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Review of Rainforest Retreat

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Rainforest Retreat
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 15, 2010

Rainforest retreat is a great place to experience a unique kind of stay in NZ - at a rainforest retreat. The retreat is big and has tree houses, tree huts, motel style rooms, dormitories, caravan parks and standalone houses. There's room for everybody, the backpacker, the family, the couple and the gangs.

The retreat is off the main road but only 5 mins away from the town centre and offices of other attractions such as glacier guides. They had a common kitchen for all guests to use and a laundromat with several machines and dryers.

We stayed at the tree hut which was a 1 room with ensuite bathroom hut made out of wood sitting on stilts. The room was spacious, had a queen size bed and a single bed, with tea/coffee machine and other amenities. The bathroom had a standing shower. The room was clean and tidy and gave a nice feeling. The temperature was superb, being within the confines of rainforest it was raining most of the time with temperatures hovering around 18 degrees.

I hadn't searched for many options in FJ as I was keen to stay at this location, so I won't be able to compare this place with others, but on an absolute basis, Rainforest retreat gives a pleasant feeling during your stay. I would not recommend staying here in case you are looking for 5 star stuff.

The only negative is that the retreat is filled with gravel and pebbles (there is no paved road) and hence rolling suitcases is very difficult.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Traveleator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 5, 2010

The location is actually good. Very close to the centre (Franz Josef is a very small town). However the room was very small (I stayed on a ensuite double room), the bed was too soft and uncomfortable, and what is worst: room was dirty. There were yellow stains on the linen, someone else's hair in the bathroom and the toilet was leaking to the floor. Internet is payed and expensive. I don't suggest it for a couple. However, I guess it's a good place for backpackers, since there was a full kitchen, laundry and a bar. I didn't get to see the dorms though.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Smaris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2010

Location location location!
Awesome friendly staff!
Clean comfy beds!
Big spacious rooms!
Large kitchen!
Big tv area!
Cheap deals on food & drinks!
What more can I say?!
Oh take insect repellent!

  • Stayed: November 2010
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Thank StrawHatReviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2010

We spent one night in one of their "tree huts" and it did have the feeling of being away in the forest despite being right behind the reception building. Raised off the ground and surrounded by trees and bush with a covered porch out front. The room was lovely and romantic with an extra bed in the alcove as most places we stayed at in New Zealand. The hotel has all types of accommodations from camper parks to dorms to private cabins. We felt very private in our hut despite the size of the complex. We used the outdoor spa (complimentary for tree hut patrons, reservable by the half hour). They definitely need to up the heat, especially in the cool rainy spring climate. Dinner at the restaurant was good. We were there on Halloween night and it looked like the bar would be busy at night, but we were not at all disturbed in our hut. All in all we enjoyed our stay in the forest.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank BobandDeb79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2010

My wife and I stayed in one of the self catering motel rooms for two nights. It was adequately spacious with all the basics to make yourself comfortable. Walls are a bit thin. The property caters for all types of traveller from backpackers on a budget to families in 4x4s, so you have to accept everything that goes with that but we didn't have any problems. It is well situated for the local attractions (glacier and hot pools). We didn't eat in so we can't talk about the food but the staff are all very friendly and keen to help.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank SubarStaffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2010

Rain Forest Retreat is basic style accommodation. Not bad, pretty decent, great location but not brilliant. Just little things in terms of ageing mattresses, basic linen and cheaper cuts of meat in the food.

Point of note: Because the various budget/younger tour companies often stop here, with the bar party central, its probably not the most family friendly venue. A few people in various state of dress, some wild drinking and the ever familiar stagger through the car park are ever present.

Still its a great location, looks funky from the outside, very nice staff and a decent price still makes me recommend it. Just needs to improve slightly on the bedding.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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Thank Sleepy_Holidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2010

This resort was a welcome change after being surrounded by lakes for 2 weeks. We stayed in a studio tree lodge & were lucky to get the one right at the end of the resort. There is an outdoor seating & the glass door & bay window ensure that all one can see is thick rainforest and the only sound one hears is that of an occasional bird/insect/wildlife or raindrops falling on the leaves. A small patch in the cieling is made of glass, so you get a glimpse of the rainforest till the last ray of sun goes down.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Charoo_Reuben
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:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range: $28 - $432 (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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