Why you'll love it here...
- Highly commended for its eco-friendly tourist accommodation
- Enjoy the sounds of nature as you eat breakfast at the treetop Canopy Restaurant
- Over 40 trees have been planted over two seasons with Punga Tree Planting Day
- The retreat donates to a national charity for Kiwi conservation projects across New Zealand
Te Waonui Forest Retreat harmoniously blends eco-lodge charms with an irresistible location – enveloped by trees, exciting excursions to the West Coast Glacier, helicopter tours and hiking routes, plus the trappings of a five-star hotel.
South Island’s award-winning Te Waonui Forest Retreat really does have it all: the treetop setting, eco-credentials, organic fine dining cuisine and countless outdoor activities all around, not to mention the boutique stylings and design of a top New Zealand luxury hotel. The result is a design lodge here in Franz Josef that places you right in the heart of the wilderness, while within the property itself lies cutting-edge minimalist architecture, chic lounge spaces, a signature Amaia Spa full of holistic treatments and floor-to-ceiling windows on every side, great for those forest views that surround.
Guestrooms at Te Waonui Forest Retreat follow suit, being nicely modern and well-equipped with Wi-Fi, a minibar, walk-in rain shower or bathtub and flat-screen TVs, as well as a furnished balcony or terrace and accompanying vistas, of course. Your stay at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will also leave minimal footprint on the landscape too, thanks to energy and water efficiency systems onsite, natural lighting throughout, recycled local materials (such as disused telegraph poles) going into the building’s construction and preservation projects also being supported by the lodge. In fact, the very architecture of Te Waonui Forest Retreat has been designed to sit unobtrusively within the trees and native bush, wherever possible, which adds an extra layer to its already enviable appeal.
When it comes to exploring the wider Franz Josef region, the list of nearby excursions is almost endless, from heli-hiking and air safaris to kayaking and boat tours, rock climbing around Mount Cook and the surrounding Southern Alps, horse and bike riding trails aplenty, glacier tours, wildlife walks, birdwatching, private picnics, natural hot springs and so much more. However, it’s not all about action and adventure, as Te Waonui Forest Retreat also boasts a wonderful signature spa, Amaia, plus a world-class restaurant where inventive flavour fusions, seasonal produce and an unbeatable treetop setting combine to mouth-watering effect.
- Spa / Wellness
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Accommodation options at Te Waonui Forest Retreat come with either a king-size or twin bed setup, all featuring the same minimalist style of décor, well-equipped bathrooms featuring a walk-in rain shower (plus standalone bathtub for some), furnished balcony and forest views, a minibar, flat-screen TV and air-conditioning.
Activities and Entertainment
The surrounding Franz Josef area is a true wonderland of outdoor activities and sightseeing tours, including helicopter flights over the Franz and Fox Glaciers; fixed wing air safaris; heli-hiking; rafting; horse rides through the forest and myriad biking trails to explore; endless wildlife and birdwatching walks; quad bikes and off-road buggies; kayaking and boat tours around Okarito Lagoon – at the foot of Mount Cook, even rock and ice climbing for those brave enough, the list goes on! There’s then the natural hot pools, private picnics and more gentle scenic walks to enjoy.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat is an intentionally simplified eco-lodge, holding back on any resort-style onsite facilities as a result. You do have a fantastic concierge and reception team on-hand, room service, valet parking, dry-cleaning available if you need it and lots of outdoor space too, plus hot spring pools next door and bicycles to borrow. The real highlight however is Te Waonui’s Amaia Luxury Spa, which boasts a long list of massage treatments, facials and therapies in a suitably zen setting.
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