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“Pricey and not as luxurious as it sounded”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Rainforest Retreat

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Rainforest Retreat
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Dre-fach Felindre, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Pricey and not as luxurious as it sounded”
Reviewed March 6, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights in one of the tree lodges which was lovely, clean, quiet and well appointed with a small balcony to sit out in the forest. However, the actual place caters for all types of accommodation and seemed very much geared up for the younger generation and the reception area and restaurant were noisy and very busy. The staff were always polite and helpful. It wasn't quite the luxury treat we thought we were going to get when we saw it on the internet. Breakfast was ok but the service was a little slow and things could have been cleaner. We had better value for money in other places.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Hazel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,325 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (262)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We had a "Gecko Cabin" and it was lovely. This location offers different types of accomodation and as such is quite busy. These cabins are a little away from the main area and so are quiet. Very clean and cosy. The rain on the night we stayed added to the ambience. Would have liked to stay longer. We had a good meal in the on site restaurant as well. Whilst the parking is very tight and we had a little walk to the cabin, it was nice not to have cars coming and going up close to the cabin. Only people staying in the cabins had reason to walk in the area around them.

Room Tip: The "Gecko Cabin" was quiet, clean and cosy.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Jenny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Hi Jenny
Thank you for you review. I am so happy that you love our Gecko Cottages as much as I do.
I hope the rest of your travels were as equally enjoyable and hope you can make it back to us one day.
Cheers
Oscar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julieb2007
Level Contributor
65 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We arrived to The Rainforest retreat and got our rooms, which were clean and tidy with nice ensuite. Went round to the Kitchen was the most disgusting place I have ever seen, there was not a single place you could sort food out let alone prepare or cook it. All the bins over flowing, washing up everywhere, dirty cups clearly had been there since the morning/night before! So gross!! I went to reception and the response was and I quote "not much we can really do"??!!! The next morning nothing had been touched not a single spoon had been cleaned, again went to reception and the response "well we do have a cleaner twice a day" in my honest opinion there was no way anyone had been near the place for at least 48hrs.... :(
We decided it was best to get out and eat somewhere clean! The bar/restaurant area is nice mostly aimed at 18-25yr old as the games are all based around getting totally wrecked as quickly a possible - which was ok I guess....
We decided to go into Franz and enjoy a meal and few drinks off site and was pleasantly surprised. I probably wouldn't stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julieb2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Dear Julie
Thank you for your review. I am pleased that you liked your room and found it clean and tidy. Naturally i am upset you didn't feel the same about our communal kitchen. I can assure you it is cleaned regularly throughout the day and promise you it was cleaned numerous times during your stay. Unfortunately the dirty washing up you encountered was from a group of our other guests who clearly didn't have any respect for others and left a terrible mess. I am aware of when you stayed and what happened and have since made several changes to our procedures to ensure no further issues arise.
I hope you can make it back to us again one day and show you what you should have experienced.
Kind Regards
Oscar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed March 2, 2014

We had a camper and loved the privacy the leafy bays provided us. The monsoon bar had great food and we loved being within walking distance of the hot pools. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but you should be aware that contiki buses are regular visitors which can make the bar quite rowdy. We didn't have any noise complaints however. Would deifnitely reccomend!

Room Tip: Some of the camper sites weren't as shielded as others. Try and get one with foliage on three si...
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Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Dwilson88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 28, 2014

For my holiday in N.Z. I booked nine rooms via the web, and my one night stay at the Rainforest Retreat was by far and away the worst. My problems started soon after I checked in, my room was on the other side of a block of rooms that face Reception. While I was collecting my key, a coach had parked end of the block almost stopping me from getting to my room, there was just enough space for my car to squeeze by. After staying in my room half an hour or so, I decided drive into Franz Josef to have a meal, only to discover that the coach was still parked. As I maneuvered, once again, around the back of the coach, I was shocked to find another coach had parked and totally block my way. I received a poor response from Reception, I was told that coaches were allowed to park just to unload, and got no answer to my question” how long does that take, as one coach had already been parked for more than half an hour. Although the coach drivers knew I was waiting, they couldn’t have cared less, it was another three quarters of an hour or so, before they decided to move.
Not a good start, but it gets worst. The passengers of the coaches were all young people and it seems to me that they all headed straight for the bar. At 1.30am I was woken by the noise coming from the bar area, loud music etc. etc. which was more than excessive. At 2.00am I discover that there is no sound proofing between my room and the one above. When the occupants returned from bar and I could hear everything they said and did.
Now for the Superior Ensuite Queen room. As I entered the room carrying a jacket I quickly discovered there is nowhere to hang a jacket or anything else for that matter. This Superior room was the smallest room I use in N.Z. and in my view was too small two people. It was just big enough for a double bed and at the end of the bed was a small gap then one collapsible luggage rack and a sort of breakfast bar, under which was a fridge and the only seat in the room, a bar stool.
The ensuite is long and narrow, at one end is the shower cubicle and at the other is the toilet. In the middle is the smallest wash hand basin I have ever seen. There is just one glass shelve and that is over the toilet and had spare toilets rolls and shampoos etc. on it. So even simple things like teeth cleaning were difficult as there was nowhere to put toothpaste, let alone the contents of a wash bag.
There are tea & coffee facilities, but the kettle can only be filled by using a coffee mug. Available among the teas and coffees is coffee for a plunger, but there is no plunger in the room. I could go on.
The only good thing I can say about The Rainforest Retreat is the location, surrounded by and built into the rainforest.
If you do decide to book a room avoid a Superior Ensuite Queen Room because it is not.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank R H J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Dear Mr Jones
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for offering your feedback. I am sorry that you weren't 100% satisfied with your stay. We appreciate all feedback and will use your points to keep improving for our future guests.
Kind Regards
Oscar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Level Contributor
97 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Our room, #22, was away from most of the hotel rooms and was something of a suite with a bump-out window that we could view the rainforest from. Also several balconies and nooks to sit in and experience the rainforest that was just a few feet away from our room. We really were almost inside the bush! We loved this separation from the rest and being part of the bush. Nice clean room, fridge and little kitchen with coffee and tea makings. It rained deluges in the 2 days we had here, but we were totally warm and dry here. We didn't love the bar/restaurant, but there were several great ones in walking distance in the rest of Franz Joseph. All in all, for the cost of the room. it was more than adequate and had the charm of the rainforest. Staff seemed perfectly nice but we didn't use them for much.

Room Tip: We heard some rooms are loud. Ask about locations and proximity to bush.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MALEGARDNER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Dear Malegardner
Many thanks for such a great review. I am really pleased you enjoyed your tree lodge room so much. I hope you can make it back to us again one day.
Happy travels
Oscar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2014

We had a very nice stay at this hotel and the staff Mel and Jon was so nice. They reserved a double room at a lodge for us in Queenstown, as it was difficult to find a room by ourselves, so they used all their connections.

Room Tip: It is a busy town due to the nature, therefore make a reservation here, it is cheap compared to the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 266Nielsine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RainforestFranzJosef, General Manager at Rainforest Retreat, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Hi Neilsen
Thank you for your great review. I will be sure to pass on your praise to Mel & Jon, i know they will appreciate it.
Cheers
Oscar
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rainforest Retreat

Property: Rainforest Retreat
Address: 46 Cron Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7886, New Zealand
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:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Franz Josef
#5 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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