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  • elpariente profile photo elpariente
  • Reviews: 1600

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Alpine Glacier Motel, Franz Josef: Buen hmotel / Good Motel

El pueblo es pequeño y está dedicado al turismo del Glaciar .
Este es un hostal pequeño , limpio y con un personal que nos ayudó bastante a organizar nuestra estancia

The town is small and is dedicated to tourism of the glacier.
This is a small hostel, clean and with a staff that helped us to organize our stay

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Written March 13, 2010
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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

1 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Alpine Rose Motel, Greymouth: A totally unfunny Comedy

I have not stayed there myself – and will surely not stay there in the future. This is a report by a colleague Hans Georg who stayed at the Alpine Rose Motel in Greymouth (High Street) in January 2009 because after his son’s emergency surgery he was looking for accommodation near the hospital.

The location already is the outstanding feature of this motel. The rest reads like a comedy.

Obviously the owner charged for everything you can imagine. They always had the impression he wanted to take advantage of them, so they checked out as soon as possible – and made the owner of the next motel 300 metres further down the way write the price for the apartment down, so there would not be a bad surprise upon check-out.

My colleague wrote:

“In the guest book we read about the great character qualities of the owner but we did not like it there at all because we always felt like being patronized and/or taken to the cleaners.

The pricing for the very big apartments was obscure. Nowhere you find the tariffs in writing. The guy tells you something in hardly understandable mumbo-jumbo, and after a long trip, happy to have found a place to stay, you accept. When you look at the invoice you find out that the rate you had agreed on did not include all family members.

In the apartment you find a long list with things you are not allowed to do. Nowhere during our whole NZ trip we have not seen anything like this. Most restrictions apply to cooking. For example, you should not cook anything that develops any kind of odour. It is also forbidden to dye your hair – surely because all tourists do this daily ;-)

The use of the laundry was quite an experience as well. The method is as follows: Only cold wash is available. This costs NZ$ 2. The washing powder costs $ 1 extra – and the boss himself fills in an undisclosed amout. Using the dryer costs $ 2 but the cycle is not long enough to dry the clothes. That is why you are offered to use the owner’s dryer. Of course, he executes this job personally, and this friendly service costs you $ 5.”

And so on. You get the idea.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip
  • Written January 29, 2009

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Ardwyn House, Greymouth: A beautiful and peaceful Place with great Views

Most accommodation in Greymouth is not hugely expensive – but some is nicer, some is unique, and some few are not so great. When looking for a budget room but not backpackers or hostel, I saw a photo of Ardwyn House, and loved it. So we booked it and will certainly be back.

It is a combination of many factors that make this B&B so appealing.

First, the architecture of the house itself. It surely is not Art Deco, as you can read in B&B guides, only because its colours are white and turquoise blue. It is from the 1920’s, is made of timber (rimu) and has beautiful stained glass window. It is a great character home, with the host’s private rooms and the lounge and kitchen she shares with her guests on the ground floor, plus an extra toilet. Upstairs are four or five bedrooms, all built around a foyer, and a slightly dated bathroom with toilet. There is only this one shared bathroom, so you should not be in a terrible hurry during the peak season ;-) When we were there only one more couple was staying there, this was perfect, of course.

Second, the location. Although the short walk from the town centre is uphill, the walk is not strenuous, and as said, it is short, only three minutes from the centre. But it leads up far enough to enjoy a great view of the town, the river and the sea from Ardwyn House – which BTW is Welsh and means “on the hill”. Right behind the house starts the King Park walk which offers even greater views. Well, the best views you can get of Greymouth. And it is quiet up there, such a peaceful place and so great to relax.

Third, the garden. The house is surrounded by lush rainforest, high tree ferns, and especially mature pohutukawa. The owner will tell you that those wonderful trees can be very annoying because they selfseed everywhere, and she pulls out hundreds of seedlings every year. Well, and we even saw pohutukawa growing on the trunk of a huge palm tree. Nontheless, those giant trees which flowered well before Christmas in the mild climate of the West Coast, make the setting especially appealing, and the songbirds we could watch from our room enjoyed them, too ;-)

Fourth, the breakfast. Beautiful! Yoghurt, fresh fruit, a selection of cereals/muesli, toast, everything fabulous, and if you pay NZ$ 5 more you get cooked breakfast for two.

Fifth, the host. You get coffee and tea in Mary Owen’s lounge, biscuits and a nice chat are free as well. We arrived early in the afternoon during a cricket game, and were impressed by Mary’s knowledge of the sport, and we had some discussions about various subjects. This, mixed with personal stories and information about Greymouth and the Coast, you leave the house with inspiration and food for thought.

We had secure parking for the motorbike. Free pick-up service is offered if you travel without vehicle.

