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“Nothing better than an average residential stay” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Colonial Ridge Retreat

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Colonial Ridge Retreat
3.5 of 5 Ranch   |   4 Fleet Street | Salamander Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2317, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Nothing better than an average residential stay”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

Don't expect to feel like you're on holiday. If you're here for the outdoors, then it is cheap with a voucher but the rooms and accommodation were poor to be optimistic. Not at all a resort which is quite deceiving a name. Has privacy as it is secluded from others though. Our cabin had a carport so we could drive right in which is very nice.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

We have just stayed at the Colonial Ridge Retreat for 3 nights. The rooms were very clean, yet slightly dated. The kitchenette is basic, there is no oven, but tea and coffee (plus mini-milks) were provided. We were a little disappointed after reading reviews stating people had complimentary breakfast boxes, as we didn't receive this. The freezer was a bit dirty, so we avoided using it.

The location however is wonderful. Minutes walk from the sea, general store, bottle shop, chemist, 5 minutes drive from the bigger shops. The retreat was quiet on a whole and in a nice secluded area.

The only negative wasn't experienced by myself but my partner. I had read that the front desk staff could be rude and this was something that he confirmed. However he did state that the girl that checked him in was very abrupt, like he was wasting her time, but also stated that it could just have been her personal manner, and that she doesn't realise how rude she can come across (yet surely the management must have read some of the reviews on here).

The staff also took note of my drivers license number which is the first time this as ever happened in any hotel/resort etc I have stayed in.

All in all, for the money paid, this is a great value for money retreat. The few things that were wrong, weren't of major concern. We had a lovely stay and recommend if you are on a budget, stay here.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

We have stayed 3 times now and this will b the last. Each time has gotten worse. The cabins need an overhaul- need new AC, even install ceiling fans, fix all taps eg: replace washers, ensure the floor waste doesn't back up into bathroom after a bath, vaccum with an empty vaccum so it picks up hair-pubic's and head hair, ensure lights work inside and out, fix handles on drawers and cupboards, make sure taps and faucets don't leak or spray water the wrong way.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

Nice if slightly tired rooms. Quiet position in a back street. 5 Min walk to the local club. Tennis courts available on site.
Try to avoid Kathy on the Reception desk if you can.
If you arrive at 1.30pm Kathy will inform you that "Check in time is 2.00pm" regardless of your having checked out the area and seen that all the rooms are in fact ready.
This is the first time in all my travels here at home or overseas I have encountered Kathy & her attitude.
Do not let her spoil your holiday, this is a nice spot, well positioned with large comfortable rooms.

Room Tip: Ask for cottage 27 as it has a great position & view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sydney
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

You may think I'm crazy but I was a return customer of the resort because the Scoopon deal was appeared again last year.
My first trip was fine for the low price we paid.
Booked in for a return visit in June. Since reading all the bad reviews and dreading facing the reception ladies, I returned with low expectations.
Upon arrival, I was so surprised that I was greeted by a smile by the lady at front desk (did not catch her name) and she was very helpful in explaining where our cabin was and how to book the tours.
Opening up our cabin door, I was greeted with a strong smell of air fresherner. A bit too strong to my liking but nothing the opening of windows could not fix. (Port Stephens air - gotta love it)
Checked around the place and it looked like I was transported back in time to last year - everything was the same (or maybe it was the same for years and years) and the TV was not flat screen. (so it means that not every cabin has a flat screen TV)
The air con worked fine but very noisy. We did not need to turn it on at night as the blankets were sufficient.
The sheets and towels were clean and the the overall cleanliness was fine.
My kids were freaked out by the giant ants that got into the bathroom at night but there were only a few and easily taken care of.
The kitchen was well equipped and we were able to cook small meals on the stove tops (no oven) . Breakfast was provided along with milk, sparkling wine, cereal, spreads and bread. It was more than enough for the 4 of us for the 2 days.
Ample hot water and no problems with washing machine and dryer.
We checked out on Sunday and reception was not open then so we did not have to face the reception staff again.
So all in all - second trip was incident free.
This place is really just a place to come back to sleep - if you want a relaxing time at a resort where facilities are important to you, you should book somewhere else.
Would I come back again? Maybe not - twice is enough! In Port Stephens, we are spoilt for choice and prices are quite low in winter time anyway for better accommodation.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

Like the others, I also bought a scoopon voucher and wished had checked here first before doing so...
It shouldn't really call itself a resort as there is a level of expectation when does so. The rooms are very dated - furniture, carpets, beds are all old so it's hard to verify how clean they are/were. The blankets on the beds still had hair strands on them when you remove the coverlet which makes you think whether it's been cleaned since the last use. Our heater broke down on our last night which made for a very cold night. The TV - which is at least a flat screen - is too small for the room that we have to squint to watch anything.
That said, the point of the trip is to be outdoors which is what we've tried as best as we can.
Port Stephens is such a lovely place ... would be better to stay somewhere else to complement the lovely place.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

Like most reviewers we had purchased a Scoopon deal last year. By the time I got around to ringing to book a weekend (in January), they were completely booked up until June - in fact we were lucky to squeeze in before the voucher expired. The woman who took my booking (Megan) was fairly brusque in manner, and had certainly not had much customer service training, but she got all the details right which is all that really counts! When we arrived we were checked in by Kylie, who was very efficient, although not overly friendly. But who cares really? She did her job, gave me the key and that was that.

We found the cabin to be much larger than we'd expected, and it was neat and clean, which was quite a pleasant surprise after reading all the negative reviews on here! Yes the furniture was old and daggy, but it was pretty standard for this type of accommodation, certainly nothing I hadn't seen before (and I've definitely seen worse).

The kitchen was well equipped, but no oven (as previous reviewers have mentioned), reverse cycle aircon kept the room warm (although it was very noisy), and the beds were pretty comfy. The television looked brand new, and had a DVD player built in. There was no bath but the shower was REALLY good, nice water pressure and lots of hot water :)

All in all we were pleasantly surprised by our weekend away to Colonial Ridge, I wish we hadn't read all the whingey, negative reviews on Tripadvisor as I spent weeks stressing about it, and almost cancelled altogether. People seem to expect five star service when they've only paid budget rates!! It was more than adequate, and in fact we're planning another trip there when the in-laws arrive from the UK next year.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Colonial Ridge Retreat

Address: 4 Fleet Street | Salamander Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2317, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Port Stephens
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 31 Specialty Lodging in Port Stephens
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Colonial Ridge Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Colonial Ridge Retreat South Pacific/Port Stephens, Australia

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