© 10 Cottages

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef

© 10 Cottages

Accommodation in Franz Josef Glacier

Welcome to “Glacier Country”, an enchanting part of the South Island carved by rivers of ice. With so much to do here between glacier heli-hikes, hot pools, hiking, quad biking and skydiving, you’re going to want to stay here for a while. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of hotels in Franz Josef. It’s worth noting, however, that Franz Josef has very limited “hotel-style” accommodation. Most of the accommodation available consists of motels, lodges and hostels. We’ll give you a variety of choices in the listings below.

For alternative accommodation, see 10 Best Motels in Franz Josef and 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Franz Josef.

1. Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Stay in an enticing setting of mountain views, rainforest and manicured gardens at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier. The four-star hotel offers three styles of rooms with flexible bed layouts for couples, friends and families. The Standard Room is your entry-level option, while the Superior Rooms and Superior Suites heightens the experience with a roomy and stylish design or a separate lounge area. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant serving hearty West Coast specialities, as well as access to the nearby day spa and hot pools at the Te Waonui Forest Retreat (see below). See more recommendations like this in our 10 Best Family Accommodation in Franz Josef.

Check Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier out:

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier© Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

2. Franz Josef Oasis

A high-end boutique hotel just a few minutes north of the Franz Josef township, Franz Josef Oasis is a fine base for exploring Glacier Country. All of the 20 well-appointed rooms are on the ground floor soaking up the views of the mountains, forest, farmland and hotel gardens. Rooms feature special extras like a fireplace, spa baths and extra-long beds. There’s also a restaurant with a generous buffet breakfast of espresso coffee, fresh fruit, local cheese and free-range eggs. An a la carte menu is also available for dinner with New Zealand favourites like New Zealand lamb, Marlborough king salmon and South Island rib eye steak.

Check Franz Josef Oasis out:

Franz Josef Oasis© Franz Josef Oasis

3. Te Waonui Forest Retreat

For those seeking utter luxury, set your sights on Te Waonui Forest Retreat. As the name suggests, the hotel is nestled in native rainforest, which the rooms soak up through their patios/balconies. The five-star hotel has luxurious features like soundproofed rooms to the five-course degustation menu in their restaurant, as well as woollen underlays and plush down bedding in the rooms. Either king or twin rooms are available sleeping up to a maximum of three guests. If all of that wasn’t enough, the complex also includes a luxury spa with a full menu of rejuvenating treatments. See more accommodation like this in our 5 Best Luxury Accommodation in Franz Josef.

Check Te Waonui Forest Retreat out:

Te Waonui Forest Retreat© Te Waonui Forest Retreat

4. The Terrace

Set in the centre of Franz Josef township, The Terrace offers an array of hotel and motel rooms with many taking in the views of the Croz Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier valley. Room types include King Studios with kitchenettes, a selection of apartments with multiple bedrooms and spa baths, as well as the more luxurious Mountain View Studios with a kitchen. Additional features include Sky TV, plunger coffee (in most rooms), breakfast available and towels for the nearby Glacier Hot Pools.

Check The Terrace out:

The Terrace© The Terrace

5. Punga Grove

Things start to get more “motel” than “hotel” on this list of hotels in Franz Josef but Punga Grove still has that special hotel vibe with its architecture designed to maximise the views of the surrounding rainforest. We’re talking outdoor decking areas, conservatory windows and floor-to-ceiling windows capturing the greenery from all around. Choose from an array of studio rooms of different styles and prices, as well as two-bedroom units for groups of families. What’s more, Punga Grove is located just a short walk from the town’s services and attractions.

Check Punga Grove out:

Punga Grove © Punga Grove

6. Glacier Highway Motel

What we like about this motel, that frequent hotel guests are sure to appreciate, is the modern architectural design and fresh furnishings. Glacier Highway Motel is set 4km north of Franz Josef township and has 12 units. Families and groups are well catered for here with one and two-bedroom spa units, as well as family units with kitchens (including a dishwasher). Other useful facilities include free WiFi, Sky TV, free milk and baby cots and highchairs.

Check Glacier Highway Motel out:

Glacier Highway Motel© Glacier Highway Motel

7. Rainforest Retreat

For those seeking budget accommodation, you’re sure to find something to suit at the Rainforest Retreat, because, well, this accommodation complex does it all! Campervan sites, hostel accommodation, units, huts nestled in native rainforest, holiday houses, motel rooms… There’s just so much going on here that the word count limit on this article just won’t allow us to do it justice. But it’s worth mentioning that guests can also make use of the on-site bar and restaurant, as well as spa pools, sauna and more. See more recommendations like this in 10 Best Budget Accommodation in Franz Josef.

Check Rainforest Retreat out:

Rainforest Retreat© Rainforest Retreat

8. Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier

For those who like hotel chains, you’ll find a similar vibe and structure at this motel which is part of the Bella Vista motel group. Bella Vista Franz Josef offers well-appointed rooms with modern furnishings and super practical facilities. The choice consists of a Compact Queen Studio, Queen Kitchenette Studio, Twin Studio, Mountain View King Studio or a One Bedroom Family Unit. Most rooms have kitchen facilities, while other extras include spa baths.

Check Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier out:

Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier © Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier

9. Aspen Court Motel

For a motel with the standard of a four-star hotel, check out Aspen Court Motel. The motel offers high-quality units and studios with kitchenettes, as well as some ensuites with a spa bath. Each room has all the necessities most travellers need plus free WiFi, free milk on arrival and continental breakfast is available to order. What’s more, the motel offers the extra convenience of having a super central location. We even include this accommodation in our 5 Best Romantic Accommodation in Franz Josef.

Check Aspen Court out:

Aspen Court Franz Josef© Aspen Court Franz Josef

10. 10 Cottages

Last but certainly not least, 10 Cottages offers 10 beautiful studio cottages surrounded by rainforest. The One-Bedroom Cottages sleeping one to three guests are just a short walk from town. You’ll also have a private deck to enjoy views of the Franz Josef Glacier Valley, as well as kitchen facilities. There are also a couple of Two-Bedroom Cottages available sleeping up to seven. What’s more, free unlimited WiFi is available.

Check 10 Cottages out:

© 10 Cottages


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

Was this article useful?

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter

Recommended For You