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“Not really sure what to say about a very good hotel”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 March 2017

There is no doubt that this is a very good, first class hotel in an excellent location. However, there are things about it i do not like too much.

First, as you pull up at the main entrance you are greeted by a young man dressed as a Maori. That, of course is fine, but then he introduces himself as "your host for your stay" and proceeds to take you to your room where he explains how it works, you know, lights, bathroom, fridge, how the door to the balcony works etc etc. Having reached the age of 67 and having stayed in many hotels, I think I can fathom all of that our for myself.

Then there is the food. For us, breakfast and dinner were included. Unfortunately, on both nights, dinner consisted of a five-course menu, some if which was very good, but some of which was not. On the second night we both chose rib eye beef. Very good but not the medium/rare as described. It was more well done and was accompanied by something described as a herb dumpling. Being as polite as I can, I would describe it as tough and tasteless. Desert on the other hand was superb. A "deconstructed" tiramisu was absolute heaven.

And being a first class hotel you would expect it to be run and staffed by first class people. No disappointment there. From Richard the manager (sorry, I promised I would not name you) to Rohan on reception and the wonderful Ricardo on the bar and stunning Maria in the restaurant, you could not get better. Thank you all for a great stay.

So my only real criticism is that they need to provide more choice in the food department. Not everyone needs or wants and five-course dinner.

Would we come back? Yes, but with some changes.

Room Tip: From what I could see they are all of equally very good standard.
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank CrookieLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2017

Dear CrookieLondon

Great to meet you and thank you for your feedback as promised.

Yours sincerely

Richard

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56 - 60 of 696 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2017

We were upgraded to the Te Waonici Retreat (with the same group) and the room was great. Staff professional and helpful, small town with amenities and adequate restaurants nearby. The main hotel looked good too.

Room Tip: Getting upgraded is very helpful
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  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank michael n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2017

Dear Michael

Thank you for your positive review of your time in Franz Josef Glacier and more specifically Te Waonui Forest Retreat.

Yours sincerely

Richard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2017

We stayed 2 nights here and wish it could have been longer. Not sure of the cost because we were traveling with Globus Tours and the hotels were included. Our room didn't have a mountain view but I believe some do. The staff was excellent and always greeted and waited on us with a smile. The restaurant had great breakfasts and the one evening meal we ate at the hotel was awesome with both lamb and BBQ-ed venison ribs. Our room was spotlessly clean and large with a very modern accommodating bathroom with shower. Te Waonui has a Spa that is reasonably priced and the hotel is next door to the local hot spring baths. The only thing that was in anyway negative was that the rooms are accessed via a outdoor covered wooden walkway that surrounds the complex and in the evening you can here people walk past the room. But this quiets down early in the evening. This was the best hotel of our 2 week stay in New Zealand.

Room Tip: The front desk has discount coupons for the hot baths.
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Garyheim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2017

Dear Garyheim

Thank you for choosing us and I am pleased that you found Te Waonui to be one of your highlights of New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

Richard

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Reviewed 13 March 2017

Without out a doubt this hotel gives you a feel of Quality, From the Moiri welcome as you entered, to the standard of the rooms, we only had breakfast but you were spoilt for choice, If you are touring, treat yourself to just one night here, Definitely a hotel to put on your bucket list whilst visiting the area. 5*

Room Tip: You are in a rain forest type Hotel, Request a view when booking,
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  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Mealfinder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2017

Dear Mealfinder

Thank you for advising others and for choosing us!

Yours sincerely

Richard

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Reviewed 12 March 2017

So the staff are friendly and the show was great. The place shows very well. The problem is that they have fallen to the allure of the large coach parties. They crowd the lobby and back up the kitchen. We waited so long for our dinner that we gave up. Even though we sat first. Almost 2 hours into the meal and we had not had our main dish yet.
It is the gap between what is possible with this property and what is delivered that stings. Stay somewhere cheaper. You will have more satisfaction.

Room Tip: Ha... Not near the ice machine....
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Nathaniel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard B, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2017

Dear Nathaniel G

Apologies and correct, 12/03/17 was one our busiest calendar dates of our 2016/17 season. Unfortunately things go wrong at the best of times, pity you could not wait until after I amicably extended the olive branch on the morning prior to your departure from TW to post this review.

Yours sincerely

Richard

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Additional Information about Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Address: 3 Wallace Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Franz Josef
#2 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price Range: €441 - €604 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Te Waonui Forest Retreat 5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury hotels in New Zealand don't get any better than this! Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star Qualmark rated retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury. Te Waonui Forest Retreat promises all its guests a truly unique and memorable experience. At one with nature, the five-star Qualmark rated Te Waonui Forest Retreat is the ultimate coming together of luxury escape and environmental awareness. Great care has been taken to ensure this exceptional forest retreat steps lightly upon the earth, from the organic cotton bedspreads to its recycled local building materials. Discerning travellers will appreciate the hotel’s attention to detail, which starts with attentive personal service upon arrival, and continues throughout all the hotel facilities and every aspect of your stay. As our guest you will enjoy exceptional quality and service, including: Luxuriously appointed guest rooms, generously proportioned and featuring the highest standard of room amenities, such as your personal pillow menu, natural wool mattress underlay, and high speed Internet access. Dining among the tres in ‘The Canopy’ restaurant, and savouring quality local cuisine, including an indulgent five-course degustation dinner. Innovative, environmentally sustainable architecture and building materials that create a healthy, warm and quiet haven for you to enjoy. Easy access to many excellent local attractions, including the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Te Waonui Forest Retreat Hotel Franz Josef

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