The rate (as early 2009) is NZ$ 85 for two (single $ 55), including breakfast. Add $ 5 for cooked breakfast for two.

Credit card payment (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted. No eftpos.

Directions:

Coming from the south on SH 6 (Tainui Street), turn right before the roundabout that leads into the town centre. This is already Chapel Street. The house is on the right after 200 or 300 metres.

If you miss this turn, turn the first right after the roundabout, next to the petrol station (Willis Street). The first left is Chapel Street.

Do NOT miss this one because the next street (Mount Street) leads well up towards the house – but it is connected to Chapel Street by a footpath only ;-)

If you come from the north or the Railway Station, take the second left after the Grey River Bridge (Willis Street), then left again. Or the third left (Chapel Street) and straight up the hill.

Photo 2 shows the bedroom we had.

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Budget Travel
  • Written January 21, 2009
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Ardwyn House - what a beauty!

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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58 on Cron, Franz Josef Glacier: Surcharge if you do not Obey to the Cooking Rules

Finally we have succeeded to stay at another place than the Scenic Circle Hotel when visiting Franz Josef Glacier ;-)

Already the location is great. Cron Street is a parallel street to the State Highway and the big new development where also a big new spa resort is going to be built (opening in Aug/Sept 2008). Every time we come to Franz we find new motels and restaurants on this quiet street.

You have a choice of studio units, and one and two bedroom apartments, and there again you can choose if you want Single, Queen or Super-King size beds. The furnishing is very nice and modern - but I would not call the accommodation luxurious, as they claim. We had a studio unit. Everything fine with bed and dinner table. The kitchen area is rather small, has two cooking plates, microwave but no oven.

Little other things they could learn is offering a refill of the coffee plunger every day, as do most other hotels and motels, especially in this price range, and not only on the first day. Also the number of the cheaper coffee sachets and milk diminished during the stay. And we sadly missed the one daily cookie per person... You see, just little things - but things that make the difference.

The bathroom was very much on the small side, including the shower cubicle. It was a cheap plastic cubicle, and this was so low that we flooded the complete bathroom with every shower we took, and as we still wanted to use the toilet without wading through the water, we had to clean up the mess. Also the toilet seat was cheap plastic stuff - all this not matching the nice furnishing of the room. The vanity top did not offer much storage space.

Considering the quiet location and neat and clean status of the units I would still recommend 58 on Cron - just not for people who want to cook. But I think this motel is overpriced, with about NZ$ 180 for our small unit already. Might be cheaper in the off-season (rates advertised from $110), big units up to $300. That is really a lot of money.

- The cooking rules... and the rainforest location

We could not believe our eyes when we saw a notice behind the cooking plates, telling the guests not to cook spicy meals like curries, seafood, onions and garlic, as it is so difficult to get rid of the smells - and if you do not accept this cooking rule a surcharge would apply!!! Firstly, I wonder how other motels with full cooking facilities succeed to clean the air, secondly I wonder who - apart from people with allergies - cook without using onions...

As this street is just an aisle in the rain forest, the 16 unit motel is surrounded by wonderful established vegetation including huge kahikatea trees and tree ferns. The units are all ground-floor, so very handy if you have some luggage to transport from your car. As a new development the condition of the non-smoking apartment-style units is mint. The furnishing is modern and tasteful, with dark furniture, glass-top tables and leather seats and chairs.

Directions

Coming from the north, turn left before the township, into a new road. 58 on Cron is indicated. If you miss it, no problem. Turn left anywhere in the township, best before or after the Scenic Circle Hotel, then left again, and you are on Cron. Drive towards the end of the street, and you will find it on the right side, after the Rainforest Retreat.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Road Trip, National/State Park, Jungle and Rain Forest
  • Written November 27, 2007
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Nice rainforest setting.

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Glacier View Motel, Franz Josef: In Nice Weather you have the Best View

When we stayed at this motel with the promising name we did not see Franz Josef Glacier at all. But to do it justice: On that day you could not see it from anywhere because the clouds were so low that you were already happy when you found the supermarket.

On other occasions I have checked the promise that the Glacier View Motel offers the best view to the glacier, and it is true. But this also means that you will not walk to the restaurants from this place as it is located 2.5kms north of the township.

The motel with 14 ground-floor units only is older style with fully equipped kitchens, and when not just looking at the glacier you are surrounded by rural landscape of green paddocks with sheep and native bush.

The spa pool is not available all year (seasonable) and you have to pay a charge.

The rates (as March 2007) are NZ$ 75 to 155.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip, Eco-Tourism
  • Written February 28, 2007

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Palm Court Motels, Westport: A Neat Place with Limited Possibilities

This is a motel I nearly do not remember although we stayed there not too long ago. It is just one of those many totally ok motels without unique features that you can find everywhere and you do not remember as something special. Perhaps it is also because it was a rainy day in We(s)tport, and the unit felt rather cool and not cosy at all.

