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“Motel with horrible manager named Pete”

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Aspen Court Franz Josef
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 December 2017

An unfortunate experienced occurred on 15 Dec 2017. The motel has a check out time of 10am, and I was in my room till 11am. During that one hour of over staying, no one came to remind us to check out. My wife and I forgetting to check out first, went out for our glacier hike. After returning from our activities (about 4pm), we realised the time was rather late and I immediately proceeded to the reception to do a late check out. It should be noted, there was nothing in the room, not a single note reminding me that I have over stayed.
Even though the motel offered absolutely no reminders of any sort, I offered on my own accord to pay a late-check out fee. Pete (the duty manager) refused and in a very rude and unfriendly tone, demanded I pay for a full night stay. He stated the charges would be NZD$300, even though he was fully aware I had another hotel booked for tonight (which I was unable to cancel). I doubted Aspen court was worth NZD$300 per night. I showed him my booking slip which indicated I only paid SGD220 (NZD 233) to Expedia for this room. I offered to pay this amount, but the manager disagreed and said that I owed him NZD$242.25 + 15%(commission to Expedia) = NZD$278. He actually claimed Expedia was going to pay him NZD$242.25 even though my receipt clearly stated I paid Expedia SGD220 (NZD 233). I certainly can’t proof that Pete was lying, but would Expedia suffer a loss on any transaction? We argued over this and finally my wife suggested booking a night with Aspen Court through Expedia right now. Pete immediately refused, without giving any valid reason. I went on Expedia to check, and guess what, Expedia was merely charging NZD$175! Remember Pete stated it costs NZD$300 per night, while Expedia was only charging NZD$175. What a great difference! Was Pete lying again? Note, I ensured the description on Expedia exactly matches the room I was staying in, so it was a fair comparison. I seriously feel that Pete was a lying scoundrel out to grab our money due to our unfortunate mistake in checking out late. We argued over this until some customers came to check in and Pete suddenly put on a smiling face and asked us to come back later. Was there something he didn’t want other customers to hear? Perhaps he didn’t want other people to know how he bullied his customers?

After I showed him Expedia’s price of NZD$175, he eventually gave in and we settled on the amount of NZD$220 (note I still paid more than the NZD$175 Expedia charged). This is a most unpleasant experience. I sincerely suggest that no one should stay in Aspen Court as long as Pete is working here. Was Pete a lying/money grabbing scoundrel or merely doing his duties as a manager? I leave that for the reader to decide. I would be happy to return to Franz Josef, but I would never ever allow myself, or recommend anyone around me to stay in Aspen Court so long as Pete works here.

Room Tip: Do not choose this hotel
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  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Teo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeteNickalls, General Manager at Aspen Court Franz Josef, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2017

Well hello again Teo R. Thank you for placing your side of the story, am always happy to discuss any problems you may have had through this forum.
A little naive of you don't you think, expecting to check out at 4.30 in the afternoon? By that time all my staff have left for the day and no possibility of preparing your room for resale. Had my motel been full for that night I would have had to relocate a guest to another Motel at your expense. I would have thought it was You who were rude, thinking only of yourself. I am positive your room was ready for Your arrival.
I do not, nor have no need to lie regarding the price you paid for your first nights accommodation and have no problem at all in charging you again for the second nights tariff. I did try to explain to you as best I could when you were in reception but even when faced with written proof you did not seem or want to face facts.
As often happens when guests find themselves in an awkward position of their own making and facing a monitory loss they, as both you and your companion did, resort to threatening tactics of bad Trip Advisor reviews. Once you lowered yourself to that level I have found there is not much point continuing the conversation, hence settling on the $220 payment.
I find it most unfortunate that we have had this disagreement and certainly take no pleasure from having to deal someone such as yourselves who refuses to take responsibility for there actions and with total disregard for others they affect.
Thank you for the scoundrel tag, that's a new one!





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21 - 25 of 1,276 reviews

Reviewed 15 December 2017

Clean. Perfect location. And spacious with a lovely feel to them. Comfy beds!
My parents and my brother stayed in a 2-bedroom apartment while my husband and I stayed in a studio.
he kitchenette was so well organised. Everything we need are all there. (A shout out to the cleaner, we went out one morning so early, left all the dishes in the sink and thought we would clean them when we returned. But little did we know, the cleaner cleaned everything for us. And there were lots of dishes as we all had breakfast in the 2-bedroom apartment).
It's a perfect location. Walkable distance to all the shops and restaurants. Perfect after a long drive to Franz Josef. We have decided next time when we go back, we will stay there again for sure.

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank vivianswlai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeteNickalls, General Manager at Aspen Court Franz Josef, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2017

Hi guys and thanks for the review. Great to hear you found everything to your liking and do hope to see you all back in Franz Josef another time

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Reviewed 14 December 2017

My fiance and I stayed at Aspen Court for two nights. We were in NZ for two weeks total and this was our favorite accommodation of the whole trip. It was a much better stay than even the 4 star hotels we stayed at in Auckland and Queenstown. We were in Room 3, which had the jetted spa tub in the bathroom and I think it was definitely worth the extra money to get the tub. We had very active days while in Franz Josef so the spa tub was a nice thing to come back to and helped us unwind for our long drive to Queenstown. I also appreciated the email from the motel of helpful tips etc. we received a couple days before check-in. I would highly recommend staying here and when we return to NZ/South Island, we will for sure stay here again.

Pros:
- Close to everything. Restaurants, helicopter tours, basically everything was walking distance from Aspen Court.

- Extremely clean room, bathroom, kitchenette. All dishes and utensils were immaculate.

- We used the laundry room and it was also immaculately clean and being able to buy detergent from the front desk was amazing.

- Bathroom with the jetted tub and warm towels was lovely

- Parking right in front of your room

-Wifi is strong and reliable

-Comfortable, soft bed

Cons:
Really can't think of any!

Room Tip: Paying extra for the spa bath in your bathroom is worth it.
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  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jackie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeteNickalls, General Manager at Aspen Court Franz Josef, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Jackie D and thanks for the lovely review and great to hear you had the time to spend two nights with us. Yes the spa baths are a great way to unwind after a busy day of hiking up around the glaciers etc. We hope you are having a great time down in Queenstown and look forward to you returning to Franz

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Reviewed 8 December 2017 via mobile

Travelling around most motels are fine - but it is those that have all those little extra touches that make the stay so much nicer. Like super helpful staff, help accessing the laundry, unlimited internet, ample towels. This motel had all those special touches and so we heartily recommend.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
Thank KiwiHelen_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2017 via mobile

This is a very nice, basic motel. Modern, well-appointed and spotlessly clean rooms. Very convenient location. Right across the street from lovely hot pools and next door to a great restaurant. Sue was quite helpful in lining up local activities. A winner!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Jon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aspen Court Franz Josef

Address: 76 Cron Street, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7856, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Franz Josef
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Franz Josef
Price Range: $164 - $377 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aspen Court Franz Josef 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New contemporary motel complex situated within the centre of Franz Josef Village. Affordable spacious, warm and modern accommodation in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Qualmark rated four star plus ... more   less 
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