10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Rainforest Retreat
10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef

20 BEST Hotels & Places to Stay in Franz Josef šŸ›Žļø [2023]

© Rainforest Retreat

Where to Find the Best Hotels and Alternative Accommodations 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 and alternative accommodations 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, holiday parks, hostels and holiday homes. We’ll give you a variety of places to stay in Franz Josef in the listings below.

While you’re here, don’t miss a thing in the glacier town by checking out the 25 Best Things to Do in Franz Josef.

1. Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier – Popular Hotel in 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” heighten 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).

Check Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier out:

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier© Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

2. Franz Josef Oasis – Upscale Boutique Hotel in Franz Josef

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 – Five-Star Hotel in Franz Josef

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 a 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 – as featured in the 9 Best Luxury Experiences in Franz Josef. See more accommodations like this in our 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Franz Josef.

Check Te Waonui Forest Retreat out:

Te Waonui Forest Retreat© Te Waonui Forest Retreat

4. The Terrace – Cheap Hotel in Franz Josef

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 hot pools.

Check The Terrace out:

The Terrace© The Terrace

5. Punga Grove – Self-Catering Hotel in Franz Josef

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. For more self-catering stays, take a look at the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Franz Josef.

Check Punga Grove out:

Punga Grove © Punga Grove

6. Rainforest Retreat – Large Accommodation Complex in Franz Josef

Whatever style of stay you’re looking for, 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, luxury tree 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.

Check Rainforest Retreat out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Rainforest Retreat

7. Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier – Popular Motel in Franz Josef

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

8. Aspen Court Motel – Franz Josef Accommodation with Spa Baths

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 available to order. What’s more, the motel offers the extra convenience of having a super central location. See more motel-style accommodations in our 10 Best Motels in Franz Josef.

Check Aspen Court out:

Aspen Court Franz Josef© Aspen Court Franz Josef

9. Westwood Lodge – Boutique Lodge in Franz Josef

Experience ultimate comfort at this cosy luxury lodge on the outskirts of Franz Josef town. With spacious suites across the main lodge and outbuildings, exuding warmth with timber-lined interiors and twin-basin ensuites with a freestanding bathtub, Westwood Lodge is certainly an enticing place to return after a day exploring Glacier Country. Relax in the sumptuous guest lounge with a roaring fire or “take your cue” in the billiards room. A continental and cooked breakfast are also available, although not included in all room packages.

Check Westwood Lodge out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Westwood Lodge

10. Te Awa Cottages – Out-of-Town Holiday Homes in Franz Josef

Set among the pastures just outside of Franz Josef township, Te Awa Cottages offers two one-bedroom holiday homes. Whether you’re a couple or a family of four making use of the sofa bed in the lounge, you’ll feel right at home here. The views of the mountains are gorgeous from here on a sunny day, but if you are caught in the rain, there are board games and a TV in the very spacious lounge (or check out the 10 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day). While there is a kitchen in each cottage, note that they only have hot drink- and breakfast-making facilities.

Check Te Awa Cottages out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Te Awa Cottages

11. Kahere Retreat – Eco-Stay in Franz Josef

Inspired by nature, and lapping up so much of it in stunning forest and mountain surroundings, Kahere Retreat offers gorgeous chalets for discerning travellers. Stay in one of the five handcrafted self-contained chalets, each made with locally-sourced materials and accommodating up to four guests. With rainwater supply, power from the local hydro station and using eco-brand toiletries, they are one of the most sustainably-minded accommodations in the area. For more self-contained stays, check out the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Franz Josef.

Check Kahere Retreat out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Kahere Retreat

12. Glenfern Villas – Upscale Holiday Apartments in Franz Josef

Located 3km (1.9 miles) north of the Franz Josef township, Glenfern Villas is a peaceful venue for a couples’ getaway or family stay. The apartment-style one and two-bedroom villas have oodles of space running out to a private deck soaking in the mountain views. Each villa has a fully-equipped kitchen and free WiFi for that home-away-from-home experience. Extra facilities include bike hire, Sky TV and a children’s playground.

