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“Disappointing”

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Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lovedale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 21, 2013

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza for 2 nights in a room in the main hotel (rather than one of the villas) and wouldn't recommend it at all. Here is what we thought;

The good points,
1) The beds are very comfortable
2) The food at the Redsalt restaurant was lovely.

The bad points,
1) The rooms appear tired and in need of renovation, there are lots of little things like stains on the carpets, tears in the net curtains and water marks and scratches on the desks. Also, whilst superficially cleaned we noticed dust and dirt on the bedside phone and lamp and mould in the grouting at the bottom of the shower.
2) The pool looks very inviting but is full of dead and dying insects.
3) Whilst we were there they were doing renovations to the dining area, this was not only noisy so sitting around the pool area was far from peaceful. It also meant dining options were limited. I checked prior to booking whether to go for a bed and breakfast rate or just book a room, because when looking at the website it advertised alternative options for breakfast at one of cafés in the hotel, which we thought we would go for, as we don't always want a large buffet breakfast. However, on the first morning we were told that due to the renovations the only option for breakfast was the full buffet at AUD 38 pp. This was not mentioned prior to our arrival at all.
4) Also, we were informed via a note through our door on the afternoon of the second day that there was a large conference staying who would be having dinner at the hotel which would finish at 12am. The music was so loud you could feel it and was almost constant from 9pm until 12am! We rang reception at about 10.45pm as there was no way you could sleep with the noise and were offered that we could we move rooms. There was no mention of music or loud noise in the note they sent, when we told the receptionist that we would have moved rooms earlier had we known about the noise they could only say that 'the conference will be gone tomorrow.' As the hotel was not very full, we only checked in the day before and they knew this party was happening, there was no explanation as to why we were put in this room and not one further away.

If it was not for the refurbishments and the conference I would at a push give this 3 stars. Overall this is in no way what we would expect from a four star hotel, having stayed in other Crowne Plazas before, this was well below their normal standard and very disappointing.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Katrob2511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David B, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2013

Hi Katrob2511

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. We are very sorry to hear that you had a less than pleasant stay with us. We take all reviews positive and negative very seriously, and your feedback will help us improve for our next guest or your next visit.

Unfortunately due to the recent abnormally wet weather this has attributed to an influx of bugs in and around the resort. As the pool is one of our signature features we have increased our vigilance around this area in the short term to ensure that the bugs are kept to a minimum and out of the pool as much as possible.

My sincere apologies for the miss communication about our available breakfast options during the upgrade of the Grapevine Bar and Restaurant.

I apologise that your evening sleep was affected by the noise and music from an inhouse conference. This is definitely our shortcoming and I have addressed this with our team re the importance of providing clear communication about the occasional outdoor events we host at the resort.

Again, we regret that this impacted your experience at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and hope to offer you a more pleasant stay in the future.

Kind regards
David Bark

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1,023 - 1,029 of 1,603 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

I stayed 2 nights at this hotel in the twin deluxe room, the room was clean but dated also the walls weren't sound proof,1 bed the springs were gone & not to mention there was a slant on the right side of the bed so sleep was not be had. as for service please don't expect a great deal of service, my friends I all found it lacking with lots of huffs & tuts as if it was all to hard to crack a smile or be friendly .I ordered a trundle bed & never received it for our stay Oh & if there is 3 adults staying in the 1 room only 2 breakfasts came with the stay not 3 the breakfast cost $38 per day yes there was a large rang to choose from but we felt it wasn't worth $38 high way robbery if you ask me $38 for what bacon & eggs toast, juice, tea,coffee fruit, yoghurt, Danish, eggs cooked anyway you like & cereals. And 1 more thing if you do book a deluxe room don't expect a bar fridge there is only a cooler box in the room so nothing will keep cold.& beware of the hidden costs as well for you will end up with a surprise at the end of your stay believe me.
what was good was the location to the winery's the company I was with.
and yes the pool and gym areas were out standing and if you have a young family this is the place for you for they do cater quite a lot for that market.
for the $800 odd that we paid for our 2 day stay we do expect a lot better.
they need to pick up on their customer service for it is lacking.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank mellissa d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David B, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2013

Hi Melissa d

Thank you for your review from your recent stay with us.

Firstly I apologise that your room fell below your expectations. We are in the process of ensuring that all beds and mattessses are to the standard you would expect from a resort of this type. The hotel is going through a maintenance program where walls, public areas and rooms are being repainted.

I want to assure you that Crowne Plaza Huner Valley is very proud of its level of service and cleanliness and take guest comments very seriously and thank you for brining this to our attention
I hope we get the opportunity to show you some of our improvements on your next visit.

Kind regards
David Bark

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Reviewed November 15, 2013

Booked a weekend away in Hunter Valley and were delighted to stay at the Crown Plaza. The facilities, room and service were absolutely fabulous. The staff have gone out of their way to help with us with any questions and recommendations for food, vineyards to visit and the breakfast was outstanding. Special thanks go to Tegan and Diane for looking after us in the restaurant, you have made our stay here even more enjoyable. Look forward to seeing you again when we come back this way.

Room Tip: Stayed in 209 with twin double beds...was excellent!!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank wsmith1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David B, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2013

Thank you for your very positive review wsmith1

Always pleasing to hear that our guests are delighted with the room, service and facilities.

I will ensure that I pass on your kind words to our staff Tegan and Diane.

Once again, many thanks for tgaking the time to cmment.

