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“Not what it used to be...”
Review of Tower Lodge

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Tower Lodge
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not what it used to be...”
Reviewed September 10, 2012

I have stayed at Tower Lodge several times over the last several years, and it has always been our favourite Hunter Valley destination. However, our most recent stay will be our last. As the reviewer mentioned previously, Andreas and his team offered outstanding service, made us feel welcome in our 'country house'. On our last stay we were disappointed to find that Andreas and his team, are no longer there. Instead of the warm welcome at the door, there was no one. Staff seemed distant, cold. We sat in the lounge for drinks, and had to look for someone to serve us. The room was reasonably tidy, and the breakfast and service was average. The place seems to have lost its spirit.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Wino001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

The lodge sells itself, great location and great rooms supported by excellent meals at both Roberts and restaurant Nine but thats where it ends.
Jaded staff, poor service and below average breakfasts.
Would not recommend it, if you are looking for Relais & Chateaux experience you will certainly not find it here.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean B, General Manager at Tower Lodge, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Dear Mary M.

Thank you for your review and feedback following your stay at Tower Lodge in August 2012.

Tower Lodge has recently undergone an executive management change following a long period without a General Manager. We are very aware that there was a need for a dramatic shift in the culture of the business and are confident that the necessary changes have been made over the last couple of months. Unfortunately such wholesale change is rarely possible overnight and based on recent feedback we seem to be very much on track.

I am very disappointed to hear that you found the staff jaded, the service provided to you poor and breakfast below average. I am really pleased to say that over the past three months we have initiated a number of training programs whilst focusing on our service orientation; the results are noticeable. We have also revamped the breakfast offering at the Lodge.

I am really pleased to hear that you found the location and rooms great and that your meals at both Roberts and restaurant Nine were excellent.

Mary M thank you for your comments, as it is only with feedback such as yours we are able to see ourselves in the same light as our guests see us.

I hope that you might consider one day returning to Tower Lodge as you will see that we have made the necessary changes to ensure the property reflects our inclusion in Relais & Chateaux and it's recent win as 'Best Boutique Lodge in the World' at the 2012 World Luxury Hotel Awards.

Kind regards.

Sean B
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2012

I had high tea here with a girlfriend, and it was the best high tea I'd been to. The service was of the highest standard, with very professional and friendly staff. The tea selection was impressive, and the food was stunning! The sandwiches were light and fresh, the scones amongst the best I'd ever had, and the petit fours were delicious! The atmosphere was that of a grand country manor, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. There was also the option of having champagne with the tea. Tower Lodge is very quiet, and would be lovely for a romantic weekend. It's also very close to dozens of vineyards.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela_Wollongong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012

Spent a weekend at Tower Lodge with husband and mother-in-law. Don't let the Lodge's somewhat dreary looking exterior fool you, inside it is beautiful. The rooms are all individually decorated, European in style and enormous. Perhaps a teeny bit dated but, to me, that's all part of the old school character and charm. Hubbie's and my room was perfect, however my mother-in-law had a few minor snags with her shower not working and a bathroom light out of order.

The courtyard is a lovely place to enjoy breakfast, however the breakfast service itself leaves a little to be desired if you're after a cooked brekkie - our eggs took ages. When they arrived, poached eggs were rock hard, eggs benedict were cold & congealed...suffice to say it all went back. After another long wait, the dishes were served correctly, however it did mean breakfast took forever. There was only one waiter looking after ten odd tables and when I went up to the Continental buffet table I could hear staff in the kitchen having a gossip/laugh which probably explains the cooked breakfasts not being right. There is a perfectly decent Continental buffet table which we stuck to for the remainder of our stay.

The bar is a nice spot to enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink in the evenings. Lots of magazines and board games provided which is a nice touch. We had a fantastic dinner at Robert's Restaurant. Lovely cosy ambiance, wonderful food and wines. The hotel staff chauffeured us there and back which was a nice touch, meant we didn't have to worry about taxis or driving ourselves. Hotel staff extremely helpful and pleasant at all times.

Overall the stay was great, just a shame the breakfast service was a little slack.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ooooh_pardon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2012

This is our third time back to Tower Lodge and enjoyed it once again. Everything is the same.... wonderful setting, wonderful rooms, wonderful relaxing atmosphere. We were excited this time to experience the new Nine restaurant.... it was amazing and worth every cent. Our host and his staff are professional and made our stay fantastic.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jenny255060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
201 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

This is a small luxury hotel which is peaceful with first class service.
Not very impressive from outside but lovely interior. The rooms vary - ours was a little dark but very comfortable, breakfast was served outside in the courtyard and was delicious.
We had dinner one evening in Nine in the basement which is a small room with only about five tables the meal (nine small courses) was good but very slow each delicate little course being served beautifully but after a longish wait the poor waitresses spent their time negotiating a narrow staircase with trays of food. It was very expensive and not our best meal while in the Hunter Valley.
There is a lovely small swimming pool with loungers and the indoor space is comfortable and cosy for afternoon tea or pre dinner drinks.
There are some very attractive gardens worth a visit a short drive down the road and of course lots of wineries.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VirgoQualitySeeker47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
australia
Level 6 Contributor
248 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

Excellent stay, we were the only 2 people there so hard to gauge what busy would be like. All staff attentive and polite. Obviously well managed and run. Had dinner at Roberts (see separate review) and all meals were of very high class. Cannot go past the rooms or feel of the place without feeling very wowed. Not sure the website does it justice. Almost perfect. Will be returning.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank iwasere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tower Lodge

Property: Tower Lodge
Address: 6 Halls Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Hotel Class:5 star — Tower Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tower Lodge is the only truly intimate World class luxury Lodge in the Hunter Valley region, accommodating a maximum of 24 guests at any one time. The Lodge is not only luxurious, but also offers a stage to create your own special experience, one that will become your benchmark for years to come. Located at Tower Estate in the Hunter Valley, Australia the Lodge was recognised as the best "Luxury Lodge" for 2010 at the World Luxury Hotel Awards. Tower Lodge represents all that is Unique, Intimate and Luxurious. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tower Lodge - Relais & Chateaux Hotel Pokolbin
Tower Lodge - Relais And Chateaux
Tower Lodge Pokolbin
Pokolbin Tower Lodge
Tower Lodge Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin

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