Staying on snow is never a cheap experience, however having stayed at a few overpriced 'budget' hotels before I was very unsure whether the $440 we splurged on a night at the Swagman would be regretted. It was the only room I could find available in Perisher, and we had to weight it up against two nights at budget digs in Jindabyne. I'm so glad we opted for a night at the Swagman!
The weather was lousy - it rained all day saturday and blew a gale on sunday - but the Swagman experience made the whole weekend worthwhile. Silke and John are exceptional hosts and the other staff are competent and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble.
The Swagman is a short 5 minute ride over snow from the Skitube terminal in Perisher, and John collects guests after a call from the courtesy phone in the terminal. It was nice being able to turn up 'whenever' and not having to pre-arrange a time in advance. He transported us and our luggage to the lodge in good humour despite the dismal weather.
A three course dinner is included, another reason for me to be concerned as I'm on a gluten free diet and the lodge is a long way from the eateries near the tube. I needn't have worried as the food was great, my diet was catered for, and there was plenty to eat. We chose to sit at a table on our own, but could have joined fellow guests at some larger communal tables had we wished to. The only slight disappointment was the wine list, but we did manage to find a pretty good red.
The guests covered a wide age group - from children to older couples - including a group of single young men. It could have been a recipe for an after-dinner disaster - some wanting to sleep and others wanting to party - but in reality there was barely a peep out of anyone between 9pm and 7am. The lodge has a games room with a pool table, x box, dvd player, television, and board games, and with a separate lounge bar and open fire there's plenty to keep everyone entertained.
Our room was clean and basic but perfectly good, although we did find the mattress a little hard. The bed had electric blankets but we didn't need them as the central heating did a terrific job. The shower in the morning was hot (yay!), as was the freshly cooked breakfast. Delicious! Even the plunger coffee was too good to complain about.
A luggage room is available on check out for guests wanting to leave Perisher later in the day. It was great being able to leave our luggage while we wandered around for the morning. A simple call to the lodge when we were ready to leave Perisher and John met us at the skitube terminal with our luggage. How good is that?
I wouldn't hesitate to stay at the Swagman again if we were to stay on snow. I would highly recommend it for couples, families, or singles as everyone is well catered for.