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“Couldn't do it, had to find elsewhere...” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Hunter Valley Retreat

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The Hunter Valley Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Quorrobolong B&B and Inns
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Couldn't do it, had to find elsewhere...”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

We received for Christmas a Groupon voucher for 2 nights at the Hunter Valley Retreat referenced above. This being the first nights away without our toddler we had high hopes as the description on the Groupon website stated "$548 value In a studio cabin with daily BBQ breakfast, wine, cookies, chocolate and late 12pm checkout". For 2 nights at a value of $548 we were expecting a little bit of luxury.

However on arriving at the Retreat and viewing the accommodation I believe the advertised value greatly exceeds the value of the accommodation on offer at the Retreat, and it fell well short of our little bit of luxury expectations.

The description on their website for a "Cabin" states "Includes a spacious open plan living room/kitchen, plus one or two queen bedrooms with ensuites and private entrances."

The room we were shown to was the smallest hotel/motel room I have ever seen, it had no kitchenette, no DVD player, an old style analogue TV with digital set-top box, and no refrigerator, I certainly couldn't describe it as "open plan" since there wasn't even enough room inside for a chair to sit in (The first room we were shown didn't have room to walk down one side of the bed, and the second had the TV located inside the cupboard to save on space), nor did it have air-conditioning which I had assumed was standard in holiday accommodation in this day and age.

The welcome pack consisted of a $6 bottle of wine, a $2 box of Aldi chocolates, and a $2-3 box of Aldi choc-chip biscuits, total value about $10.

The restaurant consisted of plastic tables and chairs and looked like a school camp mess hall.

Also, this place is so far out of the Hunter that our pre-booked tour were going to charge us an extra $60 for an out of area pickup.

To be honest I don't know how they can claim to be 3.5 star accommodation when the rooms are tiny, there's no air conditioning and there are no other on-site amenities such as a pool. Nor do I understand how they're able to justify charging the rates they do when we were able to get accommodation in the centre of Polkobin for less than $120 per night which consisted of a 1 bedroom apartment with ensuite + spa, air conditioning, open plan lounge + dining, full kitchen, plus TV, DVD and Pay-TV. Not to mention they also had a real restaurant, with a bar, plus a heated pool, outdoor spa and guest BBQ facilities.

If we had paid $548 we would have been demanding our money back. If we had paid $269 (the cost of the voucher) we would have been demanding our money back. But since this was a Groupon voucher there was little the Retreat would do, in fact my complaint email to them went unanswered. However, Groupon have been good enough to offer us a $50 Groupon credit, which is more than I'd hoped for.

Room Tip: If you insist on staying here, don't get a studio room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank mkstalen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Val H, General Manager at The Hunter Valley Retreat, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
We are very sorry to hear about your experiences at Hunter Valley Retreat and we acknowledge that you would have been disappointed.

Over the last 6 months we have been undergoing renovation and upgrading and we now have a completely new Management Team.

Improvements include, New Fridges in all rooms, New Digital Televisions with DVD, Crisp White Linen on all our beds, Full Buffet Breakfast, cooked by our resident Chef, every morning. Gourmet Pizzas and a complimentary Glass of wine available in our Restaurant every evening.

We also have extended Reception hours and a dedicated Guest Services Co-ordinator to help you experience the Hunter Valley, we also have our own Wine Tour Bus operating from site to enable easy assess to the Vineyards.

We sincerely apologise for anu inconvenience or bad experiences during our renovation phase, however, please be assured that under the new Management Hunter Valley Retreat will be a completely different and pleasurable experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    13
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See reviews for
21
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Grose Vale, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

We received a Spreets gift voucher for a weekend here. Initially they would not respond to phone calls or emails when we tried to book. Poor service in this regard. Ditto to everyone else's comments on this page. RIDICULOUSLY small room, shower was only a trickle, ancient tv, DVD and set top box all with no remotes. You can only watch one channel -ABC. Once your suitcase was in the room that was all the floor space gone. Room was claustrophobic, you had to shuffle just to get around the bed. With two people - one had to be on the bed or outside for the other person to move around. 'Gift hamper' was cheap chocs, biscuits from Aldi and a $6 bottle of wine from Dan Murphys (not even local produce). Bed was so low you could have rolled off and barely noticed. Breakfast served from 830-1030. We got there at 850 no food left. Had to wait 30 mins for bacon which was slightly warm but uncooked and eggs. We only stayed one night - was too depressing to consider the second. It seemed to us that these cabins used to be double the size- as there was an internal door which has now been blocked off. Seemingly they have reduced these units in half in order to increase the number of rooms available.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kush799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Val H, General Manager at The Hunter Valley Retreat, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
We are very sorry to hear about your experiences at Hunter Valley Retreat and we acknowledge that you would have been disappointed.

