Warm and Welcoming Haven on the West Coast

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by midtownmjd on May 26, 2010

If there’s a room that’s more comfortable, more romantic, or more beautiful than the Wallace room at Franz Josef Country Retreat, I would like to book it indefinitely.

Owners Marie and Glenn Coburn have truly succeeded in creating luxurious accommodations that make guests feel as though they’re staying at a friend’s well-appointed country plantation amid green hills and mirror lakes.

Wallace—all 12 guest rooms are named after Franz Josef pioneer families—welcomed me with open arms and every modern amenity I could need. A perfect place to unwind after a day of outdoor activities, the room’s centerpiece is a four-poster queen bed adorned with red-feather pillows and red organza draperies. And the bed is far from the only comfortable place to rest: two plush chairs overlook the fields of cows; a leather couch sits across from a large TV; and a giant, red, claw-foot tub beckons from its own alcove.

The room is replete with a bar area—fridge, sink, coffee, and tea—and robes, hairdryer, alarm clock, DVD player, and desk. The big, modern bathroom features a stainless-stell shower stall, towel warmer, and lovely toiletries.

One of the best parts of the retreat is its history. The owners’ ancestors were among the first to arrive in the area in the 1860s gold rush, and though the inn is a new building, the land it sits on is still used to graze and breed cows on some of its 200 acres. (Guests can even feed pet cow Dexter.) The building was inspired by the historic Graham Glacier Hotel, which burned down in 1953, and photos of that hotel, and of the town’s early settlers, line the walls.

Franz Josef Country Retreat also has a gorgeous dining room serving dinner and breakfast; a bar area; and bikes, books, and DVDs to loan guests.

For a quiet retreat near the fun of Franz Josef Glacier or for a romantic getaway, it would be hard to beat the warm, welcoming Franz Josef Country Retreat.
Franz Josef Country Retreat
State Highway 6 at Lake Mapourika
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
+64 3 752 0012


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