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“Outstanding service”

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Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Outstanding service”
Reviewed 24 March 2012

We found the service provided at this hotel to be its biggest asset. Every staff member we encountered was pleasant and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and insure that we had what we needed.

The setting for the room was nice in that you faced a lush forest (must have been difficult when designing the hotel in choosing whether to face the forest or the mountains). The size of the room and bath were fine. The only complaint we have about the room was that the lighting was inadequate.

We had the 5 course dinner each of the two nights we were there. Service was great. The food was really surprisingly good. The buffet breakfast was extensive and very good and service at that time was also good. While there are a lot of travelers that pass through town, you are kind of out in the wilds so getting upscale food is surprising. Of course, you pay for that privilege but we were on vacation so....go for it!

I saw that someone else commented on their requesting a Trip Advisor comment. I agree that it is inappropriate. Also, they give you a satisfaction questionaire while you are checking out and want you to complete it in front of them. I didn't like that at all. I think that is a service mis-step that should be corrected asap.

Also, there was a tour group there while we dined but they behaved themselves. I can see this place as a Tauck tour stop.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank egliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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664 reviews from our community

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Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2012

Do not stay in the Franz Josef without staying at this wonderful hotel. It is in a lovely setting and the beds are probably the most comfortable ever! The staff are professional and efficient and, at the same, time helpful and friendly. The dinner we had there was simply stunning and the breakfast excellent. Stay for more than just one night; we were on a tour so that is all we had but if we went back to the area we would definitely stay longer. A fabulous experience.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Meg055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ScenicHotels, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, 23 April 2012
We would love to see you back at Te Waonui..and this time please do stay longer. The weather today is glorious and the glacier is stunning...we look forward to your return and many many thanks for your kind words, the team really appreciates them.
kind regards
Kerryann
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2012

Fantastic service! We were greeted by a hot choccie and a warm towel (it was a miserable, cold day out) and then shown to our room.
The room was AMAZING, 2 massive king beds, newly refurbished bathrooms and the deck that places you in the rain forest.
Dinner and breakfast were delicious, staff were fabulous - I will definitely come back to stay as I want to do a glacier hike in the future.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank carocontiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2012




Good afternoon,

We get great pleasure in writing to give positive feedback when we have had a great experience at a hotel or restaurant as we appreciate it when people go above and beyond their duty to make the experience memorable.

However, (and sadly) this is not the case today.  We feel compelled to write to you after our recent stay at one of your hotels.  Let me explain....

For 31st December, I wanted to surprise my wife with a celebration night to see in the New Year.

We'd been traveling through the South Island staying at various hotels of a 3-4 star standard (paying around $150/night).  Our expectations of these hotels were not high because of the $'s we were paying.  But in fact a couple of times, it was nice to have our expectations lifted with renovated, modern, clean, and well-appointed rooms.

So as we drove to Franz Josef and to your Scenic Hotel there, we were really looking forward to a much more luxurious experience.  We were basing this on the fact that we were about to pay 3 or 4 times more than what we had been paying on our journey so far.  I had wrestled with paying this amount but I really wanted for it to be a memorable evening.

Our check-in experience was pleasant with cool towel and iced-tea and before being shown to our room.  We were both taken back by the odor that hit us as soon as we walked into the room and mentioned this to the young man who had escorted us there.  He agreed and quickly arranged for us to look at a different room close-by.  The same smell hit us so we figured we'd open the doors and hopefully the fresh air would eliminate the smell - which to some degree it seemed to do.

The room was "pleasant" - it would not be correct of us to say otherwise - but we were particularly surprised at the lack of maintenance of the garden as you walked to and from the hotel foyer; it just wasn't an attractive sight.

We kept asking ourselves, why is this hotel costing so much more than the others we've stayed at?  Was it the location ... but we didn't think so.  We kept waiting for something to surprise us - but it didn't.  And we've continued to ask ourselves the same question now for 2+ weeks.

Of course our dinner was included in the approx $800 price.  But again, the dinner was "pleasant" but very ordinary without any atmosphere at all to create a sense of celebration for the New Year.  The staff were "pleasant" but in a number of cases seemed very inexperienced - often being asked the same question a number of times and so on.

So I have to regretfully say that our stay certainly fell short of the expectations we had.

They say that feedback is the breakfast of champions so we really look forward to you shedding light on our repeated question of just why we were charged so much to stay at your hotel.

We look forward to your reply

ps.  I went after to the scenic malborough. It was perfect  nothing to say
I never recommanded your hotel in this condition ...

it is the mail i sent to the hotel around 2 months ago... no reply no excuses...
deduct by yourselves your conclusion...

  • Stayed December 2011
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Helpful?
2 Thank james8484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ScenicHotels, General Manager at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, responded to this review, 23 April 2012
Dear James 8484
I am the new mnager at Te Waonui forest retreat and I was horrified to read of your experience I would very much like to contact you direct so that I can speak with you. My email is kerryann.gibbs@scenicgroup.co.nz
I do hope that you will conatct me.
kind regards
Kerryann
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

My wife and I toured NZ for 5 weeks. The reception we received at Te Waonui after a long drive from Queenstown was the best anywhere - iced tea, hot towels and a warm friendly welcome. The room was fine.The big disappointment was the restaurant. We were made to feel awkward because we did not want the "degustation" menu, and the pretensions of elegant, refined, gourmet dining were ruined by the presence of 2 large and VERY noisy tour groups. The food was unexceptional, we had a far better meal the next evening at Alice May's - for half the price. At breakfast, we were directed to the remnants of the tour group buffet - the waiter was very put out when we requested an individually prepared meal.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank rarecomplainer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Property: 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
#1 Family Hotel in Franz Josef
#2 Luxury Hotel in Franz Josef
Price range (per night): ₹ 31,939 - ₹ 45,884
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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