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“Privately own apartmans and managed by average management” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ramada Resort Shoal Bay

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Ramada Resort Shoal Bay
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   35-45 Shoal Bay Road, Shoal Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315, Australia (Formerly Shoal Bay Resort & Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Shoal Bay
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Privately own apartmans and managed by average management”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Great location, oposite beautiful beach! We stay in one bedroom apartment. We stay there three days and place was not serviced. They said they are 4.5 star and I would say more likely 3.5 star. Outdoor pool was cold, restaurants attached to hotel was very average (decor and food) and no concierge available. I wouldn't stay in this hotel again.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

We stayed here last year for 3 nights, and lets just say the bedding was absolutely appaling, it was so uncomfortable so I would never stay again for that reason. The other facilities such as the restaurant and the day spa are really great. So if your looking at going don't stay here but definitely come to and have a meal at their restaurant or a service at their day spa.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Booked a 2 night getaway with my wife for the June long weekend. Selected the Heritage room, beachfront with balcony. Arrived Saturday afternoon and check-in proceeded smoothly. Room consisted of a king-size bedroom just inside the door with an adjoining bathroom with corner spa bath and separate shower. The room also included a neatly hidden cupboard laundry, a small kitchenette with large fridge, cooktop/oven and microwave oven. Furniture included a 4seat round table, a 2 seat leather lounge, and one seat leather chair. Flat screen tv, plus a DVD player. Balcony furniture included two outdoor chairs and a small side table.
Issues: there were inadequate/non-existent instruction manuals for tv operation - found Foxtel by accident. Digital tv coverage of free to air channels fell out frequently. A IPod dock was also in the room, not plugged in, and when plugged in, discovered not to be working.
Bathroom had only one plug, which did not fit any plug hole. Toilet constantly ran, emptying the sisters causing it to be filled-up every 10 minutes - wonderful e sound to have beside a bedroom, all night.
No shower cap.
Supplied toiletries were sufficient for one person, and were of very average quality.
The room was not made up - the hotel has a number of accommodation packages and not all rooms are made up daily. Our rate included daily servicing, which was confirmed with the front desk. We complained over the lack of service when housekeeping had not removed rubbish, made beds etc by 5pm. We were told that this was a busy weekend and other rooms needed to be made up first. We pointed out that the hotel had taken our booking, demanded upfront payment and would not provide cancellation refunds, therefore it was entirely up to the hotel to provide the advertised level of service. They apologized and reiterated that they had been busy. Getting nowhere with the conversation we pointed out that the standard was unacceptable.
Room service - due to the lack of information in the room we sought advice from the front desk that room service was available from the searock cafe which is internal to the hotel. We were assured that as we were in the Heritage room, we could have room service. We placed the order and were called when it was ready - to come and collect the meal. We were advised then that the cafe was too busy to provide room service. My wife is disabled and unable to leave the room to go to another venue for a meal without time consuming preparation there, feeling trapped, I went to collect our 'room service' meal. I was shown the meal at the kitchen but before I could collect it, I was told to go to the bar to sign for it. The queue to order meals was 30 deep. I went back to the kitchen and told them that I was not prepared to wait in a queue to sign for a meal while it went cold. The meal, by the way, was fish, chips and steamed veggies. Sensing my frustration the kitchen staff called the bar staff and arranged for me to go to the front of the queue to sign for the meal.
We met other patrons during our stay who expressed similar frustrations.
WiFi was available - at a premium rate of $5 per hour. Suggest a better alternative is to go to the coffee shop 50m down the road, where WiFi is free and the coffee and service are good.
Breakfast is buffet style and very basic. No option of cooking to order was available. Bacon was cooked in bulk and obviously finished off in an oven where it was then placed in baine-maries as 'bacon slabs' with the outer layers burnt and inner layers uncooked. Table service was good, with frequent removal of used crockery.
Late check-out was available - but at a cost. $30 for a 1200 checkout, $50 for a 2pm checkout.
To be fair, we did not use the spa facilities in the hotel. We did meet a young couple in the lift, shivering while dressed in swimmers, as they had been ordered to return room towels as they were not allowed in the spa area.
Shoal Bay is a lovely place, but the treatment of guests by this hotel is a sad reflection on overall hospitality.

Room Tip: If you book a room with balcony, check that you can actually sit on it - many rooms have balcony sty...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Just got back from a 1 night stay here and really enjoyed it. Its the second time we've been, the first was 6 years ago before kids. While the decor hasn't changed, the service has - its outstanding! Met by very nice staff who were polite and knowledgable. Checked in quickly and easily. We stayed over a long weekend which is usually a 3 night min stay at most places but we got lucky and they allowed 1 night.

The room was lovely, it was in the Barrington building (there are 3 buildings l think) with side views of the beach. Only a few right at the front over the road have direct ocean views. i would NOT recommend these rooms as they are over the noisy pubs with open air live bands.

The living part was small, but the kitchen decent size. The outdoor area was huge! Although not really private as such as people can walk past and see in to your room as was the case with us. The outdoor furniture was a little old and the floor tiles could have done with a hose down but it was nothing too bad.