This motel is 200 metres from the city centre. This does not mean a lot in Westport as most motels are not much further away from the city centre if they are not located at Carters Beach or so.

Cooking possibilities are limited as the units have only kitchenettes with microwave, tea and coffee making facilities. You can get electric frypans and electric hobs on request but there is only one older-style unit with fully equipped kitchen - but that is huge and has three bedrooms.

The rates (as March 2007) are NZ$80 to 115 for a studio and NZ$90 to 145 for a family unit.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip
  • Written February 28, 2007

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Blue Tasman Motel, Carters Beach (near Westport): A Great Place to Relax

This is an old-fashioned motel at a fantastic location, far away from the noise of the town.

Carters Beach is only five kilometres south of Westport and fascinates with its mirror-like reflections, great for swimming and walking, starting point for a tour to the seal colony at Cape Foulwind and the whole Westport area. It is a small and quiet rural community.

The motel is a several minutes walk or some seconds drive from the beach, opposite the Westport Golf Links and minigolf. They say it is 400m from the beach - I have not measured it ;-) The motel is surrounded by mature trees and shrubs.

As said, it is not new but it is refurbished and very spacious. They have one- and two-bedroom units with full kitchen facilities.

Referring to motel accommodation with kitchens in general you should always make sure you have an extra bedroom if you plan to cook, as it is not very nice to sleep in the cooking odours and have all clothes smelling like fresh from the pan.

As the choice of restaurants at Carters Beach is not really big cooking your own dinner and share a bottle of wine in those peaceful surroundings is a real good option. Get your groceries in Westport and enjoy them at the motel, or use the BBQ facilities of the motel, and you can have some drinks without remorse.

Just a note:
The owners have obviously made bad experience with tourists who leave their pans, pots and crockery dirty in the sink, so there are notes in the units that dishwashing is not included in the tariff ;-)

This, BTW, is NZ$ 75 to 110 (as Feb. 2007).

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Beaches, Road Trip, Eco-Tourism
  • Written February 21, 2007

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Gables Motor Lodge, Greymouth: Spacious with Pohutukawa View

Nothing to criticise about this motel which you easily recognise due to a tower-like building at the entrance. On the opposite. I really like it. And not just for the pohutukawas along the road.

There are only ground-floor apartment style units which are very spacious and nicely furbished. They pride themselves being the only 4+ star property in Greymouth, and I think they have deserved it, not just for providing the beds with electric blankets (you never know...) and the high speed internet connection.

Several types of accommodation are available, from simple studio units (which are big and good enough for just staying the night) to units with spa bath, one- and two-bedroom units with and without spa. All units come with full kitchen facilities.

I highly recommend a unit with spa as the baths are huge and big enough for two, which is a very relaxing way to recover from a long day.

The tiny minus is the location 1.5kms from the town centre, so you will definitely take the car to drive to the restaurants and shops.

Tariff (summer), as Feb. 2007:
NZ$ 110 (studio without spa) to 180 (2 bedroom with spa)

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip, Eco-Tourism, Beaches
  • Written February 21, 2007

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Jade Court Motor Lodge, Hokitika: Good Standard but not very Central

We were totally satisfied with the standard of this motel because the units are very spacious and nicely furbished, set in nice garden surroundings. Some units have spa baths which is appreciated a lot.

Although located on SH6 you have no noise from the road. But the location is a bit from the towncentre, making you wonder if you still want to walk or not better take the car.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Beaches, Road Trip, Jungle and Rain Forest
  • Written February 21, 2007

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

1 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Bella Vista Motel, Hokitika: Living in a Shoebox

The Bella Vista Motels are a rather new chain, so also the rooms are in very good condition. However, since having stayed at one of those motels - which happened in Hokitika - I have not booked with them again.

The reason is the shoebox size of the unit. Absolutely ridiculous! The bed fills the room, and this mainly is it. You do not want to sit on your bed the whole time, for reading, watching TV etc. There is space for a laptop on the desk but there are no other out-of-bed activities possible. Perhaps they should have cut down on the size of the bathroom to allow people moving around in the unit.

If you are claustrophobic you should book one of the two one-bedroom units which additionally have full kitchen facilities.

Anyway, when I book a motel instead of a hotel I do it because I expect more space than in a hotel room. I would call such small motel units hotel rooms disguised as a motel. That is why I will not be back at any Bella Vista motel.

Apart from that, Bella Vista which means Beautiful View has no view at all but to the mainroad.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Eco-Tourism, Jungle and Rain Forest, Road Trip
  • Written February 21, 2007

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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

252 Beachside Motels & Holiday Park, Hokitika: Quiet Place and Lots of Space

When we once travelled with friends, we stayed at a motel unit with two bedrooms and were all happy with it and found the owners very friendly.

