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“Overpriced and unfriendly” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Azabu Boutique Accommodation Byron Bay

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Azabu Boutique Accommodation Byron Bay
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   317 Skinners Shoot Road, Skinners Shoot, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia (Formerly Azabu Guesthouse Byron Bay)   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Skinners Shoot
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Overpriced and unfriendly”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

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

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AzabuBB, Manager at Azabu Boutique Accommodation Byron Bay, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
We are sorry to hear your stay was not enjoyable. You had written on your booking form that you would be arriving at around 8am on an early flight, to which we replied on your confirmation that your room would be ready at 1pm. As we offer a late checkout at 11am, we need 2 hours for the rooms to be cleaned. We cannot let you into a room with people already in it! If you had booked the night before as well, (which is what travellers do to ensure an early check in) there would not have been a problem. We only have a chef rostered on for rooms with a meal plan included in their rate. You were talking to our Night Caretaker at 8am.
Regarding the room decor, Azabu is based on a Japanese design which is minimalistic, our rooms are identical and photographed exactly on our websites.
According to our professional Day Spa regulations no therapist (or client) may be treated if either party is sick or unwell, this is to prevent the spreading of infectious diseases. We are very strict with this requirement, I am sure you would not have wanted to catch the flu on your holiday.
You were told you were welcome to wait in our reception area, as you did not have a hire car.
Your confirmation email (which did not bounce back) stated that our office closes at 4pm, we are not a 24 hour hotel, we are a 5 room boutique guesthouse; after hours check in procedures i.e.envelope on the desk with a key, and directions to your room in it.
Azabu is gay friendly, we treat all of our guests equally. Our prices are current with average Byron Bay prices.
Your issue has been that you could not check in at 8am, as would have been the case wherever you stayed. I trust you enjoyed some aspects of your stay in Byron Bay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

On our trip from Brisbane to Sydney we wanted to stay in Byron bay but away from the crouwded beach front. So we choose Azabu because of the tranquil position naar the forest and within 5 minutes from the beach. The place is so beautifull and peacefull! Very friendly welcome and an excellent room. Beautifull designed. Absolutely perfect! Don't forgot to order a breakfast. It was the best we ever got.

Room Tip: Only five rooms so a reservation is a necessity!
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, 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.
Zug, Switzerland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Unfortunately we could only stay for one night - It should have been more. The guesthouse is located in a breautiful tropical setting. The setup is really tasteful. The small rooms are clean and the staff is very friendly. If you are looking for a comfortable getaway from Byron Bay's hustle and bustle this is the place to be.

Room Tip: Room 1 (king) offers more seclusion but the view is not the best. Verandah/balcony is above a roof.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

We needed a well deserved break from the kids and the everyday noise of life and commitments and Azubu guest house was just perfect for that. A little distance out from town that makes you feel like that you are completely somewhere else, the spa, champagne and chocolates just added to the whole experience and the staff were welcoming and ever so helpful. Definitely recommended!

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod, MA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

I think I can safely say that this was one of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed. Every detail was exquisite, and the staff was gracious, helpful, and accommodating. The rainforest is so lush and alive, and between the hanging decks and the full-wall sliding window/door, you really feel like you're in the middle of it all. Unfortunately, we weren't able to have breakfast, as we had to leave early the next morning, but everything looked and smelled incredible, and the dining area was just as gorgeous as the rest of the place! I hope to return at some point in the future!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

We chose this gorgeous spot for a special birthday celebration and we were not disappointed apart from the weather. Unfortunately the night we wanted to spend out on the decking with a wine in hand was impossible as there was a tropical downpour however we enjoyed ourselves none the less inside with a beautiful platter and bottle of bubbles all organised by our wonderful hosts Amanda and Jules. From the minute we walked in to our room,where outside there was incense burning, we knew it had a special touch. The King bed was extra comfortable, the spa was set outside in the attractive forest pool area and the breakfast room off Reception was all set amongst soothing background music and lush tropical plants and even wandering peacocks. Amanda thank you for all the little touches you did for Brian's birthday and we were sorry to miss you on our last day but Jules looked after us at breakfast. The three course breakfast was delicious and the choice is excellent. Hope to see you again one day.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

We stayed for two nights at the Azabu and very much enjoyed our time. Being welcomed by the roaming peacocks as we arrived was a unique experience and the views into the forest from the room's balcony were great and a good USP from the average hotel in Byron Bay.
The cost of getting taxis in and out of town twice a day starts to add up but this is a necessary evil for the secluded setting of the hotel and isn't an issue for those who come in their own car any way.
The rooms are not massive but certainly big enough, cozy and clean.
Staff were very friendly, always keen to help, very accommodating and cook up a great breakfast.
If you are looking for somewhere a stone's throw from the beach and in the heart of the action of Byron Bay, Azabu isn't for you, but if you are looking for a tranquil, peaceful getaway, then you can't get much better.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Azabu Boutique Accommodation Byron Bay

Address: 317 Skinners Shoot Road, Skinners Shoot, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia (Formerly Azabu Guesthouse Byron Bay)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Bay > Skinners Shoot
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Skinners Shoot
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Azabu Boutique Accommodation Byron Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 5
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 
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Also Known As:
Azabu Luxury Accommodation Byron Bay

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