Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fox Glacier: Ropatini's B&B

When we travel, we try to avoid huge chain hotels... not that there's much chance of a sprawling hotel complex in Fox Glacier, population 258. This time, our search for a charming place to stay led us to Ropatini's, a garden homestay bed & breakfast about 10 minutes' walk from Fox Glacier's main intersection.

Trish and Collin were gracious hosts. They shared colorful stories of their life in New Zealand and the visitors they get trooping through Ropatini's. Before opening up Ropatini's, Trish worked at heli-hike operators Alpine Guides (now Fox Glacier Guides) and both Trish and Collin ran the local backpackers'; lots of interesting tales there.

Trish's sideboard table was constantly laid out with freshly-baked muffins, bread, and chocolate chip cookies. It was the first B&B I've stayed in that welcomed us with afternoon tea... perfect after the long bus ride up from Greymouth.

We loved the postcard views of Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps from their picture windows. Terry the Thar (complete with plastic nametag) presided regally over the dining room as we breakfasted on boiled egg, toast, jam, cheese, muffins, orange juice, and tea.

Ropatini's dining room
The guest rooms set an equally high standard, with comfortable beds and spacious, well-lit bathrooms. I'm particular about my showers and these were heaven. The two Garden Studios stand side-by-side in a free-standing cottage a few steps from the main house. Guests also have a choice of two rooms in the main house; an ensuite room with a super king sized bed, and a queen room with a shared bathroom.

Ropatini's guest room

Ropatini's shower   Ropatini's sink

Plan lots of extra vacation time if you book at Ropatini's, as getting out of bed will be a challenge! The in-room TVs were tiny, but who goes to Fox Glacier to watch TV? They also offer free wi-fi, if you've got your laptop with you.

Restaurants in Fox Glacier stop serving dinner fairly early - around 8:30 pm. Every evening Trish would call into town to see which cafes were open that day and who was still serving meals. All her recommendations were excellent. My favorite was The Plateau, beside the glow-worm forest.

Trish and Collin made us feel more like family than visitors. We had a great stay and I will happily go back any time!

Information and Contact Details
  • Ropatini’s is at 87 Cook Flat Road, Fox Glacier.
  • Directions: They’re between the school and Sunset Motel; ask the coach driver to drop you off in front of their driveway.
  • E-mail:
  • Phone: 0800 009 644 (toll free local) or +64 3 751 0779 (international)
  • Rates during low season range from NZ$130 to 200 per double per night with breakfast for a one-night stay, with a NZ$20 or more discount per night if you stay multiple nights

Fox Glacier churchRead the previous entry or check out the rest of this New Zealand trip series.

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At December 28, 2006 3:16 AM, Blogger Zachary said...

accidentally found this place, just want to say hi:)

At December 28, 2006 5:53 PM, Blogger Ching said...

Welcome Zachary! I like the tagline on your blog: "Growth in wisdom may be exactly measured by decrease in bitterness." Very true.


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