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“Relaxing & Quiet” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa

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Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   1309 Melba Highway & Gulf Road, Yarra Glen, Victoria 3775, Australia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Yarra Glen
Hartford, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Relaxing & Quiet”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

Mostly very pleasant with a good sized suite. Kitchenette is minimally equipped - just a kettle and a microwave and a small amount of (questionably clean) dishes, etc. The bed was very comfortable.

I agree with a previous reviewer though about the HVAC and the TV remote. I couldn't fathom the instructions for the heating at all and I think my husband managed to set it through his magical ability to control machinery. However, this talent did not translate to getting the TV to work at all. The remote didn't work at all and there's no volume control on the TV set itself, so we had to watch on the second set in the bedroom to get our Olympics fix.

Overall, pretty, relaxing & quiet, but not quite good enough for the cost.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balgownie-Estat... R, Manager at Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Dear Popadin,

Thank you for taking the time to share your stay experience at Balgownie Estate.

I am sorry to hear that you had experience difficulty in operating the television unit and HVAC system featured in the room. In line with the resorts conservation efforts, the heating and cooling system works on a high and low temperature setting, where once the room reaches the set temperature the system will cease to continue warming the room above the setting. If the room temperature is noted as been below the high set temperature, the system will start re-heating the room to get it back to the temperature set. The operation of our entertainment system can be quite confusing for some guest. The system has been set up to have the one remote operating both services, rather than on two devices. For future reference and upon your next return, our reception desk are manned 24 hours to happily accommodate guests queries and requests, including the functionality of your television and HVAC system.

I am pleased however to hear that your overall stay was enjoyable. Sincere thanks once again for your feedback, as it only assists us in our continuous improvement plans to deliver an exclusive experience.

We look forward to be a host your next relexation escape in the Yarra Valley.

Fondest Regards,

Hester
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584 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
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MANSFIELD
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012 via mobile

This is our second visit and again we enjoyed every minute. The room was very well presented, unlike some other reviews the room was very clean, management are listing to others comments. The bed and the pillows were very very comfortable, this can have a big influence on a stay, well done. There is plenty of room to spread out, nice comfortable furniture on which to relax. Good size bath room and the spa bath was excellent. Although it is a bit expensive, it's worth splashing out on occasions. Recommend a visit to the Day Spa, truly amazing.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balgownie-Estat... R, Manager at Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Dear DavidJo001,

Thank you for taking the time in sharing your stay experience at Balgownie Estate.

We truly appreciate your feedback. As you have well commented, it only helps us in our continuous improvement endeavours to enhance our future and return guests, like yourself, stay experience at Balgownie.

We look forward to welcoming you and your guests back to Balgownie Estate in the near future.

Kind Regards,

Hester
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lilydale, Australia
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

We were very disappointed with our experience compared to our previous stay a few years ago.

First impressions were that there were cobwebs and spiders on the roof all around outside, including our balcony. The picturesque views were diminished by the bleak winter, resulting in no greenery or flowers. The walking track was slippery and very muddy due to wet weather.

One of the main attractions was the hotel pool. But this time, most of the spa jets did not work at all - the volcano jets, back massage jets, etc. The water, supposedly heated to 28 degrees celsius according to the sign, was too cool to enjoy for any length of time anyway.

The sauna would not heat up to a useful temperature either. I ended up having a hot shower in the bathroom to warm up, since the shower inside the sauna was far too cold, and would not heat up...

In the room, we were not able to cook our own breakfast as planned because the "kitchenette" consisted of a sink, and microwave to heat the popcorn for sale on the bench.

The TV quality was terrible via the yellow S-video input, with HDMI picture disabled. I suspect that the remote provided is intended to disallow changing the settings for BYO movie players, forcing guests to purchase the expensive movie subscription, and watch pre-release movies in poor quality due to S-video connection.

Finally, the room was freezing without the heater on, but I could not sleep due to the rattling of the air conditioner every time it switched on and off!


The food and service at the restaurant was top notch, but aside from that we almost wish we had stayed home.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Balgownie-Estat... R, Manager at Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
Dear JDSLivinitup,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent stay experience at Balgownie Estate.

I would like to convey my sincere apologies that on this occassion we had failed to meet your expectations as a returning guest.

