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“Pleasantly Surpised!”

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Ramada Resort Shoal Bay
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Shoal Bay
Reviewed January 5, 2014

After reading allot of reviews before our trip I was quite skeptical and apprehensive about our stay. i must say i was more than happy after our stay. We stayed for 5 nights in a Zenith 1 bedroom apartment which is located right at the back of the resort, but we knew this prior to booking. Yes there are a flight of stairs to the room, but again this was advised prior to booking. It is only a 2 minute walk through the carpark to the front of resort or pool area which my 2 year old son loved. although there was quite a few people given it was during the week of New Years, we found a chair by the pool without any hassle each day. On arrival the desk staff were pleasant and i was quickly to my room. We did arrive at 4pm though as we find it's best never to arrive right on check in time as then you can expect to have to wait as there will be queue. The room was spacious with fold out bed made up for my son prior to arrival.the main bed was little firm for my liking as I prefer softer, but hey you can't please everyone. Buffet breakfast was included which was great and had variety much the same as any resort (hot and cold options). we also dined there for dinner on a couple of occasions which was great food also and not too pricey (also very handy when you have a 2yr old son who does not want to sit around and wait for dinner). There are also ample options for dining along the main road within a 2 minute walk which are reasonably priced. There is also an IGA for any shopping needs. Overall I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank W0nderkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 4, 2014

Stayed there for two nights we booked a room with the beach view. Service was good all the staff were friendly and helpful. Breakfast buffet (included in the Package) was nice at the heritage, love their pancake and hash brown. Room had king size bed and bathroom were clean. Furniture was a bit dated but good enough.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Pemba K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Apologies for the very late review, we have just decided to review all of the places we have been to so far together. We came here in January 2011 for 7 nights staying in one of the beach front rooms with a spa & balcony, had a fantastic stay, the buffet breakfasts were amazing with lots of variety. We had access to the day spa and pools all of which we thoroughly enjoyed and added to the relaxation factor. As far as being called a resort we must confess that what we imagined we would be faced with and what we really saw weren’t quite the same. Also to note the pictures are slightly deceiving as from what we saw in the pictures the rooms appeared to be on the beach front whereas in reality there was a main street which needed to be crossed first. They have a fantastic restaurant on site called Catch which we definitely recommend to anyone. The café downstairs seemed to always be booked for private functions but we went out for lunch and dinner anyways so that wasn’t a problem for us. While we were there we went horse riding on the beach with Sahara Trails, Camel riding on the sand dunes at sunset with Oakfield Ranch, dolphin watching with Moonshadow Cruises and checked out some beautiful local beaches.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank RWCB01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We rented a beach front one bedroom apartment in the heritage section for three nights from Friday to Sunday at premium xmas rate of $450 night. Ouch....Breakfast buffet was included with fair bland hot and cold food.

We were not told that the pub would have a band playing each night directly below us until 12pm. When we called the third night to complain we were told that this room is not normally rented only at capacity and for wedding receptions.

Seems both events were happening during our stay. The priority is clearly to focus more on pub patrons and wedding receptions than couples paying a premium to stay at this resort. Upon checking out we were given a measly $30 discount on some drinking purchased and an upgrade should we choose to return. I doubt we would be back this time of year. No other offer proposed even though we had spend $150+ at the catch restaurant.

The room itself was comfortable and well appointed however the verandah was next to useless from midday as the restaurant below had people shouting and yelling from midday onwards with loud music playing as well.

The recent outsourcing of the SPA area also less appealing service with changes made to the pool and floor configurations which were confusing. New sauna and steam rooms not working either. When we tried to book a couple sessions booking were always late afternoon/evening which did not suit.

The main pool area was full each day with families making quiet relaxation by the pool impossible.

Better value elsewhere......

Room Tip: Ensure room is not near the pub on weekends as band play until midnight.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mark U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Stayed in a standard one bedroom apartment. Sparsely furnished only one uncomfortable couch that has seen better days, no arm chairs, no coffee table, no dishwasher, no balcony just a view of a concrete staircase. My wife and I had the choice of sitting on the couch together or one of us sitting on an uncomfortable dining room chair. Probably would have been 4 star accommodation in 1950's Russia.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Ivan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Just came back from a 5 day stay. Good feedback but some important negatives.

Start with the negative i guess: we stayed beachfront whitesands.
1. after our first room cleanup a bag of designer underwear and pyjamis was stolen and never recovered. No apology given only that "we will follow up". I approached them immediately after and 4 times each day until we left and yet no recovery like they kept palming us away. Promised follow up calls were not made. From my knowledge i think they employ international tourists short term for the holidays. so baware of this.
2.if your expecting to her the waves and ocean then THINK AGAIN. The cafe down beneath has live entertainment most days and it got so loud we complained several times. Our kids couldnt get their mid day naps as their bed was the pullout sofa. The the entertainment finishes 730pm.
3. With kids... don't expect linen change or floor vacuumed until the third day.
4. Leaking water from ceiling tile in front of the door right above in the hall way entry to our door, they left the roof tile in place and placed a bucket until we found the tile on the floor in peices in front of our door. Very dangerous...

Positives:
1. Room structure was perfect.
2. Service was quite good upon asking for certain things.
3. They had their own parking which we found handy.
4. Views were fantastic.
5. Location was perfect.
6. Breakfast was above average
7. The buffet dinner was extremely highly rated. I think that was our favourite night. Kids under5 are free also
8. Plenty of activities for the kids at the kids club.

Still awaiting apology for our lost clothes.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Nazeh M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

Decent hotel but customer service at the Country club hotel and Marco's restaurant was absolutely shocking, rude & arrogant... I could go on.... Lovely place in terms of the views and the beach etc, but I wouldn't expect a friendly welcoming....

  • Stayed: December 2013
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2  Thank Truth1221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ramada Resort Shoal Bay

Address: 35-45 Shoal Bay Rd, Shoal Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315, Australia (Formerly Shoal Bay Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Port Stephens > Shoal Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Shoal Bay
Price Range: $119 - $343 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ramada Resort Shoal Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 183
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shoal Bay Resort & Spa is the ultimate beachfront Resort perfect for romantic escapes, family holidays, pamper weekends, beach getaways, weddings, special events and meetings and business. Shoal Bay lays by the entrance to Port Stephens, overlooking the white sands and the magnificent volcanic Tomaree headlands. Boasting crystal clear waterways and extensive National Park with unspoiled bushland, Shoal Bay is certainly one of New South Wales most stunning destinations. Just 2.5 hr drive north of Sydney and 30mins from Newcastle, this award winning Resort offers a diverse range of accommodation styles and options to suit a variety of budgets and can accommodate up to 700 guests. Accommodation ranges from Standard Studios through to Waterview, Beachfront and Bayview rooms with a choice of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments located across 7 accommodation buildings. The Resort features 4 restaurants including the award winning Catch at Shoal Bay, 5 bars, the iconic Country Club Hotel, Occie’s Kids Club (operating throughout NSW School Holidays periods), Shoal Bay Resort Store, Whitesands Conference Centre, an outdoor heated Resort pool with children’s wading area and complimentary secure undercover parking. Relax at the Aqua Spa wellbeing sanctuary for adults (min 16 yrs+) offering a true Thalassotherapy experience for guests through the 3 mineral spa pools and 25m heated lap pool. Take yourself on a journey to revive your mind, body and soul, indulge in a range of menu treatments that enhance the total well being and surrender to the experience of products that will relax, de-stress and energise you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shoal Bay Hotel Shoal Bay

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