation to suit every style of traveller; from couples to family groups to young individuals on a budget. Rainforest Retreat provides excellent value and a special atmosphere; with a focus on superb service, cleanliness and a range of great facilities to satisfy all of our guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rainforest Retreat Hotel Franz Josef

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