The points of concerns of which you have raised have been noted, with a scheduled refurbishment program to be undertaken within the coming months to improve our Health club facilities, including that of our Experience pool, steam room and gym. The noted TV quality issues experienced have been addressed by our Maintenance department to avoid inconvenience to our future guest. Like in most hotel/resort establishments, the in-house movies is standardised service provided for guest to utilise if they wish to view at their leisure.

Balgownie offers varying room types, most of which our One Bedroom Spa Suites offer guests basic kitchenette facilities to utilise during their stay. There is only one room type offered, being the Directors Suite, that allows guest to utilise a functional stove. If upon your return one is required please do not hesitate to contact us to enquire the availability of the room so that we can do our best to accoommodate your plans.

The resort encourages guest to assist us in our conservation efforts, hence the heating and coooling system are activated once the occcupant is in the room. The system works on a high and low temperature setting, where once the room reaches the set temperature the system will cease to continue warming the room above the setting. If the room temperature is noted as been below the high set temperature, the system will start re-heating the room to get it back to the temperature set. Our reception desk are manned 24 hours to accommodate guests queries and requests, and we would have been more than happy to have provided you with an alternative room or extra blankets for your comfort.

Thank you once again for your feedback as it only assists us in our continuous improvement plans to deliver an exclusive experience. I am sorry to hear that your return stay had not lived up to your prior experiences at Balgownie. This is not the impression of which we like our guest, particularly a returning guest, to leave with. We will be undertaking improvement and refurbishment works in the coming months to enhance our guest experiences. We hope that you will be provided the opportunity in the near future to be of host to you again. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly to assist with your return stay.

Fondest regards,

Hester
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

I had been looking at Balgownie for some time, and booked a week or so before. Booking was easy and quick, helped by the lovely front desk staff who offered me a glass of champagne on check in which was a truly awesome touch, and makes you feel as if the weekend is going to be truly luxurious.

Unfortunately though, for the price I paid for the two nights (and probably because of the price I paid), the room and the rest of the experience fell a little short of my expectations. On entering the room, I noted straight away that the coffee table and kitchenette bench had not been wiped properly, there were moisture rings from coffee cups and sticky fluids left on the coffee table, as well as an old potato chip underneath it. The ledge in front of the spa window had sufffered water damage and was cracked and falling apart and the spa plug was a little dodgy, not sealing properly and being very hard to remove.

The TV/DVD basically was an infuriating set up where the in house movie system needed to be unplugged for the (advertised) DVD to be watchable (no instructions, you'd need to be AV savvy to work this out), When the DVD was plugged in, the TV was pumping out audio so loud, that we couldn't watch it, sadly it couldn't be turned down because the standard TV remote was replaced for the in house movie box remote.

I was impressed by the approachable and friendly staff, so thought I'd help them out by letting them know my issues for their future reference. When I ventured over to reception to notify them of these issues, they were extremely friendly and apologetic, acknowledged that they were aware of certain issues in their rooms, offered me a change of room (which I was impressed by but declined), and assured me that while I was out during the day, that someone would come in and fix the TV and the dirty surfaces.

When we returned however, my room key didn't work. So I went to reception again, where they gave me a new key. On returning to the room, it was clear that housekeeping had been, however the surfaces were still dirty, the potato chip was still there, and the DVD/TV hadn't been touched!! They'd also left a Mini Bar slip with items charged which I had not used (however to the credit of reception staff, these were quickly and apologetically waived!). I had a bit of a laugh, a shake of the head, and put this down to a one off poor organisation or their being very busy, and went on with life.

The coffee nespresso machine was great, although it may have required a service, as it took a long long time to draw water though and wasted one capsule in the process. The HVAC controls were confounding and required more luck than skill in setting a temperature, however the room was never cold. On the contrary, it was quite comfortable.

That thankfully was where the minor inconveniences ended. The bed, was supremely comfortable, the pillows were amazing (I'd love to know where to get them!!), and the spa bath was an awesome set up, large and comfortable to lie in and I think i fell asleep in it while watching the TV through the window into the lounge! I think i'd like to design an ensuite with this feature in my place!

The property is really nice, The steam room, gym and heated pool provide a welcome time killer during the day, and a place to stave off unwanted kilo's from the good produce on offer in the region.

