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“Great family resort, but terrible customer service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay

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Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   265 Sandy Point Road | Salamander Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2317, Australia   |  
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Ranked #11 of 28 Hotels in Port Stephens
Newcastle, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
“Great family resort, but terrible customer service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2011 via mobile

The swim-in/swim-out accommodation is great, but the water feels like it's straight out of a fridge. Great for kids who can't feel the cold! :-) The restaurant/cafe staff have no idea how to deal with customers. When asked if there was any snacks available we were told an abrupt NO despite an array of cakes being available directly adjacent to the desk we enquired at. The correct response should have been 'The restaurant is closed, however there are cakes available at the counter behind you' (the counter had no one attending it so we weren't sure if it was open anyway). In the evening we tried to get some dinner but were told there were no tables available at any time during the entire evening (for two people only) - despite there being twenty free tables outside. Again, the correct way to respond should have been 'We have no more room inside tonight, but if you're happy to sit outside I can fit you in'. It seems the staff need to go back to hospitality school- if they ever attended at all!

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
OaksHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay, responded to this review, October 9, 2011
Thank you for posting your review of Oaks Pacific Blue. We are disappointed to read of the customer service you experienced from the restaurant staff. As the restaurant is run by an external company we have ensured to pass your comments onto their management team to address. We apologise that this has impacted negatively on what we had hoped would be an enjoyable stay. We hope we may have the opportunity to welcome you again.
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494 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2011

We stayed for a night in one of their studio apartments with kitchnette and small garden in June 2011. The room also had a 2 seater sofa and dining table. The hotel has a circular lagoon (like a small canal) which most the accommodation is centered around so that the guests have direct access from their rooms onto the lagoon. Our room did not offer that as it was in the main hotel close to reception but we had access to all the facilities had we needed them. The hotel is also close opposite a large shopping centre and not far from the main town and facilities of the Nelson Bay area. We would love to spend more time there during the summer as it looks like a great place for a family holiday. I have also suggested to our company that we consider it for our annual conference.

Room Tip: Not all rooms are around the lagoon but the price charged seems to reflect that
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2011

We stayed mid September and overall the experience was quite pleasant. Reception were fine on arrival and room clean. I did have to wash some of the crockery again as it wasn't completely clean but this was a minor detail. We stayed in a 2br apartment opposite the lagoon pool and it was a lovely outlook.

Only concern was that the gardens in common areas and each villa seemed to be overgrown and poorly maintained, with many weeds, which while in itself was not really a problem this does not convey a good message of the outdoor maintenance...sort of made you wonder if their maintenance contractors hadnt attended for some reason in a long time....

Reception on the morning of checkout was a bit curt and seemed too busy and somewhat stressed, other than that, a great place with plenty of positives (awesome pool, clean apartment, very spacious, good value for money)

  • Stayed September 2011, 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
    • 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.
OaksHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay, responded to this review, September 29, 2011
We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay at our resort and the apartment was suitable for your needs.

We do apologise that there was some minor cleaning of cutlery that you had to attend to; we will speak to our Housekeeping department to ensure this is rectified for all future guests.

Thank you for also making us aware of the garden maintenance as we will speak to the Hotel Manager and ground staff about this.

We do hope to see you again soon at Oaks Pacific Blue.
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Sydney
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

We stayed at the Oaks Pacific Blue on the first weekend of September with some friends and it was lovely. It was a self contained apartment and a swim out, which gave us easy access to the amazing pool, which wasn't as cold as I thought it would be considering previous reviews. The apartment was clean and didn't include housekeeping but I had enquired about that on booking so I knew that already.

On checking in reception was very helpful, gave us directions to our room and showed us where we coud park. We had to call for extra crockery and cutlery as we had booked for a rollaway so we had 5 people staying but only had 4 sets of plates etc...housekeeping came straight down with them so that was no problem. I have stayed in a few places where we've needed a rollaway and they often forget the extra crockey and cutlery.

The resort was relatively quiet when we stayed, but knowing that kids like to get out and in the pool early, and due to all the rooms being in close proximity to the pool, I can see how this resort would become quite loud during summer and peak periods, but if that is something that wouldn't bother you it wouldn't matter.

My only complaint would be on their restaurant. We went there for dinner on the Saturday night and it wasn't overly busy but they were VERY slow in service. We were told to purchase cocktails at the bar, then stood there for 10 minutes before being served because the 1 poor person behind was busy trying to fill orders from the tables. No one came straight to our table to take our drink order, we had to signal someone to eventually take our food order, then our plates sat empty in front of us for a long time before we managed to catch someones eye to get our bill. When we asked if they were particularly busy that night, we were told the chef was in the kitchen on his own. Having said that, the food was fabulous and came out rather quickly, the issue I found was with service. Because of this I probably wouldn't go back, even though the food was good.

All in all a great resort to stay, good for families, probably not for couples wanting a week/weekend away.

Room Tip: Swimout/Pool access room can be loud, but are the drawing card of the resort.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 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.
OaksHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay, responded to this review, September 21, 2011
Thank you so much for your review on tripadvisor.

It is lovely to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your holiday and that the accommodation and facilities were perfect for your stay.

We will ensure to pass on your positive feedback to our Hotel Manager and Housekeeping department regarding the helpful and friendly service you received.

It is however, disappointing to note that the restaurant service was slow but so glad to hear that your meal was great!

