I’m not one to write a negative review, and I generally love most hotels as long as they have a bit of character and fair service – but I have to say, we were incredibly disappointed by many aspects of Azabu.
I arrived early in the morning from an early flight with my female friend hoping to eat breakfast at the hotel, enjoy our massages (which we had booked prior), and possibly have a swim in the pool prior to checking in. When we arrived we were greeted sternly and with hostility from the manager’s husband, who was extremely frustrated that we had arrived before the check-in time which was “strictly 1pm” and explained that the hotel wouldn’t offer breakfast without prior booking. Furthermore, when we mentioned that we had already booked a massage at the hotel for 11am through their therapist, he responded aggressively and implied that he would fire the therapist for the error in booking! (I couldn’t help but wonder if the negative reception had something to do with us being two females sharing a room?).
We ended up heading back in a taxi to Byron Bay for breakfast - at a place called 'The Eatery', go there, it's excellent! - then at 10.45am we received a curt text message from the manager saying that our massage was cancelled due to the therapist “calling in sick” (fired, perhaps?) and that we could “get a massage in town”. No apologies. No suggestion we could rebook.
Further to that, when we arrived back at around 5pm there was nobody at reception. A sign was at the desk with reception hours stated as “10am – 4pm” with a mobile number provided in case of emergency only (note emergency was written in bold). Our keys were left in an envelope for us, accompanied with a printout of our original confirmation email with the check in time highlighted, which we felt unnecessarily continued the hostility towards us due to our arrival before check in time!
The rooms were much smaller than they appeared on the website, they were cheaply detailed, and there was little sense of privacy with only a lightweight partition wall dividing us from the neighbouring room. Generally the hotel room itself was okay, but lacked any soul. The breakfast was nice but the ordering procedure was difficult to understand (especially with nobody offering assistance), and we had to order for the two days in advance, rather than choosing our meal times each day, which was frustrating as we felt uncomfortable approaching the staff after our first interaction.
All in all, this was the most unnecessarily hostile customer service we’ve ever experienced. I find it difficult to understand how Azabu has so many positive reviews on Tripadvisor – possibly there’s been a change of management?. Word of warning – don’t book this hotel – it’s over-priced and unwelcoming
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Azabu Nature Guesthouse in Byron Bay is a tranquil escape nestled in the coastal hinterland of Northern New South Wales. Located only a 5 minute drive from the trendy Byron Bay shopping precinct and some of the world’s best beaches, Azabu is the ultimate destination to enjoy all that Byron Bay has to offer. With only five exclusive boutique guesthouses elevated above five hectares of natural forest, Azabu is a unique accommodation experience. At Azabu you can immerse yourself in nature, be greeted by the local fauna including Azabu’s resident peacocks and take the time to appreciate the natural hoop pine forest that surrounds your private guesthouse. At Azabu you can relax in the outdoor pool and heated spa or retreat to our secluded meditation and reading deck. Upon waking you can enjoy our gourmet three-course breakfast, which uses organic local produce. We also encourage you to try our day spa, with local Byron Bay therapists available to treat you to a wide range of relaxation therapies using organic beauty products. Azabu is a unique holiday destination, for relaxation, a romantic retreat, honeymoon getaway, or for a little bit of Zen-time in a magnificent natural setting. Azabu Nature Guesthouse…your own private escape in Byron Bay. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Azabu Luxury Accommodation Byron Bay