Again, the staff were wonderful, friendly, and well trained in customer relations, I paid the full price for the two nights (no vouchers, or freebie eDeals), a little disappointed that my experience was not up to the standard I'd hoped when you're paying close to $1000 for a 2 night stay in a Spa Suite room. That is quite a lot of money, the sort of money I'd be happy to pay without complaint if only the nice experience wasn't otherwise marred by seemingly simple lapses in detail. I came away disappointed that what I'd been looking forward and was happy to pay a premium for, didn't live up to my expectations. Pity.

I'd probably let friends know of the accommodation at Balgownie, but I'd make my experience known (both the good and the bad), and convey my indifference, so that anyone can make the decision to stay themselves.

Room Tip: Spa Suites are up higher and have nice amenities and a good view of Yarra Glen.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Balgownie-Estat... R, Manager at Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
Dear Danny_RM,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent stay experience at Balgownie Estate.

I would like to convey my sincere apologies for not having followed up on the housekeeping and technical concerns brought forth during your stay. It is not a norm of our standard delivery, and to have made you felt that your feedback had been disregarded.

The operation of our entertainment system can be quite confusing for some guest. The system has been set up to have the one remote operating both services, rather than on two devices. Our maintenance manager have looked into the volume issues encountered.

As you have mentioned, we are in the process of reviewing our room maintenance programs to address the issues conveyed.

I am pleased to hear that you had slept well and enjoyed our Health Club facilities during your stay. The beds are from Dunlop, with a Downia mattress topper placed to enhance our guests stay experience. Pillows had been recently replaced and are also from Downia.

Thank you once again for your feedback as it only assists us in our continuous improvement plans to deliver an exclusive experience. If you do find yourself within the Yarra Valley in the near future please do not hesitate to contact me directly to assist with your return stay.

Fondest regards,

Hester
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

We arrived at approx. 6:30pm with the air temp at around 8degrees. On entering our room it was freezing - disappointed that in the middle of winter that the room was not heated. We left one of our keys in the room to keep the heating on whilst we had dinner at the Restaurant (which was also very cool). On returning to our room our 2nd key card did not work so we went to Reception. We were then given 2 more cards which also did not work. We went back to Reception (in the rain and cold) and this time the man on the desk came back to our room and opened it with his key. He later slipped to key cards under the door which did work. Any other time of the year these problems would have been forgivable, but not in Winter on what was suppose to be a special night on our anniversary. Regards, Linda Crawley.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
    • 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.
Balgownie-Estat... R, Manager at Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Dear Mrs Crawley,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent stay experience at Balgownie Estate.

I am sorry to hear that your initial experience in our room had not been inviting. The hotel employs a conservative policy throughout the resort, hence the heating and coooling system are activated once the occcupant is in the room. However, as you have discovered, we do not impose these policies on our guest, but rather encourage them to assist in our cause during their stay with us. Likewise, in a public area, such as our restaurant, our conservative efforts are applied to our best, but understand and agree with your feedback that it should not impede our guests experience.

In the upcoming months, we will be changing our door locks to another system to rectify issues encounted with magnetic strip cards. Unfortunately, as you are aware this is the most common inconvenience for hotels' who utilise these key cards as they are easily deactivated by mobile phones or credit cards. Hopefully on your next stay you will be able to experience the integration of the new locks in accessing your room.

Once again I appreciate your comments and if you do find yourself returning to the Yarra Valley please do not hesitate to contact me directly to assist you with your stay.

Fondest Regards,

Hester
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa

Address: 1309 Melba Highway & Gulf Road, Yarra Glen, Victoria 3775, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Yarra Valley > Yarra Glen
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Yarra Glen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa is ideally located in the heart of the Yarra Valley less than 1hr from Melbourne CBD & Airport. Boasting contemporary first class spa suite accommodation with spectacular views across the valley, Rae’s Restaurant, Cellar Door with complimentary wine tasting 7 days, Health Club, Natskin Spa Retreat, modern conferencing and leisure facilities plus more! Whenever you visit, you are guaranteed a memorable stay in the heart of Victorian wine country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Hotel Yarra Glen
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort And Spa
Balgownie Vineyard Retreat Hotel
Balgownie Vineyard Retreat Resort
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa Yarra Glen, Yarra Valley, Australia

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