We look forward to welcoming you back to Oaks Pacific Blue in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rutherford, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

what can i say in one word to discribe this place Heaven we have been to this resort many times and on every viist we have never been disapointed what a treat to just sit around all day and do nothing except watch the world go by nothinhg is ever too much trouble for the staff here and the accomodation is spotless the spa and pool area's are to die for just park up and let your holiday or short break begin famliy coming over from the uk in jan 2012 got all booked in for a short break cant wait to show them our piece of paridise :)

Room Tip: go for the apartments with swim out's or the 3bed apartments with thier own plunge pool
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  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2011

My Fiancee and I have stayed at this Resort numerous amount of times.. but have now decided that this stay was our last.
We love the lagoon pool that goes around the resort, the view from your balcony if you have a lagoon view or a swim out room, the tennis courts, spa and lounge chairs on the balcony out by the spa's and on the sand and the rooms are spacious and Fantastic for families, groups and entertaining.
The downfall is... that the Lagoon Pool is cold most of the year! April - Oct..So just incase I advise to bring a WetSuit or WetSuit top as you don't want to catch a cold...even when the sun is up and out it's FREEZING! Especially in the months of May, June, July & August.
The Restaurant that use to have a Seafood Buffet...which when I first went there in 2007 - Was the best I had ever had..the quality of the food was to die for and the value was Amazing...Every time we stayed here back then the Restaurant was always full...Guests were happy and I picked up that a lot of locals also came here for dinner but this no longer exists, which is a shame as I thought that was a great attraction to bring more to stay her.
The 4.5 Star Resort has dropped significantly in standards and everytime we've stayed it looks like it is becoming more empty by the year... unless they have really good deals on the web for couples, families or groups of friends and unless its school holiday's.. But with a great kitchen and open lounge area for entertaining..on our 4th, 5th, 6th trip we found equipment & standards especially started disappearing each time we stayed...
They use to provide trays for the oven to bake or roast in now there is nothing? I called the Reception and asked if I could have these brought to the room as this is standard for a oven to at least have it's trays inside but instead I was questioned with..Well did you ask for this when you made your booking?? Then got told we had to bring our own or when we book to put it in the Notes as they didn't have any that I could use?? So my fiance went to the Centre and bought a dish. This certainly was the first for me..
They Use to have the "Welcome Folder - which goes tell's you about the Resort's facilities, Restaurants menu's and Opening times of such area's on the coffee table when you walked in now there is nothing in the Room, you receive sheets or A4 & A3 paper with the menu printed on it of the restaurant and of the hotel's facilities (As someone who works in Marketing - How are you meant to grab the attention of someone to come and spend $$$ at your facilities???When for a 4.5 Star Resort, this information looks like boring Wanted Sign Reports?
Housekeeping??? What housekeeping??? This time on our 3-day stay as we used a voucher? There was none and we I rang the reception the next day to see what time they would come and got told Sorry, as you are using your voucher it does not say you require this service? and I said well it doesn't say it's not included in the deal either and I have already stayed here 2 x times prior using a voucher and I got housekeeping both times? I just got a "The housekeeper must of made a mistake both times as you were not meant too."

Customer Service here needs to be reviewed and refresher classes maybe required. As on the phone at Reception when you call to make a booking by credit card or to redeem a voucher or when you check in is appalling, rude and as a Trainer developer - disgusting! As I am a Platinum Card Holder on many airlines and Gold member of many hotel chains, I have received better Customer Service from the resorts caretaker's, restaurant staff & at the McDonalds Drive thru across the road at the centre. It's a pity as this use to be our must stay resort every year now that was our last.

Room Tip: Call resort when you book online or have a voucher as there seems to be a lot of services they do no...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OaksHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
We are very disappointed to hear that you didn’t enjoy your recent stay with us at Oaks Pacific Blue and that there were a number of issues that you encountered during your stay.

We will speak to our Hotel Manager, Housekeeping and Learning & Development departments to ensure these problems are rectified and handled correctly for future guests staying with us.

We are very sorry to hear that this has left a bad impression with you however; we do hope you will consider staying with us again in the future.

We do appreciate your loyalty and honest feedback therefore, if you have any further concerns that you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to contact customerfeedback@theoaksgroup.com.au.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

I have stayed here twice now and love it so much, we stayed in a Studio Room this time with Kitchenette and spa in bathroom, it had a little patio out the back with tables and chairs, what a wonderful room, the pool is the best I have ever seen and I travel a lot, the eggs benedict for breakfast was excellent, staff are friendly and helpful, we were only going to stay one night but the next day's weather was beautiful so we decided to stay another night, there is a shopping centre, Mcdonalds, video shop, ten pin bowling all within easy walking distance from Resort, I would highly recommend this resort to everyone and I absolutely do recommend it all my family and friends, we are going to be staying again in 4 weeks when we return home to Melbourne from Sunshine Coast and I cant wait.

Room Tip: all rooms are excellent, pool rooms with own step down for swimming pool is great
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OaksHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay, responded to this review, September 19, 2011
We appreciate your loyalty towards our resort and we thank you very much for posting your lovely comments on trip advisor.

We are positive your feedback will be a great insight to fellow travellers. It is wonderful to hear that the accommodation, staff, food and location is perfect for your holiday.

We are looking forward to welcoming you again in 4 weeks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay

Address: 265 Sandy Point Road | Salamander Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2317, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Port Stephens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Port Stephens
#5 Luxury Hotel in Port Stephens
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 172
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located approximately two and a half hours north of Sydney and ideally situated to enjoy everything that beautiful Port Stephens has to offer, is the stunning Oaks Pacific Blue Resort. Oaks Pacific Blue Resort offers a choice of contemporary accommodation which includes studio, one and two bedroom apartments - some with swim-outs, along with spacious two and three bedroom townhouses with private plunge pools. For couples or singles you may prefer a premium hotel room. Please Note: from June 10th to Late August 2014 the Lagoon Pool and Spas will be unavailable to guests due to vital maintenance works. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay Hotel Port Stephens
Oaks Pacific Blue Port Stephens
Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay South Pacific/Port Stephens, Australia

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