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“Best Stay in New Zealand”
Review of Ribbonwood Retreat

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Ribbonwood Retreat
Ranked #1 of 5 Franz Josef B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 7, 2012

We spent 2 nights at Ribbonwood Retreat and had the most wonderful time indeed. Jo made us feel really at home. We received great tips on the best trails to hike around the area and also the best places to eat. The place had a wonderful garden and we learnt much about gardening as well. Definitely a must stay for anyone visiting the Franz Josef Glacier or the Fox Glacier area.

Room Tip: Great for families as well as couples. Jo and Julie will choose the best rooms available for their...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank AllyHong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 8, 2012

A 36 hour rain shower made our one night stay in Jo's garden cottage all the more cosy. We had booked the Glacier room but as the only guests accepted Jo's offer of a free upgrade. After a warm welcome, we followed up his dinner recommendation where most of FJ seemed to be dining - a buzzy pub. The warmth of the well equipped cottage felt good with the rain still beating down outside and we were able to make ourselves at home in the slippers and dressing gowns provided, enjoy hot drinks and get a comfortable night's sleep. Free wifi was especially appreciated in what seemed to be a relatively isolated spot.
In the morning, we made good use of the umbrellas supplied and enjoyed a splendid breakfast in the main house: home-made muesli, home-baked walnut rye bread (we were given a choice of breads the previous evening!) and a hearty and perfectly cooked "full English". We learned a lot from Jo about the local environment, the glaciers and aspects of his work at the department of conservation, including the probability of earthquake threat! Highly recommended even without sunshine.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MrandMrsT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Staying with Jo (and Julie) at Franz Josef was a wonderful highlight of our South Island trip; we loved the house and gardens and because our hosts are long-time locals, they were full of valuable information about the area. We would simply not have learned so much about the West Coast psyche staying at one of the many motels in town.

The house was very comfortable and there was plenty of room for the two of us. Jo's breakfast were great too! Look no further for your West Coast accommodation, Ribbonwood Retreat was an excellent stay.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Corbett J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

I'm writing this review a little late - my wife and I stayed here back in April 2012 - and I feel guilty enough to write this now having written a review for all of our other stays on a tour of South Island, which hopefully tells you something positive.

When we made the reservation Jo immediately got in touch over email and offered his assistance for the one night we planned on staying. When were we due to turn up, did we want to do a helihike or were we more interested in trekking, or seeing the wetlands, or just relaxing in the area. Once we'd confirmed we wanted the helihike he arranged the booking well in advance. Impressive service indeed.

On arrival that service didn't drop one bit. We were the only booking for the evening and Jo upgraded us to the seperate cottage as he felt we'd be more comfortable there.

The cottage is fabulous. It is a short walk from the main residence but looks and feels secluded. Aside from the perennial NZ sandflies we had a beautiful terrace to ourselves where we relaxed with a beer and took in the marvellous views.

The cottage feels quite new and the furnishings were relatively simple but very comfortable. A good bed ensured a good night's sleep and it had a kitchenette as well - not that we cooked.

Breakfast was prepared by Jo and we ate heartily whilst chatting about NZ and our trip with Jo, who is a lovely guy, and we then moved off to our helihike on the glacier - also highly recommended.

I think this stopover was a highlight of our 2 week trip and I wouldnt not hesitate in either returning to or recommending you to stay at Ribbonwood.

Room Tip: The cottage is a great place to stay as it's seperate from the rest of the residence and you gen...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Worldworn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

To visit Julie and Jo is really a pleasure. The house is located just outside the tourist hub of Franz Josef. The modern house is attractive with large rooms - in quiet surroundings. At the kind reception, you discover the very friendly hosts. They really know the area, and are therefore able to advice you well. Stay at least two days, because you have to see the mountains, the glaciers, the lakes and the wetlands. We can certainly recommend Ribbonwood.

Janejens

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

We had a couple of nights here during our 16 day tour of the South Island. The house was really beautiful and we stayed in the Glacier Room with not surpsingly some great views. We took their advice and got them to prebook a heli hike which was the higlight of our holiday. Great pancakes but haven't found anywhere where I can buy the pancake pan !

Room Tip: Go for the Glacier room every time.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Geoff H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2012

Julie and Jo are such amazing hosts..From the first contact after our booking for our 2 nights' stay with the excellent recommendations, to their extremely clean and comfortable home you will fall in love with this amazing area in NZ..We were in the first floor "Glacier room", with the large bathroom across from our room. The hall actually has a door to the FR, so you really feel as if you have a large suite instead of a bathroom across from you. The extensive breakfasts were so delicious! We also listened to Jo's recommendation to go to Fox instead of Franz..We were so glad we had booked the full-day hiking (despite the all day rain, it was an amazing experience!), as due to the bad weather helicopter rides had been cancelled and the hiking at Franz would have been very difficult. Come stay with Julie and Jo-you won't want to leave!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Floridawalker
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: $180 - $254 (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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