Kind regards
David Bark

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

We were travelling with another couple so opted for a 2 bedroom unit which was very nice. The rooms were spacious, well laid out and very clean. A full kitchen, 2 bathrooms and large lounge was great. The unit had doors opening onto a small terrace are at the back with views of a small lake and golf course. Unfortunately there was only one outdoor chair and no table, so having pre-dinner drinks (or an other snack or meal) wasn't going to be easy.
We had read in the promotional brochure that BBQ's were available, however after paying $480 for the room we didn't expect to be asked to pay a further $50 to hire a BBQ - I though this was a little bit too much.
The resort has alot of facilities and the swimming pool area was especially great with lots of chairs, umbrellas and poolside towels available.
When checking out there was only one (very short tempered) clerk on the desk and a huge queue.. not ideal...

Room Tip: get it at a discounted price...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank HoneyNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David B, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2013

Thank you for your review HoneyNZ

Great to hear that yo uwere happy with the layout and spaciousness of your 2 bedroom villa, although I apologise that some of the ourdoor furniture was missing. This is sometimes the case of other guests utilising other villas furniture and we are putting procces in placd to rectify this.

Also, thank you for your feedback on your check out experience as this will be raised with the team. We take all feedback both positive and negative very seriuosly and appreciate you have taken the time to comment.

We look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in the Hunter Valley.

Kind regards
David Bark

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Reviewed November 14, 2013

Stayed for a conference and couldn't be more impressed with the facilities. Gym, pool, bar, restaurant all fantastic!
Booked a two bedroom villa with a colleague and it was so big we didn't even know each other was there!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Jarrod B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David B, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2013

Hi Rockalicious

Thank you for you review. Sounds like you had a geat experience and we hope to be welcoming you back sopon for yet another great stay.

Once again, thanks for your comments.

Kind regards
David Bark

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Reviewed November 11, 2013 via mobile

So central to many vineyards. And concierge are happy to give lots of recommendations. Nice views of the lake and golf course. Very friendly staff. We had an issue with our room and within 10 minutes someone was there to fix it. Room service was over priced. Although the Breakfast is better at Cyprus lakes

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank paulafromsydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David B, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2013

Hi paulafromsydney

Thanks for your review.

Great to hear you had an enjoyable stay great to hear once again that our staff were helpful. I will pass on your feedback to concierge.

Again, thanks for your comments.

Kind regards
David Bark

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Reviewed November 11, 2013

I booked a couple of 3-bedroom villas for 15 of our friends for a 40th birthday weekend away and it was a great choice. Firstly, the check-in was easy and there were plenty of room keys available as we needed one key in each room to work the lights/air-conditioning. Towels were plentiful/replaced daily and the bed quality was good. The aircon outside each villa was pretty noisy and would be my only negative comment as it dulled the outside ambience, but obviously couldnt be helped.

The villas were a tidy, neutral pallet with plenty of room to sit or lounge around, and we enjoyed having the kitchen and fridge to prepare some nibbles and store drinks etc. Great having a dishwasher to throw everything in too on the check-out as well.

We LOVED the pool area with the lounge beds and the occassional walk-past drink service. It was 35+ degrees over the Friday/Satuday so we all had a few yummy cocktails by the pool and it was easy to walk into Grapevine with your swimmers on and order a few drinks/food or a coffee from the bar. They give you a buzzer for the food. Six of us had dinner in the Grapevine on the Friday evening and whilst it took ages to arrive (~30 mins), it was delicious and fresh.

A few friends had the Sunday breakfast buffet (@ $38/pp) which they said had plenty of choice and good quality food, but I thought the price was a bit steep for a group of 15 of us (15 x $38pp = $570 and that was $$ better spent at the wineries!). It wouldve been better to offer hot bacon/egg rolls or takeaway cups of yoghurt/fruit for under $10 from Grapevine instead.

We would definitely stay here again with a group as it was relaxing and fun.

Would also highly recommend Legends Grill (at the Chauteu Elan estate) for dinner which is where we our group ate on another night and also Almighty Bus Tours for Winery tasting as we got to hand-pick every winery and they booked us in for it all, completely hassel free and great service.

Room Tip: Rooms in the East Village were an easy 2 min walk to the pool area/reception.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Meredith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David B, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2013

Hi Meredith H

Thank you for your review on your recent stay.

Great to hear the check in experience was easy and that you were provided with the amenities you required within the villa.

Our pool is great and even better on a hot day like you experienced during your stay.

Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to comment and we hope to welcome you back next time you are in the Hunter Valley.

Kind regards
David Bark

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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 Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Address: 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale, Cessnock, New South Wales 2325, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Cessnock > Lovedale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lovedale
Price Range: $120 - $411 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley 4.5*
Number of rooms: 414
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by picturesque vineyards and golf course greens and framed by the rugged Brokenback Ranges, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley epitomises the best in award winning hospitality and deluxe accommodation. Just two hours drive north of Sydney and ideally located on Wine Country Drive, the hotel offers easy access to wineries and attractions and is the perfect place for a carefree break or stimulating meeting. Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley offers deluxe king or twin rooms, spa suites and two and three bedroom self-contained villas, allowing plenty of room for you to relax. To complement your stay, why not enjoy our extensive range of on-site facilities? Rejuvenate your body at our Tea Tree Spa, reward your palate at one of our restaurants or bars, enjoy a round of golf on the 18 hole golf course, or relax in the 25 metre outdoor heated pool. You can enjoy the full range of our on-site facilities while the kids are entertained by a selection of supervised kid-friendly activities in the on-site Water Dragons Club. Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley's premier location and dedication to outstanding personal service has secured its reputation as the hotel of choice in the Hunter Region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Hotel Lovedale
Crowne Plaza Lovedale
Crowne Plaza Hotel Lovedale
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Greater Newcastle/Lovedale

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