Over the last 6 months we have been undergoing renovation and upgrading and we now have a completely new Management Team.

Improvements include, New Fridges in all rooms, New Digital Televisions with DVD, Crisp White Linen on all our beds, Full Buffet Breakfast, cooked by our resident Chef, every morning. Gourmet Pizzas and a complimentary Glass of wine available in our Restaurant every evening.

We also have extended Reception hours and a dedicated Guest Services Co-ordinator to help you experience the Hunter Valley, we also have our own Wine Tour Bus operating from site to enable easy assess to the Vineyards.

We sincerely apologise for anu inconvenience or bad experiences during our renovation phase, however, please be assured that under the new Management Hunter Valley Retreat will be a completely different and pleasurable experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

We stayed two nights mid week on a spreets voucher. The room was incredibly tiny. Just, the bed, small ensuite, old tv in the wardrobe, one channel only - no DVD player as advertised. Our suitcase on the floor used half the clear space. We had to step into the ensuite or step outside to allow the other person to move to the otherside of the room. The walls are very thin. We could hear our neighbours very clearly. Being coeliac, I carry my own food - NO FRIDGE! The table and chairs were outside on the verandah. As dusk fell and the insects came out, and also when it rained there was no where to go. The path to our room stopped three rooms short. We had to walk through the dirt to get to and from our room. The restaurant where we expected to eat is planned for the future. Breakfast the first morning was good. Fresh and hot, and the outlook was very relaxing. the second morning, we arrived later, and the food was cold, the eggs dry. We have stayed at many places for this same price, and have had far better accommodation , facilities and service. Not somewhere we would consider returning.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Charlie_123456_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Val H, General Manager at The Hunter Valley Retreat, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
We are very sorry to hear about your experiences at Hunter Valley Retreat and we acknowledge that you would have been disappointed.

Over the last 6 months we have been undergoing renovation and upgrading and we now have a completely new Management Team.

Improvements include, New Fridges in all rooms, New Digital Televisions with DVD, Crisp White Linen on all our beds, Full Buffet Breakfast, cooked by our resident Chef, every morning. Gourmet Pizzas and a complimentary Glass of wine available in our Restaurant every evening.

We also have extended Reception hours and a dedicated Guest Services Co-ordinator to help you experience the Hunter Valley, we also have our own Wine Tour Bus operating from site to enable easy assess to the Vineyards.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or bad experiences during our renovation phase, however, please be assured that under the new Management Hunter Valley Retreat will be a completely different and pleasurable experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
qld
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

basically everything everyone else has said is true, outdated, very small rooms and even smaller bathroom. We were given our key only to open our door and find a dirty room with rubbish on the floor. Went back to 'reception' as they call it and told her, she came to our room and said "oh it hasnt been made up, come back in an hour". No apology, how can you give a customer a key to an unmade room, they should be checking every room before anyone goes in it to make sure it's perfect. I doubt very much anyone ever pays the 'full price' as the only people who stay here pay half price which is still too much for this place, dont pay more than $100 a night to stay here

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank katie o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Val H, General Manager at The Hunter Valley Retreat, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
We are very sorry to hear about your experiences at Hunter Valley Retreat and we acknowledge that you would have been disappointed.

Over the last 6 months we have been undergoing renovation and upgrading and we now have a completely new Management Team.

Improvements include, New Fridges in all rooms, New Digital Televisions with DVD, Crisp White Linen on all our beds, Full Buffet Breakfast, cooked by our resident Chef, every morning. Gourmet Pizzas and a complimentary Glass of wine available in our Restaurant every evening.

We also have extended Reception hours and a dedicated Guest Services Co-ordinator to help you experience the Hunter Valley, we also have our own Wine Tour Bus operating from site to enable easy assess to the Vineyards.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or bad experiences during our renovation phase, however, please be assured that under the new Management Hunter Valley Retreat will be a completely different and pleasurable experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for a weekend, using a voucher and I must say I was completely and utterly astonished people would pay the asking price to stay here. I have seen other reviews on this place and we were 'fortunate' to have been 'upgraded' but I use these terms very loosely- it looked like stepping back in time, fittings & drawers were rotting, it had been raining for some time before, and water had pooled in the dining area next to a sliding door, we arrived and the TV was missing and there was no phone available to contact the front desk, nor was there anyone at the front desk, there is no free wi-fi as they advertise, there was only half a roll of toilet paper available to last us two days.... and the service was terrible- the place was putrid- there were splashes of tomato sauce that hadn't been cleaned off the window next to the sink, food was still stuck to some of the plates, the place had a bug infestation but the only treatment made available was the 'insect bomb' which requires you to vacate the place for 3 hours, breakfast was made available but when we got there there was only 1 girl running the show and she struggled to keep up with the demand, the BBQ looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a while, and the TV (when we finally got it) was situated in a room with a chair that could only fit 2 people in a place that was designed to fit 4, and you can only get 2-3 channels working on it.... Oh and the 'food and wine hamper' wasnt a hamper at all and it didnt contain 'food' rather it was a box of chocolates, a packet of biscuits and a bottle of merlot from Aldis- all of which was pretty useless for 2 diabetics.... Overall a really dissappointing experience.... I'm still kicking myself I paid for flights to get up there, I would have had a better time at home and I could have spent my money better elsewhere! Please don't make the same mistake I did!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lisamariei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Val H, General Manager at The Hunter Valley Retreat, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
We are very sorry to hear about your experiences at Hunter Valley Retreat and we acknowledge that you would have been disappointed.

