We stayed at Amytis Gardens from a voucher that was purchased through Spreets. When i booked i was informed that due to popularity they had extended the promotional period, which was great as we had parents visiting from Overseas the only week day available. The extension period however only had two spots available on a friday and saturday and during the week but we would have been in Japan. We were informed that if we couldn't stay during the week we had to pay an additional $200 for the weekend. Despite the voucher not specifically saying that it was not available on weekends or there was additional charges for weekend stays, i agreed to pay as i didn't want the voucher to go to waste.
Upon arrival to Amytis you drive up a service past other properties that are a mess and do not really give a good first impression of the spa. We were taken through several key things at the reception desk, but was unimpressed that we had to do our own dishes at the end of the stay and to wash the glasses by hand because their cleaner was unable to carefully open the dishwasher to avoid the glasses from breaking.
The "chalets" are not really what i would call secluded and private. The chalet we stayed in was right next to another chalet which we could see straight into, and vice versa. The layout of the Chalets could have been better thought out. The Bedroom looks right out onto the service road, so there is no sleepy lay ins admiring the "spectacular view", because there was no view and if walking past you can see straight in. The walls of the bathroom did not go all the way to the roof, so anyone in the chalet can hear you go to the loo. Not very attractive. The spa is in the bathroom with the toilet and shower, so once again, if you are sharing the spa with your husband/wife etc enjoying a nice glass of champs and one needs to pop to the loo - no chance, cover eyes and ears.
The website claims that it is situated on 16 acres of rainforest. This is not rainforest at all, i wouldn't even call it thick bush. There are bush trees (gum trees) but it's not very picturesque. There is a pond of black looking water which was not very appealing as it hardly looked like clean damn water. There is no vegetation around the chalets so they are exposed and not private. There is a pool and BBQ area but this is all share/communal equipment and attached to the main spa.
Part of the deal we had was a continental breakfast and complimentary bottle of wine. The breakfast included was hardly large enough for 2 people x 2 days (see picture). The breakfast we had was waiting for us included 4 mini boxes of Kellogg's sugary cereal, 4 eggs, yoghurt, fruit and toast. The wine was horrible. A clear skin fruity white wine which was horribly sweet. We didn't the eat breakfast apart from the eggs and toast.
When the website states it has a kitchen please be advised that this includes a fridge, microwave and sink. There is also a toaster, and kettle. The hot plates they have are electric plug in the wall hot plates. Trying to cook eggs and bacon in the morning was the biggest nightmare. What a simple breakfast but it's dreadfully impossible when the frying pan doesn't sit flat on the electric hotplate. We gave up on even contemplating cooking a dinner or breakfast the morning and ended up having to go into moorchydore to eat.
When it came time to check out, i had to go looking for someone to advise and hand the DVD's we borrowed back to. After waiting in the reception for 10 minutes and ringing the little bell, i went on the search and found the lady sitting in another building enjoying a cup of tea with someone. When it's 9.45 and check out is at 10am it would make sense that there would be someone at reception.
I was unimpressed that we were forced to pay this additional $200 which at the time of booking i thought "not a problem they are busy i understand" when we arrived there was one other chalet with people in it (and the ladder on the rood gave me the impression this may have been occupied by friends or family or a longer term stayer). I was furious we had to pay additional money when the place was empty.
There was also an incident with my credit card prior to arriving where when i made the booking i authorised the payment of the additional $200. A week later i was then issued an invoice for the $200. When i enquired i was told that they didn't process it through while i was the phone to them and when they did finally process it was declined. I then informed them that i was not happy that the payment was not processed when on the phone and they card would not work as i was booking accommodation for our trip to japan. I did not hear anything back from them. I then checked my credit card several days later and saw they had just went and processed the $200 regardless of the email telling them the card would not be able to used.
I am aware that this needed to be paid, and i had agreed to this, but i was under the belief that it was processed while i was on the phone to them, not 7 days later. While i waited for a response that didn't come in relation to me telling that it wouldn't go through, i find that they just process it anyway is not good.
I have also included photos of additional charges including a $40 cleaning fee if the cleaner has to clean, or an additional $25 (or $30 depending on what page you look at) for wood if you require more wood for the fire. If you go in the winter take your own wood, it's cheaper and you get more if you buy it from a servo.
Overall, while this place was clean and tidy but it is not something i would call romantic. As my partner said to while we were watching TV "what a shame if i was planning on proposing to you because this place is a massive disappointment,i thought this place was supposed to be cosy and romantic, it is anything but".
For the same price you can go to The Mouse's House in the gold coast hinterland, for a truly wonderful, private, secluded, romantic get away.
Ps. Two of the lights didn't work, included the outside light so we couldn't sit outside after dusk. Didn't really bother us too much,but worth a mention. For a 4.5 star one would expect all lights to be working.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A private Mountain hideaway amongst 16 acres in the Heart of Australia's Nature Coast. Just 10 minutes behind golden beaches of the Sunshine Coast, offering superb mountain chalets. Amytis Gardens provides the ultimate getaway. Cooking classes for the foodies, and a Day Spa to restore your bodies energies - nurturing massages, face and body spa therapies are a must. Chef prepared meals are available for those of you who wish to escape the kitchen, and breakfast baskets available. Four Chalets, well appointed with sunken spa bath and crackling fire place offer a complete escape sanctuary. Each elevated chalet is decorated in a French Provincial theme, with the Australian treetops your view from the indulgent sunken spa bath. Polished timber floors sweep throughout to reach exquisite Argentine hand painted glass window features. A panel of white shutters separate lounge from bedroom giving you that holiday feeling. Not to mention the radiating warmth of your wood fireplace keeping you toasty on winter days. Equipped for comfort with kitchenette & dishwasher facilities, you have the freedom to make a snack or your own personal banquet if you desire. Relax with a book on your private balcony or take a leisurely swim in our ozone treated swimming pool - float away looking up to clear blue skies and cool native Eucalypts. You can even keep in touch with the office ...if you must. The chalets are air-conditioned and have screened wooden louvers to catch the cool of the summer breeze. Native birds surround your Chalet (including a few cheeky kookaburras...), and local wild-life are frequent visitors to our natural coastal region. Escape back to nature with simple luxuries within reach at Amytis Gardens. ... more less
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