© Glacier Highway Motel

10 Best Motels in Franz Josef

© Glacier Highway Motel

Motel Accommodation in Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef is on the bucket list of almost every traveller coming to New Zealand, so rest assured there are plenty of motels to house you all. Nevertheless, the choice is still a little overwhelming, even in a town where you can see both ends of it by standing in the middle! To take the guesswork out of your accommodation search, we’ve put together this list of our tops picks of motels in Franz Josef. There are motels to suit a range of styles, needs and budgets.

For alternative accommodation, see our 10 Best Hotels in Franz Josef.

1. Aspen Court Motel

A modern five-star motel is nestled in native forest, Aspen Court Motel is a fantastic option for travellers looking for something finer than the average motel. Aspen Court 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 a continental breakfast is available. What’s more, the motel offers extra convenience with its super central location. Because this motel is a little special, we also include this accommodation in our 5 Best Romantic Accommodation in Franz Josef.

Check Aspen Court Motel out:

Aspen Court Franz Josef© Aspen Court Franz Josef

2. Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier

By the time you’ve reached Franz Josef (and you’ve stayed in a few motels), you probably recognise the Bella Vista brand. Bella Vista Franz Josef offers a similar motel set-up than the rest in the motel chain: well-appointed, modern furnishings and super practical. Choose from 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 spa baths are a luxurious addition to others.

Check Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef out:

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

3. Glacier View Motel

Glacier View Motel offers a tranquil retreat 2km away from the Franz Josef township. The Tartare River running alongside the motel grounds adds to the peaceful ambience, but choosing a room type from the excessive menu is a little more of a headache. Nevertheless, find reassurance in the fact that all units cover more than just the basics with a shower ensuite, a TV, heating, undercover parking, plunger coffee and kitchen facilities.

Check Glacier View Motel out:

Glacier View Motel Franz Josef © Glacier View Motel Franz Josef

4. 58 On Cron Motel

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:

58 On Cron Motel© 58 On Cron Motel

5. Rainforest Retreat

When it comes to budget accommodation, Rainforest Retreat really has is all, including motel rooms! Aside from campervan sites, hostel accommodation, units and huts nestled in native rainforest, Rainforest Retreat also offers motel studio units with either a queen and a single bed or a queen and a bunk set, as well as an ensuite, kitchen and TV with Sky TV. 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

6. JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat

Far enough away from town to escape the hustle and bustle but close enough for convenience, Franz Josef Alpine Retreat is a peaceful base. The motel just 4km 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, one/two-bedroom chalets and “BnB Lodgings” – the latter two with kitchen facilities and a choice of garden or mountain view. The chalets are the best option for budget-conscious travellers, while the BnB Lodging has breakfast included. See more self-catering accommodation in our list of 10 Best Accommodation in Franz Josef for Foodies.

Check JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat out:

JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat© JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat

7. 10 Cottages

Surrounded by beautiful rainforest yet only a short walk from town, 10 Cottages offers One-Bedroom Cottages sleeping one to three guests, as well as a couple of Two-Bedroom Cottages sleeping up to seven. The One-Bedroom Cottages are more motel-style with a studio layout and kitchen facilities. You’ll also have a private deck to enjoy views of the Franz Josef Glacier Valley. What’s more, free unlimited WiFi is available. See more recommendations like this in 10 Best Family Accommodation in Franz Josef.

Check 10 Cottages out:

10 Cottages© 10 Cottages

8. The Terrace

Set in the centre of Franz Josef township, The Terrace offers a convenient stay with free unlimited WiFi. Many rooms offer 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 more “upmarket” Mountain View Studios with a kitchen. Additional extras 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

9. Punga Grove

It’s hard to beat the setting of this motel nestled in the rainforest. The motel is designed to maximise the views of the surrounding landscape through outdoor decking areas, conservatory windows and floor-to-ceiling windows. Choose from studios of different styles and prices to two-bedroom units for groups of families. What’s more, Punga Grove is centrally located just a short walk from the town’s services and attractions.

Check Punga Grove out:

Punga Grove© Punga Grove

10. Glacier Highway Motel

A modern motel set 4km north of Franz Josef township, Glacier Highway Motel is another fantastic motel option. The accommodation has 12 units with a modern architectural design and fresh furnishings. Families and groups are well catered for here with one and two-bedroom spa units, as well as family units with kitchens and a dishwasher (yes, you read that right – a dishwasher!) Other facilities include free WiFi, Sky TV, free milk and baby cots and highchairs.

Check Glacier Highway Motel out:

Glacier Highway Motel© Glacier Highway Motel


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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