Check Glenfern Villas out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Glenfern Villas

13. Glow Worm Accommodation – Backpacker (and Pet-Friendly) Hostel in Franz Josef

Letā€™s not beat around the bush… Free WiFi, free vegetable soup in the evenings and free breakfast are all drawcards for this backpacker hostel accommodation in Franz Josef. After a day on the glaciers, Glow Worm Accommodation is on a mission to make you as warm as possible with a free communal spa pool, log fire and cosy TV room with free popcorn. As you might be interested in what rooms are available, choose from dorm rooms, private double and twin rooms with either shared facilities or ensuites, and a family room. Needless to say, we also list this one in the 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Franz Josef.

Check Glow Worm Accommodation out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Glow Worm Accommodation

14. 58 On Cron Motel – Motel in Franz Josef with Spa Baths

An affordable motel in Franz Josef township, 58 On Cron Motel is located on one of the main streets in Franz Josef (Ok, so there aren’t many but it’s convenient nonetheless). The motel offers five room types, from budget-friendly “Studio Units” sleeping up to three people to the “King Studio Spa” with a spa bath. Other facilities include a guest barbecue, Sky TV, free WiFi, car parking and a full kitchenette in every room.

Check 58 On Cron Motel out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© 58 On Cron Motel

15. JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat – Self-Contained Accommodation in Franz Josef

Far enough away from town to escape the hustle and bustle but close enough for convenience, JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat is a peaceful base. The motel just 4km (2.5 miles) outside of town is best if you have your own transport, but also if you want the flexibility of self-catering. Choose from one-bedroom units and one/two-bedroom chalets and cottages – the latter two with kitchen facilities and a choice of garden or mountain view.

Check JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat

16. Franz Josef TOP 10 Holiday Park – Out-of-Town Holiday Park in Franz Josef

Franz Josef TOP 10 Holiday Park provides the most styles of accommodation that budget travellers are looking for. Choose from motel rooms, units with ensuites, budget cabins and camping sites with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Other facilities at the holiday park include a barbecue area, games room, children’s playground and a TV room with Sky TV. Find this holiday park just a short drive from Franz Josef township. Thanks to all of its family-friendly facilities, we also list this one in the 12 Best Family Accommodations in Franz Josef.

Check Franz Josef TOP 10 Holiday Park out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Franz Josef TOP 10 Holiday Park

17. Alpine Glacier Motel – Cheap Accommodation in Franz Josef

It’s all too easy at the Alpine Glacier Motel nestled in the township of Franz Josef with car parking right outside your unit. Enjoy the convenience of kitchenettes in the affordable studios for couples, groups of three and groups of four. The “Queen Studio” is your cheapest option which captures the sun but lacks the mountain views, while the “King Family Studio” is an affordable choice for families with a DVD player and movies available at reception to keep the little ones entertained. See more recommendations like this in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Franz Josef.

Check Alpine Glacier Motel out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Alpine Glacier Motel

18. Franz Josef Treetops – Holiday Home with Outdoor Spa Baths

Secluded on the edge of a small campground, yet within walking distance of town, Franz Josef Treetops is not only convenient but wrapped in luxury. Who needs to head to the hot pools when you have your own double spa baths nestled in the verdant gardens?! The three-bedroom house sleeping up to six guests is modernly furnished including an open-plan kitchen and a deck complete with a barbecue. You need to check-in to this property at The Terrace, which manages it, just a short stroll away.

Check Franz Josef Treetops out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Franz Josef Treetops

19. Cosy Cabin in the Paddocks –Secluded Holiday Home for Couples

Secluded and adorably quaint, Cosy Cabin in the Paddocks is a top holiday home in Franz Josef for couples. Located seven minutes out of town in a tranquil rural setting, this tastefully-appointed studio has a small kitchenette (microwave, toaster, fridge and kettle) with breakfast supplies included. You’ll also enjoy mod-cons like free WiFi and a TV with streaming services. For more couple-centric stays like this, head to the 10 Most Romantic Accommodations in Franz Josef.

Check Cosy Cabin in the Paddocks out:

10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© Cosy Cabin in the Paddocks

20. 10 Cottages – Accommodation in Franz Josef  Town Centre

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 is 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 Best Hotels in Franz Josef© 10 Cottages

[CLOSED] 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.

More About Hotels and Places to Stay in Franz Josef

That’s it for our list of the best hotels and places to stay in Franz Josef, but it’s by no means the end of our travel tips! Get more stellar Franz Josef travel advice from the following guides:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Franz Josef.

Author

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.

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