We've stayed at Peppers Retreats and Resorts throughout Queensland, New Zealand and New South Wales. We got married at Pepper's Convent, and ever since, we generally look to the Pepper's brand whenever we want a get away.
Pepper's Anchorage is good, but not great. We stayed in an Anchorage Room, which was pleasant enough. The location is wonderful on the Marina, with a very short walk to the beach. There are plenty of activities in the area: fishing, swimming, yachting, golf, and lots of family activities like 10 pin bowling, paintball, go carts and so on. There is heaps to do and a lot to recommend the locale.
With respect to Anchorage, first the good points: The staff were all very helpful and friendly and our meal at Merrits (?) Restauraunt was of a very high standard. For example, the staff saw we had booked a sunset cruise, and helpfully suggested several light meal alternatives for dinner on our return. This was very helpful advice and greatfully received.
The rooms are largely well appointed and generously sized. The venue seems to attract a lot of weddings, we saw two over the two nights we were at the Anchorage and they seemed very pleasant and well run.
But the Anchorage lets itself down in small ways which detract from the experience. I think a lot of them could be fixed with relatively small changes, and would make a big difference, enough to justify the addition of an extra dot in the overall rating. They are, in no particular order:
1) The mini bar fridges are exceptionally small, making it very difficult to store more than a half dozen bottles or so.
2) Only two bath towels are supplied in each room (with an extra two for the beach/pool). This is a bit on the stingy side, and if one misses a room service, you're stuck with a damp towel.
3) Our bathroom lacked that "wow" factor that we often see in Pepper's properties. While clean and functional, there's just something missing. I can't put my finger on it, but maybe its the lack of any wall hanging, or the fact that the aqua bath tiles and ochre floor tiles are a little dated, or maybe that there's no unifying theme... I'm not sure what it is, but an interior designer woould probably be able to sort it out without a wholesale refurb.
4) Water pressure from the shower is abysmal, but the tap to the bath has great pressure. I'm guessing someone's gone for the super stingy uber-water efficient shower heads. Think the episode of Seinfeld were Cramer is reduced to sourcing black market shower heads...
5) Some odd admin practices. We had drinks in the upstairs bar and only needed to tell the barman our room number. Had breakfast each day and just had to let them know the room number. Then we had dinner at Merrit's, and we got a call after we'd returned to our room and were getting ready for bed that we had to come back and "sign" for dinner, even though we were charging it to the room. Not sure why. But it seemed a little odd and very annoying.
6) The day after wedding number two, there were empty bottles and half finished drinks strewn around the grounds, which looked a little unsightly.
7) Look, it's a personal thing and people have different preferences, but the pillows were rubbish. Those super soft squishy things that mean two pillows gives you a kink in your neck, and one's not enough. Neither of us slept particularly well.
Don't get me wrong, this is a great property, and we had a lovely time, but some making some small changes would make it an exceptional property capable of delivering beautiful experiences.
- Also Known As:
- Peppers Anchorage Port Stephens Hotel
- Peppers Anchorage Port Stephens Hotel Corlette
- Peppers Anchorage Hotel Port Stephens
- Peppers Anchorage Resort Port Stephens
- Anchorage Port Stephens Corlette
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury Accommodation by the SeaAll 80 rooms and suites have an individual balcony or porch, most with unobstructed views over Port Stephens. Intimate guest lounges are found on both levels of two accommodation guesthouses. At Anchorage Port Stephens we are large enough to provide you with superb guest facilities but small enough to ensure your stay is intimate and relaxed. Only two and a half hours drive from Sydney,Anchorage Port Stephens is the perfect seaside weekend escape. ... more less
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