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“cabin in the garden”
Review of Ribbonwood Retreat

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Ribbonwood Retreat
Ranked #1 of 5 Franz Josef B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
West Wittering, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“cabin in the garden”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

With Julie away teaching, Jo looked after us exceptionally well and cooked a delicious breakfast. His local knowledge and expertise on trees, ecology etc was very informative, and we began to understand why possums are such a problem. The cabin in the garden was very comfortable, with views out across the gardens and up to the mountains. Plenty of country sounds coming from the neighbouring fields. We went up in the light aircraft - firstly out to the Tasman sea and then over the Franz Josef glacier. Amazing views and not at all scary. We were so lucky with the weather and it makes such a difference.

Room Tip: The garden cabin was wonderfully quiet - just 1 minute to the main house for breakfast.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tricia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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259 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ampthill
Level Contributor
24 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Stayed for 2 nights. Great place. Stayed in the cottage. Great facilities not spoilt by the heavy rain. Being a geographer I was excited to learn that we had about 6 ins of rain in just over 24 hrs. However that didn't stop us. Both glaciers- Franz Joseph and Fox were walked to although the plan of going on a helicopter ride didn't happen. Rained off but maybe next time. Our hosts were friendly, informative and very knowledgeable. Perfect. A great spot in a great little town.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank philBeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We really kicked a huge goal when we, and friends from Auckland decided to stay for two nights at Ribbonwood Retreat in early March 2013. Our hosts, Jo and Julie, were attentive to our every need with Jo providing interesting insights into the local kiwi ecology and the Franz Josef area generally. The accommodation is excellent as was breakfast on both mornings we were there.
In such a short while, we felt that we had known J & J for quite some time as we shared our experiences - they are a perfect couple to run such a marvellous B & B.

Room Tip: We stayed in the main house where there are two guest suites. Downstairs is very private with own fa...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We stopped here on our way up the west coast and had a great stay. Julie was away but Jo looked after us extremely well. We had very comfortable beds and a delicious cooked breakfast in the morning before our Heli flight. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Don't miss this gem of a place! We stayed in the cottage and enjoyed every minute. No detail was overlooked, from the slippers to the comfy bedding to the gorgeous view to the amazing breakfast! Jo made the best fresh fruit crepes we've ever had. We greatly appreciated the free wifi, a first for us after 3 weeks in New Zealand. The location is convenient to everything but away from the noise & crowds of town. If you want cozy, comfy, and luxury...you will find it at Ribbonwood. A hidden gem, don't miss it!!!

Room Tip: Stay in the cottage
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MaryAnn Frandse... F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We stayed 2 nights in Feb & were very happy with our stay; Julie & Jo are lovely hosts, very kind, thoughtful, & knowledgeable. We were greeted with tea & walnut bread made by Jo & next night had some walnut bread made by Julie which was equally delicious. They pride themselves on home grown & homemade food & one night we wanted to laze on the deck so we were waited on royally with wine & homemade nibbles followed by homemade pizza & salad, simple but delicious.and to follow watched a dvd before sleeping soundly in the very good bed.
The breakfast was all we expected: homemade fruit salad, muesli with ginger (yumyum) homemade bread & jams,excellent coffee & juice, & eggs etc. if desired.
Jo very kindly lent us his old pc to use & also gave us some beers from his personal stock. He directed us up the road to a nearby lake where we we could swim - perfect had it to ourselves & not too many pebbles to make going in hazardous.
A really pleasant stay with kind, warm hosts.

Room Tip: If you want privacy stay in the cottage, lots of space, a sun deck to sip on a glass of wine, &...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank 1949emma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2013

We had just 2 nights here primarily to do a Heli-Hike on Franz Josef glacier which probably turned out to be the highlight of our holiday. It had been recommended by Jo & Julie, our hosts, & pre-booked by them on our behalf. We could however have spent much more time here as Jo told of more and more places worth seeing. He also recommended a couple of places to eat one of which was Alice Mays which we used on both our nights - excellant food..

The B & B is a little way outside Franz Josef surrounded by a garden which is obviously one of Jo's great loves. He grows much of the produce used in their substantial, varied breakfasts. The room was large with a very comfortable bed and modern En-Suite.

Jo and Julie are obviously very well travelled and therefore have first hand knowledge of what travellers are looking for. This comes across very well with their guests. It was also very interesting to discuss places and compare notes.

Many Thanks, Carol & Phil Rickhuss, UK

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Philipo261048
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ribbonwood Retreat

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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