Chateau Backpacker & Motels, Franz Josef

1,104 Reviews
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Chateau Backpacker & Motels Reviews

Ace hostel

Great place, stayed with a large group of people and lots of room for socialising any bonus of not being a dry hostel too. Heating was awesome and kept us toasty.

Age 27 | scottish

Outstanding. character, free extras, nice staff

Very nice and responsive staff. A cool place in a good location, free soup and bread, free tea, free WiFi which is very nice in NZ where many places charge, and free hot tub, very nice after a day of tramping. The room we stayed in was great and the two bedroom building had its own little kitchen. I will stay here again when in Franz Josef.

Age 42 | us

Great staff, hot pool and atmosphere

Loveliest hostel, people were so helpful and charming. Love you jo!

Age 51 | Israel

Pleasant and comfy, close to amenities, friendly staff

Stayed in Westport the previous night and Chateau Franz helped us overcome the trauma. Helpful and friendly staff, a backpackeress from Israel made chocolate chip cookies for general consumption; peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.

New Zealand

Anytime again!

We stayed two nights at Chateau Franz. The owners and staff are VERY nice and helpful!!! ... locked my key inside the room and dropped it just above a street grate the next day. Quite chaotic days ... nevertheless, no one got angry but everyone smiled and helped out!! Rooms are clean and the terrace is a nice place to hang out after climbing the glacier.


Chateau Franz Backpackers is an inexpensive BBH-registered hostel in a convenient location in the town of Franz Josef. It feels a bit overcrowded since it is registered with BBH and several hop-on/hop-off buses stop out front. Despite this, the hostel is relatively comfortable and, again, in a great location.

The Location

Chateau Franz is one block from the main street, which is where the grocery store and bus shelter are; however, most buses will pick up and drop off right in front of the hostel, because it is in a cul de sac with three or four other hostels. It's about a twenty minute drive to the glacier, but if you plan to walk, give yourself a few hours because the footpath is very windy.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are a variety of room options, ranging from single to five-bed dorm, and they seem to make an effort to keep the dorms divided into all-female and all-male rooms as much as possible. The bottom bunks are a bit short, making it difficult to sit up all the way if you're a bit tall, but overall they're pretty comfortable. The downside is that there are no personal lights, and there is only one outlet for five people in the room, and it is difficult to find outlets in the rest of the hostel building. There are no lockers, but the door to the room locks securely.

There are only four showers and four toilets in the main hostel building, which sleeps a large number of people. But the facilities are kept clean, with plenty of space to change and hang your clothes.

Common Spaces

There is one main common room on the second floor, attached to the kitchen. It has a large TV with Sky TV as well as several movies, which you can check out at reception. It is full of small couches and a couple tables, and features some board games. Unfortunately, the TV can get loud sometimes, making it a bit difficult to sleep, and there are no visible outlets in the room for laptops or anything. But otherwise, the room is very nice.

Next to the common room is a large kitchen, which is kept very clean and organized, with all the cooking gear you will need. It can get fairly crowded at night with everyone cooking, despite its large size, so you may want to plan on eating a bit early or late. Next to the kitchen is a separate room with several large wooden benches and tables for eating, which seem to be used regularly. There is a room full of computers with internet and Skype access, but they are very expensive. Wi-Fi is also available through IAC.

It is a very big hostel, with a large number of people, so you get a pretty varied crowd in terms of party people and those looking for something more subdued. But there doesn't seem to be too much partying in the common area, so it isn't very intrusive.


This hostel is comfortable and inexpensive, but crowded It's a good place if you'll only be there for a couple nights, but if you plan on staying in town longer, then you may want to stay somewhere with fewer people.

Tyler-Rose Veguez
United States of America


A really quirky place. I stayed in a motel room, with a shelf-full of memorabilia of past times and old photographs of the surrounding area. The kitchen area was well equipped. The room had a table and chairs and a comfy sofa on which to relax after a long day. The dressing room/shower and separate toilet were very clean and the shower hot and powerful. To cap it all, there was a TV with all channels. The rest of the complex was almost surreal, with the buildings decorated with old tools, horseshoes, and findings in general. The staff were extremely helpful and Robin and Helen are an asset to this place. And yummy free soup too. And a book exchange. Go there -- it's a treat and so different from faceless establishments. One to remember!

Glynis Reay

This place is pretty rancid. It smells a bit a house that on old lady lives in shortly before sh*t snuffs it and can't keep the place clean anymore and is too proud to accept help. In fact it smells a little like what it would smell like after she died. Worst hostel I stayed at in entire NZ. Kitchen is pretty skanky too.

Jonathon Chambers
United Kingdom

More reviews...

