If you're a true hotel person, your classiest offering in glacier country is the Te Waonui Forest Retreat, in Franz Josef, the only Qualmark five-star and Enviro Gold hotel on the West Coast. You'll feel enfolded not only in luxury but also the rain forest, as the new hotel has been carefully built to fit in and not intrude on the trees. From concrete jungle to real jungle, is their mantra. Even the welcome is green—on arrival guests receive a green (and nutritious)
kiwifruit juice. Enjoy the possum fur pillows, underfloor heating in the bathrooms, and decor designed around the local environment (glacial white foyer, dark rain-forest bar, and even glowworms on the ceiling). Two-night stays are encouraged—not only to give more chance of fine weather for glacier trips, but also to sample both the à la carte and five-course, degustation dinner prepared by international chef Charles Noville. Hahana Day Spa offers a full range of treatments and therapies in the hotel, while guests are encouraged to wear their luxury bath robes down the rain-forest path for a soak in the adjacent Glacier Hot Pools.