Over the last 6 months we have been undergoing renovation and upgrading and we now have a completely new Management Team.

Improvements include, New Fridges in all rooms, New Digital Televisions with DVD, Crisp White Linen on all our beds, Full Buffet Breakfast, cooked by our resident Chef, every morning. Gourmet Pizzas and a complimentary Glass of wine available in our Restaurant every evening.

We also have extended Reception hours and a dedicated Guest Services Co-ordinator to help you experience the Hunter Valley, we also have our own Wine Tour Bus operating from site to enable easy assess to the Vineyards.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or bad experiences during our renovation phase, however, please be assured that under the new Management Hunter Valley Retreat will be a completely different and pleasurable experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2013

This has had to be the most appalling retreat i have ever been too. There was not one memorable thing about this place. We bought a two night 'stunning' stay from spreets and we were terribly disappointed. The room was absolutely tiny, i felt claustrophobic. The kangaroo sunset bbq did not exist. The hamper consisted of a nasty bottle of red wine, some cheap chocolates and stale biscuits. The accomodation looked as though it was still under construction. The digital television was like something from the late 80's. And all of this for $295, reduced from $602. Words can not describe how ripped off i feel. I have stayed in 5 star accomodation that was cheaper than this. Service? what service. When i asked about the internet, which had been falsely advertised, the girl on the phone just laughed and said there was none! Needless to say, within the first 30 minutes of arriving we had booked another place for the second night and left first thing in the morning. I can confirm the accuracy of all the other bad reviews. This place is a shocker!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terrigal, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2013

on seeing retreat special offer on getaway lounge we perchased a 2 night farmhouse stay. apparently worth over $1000 . IT took almost 2 weeks to confirm a booking as no answer to phone or emails despite daily repeated attempts.On arrival 4 30 pm. we had trouble finding staff.When they arrived we where told our farmhouse had not yet been cleaned yet , we where virtually the only guests . It was 40 degrees and we went to unserviced farmhouse to find aircond not working . Cleaner arrived changed linen ,bins .and very short clean but not clean .and dirty bbq . Staff x2 told us would fix air conditing on arrival . Tv remote not working rang office and left messages never answered . Kitchen falling apart and not well equiped . " restaurant breakfast " was an unstaffed non aircondioned room at 40 degrees . Help yourself cereal ,eggs,mushroom and tomatoes cold water in urn so no tea/ coffee despite being told full restaraunt bbq breakfast on web .Also bbqs dirty to cook yourself ? Our entire visit we were left to fend for our selves .We found this no resort or retreat . SORRY ROB AND ME / TERRIGAL

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MARTINE A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Val H, General Manager at The Hunter Valley Retreat, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
We are very sorry to hear about your experiences at Hunter Valley Retreat and we acknowledge that you would have been disappointed.

Over the last 6 months we have been undergoing renovation and upgrading and we now have a completely new Management Team.

Improvements include, New Fridges in all rooms, New Digital Televisions with DVD, Crisp White Linen on all our beds, Full Buffet Breakfast, cooked by our resident Chef, every morning. Gourmet Pizzas and a complimentary Glass of wine available in our Restaurant every evening.

We also have extended Reception hours and a dedicated Guest Services Co-ordinator to help you experience the Hunter Valley, we also have our own Wine Tour Bus operating from site to enable easy assess to the Vineyards.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or bad experiences during our renovation phase, however, please be assured that under the new Management Hunter Valley Retreat will be a completely different and pleasurable experience.
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 The Hunter Valley Retreat

Property: The Hunter Valley Retreat
Address: 626 Sandy Creek Rd, Quorrobolong, Cessnock, New South Wales 2325, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Cessnock > Quorrobolong
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Quorrobolong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Hunter Valley Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Under New Management and Refurbished.Set in 200 acres at the foot of the Watagan Mountains, Hunter Valley Retreat is a Country Escape away from the hustle and bustle of city life.Clean and friendly with crisp white sheets, T.V's, Fridges and everything you need for a comfortable affordable stay, just 90 minutes from Sydney and 25 minutes from the Vineyards. ... more   less 
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