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“Still good”
Review of Tower Lodge

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Tower Lodge
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Tower estate is still great . Yes, Andreas and some staff have left. Andreas will be a hard act to follow. However, after meeting Sean Byrne, new General Manager, I can say there in good hands. Went to NINES last night, food exceptional. Jonathan , the maitre de Madison , who you call Jono, is friendly and knows his stuff. Rooms are still great, breakfast menu is good. Tower is experiencing a change-over period, but so far, it's still one of the best places to stay.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Lawrence S
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 reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Dear Lawrence.

Your positive feedback, and kind words, are very much appreciated. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with you during your recent stay at Tower Lodge.

I'm thrilled to hear that Tower Lodge consistently delivers a memorable experience. I agree that the food on offer in Restaurant Nine is exceptional and personally feel that Executive Chef George Francisco has put together a menu unrivalled in the Hunter Valley; couple that with the wonderful service provided by Jonothan and his staff and Nine really is a unique dining experience all must enjoy.

I very much look forward to welcoming you back to Tower Estate soon.

Warm regards

Sean Byrne

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36 - 42 of 129 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2012

A nice boutique accommodation. We spent all weekend trying to guess what country had inspired the decor of the lodge. We are still guessing...moroccan? spanish? french Mediterranean? We really aren't sure, but it was neat. The room was very spacious and included a functioning fireplace, which was always ready to light with kindling and wood available. The bathroom was large. There was a nice seating area outside the room. The staff were attentive and polite. The inclusive breakfast was also very nice. No complaints. We would book again. It is expensive, but on saying that, the room was wonderful. Our booking included a dining package with dinner at Roberts Restaurant & Nine Restaurant. As returning patrons to Roberts, this restaurant has really taken a turn for the worse. My slow-cooked beef was actually deep-fried and my pork was as dry as a bone. The wine list was also very limited - The real Robert always had a variety of European & local wines available. Thankfully we had a better dining experience at Nine restaurant the next night. A fabulous degustation menu with carefully matched wines.

Room Tip: Stay away from Roberts restaurant
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 101Charmaine101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Overall we could not give more than poor/ average for our stay as there were quite a few disappointments . We went with high expectations, as it had been recommended.There were a few staff in training and the lack of local knowledge was frustrating.This was highlighted when it was suggested we dine in-house,and even we knew that Nine was closed that night. We arrived on a cold afternoon and were shown to a very cold unheated room. The in room spa bath could really have done with a good clean too. Considering the room tariff, it was very disappointing. Breakfast was good and the chef very obliging with requests.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mookiandsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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4  Thank Wino001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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

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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
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1  Thank Angela_Wollongong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank ooooh_pardon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 And Chateaux
Tower Lodge - Relais & Chateaux Hotel Pokolbin
Tower Lodge Pokolbin
Pokolbin Tower Lodge
Tower Lodge Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin

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