Te Waonui Forest Retreat Makes Top 20 Listing 2015 Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards
Eco-lux retreat, Te Waonui has received what General Manager, Richard Bungeroth describes as the “ultimate accolade” in being named in the top 20 Resorts in Australia and South Pacific in the coveted Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards.
“Being recognised for what your guests say really is the best sort of recognition,” says Richard, who in his four-year tenure with Te Waonui has also seen the retreat awarded ‘Enviro Gold’ and a Qualmark five star rating.
Located on the ‘wild west coast’ of the South Island, Te Waonui immerses guests in an authentic New Zealand experience within an environment that is unparalleled for its raw nature and unique geological features. A visitor gateway to the Franz Josef Glacier and ‘Glacier Country’, Te Waonui is the ultimate base for visitors wanting to engage in nature based pursuits and then return to luxurious lodgings that are in harmony with the surrounds. Guests can also rest weary walking feet with a visit to the onsite Amaia Luxury Spa that offers a range of botanical based, natural treatments for an ultimately relaxing experience.
With more than 128,000 properties reviewed for the awards, Richard says the accolade is a huge boost not only for Te Waonui but the Franz Josef region and all that it offers.
With around 85 percent of visitors to the region being from key international markets, Richard says this sort of profile will add value to the region, which has already seen a tourism boost in recent years with the average visitor stay now being two nights.
Presenting as many challenges as assets, Richard says Te Waonui is a unique property in that it closes during the winter months wet season and operates with a base staff of just 4 that swells to 45 in peak season. With a multi-cultural team, international guests are more than likely to find someone on staff who can converse in their native tongue as well as a strong Kiwi experience that is delivered through the retreat’s fresh, local cuisine and Maori cultural offering.
Richard describes the hotel’s point of difference as being twofold. Location and People. Being in such a special environment and encouraging guests to actively participate through environmental initiatives such as the ‘Kiwis for Kiwis’ programme to save the local Rowi kiwi, the rarest of the kiwi species and other sustainable initiatives makes for a memorable and rewarding guest experience. The people who make up the Te Waonui team are also a very special team who are totally committed to their guests in a very genuine way.
“Te Waonui Forest Retreat is so much more than a hotel, it is a destination that is at one with nature and offers a truly special experience in a sustainable way that complements one of the most pristine wilderness environments on the planet,” says Richard.
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