Before booking my stay here I asked the girl I spoke to on the reservations line whether the property had a spa bath/jacuzzi, using very specific language to describe what I was talking about as I did not want my question confused with the "Day Spa" facility that I knew the property has attached to it. I was told that yes, there was a spa for guests to use. Great!
When I was put through to the actual property to make some further enquiries, I spoke to a young man who also told me there was a spa, as well as a pool and steam room for guests to use. Great!
When I rang to book, I asked the lady I spoke to the same question, and even found out that the pool is heated to approximately 30 degrees, while this supposed spa, that is included in my tariff, is heated to a slightly higher temperature. Great! Just what I needed after some recent health scares - a nice modern place in natural peaceful surroundings, with grounds for walking, a swimming pool if I feel up to it, a steam room, and a spa bath to relax in!
When I got down to the swimming pool (seperate to the main hotel building - about 4-5minutes' walk away), I couldn't find a spa, so I asked and was told there was NO SPA BATH! Or at least none for guests to use, though apparently there was one in the overpriced Day Spa facility which could be booked for use before the facility shuts at 6pm (the swimming pool and steam room stay open until 8pm). I had a brief look around the day spa facility and couldn't see a spa bath anywhere anyway.
This might be a small thing, but it really disappointed me, and put quite a dampener on my stay here. Nothing was done to lift my spirits following this disappointment, as there had clearly been incorrect information provided to me. The only attempt at recompense was provided by the pleasant staff member (possibly of Sri Lankan or Indian descent - my apologies for not remembering his name!) who offered to arrange a bottle of sparkling wine for me, however I declined this as I don't really drink much alcohol.
Anyway, apart from that, the Sebel Heritage was a modern hotel situated on the grounds of a golf course, with many houses located in the vicinity too - some are probably permanent residents, and some would be the holiday homes of wealthy golf afficionados. Staff were generally very professional and pleasant (though I did overhear the young lady at the swimming pool reception use one profanity while speaking to another staff member on the phone.)
Breakfast at Bella restaurant was very good, cooked to order eggs etc. were included alongside a good selection of buffet items. The cold salmon quiches were fantastic!
Rooms were clean and comfortable, though the lighting was a little difficult to figure out initially. Unfortunately my room on the top (3rd) floor didn't have much of a view, and had very poor hot water pressure in the bathtub - patience was a virtue here and I eventually got to have a hot bath in substitute for a spa!
The design of the bathroom tap/faucet was not well thought out, as it was too short for the sink and made hand washing a little difficult.
The selection of TV channels was adequate, but I noticed the new digital free-to-air channels were not available... only the main free-to-air channels, and some Pay-TV channels.
Internet was not included in the tariff - something I have grown accustomed to after extensive travels throughout SE Asia - and I would have expected internet access to be included in a so-called 1st world country such as Australia! Instead paid internet access was available, I believe the rates were about 55 cents a minute, capped at $29 per 24 hours. Ridiculously expensive!
Overall though, this was a nice place to stay for a relaxing night or two, located far enough out of Chirnside Park to feel like you're out of the city, but close enough to be within an hour of most parts of eastern and southern Melbourne. Everything worked, and if you can get a good deal on Wotif or Travelzoo with breakfast included for around the $159 mark, then it can be a nice getaway. It's certainly no eco-lodge, but the wetland walking trail around the Yarra River is pleasant enough to enjoy and give you a feeling in most parts of being out amongst nature, while the function rooms make the Sebel Heritage a good place for conferences also.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Positioned at the gateway to the Yarra Valley, Yarra Valley Lodge is a world class resort offering guests total luxury, surrounded by two championship golf courses. Take advantage of the hotels location on the doorstep to over 100 wineries. Exuding the warmth and timeless appeal of a private lodge, 102 spacious and superbly appointed guest rooms and conference rooms await you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley Hotel Chirnside Park
- Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley Melbourne
- Yarra Valley Lodge Australia/Chirnside Park, Victoria