The living/dining area has full kitchen facilities and is big enough for four people. The motel is not flash new but totally ok.

The location is very quiet and just some steps from the beach. Well, many motels are close to the beach in Hokitika, even those located on the main road. But from this one you really have to walk only some seconds as it is off the main road. The towncentre, though, is a ten minutes walk - which is good for digestion after dinner... ;-)

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip, Eco-Tourism
  • Written February 21, 2007
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Photo taken by Gisela.


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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Franz Josef Glacier Hotel (Scenic Circle): Nice Rooms but Bus Noise in the Morning

Although this is rather a big hotel with nearly 180 rooms it does not feel city-like, not only because of its location on the remote West Coast. The building expands in several wings that are surrounded by native trees, shrubs and tree ferns which we enjoyed very much right in front of our windows.

In the meantime we have stayed in a suite and in a standard room. The suites are nice as they have a separate bedroom. Both, living area and bedroom are huge and well appointed. Also the standard rooms are ok and big. The room we had last time had a very dated bathroom with plastic shower cubicle and toilet - even in beige! And as it was a room with connecting door to another room every day the new arrivals tried to open the door to our room, and we could hear which TV programmes they were watching... and hopefully they heard ours LOL

The heating is working very well in winter (and in a cold summer, like 2006/07 LOL).

The stay gets annoying if you do not leave the room before the tour buses. The bus terror starts at 7am... There is one big carpark for buses, and one wing (room 408 for example...) is right there, so you do not miss the noise... As this hotel is the one where tour groups stay be sure you get your share of the noise. The buses are all over the place and have their motors running for ages. Absolutely horrible!

Fridge and water kettle are in the room but no more kitchen-like amenities. The fridge is a minibar - and really mini, so you cannot store a lot of your own stuff in it. Last time we had to get a leaking kettle replaced. The new one was too high to fill it under the tap in the bathroom, so you had to fill it with mini glasses...

If you wonder why I have stayed at this hotel so many times although I do not like it, there is a simple explanation: I often accompany my husband on his business trips to Franz, and his company unfortunately has a deal with the hotel... My advice: Do not stay there if you do not want to have city noise in the middle of the rainforest.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip, Jungle and Rain Forest, Eco-Tourism
  • Written February 21, 2007
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Bus view from a room of the Franz Josef Hotel.


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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Karamea Village Hotel: Two in One

If you want to have some drinks after a hard day's walk and neither risk drink-driving nor walk anymore, the Karamea Village Hotel is the best solution. You can have your meal and the drinks and then just walk some steps to your accommodation which is more motel than hotel style.

The hotel features nine modern units separate to the hotel, 3 with kitchen.

Only some steps to the hotel's restaurant.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip, Hiking and Walking, Jungle and Rain Forest
  • Written January 7, 2007
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The units are separate from the hotel.


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  • Kakapo2 profile photo Kakapo2
  • Reviews: 1858

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Bridge Farm Motels in Karamea: A Peaceful Motel with a Zoo Feeling

A super quiet place right across the bridge, 500 metres from the township, set in a huge garden with pet deer and alpaka.

Biiiig lounge/dining with full cooking facilities, separate bedroom(s) and bathrooms with shower (suitable for disabled). One and two bedroom units available.

Complimentary breakfast (delivered the evening before).

Rooms sprayed regularly against sandflies...

Sitting in the lounge and enjoying the view through the panorama windows you look across farmland to Kahurangi National Park, with spectacular rata in bloom around Christmas Time. Pet deer (bambi!) and alpaka are grazing on the lawns in front of the window. This is very peaceful and idyllic.

We have a nice memory of an indredible Christmas Dinner with the family, and like the special personal touch: When we once came back from a tour our toy animals were sitting the other way round, so they could also enjoy the views... ;-)

The owners Peter and Rosalie are retired farmers and know the region very well. When they stopped running the farm they started the business with the motels.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Hiking and Walking, Road Trip, Family Travel
  • Written May 10, 2006
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Bridge Farm Motels (photo from motel website)

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  • wkcsmt profile photo wkcsmt
  • Reviews: 263

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Global Village Backpackers: Superb Backpacker Lodge

Global Village (formerly Living Streams) has a beautiful riverside setting. Interior is Global art d'cor theme. Supermarket, bars, pool, gym, beach nearby. The hostel is equiped with central heating and other excellent facilities, including internet & parking facilities. All @ a very reasonable rate.

Free kayaking on Lake Karoro wetland reserve (adjacent to hostel).
Free bicycles for exploring the local area.
A private, well-equipped fitness room & sauna.
A spa pool in a magical private outdoor setting.
A very pleasant riverside BBQ area.
...and many more...

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Budget Travel, Backpacking
  • Written January 26, 2005
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Kayaking @ Global Village


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