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The room was super clean and modern. Bed very comfortable. Great value and located right next to the glacier. Basic double rooms have an entire glass sliding for for a wall- which means you can hear everything outside. This is a spot for backpackers, so people are up late and loud.
The location is good for seeing the Franz Josef glacier. The key thing to know about Rainforest Retreat is that it's a sprawling complex-- one part serves backpackers and summer employees, and the other has higher end options. The higher end options--like the tree huts--aren't worth the money. We experienced the following challenges while there: - There was a major water shortage during our stay. This had happened before (google Franz Josef and water shortages and you'll see several hits), and the next town over (Fox Glacier) had running water. -The hotel staff blamed the water shortage on the city government (which was true), but did nothing for the guests during this time. Since they were shipping water in, the water wasn't potable/safe to drink, but we didn't find that out until we walked into reception. We had to buy our own bottled water to have drinking water. - The hotel staff also refused to do anything when our room had no running water-- they similarly blamed this on the city. However, that wasn't entirely true-- the backpackers had running water for their shower, and the maintenance people (who came 10 hours later) told us that a clogged water filter was why our particular hut had no water. The maintenance staff did eventually fix this so that we were able to shower once during our stay. - The walls between the units were paper thin. When our neighbors in the adjoining unit came home, we heard every movement they made, down to their lying down on the bed. - All of the furnishings were worn and had seen better days. In short, this was not worth $200 a night for a room. I would expect the hotel staff to ensure I have safe water to drink, that any maintenance issues are promptly dealt with (and that staff actually listened to their guests' concerns), and that the business tries to provide a good experience for their guests regardless of the external conditions. For somewhere nice, I would suggest you stay somewhere else, probably in the Fox Glacier township.