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“First time away in a long time and well worth it” 5 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
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“First time away in a long time and well worth it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

My partner and i stayed in the barrington tower as a gift to ourselves before our baby was born in 2months time. Fantastic room it was everything we thought it would be spectacular views. Staff were very helpful and bubbly (key to great customer service). And services provided were above our expectations. Will be returning again for sure. And will be recommending to all of our friends.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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348 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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 (82)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We are a family with 2 children, ages 5 and 7. We used to go to this resort at least once a year for several years for at least 8 days per visit. We went for the location (it's an easy drive from Sydney), the kids club and the pool. We usually put our kids in kids club every day of our stay.
Our last stay will be our last stay. The resort had obviously offered some kind of deal to the public which really stretched their capabilities during our stay, and it was awful. Too many guests coming and going for cheap short package deal stays.
On weekend evenings, the kids club was filled with people who ?got free vouchers for it and our children could not get in. The only decent restaurant there (is it called catch?) was closed for a wedding one night I wanted to go, the pool was always packed.
The service was appalling. One member of staff was rude to me. Our room cleaner was lazy.
So disappointed about how this resort has gone downhill, we used to love it. After reading a lot of these reviews I can see I'm not alone in my experience.
FYI I had a massage here on one visit and it was a disgrace, more annoying than relaxing. Had a spray tan, which was excellent. The next time we stayed here I went to the spa and requested a deep tissue/remedial massage and they said that they do not offer that anymore. What other kind of massage do guests at a resort want? Unbelievable. We now go to Crowne Plaza at Hunter Valley instead. Unfortunately there is no beach there:( The spa at Crowne Plaza is amazing. The kids club at Crowne is ok but not as good as at shoal bay resort. At shoal bay I found that the staff were excellent in the kids club, they really seemed to enjoy their jobs with the kids. At Crowne they were just less happy to be there, acting like they were really doing us the biggest favour.
I suggest staying here out of school holidays when there are less guests. That might do the trick. Unfortunately our family can't come here out of school holidays, so we won't be coming here at all.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Shoal Bay hotels

Houston, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

My girlfriend and I did not actually stay at the resort but just wanted to give a big thank you to the staff here. We were staying at the other end of Port Stephens in Anna Bay and had some time to kill before we caught our flight up to Queensland so we caught the bus up to Shoal Bay to climb up Tomaree to see the beautiful view. We had a dilemma however that we each had 2 heavy bags with us that would make it difficult to hike up the mountain. We stopped in to the Shoal Bay Resort and they were very kind to allow us to leave our bags there for a few hours while we hiked up the mountain and ate some lunch. When we returned to pick up our bags the staff gave us several helpful tips regarding our next destination(Byron Bay) and would not accept our gratuity that we tried to give them for their kindness. Next time we are around the Port Stephens area we will stay here for sure.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Two nights given as a gift, so returned 5 years since the last time. Location is what this place has going for it, nothing else. It could be so good! Who is managing this place! As a general list of what is wrong, room carpet stained, uncomfortable, lumpy beds, lamps in bedroom don't work, tiles in bathroom cracked, grout dirty, toilet plastic, spa filthy, all quality is cheap quality, balcony chairs broken, lounges have been covered in water proof crypton fabric (for those who don't know what that is it is water proof fabric they use in nursing homes incase someone wees on them...lovely...not,), room was serviced at 4pm, genereally decorating basic, no curtains at window only a lining,, fluro lights in loungeroom which are bright and light, (a table lamp might be good....or but that would meat a side table too. Finally, freedom furniture is not commercial furnitre and might hold up in a domestic situation but not in a commercial situation. Spend some money on the decor, cleaning staff, and select quality. When i go away I like to enjoy where I'm staying and leave wanting to come back. I said I would never return last time and I will say it again!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SophieElvins, Front Office Manager at Ramada Resort Shoal Bay, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
Hi wq9hana,
Thank you for your feedback on ‘tripadvisor’ July 20th 2013.
We are saddened to hear that you were unhappy with your recent stay at Shoal Bay Resort & Spa in July 2013.
At Shoal Bay Resort & Spa we welcome all feedback positive or negative and would like the opportunity to investigate the concerns you raised in your comment.
You have mentioned that you were not happy with the furnishings in your apartment during your stay; We are curious to know when you stayed and in which room.
Each room at Shoal Bay Resort & Spa is individually furnished and owned. Furthermore many rooms on site are not managed by the Resort directly. Your feedback will allow us to review the room in question and investigate the standards of furnishing and housekeeping.
Thank you again for your feedback, we hope to hear from you soon.
Kind Regards,
Shoal Bay Resort & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

For a winter break. You would think they would look after you considering the place was empty. Two hard single beds pushed together, uneven surface in the middle. No top sheet. Quilt and pillows really worn out and the towels should not even have been used as bath mats. Staff were pleasant enough. Car parking situation would be terrible if raining as you have to go to another building. I cannot think of a reason to go back. Oh..and did I say the price for one night was over $200?

Room Tip: Unless you really want the view, don't pay extra. Rooms are not fantastic. Not 5 star at all.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

Got a bit of a deal via Wofit. Check in was very efficient and informative, covered all the bases. Parking is a bit tight if you have a bigger car but luckily not many guests during our visit. Would have been nice to have a window in the bedroom but the views from the balcony were lovely. Free WiFi in the lobby but you have to pay for it in the rooms. That is really poor. The buffet breakfast included in our deal was ok. The lifts in the accomodation block seemed to really struggle. Shower in room was dreadfully designed. Very hard to shower without getting the whole bathroom soaked. But we loved our break because we got see Whales from nearby Fingal Bay.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
NSW
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

Stayed here for 3 nights. Although we found the Resort very nice, Shoal Bay is very small and very quiet with very little happening - it was Autumn. Probably great for families in Summer. We stayed in a 1 bedroom apt with water views, in the Whitesands block. The heating wasn't working, we reported it and were soon moved to another room. This was no problem to the staff who came and moved our stuff for us. The rooms were clean, bed was comfortable. Located directly opposite the beach. Worst thing was the sofas which look OK but weren't that comfy to sit on. Thought the shower in a spa bath was a bit weird, and certainly wouldn't be easy for an old person.

Sandy foots cafe was quite nice, but disappointingly it closes at 2pm. The outdoor area of the pub is very nice and the food is OK. Staff throughout the resort were very helpful, nothing was too much trouble.

I would certainly go back for a short quiet break.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.

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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*
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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