Franz Josef township itself is very small and unfortunately the glacier has receded a lot more than expected after four years (was there in Apr-May 2009). This time around, I visited with my mum and despite the nasty weather the day we were there, we spent two nights and eventually got to see the plateau between Fox and Franz Josef the morning we left the town.
That aside, Bella Vista accommodation was clean, affordable, quiet and the wifi access was great when forced to stay indoors because of the weather. There are a selection of DVDs in the lobby that we had access to and the staff were very helpful and friendly, even allowing us to borrow some umbrellas so we could at least do the glacier valley walk when the rain eased off a bit. The accommodation itself is very self contained but it isn't far to walk to the nearest pub or restaurant. The Wildlife Kiwi Experience is also just across the road and although the tickets were expensive it was great to see three gorgeous, rare little kiwis and learn about them too. There is also a nice Maori art/woodwork gallery at the edge of the town on the main road heading towards Fox Glacier.
Overall, Bella Vista gets the thumbs up from me and my mum and we hope to visit again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are just a minute's walk to a variety of flights, glacier hikes, restaurants, the Wildlife Center with its Kiwis and the Glacier Hot Pools. Offering a range of modern studio accommodation including, spa bath, queen and twin studio, mountain view studio and larger one bedroom family accommodation. All accommodation includes in-room phones, free Wi-Fi, hairdryers, complimentary tea, coffee, drinking chocolate & fresh milk, fridge, small microwave, toaster and a hot water kettle. Some rooms have full kitchen facilities. Off-street parking, guest laundry and BBQ area are available. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Bella Vista Hotel Franz Josef