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“no magic - too expensive”
Review of Ribbonwood Retreat

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Ribbonwood Retreat
Ranked #1 of 5 Franz Josef B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 8, 2012

It is always pleasant to write a positive review. Or it can be a relief to vent your anger when things were really bad. Reporting negative feelings is unpleasant. But this is what tripadvisor is for : honest testimony.
We stayed two nights at Ribbonwood retreat.
The hosts were certainly trying to be friendly. The house was impeccably clean. The room spacious. The view from our room was grand - at least the last morning, when there were no clouds.
And yet the place was not convincing : the house has no charm, the breakfast was barely adequate, no information was given.
We paid here the same amount (or even more !) as we paid in other places that were far more luxurious, offered great breakfasts and hosts were giving tips, advise and suggestions.
Jo's stories on kiwi's were the best part of our stay here. Not enough to balance the whole.
Sorry to say : if this room was offered for half the price it would get a much higher score from me.
(And if you stay in this neighborhood do go and make that walk in Okarito but make sure you know what the tides are and be aware of spring tides !)

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank sinjoorAntwerp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jonathan C, Owner at Ribbonwood Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2012

We were very concerned to read this post about Ribbonwood Retreat and we are sorry sinjoorAntwerp's visit fell short of her expectations in some areas.

From the start of our correspondence through to guests departure we do provide lots of information about the activities and walks, so that guests get a picture on what is on offer in our National Park. As you can see from other reviews, we have had comments that people have appreciated the comprehensive information we give. So in this case we are at a loss to know what went wrong. SinjoorAntwerp's party did arrive early evening and were in a hurry to get to dinner. Unfortunately bad weather is something we have no control over and it does limit the options for people who want to persue outdoor activities.

We hope that this clarifies the situation for readers and that by reading other posts about our business they are reassured of our commitment to guest satisfaction.

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190 - 196 of 260 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2012

Have just returned from a fabulous month long tour of North and South Islands? We stayed in 15 different accommodations, ranging from significantly more expensive B&Bs than Ribbonwood to much cheaper motels. Julie and Jonathan were very helpful. However, the breakfast was somewhat frugal- we were told that Julie's fruit pancakes we're a speciality the night before but we could have an alternative if we wanted. Not wishing to be rude, we said fine. They were uninspiring with no sugar on sharp homegrown fruit- toast was in short supply as was the preserve which meant that on my second half slice of toast, there wasn't enough jam to cover it! Cereals were mentioned at the beginning of breakfast but not again and a second pot of tea would have been nice. After so many great breakfasts this was disappointing in terms of both quality and quantity. We were also greeted on arrival in the first sentence that there was a no shoes policy and were both conscious of being watched when we arrived from the cottage for breakfast in the morning. Just made us feel uncomfortable. The room was okay but not great so the breakfast really needed to be much better for the price charged.

Room Tip: If you don't want to worry about taking your shoes off, then don't stay in the cottage!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank happydoingthisnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jonathan C, Owner at Ribbonwood Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2012

Thank you, we value guest feedback. We do feel that the shortcomings mentioned could have been so easily worked out by asking us at the time!
We don't add to our fruit sugar as guests can add sugar or honey to their own taste. These are always are on the table. Guests love the fresh seasonal fruits and berries, including strawberries, gooseberries, blueberries and blackberries from our own garden. Guests are offered several breakfast options. We try to replenish any food and beverages as required, however guests can ask always for more and we are only to happy to serve! Cereals and yoghurt are always available on the sideboard for self service.
Ribbonwood has low allergy cork tiled floors and to protect these surfaces we have a shoes off policy which is clearly stated on our website, email communication and with signs at each entrance. Complimentary slippers are provided and guests are encouraged to take them with them when they leave. In regard to pricing we have held our room prices the same for the last four years as we know travellers budgets are shrinking with exchange rate fluctuations.

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Reviewed February 24, 2012

We spent one night here on our travels around NZ. It's in a lovely location, only 5 mins drive from Franz Josef. Julie and Joe were very welcoming upon arrival and showed us to our huge room, with great views from the many windows! Nice touch having our own bathroom, which was very well equipped with toiletries and even hair straighteners. Very friendly hosts - we borrowed their game of Scrabble for the evening!
Breakfast was very good - homemade crepes as well as a cooked brekky. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MelbourneMonkeyNut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2012

Spent one night here, in the cottage. Just a short drive from Franz Josef. Very friendly, fun hosts and good position. Thank you.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank kerflump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2012

Julie and Jo were so helpful and accommodating in providing us with ideas for activities - which were much appreciated given the rainy weather. Jo suggested we visit the Kiwi conservation center where we got to see 4 chicks and read about efforts to avoid extinction of this unique bird.They also offered a great recommendation for a restaurant we enjoyed. We stayed one night in the cottage and got a good night's sleep in the peace and quiet of the countryside.The cottage was spotless, and we had a wonderful breakfast and conversation before departing. I wish we could have spent more time in Franz Josef and been able to see the entire glacier. Just an excuse to return, I suppose!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Wagsdvm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2012

We felt most welcome in this excellent B&B. We especially liked the homemade yogurt, bread, cereal. We enjoyed datebread upon arrival. It was very interesting talking to Jo who is a former employee of the Dept. of Conservation in NZ.

Room Tip: We had the upstairs to ourselves and there is also a beautiful self-contained cabin.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CMcW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2012

We stayed 2 nights in the cottage and we found it to be very comfortable, clean and in a great location with views of the mountains around Franz Josef. Jo and Julie were fantastic hosts who were very welcoming as well as very knowledgeable about the area and they had great suggestions about what to do, in and around the Franz Josef area. They also provided us with a list of areas to visit upon our departure to Queenstown which we found very thoughtful. The breakfast on both mornings was exeptional and nothing seemed to be too much trouble for them. We would certainly recommend Ribbonwood to anyone considering staying in Franz Josef and we will certainly be returning. Thank you Jo and Julie!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Nigel_and_Louise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ribbonwood Retreat

Address: 26 Greens Road, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Franz Josef
Price Range: $176 - $255 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ribbonwood Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Ribbonwood B & B - a haven for nature lovers. Sleep deeply, breathing fresh clean air! Hosts Jonathan, a wildlife ranger and Julie, international school teacher are experts on history and ecology of the glacier region. We are passionate hikers and bird watchers who can show you the best places to visit. ... more   less 
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