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.
- 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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