Chateau Backpacker & Motels Reviews from the Web

Very very untidy / dirty in both bedrooms and communal areas


Really well run hostel, nice staff, free soup at night and free breakfast. Tho cold in general a heater in the bedroom was magnificent on a chilly nights stay. Thoroughly recommend.


Great stay! Blown away by how lovely it was and how much it went above and beyond to make our stay amazing. Free soup and excellent breakfast


Stayed for one night, was very quite but did the job. The sheets were a bit dirty, but I loved being able to use the hot tub and the location was great off the Main Street. Free breakfast and soup as well.


Awesome bed bunk (quiet, privacy curtain, outlet, light) but space a bit tight, free breakfast


The breakfast is very good and lot of choice. Coffee and tee for free. Very lovely and very clean!


Liked: The beds in this hostel were great and had a full curtain. Charge ports at each bed for electronics. Didn't like: Showers and common areas were a bit cold during my stay. There were not enough room keys for all guests in my room.


Big private room, shared spaces nice, helpful staff and easy to get to.


Liked: Great location - Close to all the tours and facilities, bars and restaurants. Didn't like: Mould everywhere.


We ended up staying here for much longer than expected as our tour up to the glacier kept on being cancelled due to weather. But part of the reason we extended our time here was because of how comfortable the hostel was and how friendly the staff were. The extra privacy that the pod like beds give along with good wifi, a plug and USB slot by your bed and a light are the simple things that would make any backpacker happy. The staff, especially Ed and Josh go way beyond what is expected to ensure that you have a pleasant stay and you enjoy your stay in Franz Josef. I've travelled the world and stayed in many hostels along the way, but it's Chateau Franz that we will remember for the quality of the service and the hospitality we received. Thanks for everything guys, and congrats on the great service you offer. Jenny and Rachael.




Liked: Very nice staff and comfy beds. Didn't like: Quite cold in the dorms.


This was a nice place to stay, except the room was really pretty cold. The staff was nice though.


Liked: The spa Didn't like: The window didn't lock onto the balcony


Liked: This hostel was absolutely fantastic and Ed the manager couldn't have been more helpful! He gave us great advice about the glacier climb which meant we were able to do it and didn't miss out! He called the company and arranged it all for us and he kept checking every half an hour about the weather for us! He also booked our hostel in queenstown for us and gave us a list of things to do in queenstown too, he was really brilliant! We stayed an extra night but due to time constraints we unfortunately couldn't stay any longer. The hostel itself is brilliant too comfy warm rooms and so much free stuff which is actually free and good! Excellent wifi, continental breakfast and tasty soup that's served with pizza breads, pies and all sorts depending on the day. Best hostel we've stayed at in New Zealand so far :) Didn't like: The tumble driers don't really dry!



At Chateau Franz we provide you with a unique West Coast experience, our decoration theme being from the gold mining past. Come and stay with us and enjoy our warm and friendly atmosphere, where you can enjoy the cosy log fire or sit on our deck in the sun and enjoy the rain forest and magnificent mountain views. Located centrally in town, we are within walking distance to shopping, cafes and bars.

After your Glacier hike, soak in the FREE hot bubbly spa pool and then have a bowl of FREE hot delicious soup. We have two comfortable lounges, two fully equipped kitchens and drying room, big screen TV and D.V.D's, Free WIFI, FREE video & D.V.D library and Popcorn.

We can provide you with independent information and booking service for all activities in the area.

We look forward to making your stay a happy and memorable one.


* Non-smoking rooms
* FREE spa pool
* Guest Laundry on site
* Clothes Dryer
* Two fully equipped Kitchens
* FREE hot delicious soup
* Two Lounges
* Big Screen Sky TV in Lounge
* FREE video & D.V.D library
* Internet access
* Free WIFI
* Safe Deposit for valuables
* Booking Office
* BBQ outdoor dining area
* Popcorn

Location and Contact


• Located in central Franz Josef township, close to shops and other attractions
• 8-10 Cron Street Franz Josef off Condon off State Highway 6
• Franz Josef



Address: 8/10 Cron Street, Franz Josef (Franz Josef Glacier), New Zealand

Chateau Backpacker & Motels is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Chateau Backpacker & Motels Franz Josef (if you know the URL of their website, let us know and we'll add it)
Phone Number: 0800 728 372
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Family-Friendly Hostel

Solo Traveller



Luggage Storage


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Towels (1.00)

BBQ Grill

Board Games

Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking

Hair Dryers

Hot Showers

Hot tub/Jacuzzi



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Outdoor Seating

Swimming Pool


Wheelchair Accessible

Airport Pickup

Lockers in Rooms

Service Animals


Min. Age without Parent: 18

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8am-8pm winter, 7.30- 9pm (summer)

Size: Very Large (100+ beds)


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