The bathrooms were nice. The main bedroom was the kind bed, but as we had two kids we needed to unzip it (which the staff kindly did for us when we got to our room). However, this left the adults to sleep in the double. The beds were comfortable and clean, l checked under them and pretty good!

The best part was the resort gave us 2 free passes to the kids club that night!! I didnt even know it had one. Admittedly it was in the conference room, but they converted it well to suit the kids. The night we used it there was only 1 other child, but have been told that they often have to turn people away as it get really busy. The kids loved it and would have stayed for longer if l let them, so much to do the choices of activities were amazing. The only condition was that you have to dine in one of the restaurants associated with the resort. No problem as we planned to anyway!

Which brings me to Catch at Shoal Bay restaurant. Amazing. Loved it, really nice food and exceptional service from Dean the F&B Manager. He was attentive and polite. We didnt have a booking and they were full but managed to squeeze us in. The other restaurants with the resort are a little ruff for my liking.

The pool was really warm for winter. The kids loved it.

The staff booked a dolphin cruise for us no probs and were happy to advise which was best for families, very knowledgable.

The only thing l didnt like was the live music. Seems a shame to have a band belting out load music during the day when you just want to relax and take in the beauty. At night l can understand, but not during the day, you are in such a beautiful place it would be nice to hear the birds and boats floating past instead of load music.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Collaroy Beach, Australia
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

Booked 3 night getaway with wife and 20 month old son. Arrived on Friday and hotel was pretty empty. Wanted to take my son for an indoor swim and not allowed. Housekeeping did not arrive to clean room on Saturday and Sunday until after 5pm. Overall this place is not 4.5 Star. The quality of the Spa is really poor. Have previously stayed at Peppers Anchorage Port Stephens and wished we had again this time. Tried to order room service in the apartments, unable to do so.. Had dinner in the SeaRock. Had to queue to order food for 20 minutes. Staff seemed oblivious. This is a below average hotel, with poor service and for this time of year not child friendly. Peppers Anchorage Port Stephens is really good and wished we had stayed there instead!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Stayed at Shoal Bay resort for 1 night with husband and 3 kids in a 2 bed appt. We arrived early at 1230 so rang and checked on rooms availability knowing that checking was not till 2pm. Checked again at 2pm, 2.30pm and 3pm. At 230pm knowing we were on site and waiting with 3 children house keeping had still not started in our room.

Finally got to my room at 3.45pm. Hotel was disorganised and unable to organise house keeping. The kitchen was also still dirty d trundle bed not in room and made up as requested.

The 4.5star rating is too high given the quality of room facility and service. Would rate 3star.

View is beautiful but building and facilities are tied and service is not up the scratch too reflect the prices charged.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Three of us stayed for one night in a 2 bedroom apartment in the Breakwater Tower. While quite spacious and with good views over the resort to the bay, we thought it was a bit expensive. The weather turned windy and rainy in the late afternoon and we just wanted to call Room Service for a light meal in the cosiness of the apartment. But no such thing - I guess because this is a resort and not a hotel. The only option was to order from the menu provided, and walk quite a distance along the mostly uncovered route to pick up the meal from one of the onsite restaurants, and take it back through the wind and rain to our apartment. Of course by then it needed re-heating in the microwave. Breakfast the next morning was available in The Promenade Room: another walk through the rain, up and down steps - not that easy for the elderly person in our group. Breakfast was OK, however we were disappointed that the only option was to pay $28 for a full buffet breakfast - fine if you're a big eater and like a hearty cooked breakfast. But we are light eaters and would have appreciated a cheaper 'continental' option. We will choose a small boutique hotel next time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ramada Resort Shoal Bay

Address: 35-45 Shoal Bay Road, Shoal Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315, Australia (Formerly Shoal Bay Resort & Spa)
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Port Stephens > Shoal Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Shoal Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ramada Resort Shoal Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 183
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shoal Bay Resort & Spa is the ultimate beachfront Resort perfect for romantic escapes, family holidays, pamper weekends, beach getaways, weddings, special events and meetings and business. Shoal Bay lays by the entrance to Port Stephens, overlooking the white sands and the magnificent volcanic Tomaree headlands. Boasting crystal clear waterways and extensive National Park with unspoiled bushland, Shoal Bay is certainly one of New South Wales most stunning destinations. Just 2.5 hr drive north of Sydney and 30mins from Newcastle, this award winning Resort offers a diverse range of accommodation styles and options to suit a variety of budgets and can accommodate up to 700 guests. Accommodation ranges from Standard Studios through to Waterview, Beachfront and Bayview rooms with a choice of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments located across 7 accommodation buildings. The Resort features 4 restaurants including the award winning Catch at Shoal Bay, 5 bars, the iconic Country Club Hotel, Occie’s Kids Club (operating throughout NSW School Holidays periods), Shoal Bay Resort Store, Whitesands Conference Centre, an outdoor heated Resort pool with children’s wading area and complimentary secure undercover parking. Relax at the Aqua Spa wellbeing sanctuary for adults (min 16 yrs+) offering a true Thalassotherapy experience for guests through the 3 mineral spa pools and 25m heated lap pool. Take yourself on a journey to revive your mind, body and soul, indulge in a range of menu treatments that enhance the total well being and surrender to the experience of products that will relax, de-stress and energise you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shoal Bay Hotel Shoal Bay

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