Hi Andrea, Thank you for the email. I was intending to do this. Firstly your organisation was excellent and everything flowed efficiently like clockwork. Murray, our driver picked us up exactly on time at the Airport Gateway. He was informative, personal and made some recommendations. We enjoyed his conversation. He asked for a voucher, but accepted our assurance we did not have one. Rydges Latimer was excellent,.
Bloody Mary's restaurant was very good, but the wine list overpriced. We had to barter with reception over our breakfast at 6.30am, because the dining room did not open until 7.00am. Eventually they were agreeable and it was fine. The breakfast buffet is excellent. Our bus arrived at 7.10am, a little early but it was ok. The trip to Mount Cook was well commentated with appropriate stops. The weather was unbelievable, so we saw Mount Cook. The Heritage room was dated, but the view was good. The buffet at $NZ 62 per head is up there, and not that good. The restaurant menu in a word is weird, so we did not take it. We took the Argo Tour which was good. Graham the tour guide was very good and personable. For our trip to Dunedin we were surprised when Kim turned up in a car for us, as we were were waiting for a bus. Reception at the Heritage told us we had to wait at the back of the Hotel for the pickup, but we stayed at the front and Kim from the Tour Company found us. Kim also asked for a voucher. He was ten out of ten. He was engaging in his conversation, but a reflective listener,who took us off the main track a couple of times. Kim is a young man who is passionate about his country and his job. He shared himself with us. As a retired senior executive of an extremely large organisation, I would have employed him in a eye-blink, and probably promoted him a week later. He went out of the his way to show us a Maori Art sight, and parts of Dunedin he did not have to after a very long drive. Kim picked us the next day precisely on the time and continued his proud commentary, of the other part of Dunedin he had not shown us the day before. The bus drive from Dunedin to Te Anu was official, with little commentary as you advised. However, the bus driver dropped off everyone at their Hotel, including backpackers. We opted to s tay on the bus, as we had a shuttle connection. It was there. We got on and the women driving took us 200 metres to the Hotel, where others had got off. Bit of a joke in fine weather. She demanded a voucher. We were not impressed with the Distinction Hotel Arriving at 7.00pm ish, the reception people were uninterested, insisting we had a car. The room we were given was as far as you could get from reception, we had to carry our own bags up two flights of stairs and I am guessing wheeling them 300 metres. I have not had to walk to planes as far as this was! The room had no balcony, and minimal view because of the trees planted in front of it. It is also dated. We did eat at the restaurant because of the reviews on Trip Advisor. At breakfast we were joined, by others who were in adjacent lower class Hotels, who did not have to walk as far as we did. However, the breakfast buffet was ok. Real Journeys shuttle picked us on time, and took us the 70 metres to the bus station. This was a total joke. wanted a voucher. We then were told to wait inside for the bus, which was outside locked. The passengers from Queenstown had priority seats, so we were split up. Stuff happens. Milford Sound was incredible in brilliant weather. Bus trip back to Queenstown was fine. The Scenic Apartments was very good. However, if you have to walk, and have a bad knee like me, the trip up the hill. and then the driveway is not good. The breakfast buffet was excellent. The trip over the lake for the BBQ was evening was fine. Tip for Queenstown or Christchurch is to go to Pedros House of Lamb, see Tripadvisor, unbelievable and fed us for three days for $NZ40, The bus to Franz Josef was good. The Scenic Hotel Suite we had was the disabled room, at street level. However, no noise. Breakfast was very good. The trip to the resort by bus was good with informative bus drivers. The resort we stayed at was not really suitable unless you had your own transport. The eco room was 500 metres across the highway, up hill. We had to leave our luggage why we waited for a vehicle to take the luggage. Then we had a 1.5km walk up a steep hill on the side of the highway to Pancake rocks. It was good. Then walk it back again. The restaurant menu, and there is no other place to eat, has not changed for three years. Fortunately, we had some self catering supplies, because we had 500 metre walk to a restaurant to spend a lot of money, on stuff we do not normally eat. Bus arrived on time and took us to Greymouth. The train tickets were fine. We wanted to tick of this trip ad one of the great train trips of the world. We have done the Orient Express, the Bernbau and the Swiss Alps this year. The TransAlpine is good but it is not great! Our pickup at Christchurch was waiting for us with our name on a board. I do not not his name, as he never introduced himself. Our silent trip to Rydges Latimer, was only made interesting, when he decided to follow us into reception, which we had already booked in on line, seeking a tip. He did not get one. We enjoyed ourselves, and the organisation, and in general the service we received very good. Thank yo. Not criticism, just feedback.